This past January at Mystic Seminars
in Portland, Oregon, I was on a
mission to create a “Homeless Gallery” and
photograph any attendee willing to part with
$20. In return, participants received a beautiful
13 x 19-inch Epson Legacy Baryta print and all
proceeds went to the Oregon Food Bank.
I took 121 portraits in three days (including
those at right: Daniel Aguilar, Jennifer Nauss,
Jeff Cooke, Dan Sauer, Megan Smith, Dan
Paek, Jason Tran, Julien Navarre and Angie
McCabe), then printed and layed them out on
the floor behind a rope barrier. Every evening
the prints were gathered up, and every
morning they were placed out again with
So what the heck is a Homeless Gallery,
you ask? The term refers not to homeless
people but rather to artworks displayed
together (but not permanently).
The era of communism in Europe gave
rise to a makeshift gallery where underground
artists, photographers, sculptors and other
creatives could display their works away from
the repressive eyes of the ruling regime.
Creatives’ works would be placed against
walls and on the floors, lit with candles, bicycle
headlamps or flashlights. And before morning,
it was all gone, without a trace.
Thanks to Mystic Seminars organizer Walter
Van Dusen and his wife Angela, who chipped
in to bring the total amount donated to $3,000,
the Oregon Food Bank received enough to
cover 9,000 meals.
David Anthony Williams is a Master (II) of the
Australian Institute of Professional Photography,
a Master of the WPPI Awards and Fellow Royal
Photographic Society. He is originally from
Melbourne, Australia, and now lives and works in
Toronto, Canada. The portrait and wedding
photographer/educator has a history of over 25
years in state, national and international judging,
in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Canada and
the U.S. He panel-chairs the Premier Category
for first-time entrants at WPPI with an emphasis
on helpful, positive feedback. He has also
lectured to professionals in Asia, New Zealand,
Australia, the UK, Ireland, Canada and the U.S.,
and he has presented keynote addresses to
WPPI, DWF and at the Allxui conference in
Beijing, done three WPPI Plus Classes, over ten
Platform Classes and eight Master Classes.
ABOVE: I used a Nikon D7200 with either a 58mm f/1.4 or 35mm f/1.4 Nikon lens. Shutter speeds
were between 1/50th to 1/100th of a second at f/3.5, and the ISO setting was 1250. The back of the
camera was masked to square format. The lighting was a single Westcott Ice Light 2 with the barn
doors. Occasionally I used a silver reflector. (Many thanks to Chris Saraiva.) The printer that Epson so
kindly loaned us through local Portland pro supplier Aldertech was a P-800 ( 17 x 22-in). The paper
was Epson Legacy Baryta paper and some Epson Traditional paper.
The Homeless Gallery Gives Back
Photographers are generous people, too.
BY DAVID ANTHONY WILLIAMS