Street Angels for Vandals

Los Angeles, “The City of Angels.” The place where most come to materialize their dreams, their big shot, to in any way become a part of the industry and “glamour” of Hollywood. 

But there is another reality that hits you in the face as soon as you drive through the beautiful streets of the city of sunshine. Very few actually make it. To many, it becomes the place where their dream is crushed by reality and the highest taxes in the US. Some end up on the streets. Skid Row in particular being the place where most of the "Street Angels" as ive decide to call them have chosen to live.

LA has one of the largest homeless communities in the world. The never ending sunshine and always warm weather, also blessed with mountains and beach, seems to be their favorite place to base at. One day I woke up and it just felt right to grab my camera, 200 dollars in single bills and a few packs of Cigarettes, To ventured into this community.

“Documenting their places from afar feel’s like it’s been done. I want to get closer. I want to portray them truthfully” so I spent the day chatting and gaining their trust, hearing about their life ideals, and most importantly looking at their eyes and making them feel acknowledged, which seemed to be what they appreciated the most on a society that feel’s afraid. 

What I encountered once the walls were broken down was fascinating. Sure, some are mentally gone, yet incredibly present. Others have chosen the streets as their way of living. Most of them welcome me with an unexpected warmth. Some got incredibly exhilarated about having their photo taken, almost as if they had been waiting for this moment for a very long time. 

There were laughs and tears, from their and my side, but I felt like a new person as I left their neighborhood back to the comfort of my Hotel in Beverly Hills. Where suddenly the contrast felt so bizarre. 

Watch the full story in print on the latest issue of Vandals Magazine