trading cookies for portraits

When I encounter a homeless person on the street who allows me to take a photograph - I give them a dollar. It is not enough. I thought they might appreciate a home-baked cookie more… My effort would make the gesture personal - a gift. I thought… Who would not smile at a home-baked chocolate-chip cookie? Who could refuse one? But the first 3 strangers I approached, shut me down.

So this was my mission on a Saturday morning. I would go to the homeless shelter and trade cookies for portraits. I ventured to the bus depot as well. Many happy faces sitting, waiting in the sun. I was surprised how many people asked me if there were drugs in the cookies. There were not. This pleased some and disappointed others… but $12. worth of Ghirardelli dark chocolate (the amount in the cookie dough)? - that is an awesome drug.

I was disappointed when I got home. I only shot two rolls, not five. Not everyone accepted my offer and I had half the cookies leftover (not a bad thing). But when I think of it now, as I scanned these faces; I realized there were more pleasant encounters than scary ones that day.

Also - I don't know about this camera. I made every attempt to focus on the eyes; but it seems the ears are in perfect focus. I think next time, I shall focus on the noses, and then perhaps the eyes will be clear.

face monochrome portraits strangers t-max
Mamiya 645
Kodak T-Max 100
Reno, NV
United States

16 Comentários

  1. ohlordy
    ohlordy ·

    this is really grand concept, idea, album and i'd really like to try your cookies!

  2. grazie
    grazie ·

    Awesome work V! Great, creative and such a heartfelt idea. Verynice street portraits here.

  3. kibs
    kibs ·

    Everybody deserves attention and you've provided them with that and a bit of fame too! I'm happily surprised at some of the smiles I see in this album. Bold, brave and beautiful album! Love each photo :)

  4. jsmcbride
    jsmcbride ·

    I love this album!
    This is precisely the sort of thing I'd looove to do but don't have the confidence to take pictures of strangers :-(

    Great album!

  5. clickiemcpete
    clickiemcpete ·

    Beautiful portraits and great story! :)

  6. mafiosa
    mafiosa ·

    What a great idea! I love your story (chocolate is the best kind of drug).

  7. kangiha
    kangiha ·

    Great album,beautiful portraits! Cheers

  8. sandravo
    sandravo ·

    A very kind and brave idea turned into a wonderful album!

  9. vici
    vici ·

    @kibs and @sandravo - I did have to be brave to collect these photos. That's part of what made the experience so good. The cookies gave me a little extra confidence @jsmcbride. Thank you @grazie, @clickiemcpete and @kangiha. You are right @mafiosa - chocolate is the best (then caffeine I think). If I do say so myself @ohlordy - the cookies I bake are extraordinary, memorable…delicious.

  10. jean_louis_pujol
    jean_louis_pujol ·

    this serie leaves me speechless. congrats

  11. timolomo
    timolomo ·

    i agree with all the above comments!
    Nice album!!

  12. vici
    vici ·

    @jean_louis_pujol - your words touch me, as always. Thank you.

  13. vici
    vici ·

    Thank you so much @timolomo.

  14. akula
    akula ·

    I love the story behind these photos.

  15. vici
    vici ·

    Thank you @akula

  16. badjuju
    badjuju ·

    I'm surprised anyone could turn you down! I've thought of doing something along the same lines, but I am not brave enough yet. Beautiful photos!

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