The story of homelessness is too familiar in Los Angeles, the city of tents and trash. Sad-eyed souls scrambling for food, a fix, or just some shelter for the night.
I am Rémy Tortosa, a French photographer based in Los Angeles. I cannot look away. In France I was a fireman, so I am accustomed to see people in danger. But the kind I see in the streets of LA is a different sort. This is trouble in slow motion. Each photo is a different story. A defiant man bares his chest to reveal a tattoo reading, “Ride the Lightning.” A distressed woman presses her fingers against her face as if to hold herself together. A pair of knobbly hands light a smoke like a beacon against the blackness.
Most photographs of the homeless come across as one-dimensional, “shoot-and-run” affairs. They tend to exploit the circumstances of their subjects. I tried something different. I provided sandwiches and discussed with them. I spent time just to give them support. Then with their permission I took some pictures during an extrem short periode of time, like twenty seconds in which I tried to catch the light evens out darkness, sun illuminates the crags of faces, beard glow, and tired eyes gleam with humanity, even humor.