Oscar Gonzalez is, by most measures, a prolific and accomplished photographer. He never leaves the house without his camera (his current tool is the Fuji X-Pro1) and is always looking for the decisive moment. When he gets home, he goes into his basement study, downloads his photos from the day, and spends the next several hours culling and editing, posting the best ones online and getting mostly rave reviews for his vision and style. By his measure, Gonzalez has taken over 100,000 photos this year so far, and he’s printed and framed the very best ones for his home. There’s just one problem-his wife doesn’t think that he’s very good.
“He says that people on the Internet really like his photos, and that some of his photos will get explored on the flicker, whatever that means. But I just don’t get it.” says Gonzalez’s wife, Isabella. “I just don’t like the idea of having pictures of strangers in our house.”
Oscar is what is called a “street photographer”, someone who wanders the streets looking for interesting slices of life. Many of his photos explore issues of sadness, alienation, and poverty. Some are powerful, visceral, and downright haunting, and many have won Oscar awards at local camera club meetings.
The first photo you see when you enter the Gonzalez’ home is a haunting photo of a meth addict sitting on the steps of the library, sores all over his arms and face, a vacant, hollow distant look in his eyes.
“See this one?” Isabella Gonzalez says, pointing to the meth addict in the foyer, clearly exasperated. “When I come home from a hard days work, the last thing I want to see is this meth mouth. I mean, we have such beautiful children, and nieces and nephews as well. Why can’t he take pictures of them and put them on the wall? Or maybe I’m being too harsh. Oscar’s taken one nice photo, of our cat Felix. He was such a good cat, Felix. May he rest in peace.”
Just as she was finishing, Oscar rushed past, kissed Isabella lightly on the cheek, and said, “I have to go, there are hobos fighting by the railroad tracks!” Isabella rolled her eyes and made the sign of the cross as Oscar sprinted down the sidewalk.