I don't usually shoot homeless people. I don't find it romantic or appealing like a lot of street photographers, and if you asked homeless people they are probably not to happy about their situation either. That's why I was surprised to be so drawn to taking a picture of this gentleman.
I was being interviewed for an article in British Vogue; and while we walked down Bowery back in April I barely stopped walking when I took the shot. Fiona Golfar, the writer, asked why I took the photo. At that moment I couldn't really explain - but I just had a feeling about the power and grace of how he was sitting there. It wasn't until later that night when I was working on the image that I realized why I had noticed this man.
Usually people in this man's position have given up hope. Maybe this gentleman has too, I don't know, but he hasn't given up his sense of self or his sense of expressing something about himself to the world. In my quick shot I had noticed his pale blue boots, what I hadn't noticed at first were the matching blue socks, blue trimmed gloves, and blue framed glasses. This shot isn't about fashion - but about someone who, while down on his luck, hasn't lost his need to communicate and express himself through style.
Looking at him dressed like this makes me feel that in some way he hasn't given in or given up.