I Am Waters Foundation

Today is 09.27.2016

The Image Campaign

The Image Campaign

I Am Waters discovered that a highly productive and meaningful way to engage with the homeless community and create a dialogue was to organize a photoshoot at the various shelters. With the help of a professional photographer, we captured the images of dozens of homeless and used these images as a way to talk with them about their current situation. The aim is to bolster the image they hold of themselves, while providing them with a valuable keepsake.

What is the image campaign?

I Am Waters discovered that a highly productive and meaningful way to engage with the homeless community and create a dialogue was to organize a photoshoot at the various shelters. With the help of a professional photographer, we captured the images of dozens of homeless and used these images as a way to talk with them about their current situation. The aim is to bolster the image they hold of themselves, while providing them with a valuable keepsake.

“I haven’t seen myself in a picture since I was 13. I haven’t seen myself smile in a picture since then. I don’t have a picture of myself except for my I.D. It meant a lot to me having my picture taken. I see a very pretty girl. I see someone who has overcome a lot in her life and has been through a lot.”

The image campaign is about enabling the homeless to be seen, witnessed, heard and known. The pictures became portals in some cases, transporting the homeless individuals back to their childhood or the last time they saw their mother or family. Almost all of the people we surveyed said they felt anticipation during the week-long period they had to wait for their photo to be printed and returned. But when the picture arrived they felt relieved and excited to see themselves freed from the distorting perceptions of homelessness.

The photo serves a dual purpose. First is to remove the homeless individuals from their environment by placing them on a white backdrop in order to create a new context for them to view themselves in. Second is to educate the general public and commence a dialogue. We aspire to dispel the stereotypes of homelessness and bring awareness that the American homeless are men, women, children, and whole families — often times with their pets in tow.

Image Campaign 2009

Image Campaign 2010

Image Campaign 2011