The goal of the project, according to Reciprocity Foundation cofounder Taz Tagore, is to “transform visual culture around how the [homeless] youth are seen.” The series, she hopes, will be “humanizing and connective,” and encourage viewers to “stop, and look, and see.”
Unlike most photo series focused on the homeless, See Me casts subjects in a powerful light.
I think a lot of [homeless youth photography] tends toward the downtrodden. But I wanted to avoid anything I'd previously seen.
He says his portraits "give you the chance to connect with [the subject] on many different levels."
Fradkin spent several months getting to know the teens before starting the project.
He let the teens decide how they wanted to be photographed and where.
His goal was to empower the teens...
...and show them how they wished to be seen.
The series was created in honor of The Reciprocity Foundation's 10th anniversary.
The nonprofit charity organization focuses on LGBT homeless youth.
According to some studies, up to 40 percent of homeless youth identify as LGBT.
The Reciprocity Foundation provides care and support for these (often marginalized) teens.
Fradkin, the photographer, actively avoided victimizing his subjects.
Instead, he wanted his photographs to communicate their strength and individuality.
Tagore says the homeless youth typically feel "hopeless."
"So few people, once you put the homeless label on them, are able to see [the youth] in any other way,” she says.
She hopes this powerful portrait series will change that.
See Me will be on display in a NYC art gallery next month.
All of the images will also be released in a colored photography book.