Cameras Were Given to 100 Homeless People in London. What They Captured Left Everyone Speechless

Cafe Art is a UK-based initiative that has been connecting homeless people with the wider community through art and photography. Since 2012, they’ve hung up artwork in more than 20 cafes across London which has helped the homeless earn a living through art sales.

One of the organizations most notable projects happened back in July when they handed out 100 Fujifilm disposable cameras to homeless people in London. They also held photography training through workshops hosted by the Royal Photographic Society.

cafe art 14

via Petapixel

Those who were given cameras were asked to capture photos of everyday life under the theme “My London.” Out of the 100 cameras, 80 were returned; and from them, over 2,500 photos were developed. A selection panel consisting of representatives from Fujifilm, Amateur Photographer magazine, the London Photo Festival, Christie’s, and Homeless Link chose 20 images which were then presented to the public.


Public voting on the finalist photos.

cafe art 15

via Petapixel

The top 20 photos were further cut down to 12. The chosen images will be featured on Café Art’s 2016 My London calendar. Check out the 12 photos that made the cut:

Telephone Row, Lincoln’s Inn, by XO

cafe art 1


Tower Bridge PICNIC, Southwark, by Cecie

cafe art 2


Left Boot, East London, by Ellen Rostant

cafe art 3


West End Bird, Westminster, by Zin

cafe art 4


Shadow of Self, Hyde Park, by Goska Calik

cafe art 5


Everything I Own or Bags of Life, Strand, by David Tovey

cafe art 7

via My Modern Met

Colour Festival, Olympic Park, by Goska Calik

cafe art 8

via My Modern Met

Tyre Break, Hackney, by Desmond Henry

cafe art 9

via My Modern Met

Nature’s Tunnel or Light and the End, Stratford, by Ellen Rostant

cafe art 10

via My Modern Met

The Artist, Whitechapel, by Michael Crosswaite

cafe art 11

via My Modern Met

Royal Geese Sunset, Kensington Gardens, by Maciek Walorski

cafe art 12

via My Modern Met

Past & Present, City of London, by Ioanna Zagkana

cafe art 13

via My Modern Met

Cafe art is now running a fundraising campaign, crowdfunded on Kickstarter, to launch the 2016 My London calendar. According to the organization, proceeds from sales will be used to “either to pay for the printing of the photographs and calendar, rewarding the winning photographers, buying art materials for art groups affected by homelessness, or helping individuals attend art courses,”

Cover photo for 2016 MY LONDON calendar

cafe art 6


In the future, and through several project goals, Cafe Art aims to continue “helping people affected by homelessness to be empowered, not only through photography and art, but through connecting with the public. The calendar also has a goal of telling stories from individuals who are affected by homelessness, thereby raising awareness in the general public about issues from a personal perspective.”

“Art is seen as a major way for people to recover from the trauma of being homeless.”