Jim – BW$P

Jim by Justin Korn

I recently started the Black and White Dollar Portrait (BW$P) Project. The gist is, I will offer anyone who asks me for money $1 in exchange for their portrait. Every portrait I take will be converted and processed in black and white. This project is a spin off of Thomas Hawk’s $2 Portrait Project.

Meet Jim.

As I got off the bus and started walking to work, I met Jim standing at the corner of Beale and Market with his hat off asking for money.  I explained to him my project and he kind of laughed, “You gonna take my picture for $1?  Lets see, my price is…” I cut Jim off and told him I am only offering one dollar because that is what I decided when I started the project.  He looked at me and asked, “And what do you do with the picture?  Are you gonna to print it?  Are you gonna send me a copy?”  I told him I could send him a copy if he wished, but I wasn’t sure what I was going to do with the picture other then put it online in a portfolio with the other pictures in the project.  He asked, “How many other pictures do you got?”  I told I just started and I probably only have 5 or 6 pictures so far.

He agreed to have his picture taken.  I gave him his dollar and continued to chat with him for a minute.  I asked how long he had been in San Francisco and he said, “I’ve been here awhile.  I come over every day.”  I asked, over from where and he said, “Oh, I live in Oakland.  I come over here for a job and then go back.  I used come here and make 30 – 45 dollars in an hour, but now, I’m lucky if I get 5 cents.  Life is harder these days.”  I asked him what he did before he started panhandeling.  He gave me a small smile and said, “Drugs” and laughed.  “Do you do any of those?”  I told him no.  “Yeah, you kids these days don’t do drugs any more.”  I asked him if he has any family and he responded, “Yeah, I see them every now and again.”

I thanked Jim for his time and wished him well.  He laughed and said, “Okay.”

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Categorized: Projects