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Urban Portrait Street Photography with Darwin

Darwin is the kind of guy that is always talking about something, but doesn’t really say much. Do you know what I mean?

Urban Portrait with Darwin in Seattle, Washington - Copyright Steve Paxton Urban Portrait Street Photography with Cowboy

I made my way into Seattle early one spring morning. My friend and I planned to make contact with some of the homeless men and women in the city as part of the urban portrait street photography project called the “Least of These“. I met Darwin and Cowboy sitting together next to a building in Seattle.


Darwin chattered away during the entire contact (about a half hour). At one point I asked Darwin several times for his name and contact information (because I try to document each encounter). Darwin pulled out a Blackberry style cell phone that he “acquired” on the street somewhere and began showing me some of the features. He didn’t seem to care that the phone didn’t have service or even enough battery life to power on. It was almost as if he didn’t hear a word I said and just kept talking and talking.

Urban Portrait with Darwin in Seattle, Washington - Copyright Steve Paxton Urban Portrait Street Photography with Cowboy

Despite his talkative nature, Darwin was very open and easy to approach. During my contact I did manage to learn that Darwin is originally from Princeton, New Jersey. He played college baseball and eventually moved to Seattle. Darwin told me that he has lived in Seattle for last 14 years with the last eight being on the streets. Darwin never said how he ended up homeless. Darwin was still talking as I thank him for his time and began walking away.

This image embodies the feel of my contact with Darwin. You can almost see his lips moving even in the photograph!

Technical Details
Capture Date: May 23, 2008
Camera: Canon EOS 5D
Exposure: f/5.6 at 1/50 second at ISO 400
Location: Seattle, Washington

Terms of Use
The text and photographs on this page belong to Steve Paxton and are subject to United States and International copyright laws. The text and digital images files may not be reproduced, copied, stored, manipulated or used (whole or in part) as part of a derivative work without written permission. Steve Paxton can be contacted here.

Note: Be sure to check out the guide on street photography and the behind-the-scenes video. You can become a fan of “The Least of These” on Facebook and check out this interview on the series over at Artsy Shark.

About the Photographer: Steve Paxton lives with his wife and two children in the Seattle area. Steve has been a photographer for over 20 years. His experience ranges from wedding and portrait work to landscape photography.

Steve owns and manages the F/Stop Spot; a website dedicated to supporting photographers of all skill levels. You can find more of Steve’s work at Paxton Portraits.

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