This week I did some street photography in my hometown of Oakland. Street photography is always a challenge, as you never know how people will respond. Last week, I had about 97% of the people say “yes.” Yesterday, I had a 40% yes rate. Some days are just like that. Anyway here are some of the photos from the people who said, “yes.”
Karena is one of the good ones. She is a passionate social justice advocate working for Insight Prison Project, a restorative justice organization based out of Oakland.
I didn’t get these guys names, but they are both students at Lincoln University on a break from classes.
William and Poonam were taking a break from their jobs at DesignAction. They are both extremely talented graphic designers who do amazing work for social justice clients. William came to Oakland from the Dominican Republic in 2003. Poonam came from the United Arab Emirates in 1999. Both Poonam and William live in Oakland now just a few blocks from Lake Merritt.
She was stopped at a light. I didn’t get her name, but she works at Donut Savant, and that’s enough for me!
Bonita is an immigration and human rights attorney working in downtown Oakland. I photographed her in front of the posters from my Oakland Neighborhood Project as she was waiting for a ride.
Carl is such a nice guy. We only chatted for a few minutes while I phootgraphed him, but he had this great smile on his face the entire time. He works for East Bay Paratransit in case you were wondering, but he’s not one of the folks who drives the vans.
This is Devon. He was intently focused on his phone and on taking a break, but not so much that he didn’t let me grab a couple of quick photos of him.
These two guys work at Coloso Coffee at 17th and Webster. This photo was as close as they could get to keeping straight faces.
Dan and Lisa both work at Kaiser. Such nice people. They were having an intense conversation on this street corner, but immediately said yes as soon as I interrupted them to ask if I could take some photos.
Security at the Patelco.
I think that Gibson was a bit suspicious of me at first, but she acquiesced and let me take a few quick shots of her. I am not allowed to hang her photos in a gallery, though. Just putting that in writing.
Oh what a nice guy Lucien is. He’s originally from New Orleans, and you can definitely hear that in his beautiful speaking voice. He now works security at the Kaiser Center.
I took this photo of her before she knew I was there, but then I went and helped her with the broken parking ticket machine (I think 50% of them are broken in Oakland).
“Just one photo,” he said. “You can only take one.” I took three. This one of him beaming is my favorite.
Meet Daniel Life. Daniel’s a former commercial photographer who is now doing marketing for the clean tech industry. He was up from Sunnyvale for a meeting. Daniel grew up in Minneapolis for those of you who were curious.
So on the left we have Gertha Hayes, owner of A Diva’s Closet, and on the right we have Charron Pierre, owner of Makin Endz Meet. As I walked by these two fabulous women talking in the doorway of Charron’s shop, I couldn’t pass up the chance to photograph.
My favorite from the day. This is Isadore Cooper. Isadore works for the City of Oakland and is close to retirement, but he’s nowhere near being done. Originally from Sacramento, Isadore started going to community college as a young man, and has been to three or four of them over the years. He still hasn’t finished his AA degree, but he’s hopeful that will come once he’s retired. You can do it, Isadore, I know you can!