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Submitted on
May 21, 2013
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We Are All Broken by MikeShawPhotography We Are All Broken by MikeShawPhotography

We Are All Brokenby MikeShawPhotography

Photography / People & Portraits / Spontaneous Portraits©2013-2014 MikeShawPhotography
It has taken me since Sunday to be able to upload this image, this is another homeless man called Peter, I had photographed him many years before, 2007 to be exact, the year I first picked up a DSLR.

I was making my back to the car with my wife when I heard a penny whistle being played, I thought it has been too long to be him but it was. Time has not been kind to him, being on the streets has really taken its toll, he has aged more like twenty years not six, I sat to speak with him as he made roll ups with the cigarette butts he had collected from the pavements, other peoples casts off. He was wearing military fatigues as he was way back, now though they were well worn, I noticed his hands as he played with the tobacco and papers, you can see what the time he has spent on the streets has done, swollen, skin cracked and dirt ingrained.

We spoke for a while, every now and then he was approached by other homeless people that seemed to be faring better than him, I asked if he knew them all, he told me he looked after them all, once again people from the streets caring for people from the streets.

As I said my goodbyes I got up to leave, I turned to see him light up his cigarette and the crowds of shoppers walk by again. That's when I felt the anger, my bipolar mania manifests itself not in a state of adrenalin rushes but in rage, dark anger that I sometimes struggle to control, as I watched him once again being ignored by the masses carrying goods they wanted but probably didn't need it began to surge. The only way to control it was to clench my fist and push my nails hard into the flesh of my palms until the pain gave my mind another focus but as always after the mania comes the downward spiral. I spent two very sleepless nights with this on my mind.

My only conclusion, we are all broken.
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owensangel10 Featured By Owner Jun 8, 2013  Professional Artisan Crafter
Boy....your stories are incredible as well as your homeless portraits!!
JaqErant92 Featured By Owner May 27, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Wow. I was deeply touched by this story and the picture. It is hard not to be angry that people ignore them.
lukiesyaya Featured By Owner May 25, 2013  Hobbyist Photographer
What a remarkable shot and story. I understand your anger and grief. I have seen this many times while caring for these forgotten mass of humanity. I worked medical rescue and came to know many by name. They knew my name as well. Many of them died on the street or in my E.R. with noone but me or another nurse or medic to know. I can still see their faces in my heart. You have immortilized this man. Now he will never be forgotten. Thank you, and I am sorry that I could not and can't end the problem either. I do still try to do things to make their lives easier and less dangerous. If we all do that it may help. :heart:
Telumindel Featured By Owner May 22, 2013
If I ever found myself in your area, I would want to have my portrait taken. I love the genuineness of your portrait pieces. They are so raw and real. Looking this photo, I feel like I can see this man's experiences. It's beautiful in its harshness.
AshMashTheFlash Featured By Owner May 22, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
So much feeling in this shot. Astounding.
initialfantasy Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Hobbyist General Artist
Spectacular shot.
jennystokes Featured By Owner May 21, 2013  Professional General Artist
I think I know how you feel..............NO person on Earth should be ignored ny anyone.
Good shot.
pandarasta Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
pretty natural portraits
inObrAS Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Wonderful portrait! :clap:
VeryBadGirl Featured By Owner May 21, 2013
Your words are as heavy as stones, Mike, and your dark anger is mine too. Every time I walk around Rome's main railway station I hate myself for not being able to do anything else but look at all those homeless people and feel sad and powerless. We are all broken...we are indeed...
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