I live on Avoca Street, a one-third mile long residential street in the Eagle Rock neighborhood of Los Angeles. A few years ago, I had a son. I’d never been so homebound, spending most of my days at home and in my immediate neighborhood. I became curious about my neighbors, and I wanted to get to know them; photography is a good excuse. In my career, I had always photographed strangers in public situations. Although that practice has its challenges, I found it even more challenging to ask permission for a shoot, to shoot in someone’s private environment, and to know that I would inevitably run into my subjects again. I canvassed the street with a proposal packet that included a letter and information about myself and my work, and I asked members of each household about their willingness to schedule a one to two hour photo shoot. Almost half agreed to participate.
Each piece in “Avoca Street” is a panoramic digital composite of several views and details depicting my subjects’ indoor and outdoor environments. In some cases, it includes their interactions with family, friends, and pets. The pictures are glimpses into everyday yet extraordinary lives. I made a few friends out of these encounters. A couple of my subjects I’ve never seen again. The project is about the stories my neighbors revealed to me through images and conversation. It’s also about the variety of lives tucked into a relatively quiet, middle and working-class neighborhood, and about privacy and thresholds of comfort.