By their own definition, "UTATA is a salon in the traditional sense. A parlour. This is a place to talk. Tell stories. Ask questions. Be silly. Be serious. Learn. Teach. Grow. Relax. Wind up or down..."
I have found it to be a place where pictures stimulate conversation, and conversation stimulates the taking of pictures. In the process, people learn (and teach) about image making and sharing, and web-based relationships form around common (and not so common) interests, and around the world. It's a place where community is continually emerging.
It is a community which welcomes neophytes and pros, traditionalists and explorers, me, and you. The rules are simple and based on civility, mutual respect, and inclusiveness. The photographs chosen for this series represent a small sample of the diversity embraced by UTATA. Drop in, look around, share.
According to the U.S. Dept. of Health and Human Services, 2-3 percent of the U.S. population (5-8 million people) will experience at least one one night of homelessness. There are an estimated 380,000 hidden homeless households in the UK at any one time. As many as 15,000 children roam the streets of São Paulo, Brazil.
While many find it difficult to let these people enter their world, or even their awareness, there are some who make an effort to provide support, understanding, friendship, and hope. These five photographers reach out to in a special way, revealing their humanity, introducing us to real people, with real lives, real stories, and an entirely different reality.
Click on any of these pictures to see more of the photographer's stream, and meet more of the people on their streets.