Shooting in the Rain: Homeless Photographer Paul Hedlund

by Miserere


Do you think you don’t own enough lenses? Is your camera too old because you bought it over 1 year ago? Are your photos not good enough because your camera isn’t full-frame? Are you just a f***ing whiner?

Did you reply “yes” to all the above?

Paul Hedlund by Alex Becker

©Alex Becker

Paul Hedlund has been involved in Photography most of his life, being paid for shooting in various capacities, working in a darkroom…in between he had other jobs all over the USA, was married for 11 years, and lived a life not too different from that of many Americans. Then a few years ago he found himself divorced, homeless, sleeping in parks—without a camera, but not without pride. One day he bought a cheap used digital P&S…and the yearning came back, that need to photograph the Life around him. He now shoots with a water-proof W series Pentax P&S, which is perfect for the weather in Seattle and the outdoor life Mr Hedlund has to live.

Paul Hedlund - Access to Light

Access to Light

Even with his modest equipment, he still manages to take stunning photos, some of which he prints and sells on the pavement for $5-10. His main source of income is from selling copies of Real Change, which he is saving up in order to set up a Photography business. I wish him the best of luck and ask that, if you live in Seattle, and happen to pass by the U-District Trader Joe’s, you please shake his hand for me. And maybe buy one of his prints. It’s tough to sell prints in the best of circumstances, but doing it while you’re homeless has got to be the toughest.

Read more here. See a small gallery of his photos here. In his own words:

Next time you find yourself thinking your photographs suck and wondering whether that new gizmowhiz lens just announced is what you need to take your Photography to the next level, I ask that you think of Paul Hedlund and his meagre means. Do you know what his camera bag is? A sock. He keeps his camera in a sock. Remember that, and stop whining about your lack of gear.

Let this be a lesson to us all.

Paul Hedlund - Swirling


Paul Hedlund - Bench


Thank you to my e-friend Somanna Muthanna for bringing Mr. Hedlund to my attention.

All Photos: ©Paul Hedlund unless otherwise specified.
Video courtesy of Real Change.


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  1. I am very impressed by Mr. Hedlund’s photography. Is there a website being set up where those of us NOT in Seattle can purchase prints of his work, in order to help him improve his situation?

    Personally, I would love to buy at least 1 or 2 prints, preferably larger than 8×10… but I live overseas.


  2. Hannah, that’s not a bad idea. It would be great if someone who saw this article and lives in his area would discuss this with him. Maybe a Smugmug account or something similar. I know I’d also like to look over his work in more detail and get a couple of prints as well.

    Great article Miserere!

  3. Awesome images, something should be done about it. How can we help?..Thank you for sharing!!

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