Former homeless man captures life on the streets through his photography
- Credit: Christopher James Hall
What happens when a homeless person is given a camera?
In the case of the founder of The Arts Seen, Christopher James Hall, he becomes an award-winning photographer with a successful photography business.
He has now gone on to set up 'The Arts Seen', a not-for-profit community interest company which uses photography to help those who are facing diversity, disability or financial challenges.
For Christopher his dream of becoming a photographer didn’t start when he was a child, it started during a two year spell sleeping rough and getting by with the help of charities that support the homeless.
During that time the homeless charity ran a photography project led by a professional photographer, and Christopher began to see the world in a different way, leading him to learn new skills as he put together a collection of images.
His photography project was selected to go on display in the local museum and the library and was then adopted by John Lewis for display in their High Wycombe store.
“It was funny when I was taken to John Lewis to see my work on display, not only for me but the customers as well. A homeless person looking around John Lewis, it must have been a sight. Then it was explained to the customers that I was the photographer behind the work on the walls and their expressions changed!”
- 1 Suspected loan sharks arrested in Hemel Hempstead
- 2 Meet the artist behind The Queen's Platinum Jubilee mural in St Albans
- 3 Building company resurfaces bridleway to provide safe route for riders and walkers
- 4 St Albans shop showcasing small independents by renting out shelves
- 5 See inside this loft style apartment in a former hat factory
- 6 Foodies queue to try street food sourced, cooked and served in Herts
- 7 Train timetable shakeup due in St Albans and Watford from May 15
- 8 MoonWalk success for the St Albans cancer survivor and her Belgian Buns
- 9 Company of Ten's A Bunch of Amateurs production 'milks the comedy for all its worth' at the Abbey Theatre
- 10 Woman found in canal near M25 in Hertfordshire
Life changed for Christopher when he went to live in a community that helps the homeless and then finally move to a place of his own.
The day after his return to what he describes as ‘the real world’ Christopher was given a second-hand camera. It was then he knew just what he wanted to do with his life.
A few years later, and after a lot of hard work, Christopher is now running a successful photography business, has won numerous awards and is a holder of The Photographers Bar. Wanting to give something back, he decided to launch The Arts Seen so that he can help others in the same way that he was once helped.
It is already set to embark on its first project, working with Emmaus in St Albans to give their companions mentoring in order that they might capture life in the Emmaus community through photography.
Their work will then be displayed in a book and hopefully an exhibition.