Like most big cities, the streets of Phoenix are a paradox in motion – burning hot during the day and cool at night; vibrant with business activity during working hours and sometimes quiet after closing. But, because of our perpetual sunshine and mostly non-weather conditions, there is one thing Copper City residents may encounter – the homeless.
It’s not by accident street photographer, California-native and Phoenix transplant, Zee Peralta, encounters the homeless. She does so on purpose, while capturing the culture of our great city by camera. Her stealth lens peers through copper-reflected cityscapes; bends electric colors of the light rail; discovers hidden treasures in the occasional puddle of water; and most importantly, reveals authentic beauty on the faces of Phoenix’s people – all of them.
Recently, Zee chronicled a photo session with John, a Phoenix homeless person, who struggled for over 32 years to overcome his indigent circumstances. Regardless of John’s current situation, he is a favorite subject of Zee’s work on the streets. He never hesitates to share his humanity through bright eyes and a generous smile; and Zee has successfully revealed this in her amazing photographs.
For this shoot, Zee teamed up with Jacob Halaby, owner and expert barber, of Lifeline Barber Shop in Chandler. Their task was a simple one – to be of service to the community by bringing a little joy to John’s world – by way of fresh clothing, a haircut and shave. As you can tell from the following before and after photos “Mission Accomplished!”
Ask Zee Peralta, “How do you treat the homeless people you meet and photograph on the street?” Her answer will always be, “Like people!”
Zee Peralta is a freelance photographer living in the Phoenix’s east valley. Zee has a passion for the streets capturing more than 20,000 images of the city in an effort to share her discoveries and express her passion for its treasures. She hates long walks on the beach and water-chestnuts, however she loves making new friends. If you see her around make sure to say hi!