Angel and Jessica


Recently I blogged about a new project that I am starting called $2 portraits. The idea is that I will offer $2 to anyone who asks me for money from now on in exchange for their portrait.

On Friday while shooting up in the Haight I ran into Angel. As I walked by Angel he saw me with my camera and said to me, “$2 for portraits.” I asked him if he’d heard of my $2 portrait project and he said no that this was just what he charged for portraits. I explained my $2 portrait project to Angel and he agreed to pose for it.

Angel was an interesting guy. He had a beer tucked inside his jacket that he’d been drinking while we talked. He told me that a guy took a photo of him and sold it in an art gallery down in Santa Cruz for a lot of money. He said it was printed up really large with his corn rows in. He said lots of people like to take his photo.

Angel was an animated and talkative guy and told me that Sly Stone was a cousin of his but that he never had a chance to meet him before he died. He told me that he was originally from Los Angeles and that his mom owned a house in Compton down there — but he said that he hadn’t seen his mom in years.

Angel said he came from a big family. He said he had three siblings from his mom and another four from his dad.

Angel and I talked for a bit about my own photography. He asked me if I had a card so I gave him one of my cards. I told him that if he wanted to see his portrait or some of my other photographs that he could use the internet address on my card. He said he wasn’t sure how he’d ever do that because he didn’t have a computer. I suggested that he might want to check out the internet at the library.

After our conversation I gave Angel his $2 and put my 50mm lens on to take another photo of him. He stopped me though and said, “another photograph’s going to be another $2.” I told him that it was o.k. that I got a good one from before and headed my way back down Haight continuing on my shoot.


Just before I met Angel on Friday while shooting in the Haight I also ran into Jessica. Jessica was pan handling and asked me for money. I told her about my $2 portrait project and she agreed to pose as well.

Jessica said that she’s been in San Francisco for about 10 years now but that she first came to the City back in 1991. She said that she was originally from New York but that she came out to San Francisco to study art.

I asked Jessica if she had family and she said that she did but that she did not get along with them.

Jessica and I talked for a little while about her art. She said she’s mostly focusing on acting right now but that she also does music and paints. She said she also does henna. She said that normally she does not have to be out on the street but that right now she had to be. She said that she definitely was going to make it as an actress and I wished her luck with that.

After talking for a bit more, Jessica asked if I had a card and I said I did and gave her one. Then I headed back down Haight Street for more shooting.

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  1. Spokker says:

    This is a great idea. Sounds like something you would see in an artsy fartsy gallery.

  2. InAzSbSj says:

    Great idea indeed!

    BTW – Sly Stone isn’t dead yet – Angel still has time…

  3. Jordan says:

    am not sure what troubles me more, the exploitation of homeless people for your own gain (popularity) or the shamelessness of these followers encouraging you. This is absolutely the most amazing example of taking advantage of destitute people for one’s own gain.

    Truly shocking.

  4. hcg diet says:

    It’s hard to find knowledgeable people on this topic, but you sound like you know what you’re talking about! Thanks