Homeless photographers take photos for unique calendar

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO)- Today's World Homeless Day, and in the spirit of recognizing the problems homeless people face, there's a unique project that gave homeless people the chance to do something they don't usually get to do.

It's called the MyNew Orleans Photo Project.

Kenneth Fulton and Nick Forrest don't consider themselves photographers, but they are.



"I try to get the angles right.  Try to get it where you can see things from afar and see things up close too," Forrest said.

Both of these men are homeless, living on the streets of New Orleans.  They, along with about 90 other homeless people, were given disposable cameras that were donated by Fuji.  They were asked to take pictures around the city.  It's a way for them to capture New Orleans' beauty through their eyes.

"I was just trying to get people to see what I see," Fulton said.

All the photos they took are all part of something bigger, a project known as MyNew Orleans Photo Project.  The project was organized by Heather Milton and Elisabeth Perez of Refocus.  This is the first time anything like this has been done in the United States.  London, Budapest, and Sydney have all done something similar.

"We were actually amazed at the quality of photos that were coming up," Milton said.


"It's really another way of looking at a photo and saying these people are from the outside looking in," Perez said.

The top 150 photos were judged by a panel of community members who selected the ones that would make up a special calendar.  The top 14 will be featured in the 2017 MyNew Orleans Photo Project.  Take a look at some of the photos that were selected for the calendar:


(photo of Bike and Gate by Seaghn White)


(Jax Brewery at Sunset taken by Thomas)


(Sunrise at Crescent Park by Theo Hansen)


(Photo Inside the Streetcar by Nick Forrest)


(Cover of Calendar of Steamboat Natchez by Robert Landrum)


(Photo of St. Louis Cathedral by Kristen Hall)


(Photo of Gospel Singers by Dwayne Norris)


(Photo of Mardi Gras Beads by Christopher Davis)


(Photo of Drunk Dog by Kenneth Fulton)

Other photographers with winning entries were Yvonne Schaad, Cara Hotard, Jonathan Ross, and Joyce Jones.

Theme winners were:  Mary Westbrook for her FAITH photo, Martin Henard for his TRANSPORTATION photo, Onishona Villareal for her STORYTELLING photo, Willian Bryan Conrad for his STREET & CULTURE photo, and Yvonka Wilson for her LANDSMARK photo.

Both Kenneth and Nick feel like this project ignited something inside of them.

"It uplifted my spirit and gave me hope," Fulton said.

"My photos turned out pretty good, so maybe I'll look into getting a TV camera like yours, and we'll have some fun," Forrest said.

"We really want to raise awareness of the issues that surround homeless in New Orleans," Milton said.

For more information on how you can buy a calendar and help with their Kickstarter campaign, click HERE.

Many community partners helped make this project possible.  Baptist Friendship House, Harry Tompson Center, Grace at the Greenlight, Bridge House, Ozanam Inn, St. George's Episcopal Church, Hagar's House, Grace House, Society of St. Vincent de paul, New Orleans Photo Alliance, Cafe Aert, New Orleans Community Printshop & Darkroom, Propeller, The Phyllis M. Taylor Center, Fuji Film, Office Depot, Office Max, and Bennett's Photo all partnered with MyNew Orleans Photo Project.

Follow News with a Twist Reporter Kenny Lopez on Facebook and Twitter.