Photos of a homeless man panhandling for drugs with some lighthearted signs. Shot near Union Station in Los Angeles, California, USA. 27/05/2010
I used to see this gentleman panhandling near Union Station in downtown LA. He had a series of handmade signs that he would display for traffic caught at the light, a la Bob Dylan's Subterranean Homesick Blues. I enjoyed watching people look up from inside their cars, read the signs as he rotated through them, and laugh.
At the time I was writing a series of short stories about homeless people on the streets of LA, so I stopped one day and asked if I could take a photo. He insisted I take photos of him with all his signs.
Then he disappeared. Last week I saw him again for the first time in months, looking a little worse for wear, shouting at people standing at a bus stop. But he was back at work with a newly made set of signs.
These are the original photos I took back in May. I've chosen not to identify him by name, since this could put him at some risk.