Old School; Columbus, Ohio

I walked out of my house one day just as the light was getting nice. Nothing on the agenda, I just wanted to walk the neighborhood and shoot some pictures. 

Making my way through an alley, I passed an older guy scrapping with his shopping cart. We made eyes, I gave him a nod, and he said, “Hey young man, what are you doing?”

“Just walkin’, what are you doin?”

“Ohhh just tryin’ to make a buck. You wanna walk with me?”

“Might as well, got nothin’ better to do." 

He introduced himself as Old School. As we traversed the alleys up and down OSU’s campus for the next three hours, we talked about all sorts of things. He was on the street. He’d been on the street for a long time. I mentioned that I had recently gotten home from a trip to Florida.

"Whereabouts in Florida were you?”

“Boca Raton, just outside of Miami.”

“Oh I know where that is. Miami’s a good town.”

“You been?”

“Yessir, I was homeless there for seven years. Great place to be on the streets." 

We kept walking til’ dusk and I asked if I could make his portrait. Just one, I said. Just one, he agreed. 

I’m digging through my harddrive today and came across this scan of an old photo of my Great-Grandpa Spear. 

It was a point of reference when I made this portrait of my grandpa and grandma a few months ago. The shoot started very similar to this and then took on it’s own voice as I continued photographing.