Before calling Downtown LA our home, my wife and I lived in Downtown Long Beach. The neighborhood could be described as “transitional”—some nice areas, but a little rough around the edges. Walking our dogs four times a day constantly exposed us to the goings-on of the area. Everyday as I roamed the streets with my loyal friends, looking for a patch of grass to serve as their “go potty” spot, I would walk past scenes and objects that appeared to have no real importance. As time passed, I observed these scenes closer and felt that photographing them with my own style would make them feel more significant. Typically I photograph people, usually characters that have their own personal style. I wanted the challenge of making these scenes more human, emotional, and heroic than they are to the natural observer. Whenever I saw a something that inspired me I would go back to the loft, grab my camera, a light or two, and return to photograph it. At times I would wait and hour or so until the light was just right. These environments became my outdoor studio.
This is one of the many reasons I love photography—documenting a place in time and showing others how I see the world. And how even a trashy, old shopping cart can be perceived as beautiful. I plan for this to be an ongoing personal project that will one day lead to a gallery showing, as well as being its own section in my portfolio. Enjoy.
*All images © Copyright 2011 Scott Witter Photography