Stunning Finalists Photos From The “Through Our Eyes” Homeless Photography Project

A team in Spartanburg, SC recently handed out 100 disposable Fujifilm cameras to the homeless with one simple instruction – to photograph their lives. The outreach, the third homeless project by Through Our Eyes, is an effort to encourage photographers and build awareness about the issue of homelessness in communities.

“It was an atmosphere that was full of excitement. I was standing in a middle aisle and it just caught my eye for some reason.”

The Seekers by Trisha McMillan

In addition to the camera, each participant is given a shirt with the word “photographer” printed boldly on the back as to give them a new identity beyond simply “homeless.”

The photographers had five days to take pictures. A team of judges from the community considered each of the 800+ images the cameras yielded. They then narrowed the field to the 20 finalists.

Jason Williamson, creator of the Through Our Eyes Project, was admitted to tearing up when looking at the photographs.

“No matter how many hundreds of photos you see from the streets, you never get over the conditions that many people live in. These photos are powerful.”

The top 20 photos will be on display August 1-30 in the Artists’ Guild Gallery at the Chapman Cultural Center. Accompanying each photo will be a title/description by the photographer, the photographer’s portrait and a donation box. The community will vote on photos by placing money into the corresponding donation boxes. At the end of the month, the photographs with the most donations will be declared the winners. The top three finalists will receive physical prizes specific to their current needs, and the monetary donations will be given to organizations that minister to the homeless in Spartanburg.

More info: Through Our Eyes, Indiegogo

“I thought it was funny to think about how many bottoms had sat in that chair. Where we hang out, it’s being thoroughly used.”

Rest Your Bones by Candice Fowler

“I was feeling bad that people have to live under a truck like that. At the mission, we’ve got food, water, shelter and I’m grateful that I have a place to live that’s not like this.”

Between a Truck and a Hard Place by Teressa Blanton

“I was scared that I was walking up on someone. It made me cry to see it. It’s what people call home.”

Magnolia Tree by Teressa Blanton

“My daughter just seemed happy regardless of the situation we’re in. I teach her to be grateful for what she has and not to worry about what we don’t have.”

Joy by T. Jones

“I was going through a lot. Sometimes you have to go through things in order to get closer to God.”

Pain Free by Donald Edwards

“I was thinking about the day when we became homeless. I knew when we laid down at the end of the day, we could still count on God to care for us.”

Through the Storm by Melissa Basden

“I wanted to show people what it’s like being at SPIHN [a shelter] and going from church to church to stay.”

Hope for a Brighter Day by Sha’Quila Ellis

“Chris is more of a cat person, but he was getting along so well with Diamond.”

Puppy Love by Roddrick Miller

“Diamond was a rescue dog. Her owners kicked her out of a moving car and my friend Chris and I have been taking care of her for a month. The local pet store gave us 20lbs of food for her.”

Dog Days of Summer by Roddrick Miller

“The man’s family lives in a house, but the man lives in the shed. No matter what you do in your life, your family should forgive you.”

Wanting to Feel Loved by Malinda Clark

“This is a light in my one room apartment and there’s roaches in the light. I’ve been in there for about six months. These roaches are even swimming in the toilet.”

It’s Disgusting by Steven Dailey

“Oh! I had to get a doughnut! This was my reward for working hard. I hadn’t been working for 20 years, but I am working again. My abilities are much greater than my disabilities.”

Change for a Donut by Debra Heanu

“I was walking up the road and that’s what I saw. It was truly not planned, but it’s how a lot of people get around.”

A Walk in Our Shoes by Tonya Lee

“I took this because it represents where homeless people sleep. I’m not homeless right now, but I have been through hard times. You can see that people have been there recently. God is our refuge in time of need.”

A Place of Refuge by Titania Stephens Jones

“We took our car to get washed at this car wash and met the man that stays there. I bought him some food and left it for him and the blanket on his bed.”

Living Under the Weather by Titania Stephens Jones

“I want to show what happened to me. I had nowhere else to go, so I drove my beat up Sidekick here. I want to show people that even though I’m at a shelter, I can still have a sense of humor and there’s something to laugh about. I might not have a home right now, but there’s more to me than just that.”

A Little Bit of Me by Joseph Mowers

“They need some help, a place to stay, a job. You’ve got to have a start in order to finish. Why not start from the ground up?”

You’ve Gotta Start Somewhere by Marvin Landrum

“We were sitting there having a drink and it was spur of the moment. I said, ‘let me take your picture.’ Time is all we have. If you’re going to take the time to pose, I’m going to take the photo.”

Time by Marvin Landrum

“She’s diabetic. I just gave her some test tubes. She’s sick and tired of being homeless. I’m not homeless, but these are my friends.”

Sick and Tired by Marvin Landrum

More Inspiring Stories On DYT: