|December 14, 2015 • VOL. 53, NO. 21 • Oakland, CA|
Life on the streets, as seen by those who live there
Chris Rummell wears many hats at the St. Vincent de Paul Society of Alameda County, manager of the Redux Studios and Gallery being one of them.
Working with Oakland photographer Derek Cooke, who offered advice in getting the best out of the single-use black-and-white cameras in their hands, about a dozen volunteers set out to document their life on the streets.
While photographers have often sought to document the lives of the homeless, Rummell said the homeless can feel exploited by such efforts. This project, "puts them in charge, showing us what they want us to see."
Just how many cameras would return was an unknown. "The population we work with is very transitory," he said.
Rummell and Cooke were collecting cameras and planned to process the film, editing from contact sheets in consultation with the client-photographers. The exhibit will feature about 20 images, Rummell said.
The photographer will receive 75 percent of the profits from the sale of the prints; with 25 percent going to St. Vincent de Paul.
Photographers are also getting advice on copyrighting their images.
"There's a real possibility of just the right place at the right time," Rummell said, noting that a photographer might find a new and unexpected source of income.
The door is open to making "Visible" a year-round effort, or establishing a photography club for the downtown clients.
Seed money for "Visible" came from All Saints Parish in Hayward. The prints on exhibit at the gallery will be displayed in frames culled from donations to St. Vincent de Paul. The prints, mostly in an 8-by-10 format, will be affordable, Rummell said.
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