Photo series: California trailer park

6 Fine art photographer David Waldorf photographed the residents of a trailer park in Sonoma, California.
"I traded the people who participated in this project photos for their time," Waldorf says.


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  1. I am living in a trailer park in CA while I go to grad school. Rent is way less than it would be on a studio apartment. My neighbors are mostly retired, though.

  2. It's the seriousness of it that unsettles me - emotion must be drawn from the surroundings and attire rather than expression. Nothing seems staged; the level of absolute comfort is unmistakable. The guy shirtless behind the wheel? He is all about being shirtless and behind a wheel. The older lady smoking in her nightie? Ain't no thang. Twain once said, “A photograph is a most important document, and there is nothing more damning to go down to posterity than a silly, foolish smile caught and fixed forever.” So even though it's a trailer park, which (and I'll admit I'm stereotyping here) have more than their fair share of the silly and foolish, none of these photos communicate anything but stark earnestness.

  3. dobby says:

    Plenty of racist and classist things are said about trailer park residents, much like the homeless. I think the hate is because of the fear of falling to or being born there.
    This photographic study seems to be about posing people that are considered weird because of where and in what they live in weird dress and pose. Manufactured housing provokes a surprising amount of emotion and to way too many people represents some sort of moral failure to be that poor.
    If someone is unconcerned about fighting a neighborhood mcmansion war manufactured homes can be very affordable if you can limit your cubic meters of stuff, assuming going double or triple wide is not an option. The problem is in many trailer parks weasel contract leased/rented rather than bought lots hold the homeowners at rent every month to ransom their homes.
    The reason that mobile parks have the bad rap is because society has decided that they are a sketchy way to live, so a high percentage of people society rejects become mobile owners.
    America needs affordable housing but it seems that we also love to hate on people who take on reasonable alternative housing.

  4. Those photographs are beautiful. The people in the photos are tough, and touching, and some of them, painful to bear. Some are unbearably hopeful, despite carrying knowledge of obviously painful truths, and others are running as fast as they can from those truths, as their family members pick up the slack. It doesn't matter that any of them happen to live in a mobile home park, or a mansion, or a tent. Those people are us. Those situations are our own. Many of us already have intimate awareness of many of the situations and emotions reflected in these photos, and if we don't now, we soon will. It's not about how you live, it's about living, and the road marks we all must pass along the way.

    Also: I love my leopard print nightgown.

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