Los Angeles-based photographer and blogger Dave Bullock says:

The Skid Row Photography Club's first show, The Beauty of the Street, premiered last Thursday during the Downtown Art Walk. The participants were ecstatic to see their beautiful work on the walls and the hundreds of people who came into the gallery loved what they saw.

The SPRC started as an idea I "borrowed" from the movie Born Into Brothels . I wrote a proposal to the Downtown Los Angeles Neighborhood Council to buy digital cameras which we then gave to people living in Skid Row. I gave the participants brief lessons in composition and turned them loose. For the last six months we've met every Tuesday at UCEPP in Skid Row.

During that time they shot over 20,000 photos between them. An amazing body of work ranging from flowers to architecture to a man defecating in the middle of the street.

Dave asks if any Boing Boing readers might want to donate digital cameras to folks living in Skid Row, so they might extend the project. "The cameras we've been using are about $200 each," he explains. "We're just a club, not a non-profit as of yet."

More info here on how you can participate. The short version: if you would like to donate digital cameras please email Dave directly at eecue@eecue.com.

Skid Row, in case you don't know, is a massive, permanent homeless encampment in downtown Los Angeles -- the largest such community in the United States. About 8-9,000 homeless people live there. This "heat map animation" provides a compelling visualization of the site, though data hasn't been updated in a while.

14 Responses to “Donate Your Used Digital Camera to LA's Skid Row Photo Club”

  1. Snakeophelia says:

    “Born Into Brothels” is an absolutely amazing documentary, too. Definitely worth a rental from Netflix if you’re unfamiliar with it.

  2. beavertondude says:

    I’ll be at the Midnight Mission on Skid Row on Thanksgiving with Dick Van Dyke and The Vantastix, singing songs and helping distribute meals.


  3. Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

    So I want to thank Xeni for posting this, we’ve gotten about a dozen cameras so far today. Awesome!

  4. Patrick Dodds says:

    Good idea for a project. I had no idea how many people were living there though – that’s a pretty dreadful stat.

  5. nerdler says:

    Yh! Tht’s wht bms nd! CMRS!!!


  6. Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

    So roughly 12 cameras have been donated, awesome! 2 have shown up so far, will document and blog about the recipients reactions tomorrow.

  7. jungletek says:

    “The SPRC started as an idea…”

    I suspect you mean SRPC? Nice article, I wish them success.

  8. Anonymous says:

    What? “About 8-9,000 homeless people live there.” I don’t believe it. Of course there is plenty of evidence of American indifference to their fellow Americans (let alone to their fellow Iraqi human beings) but 8-9,000 homeless in a single encampment in LA??? I would have thought that the US population would drop rapidly as the words “a great country” stuck in people’s throats and choked them.

  9. Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

    Thanks jungletek, I fixed that in my original post.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Any word on the minimum size sensor they’re interested in?

  11. Anonymous says:


    ANONYMOUS , NOVEMBER 24, 2008 1:49 PM:

    we will use anything! Some members are using discarded camera phones and a growing waiting list of worthy members continues to get longer. Anything that is donated will be put to use, regardless of how obsolete it may seem.

  12. folkclarinet says:

    And also read the book “The Soloist” by Steve Lopez (soon to be a movie!). It’s a really cool story of a journalist befriending a former Juilliard student who lives on the LA streets. Really interesting depictions of the homeless population in LA.

  13. Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

    Well right now that have 10 megapixel cameras which is great for the size we’re showing them at which is 13″x19″… that being said, one of our members shot a photo on a cell phone that looked great at that size. Ideally the larger the better, but they’ll be happy with anything.


  14. Dave Bullock (eecue) says:

    I believe that person posting above me is Michael Blaze, the co-founder of the Skid Row Photo Club. He wanted me to post his contact info:




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