Though, in the course of Street Photography, I had photographed street vendors since 1992 it was in June 2005 that I would embark an ongoing project that while capturing particular street vendors I would also conduct brief photo-interviews and in the process learn of and then shed light on their personal history.
My first expose, in June 2005, brought attention to Frank's Place on Capitol Hill and whose proprieter, Frank Lloyd, I had first photographed in November 1993.
Shortly after my first visit to the Sunday's Drum & Dance Circle in Malcolm X Park which took place in July 2006 I contemplated purchasing a drum. However, it was after my second visit to the Drum Circle on 20 August that I would observe that several street vendors exhibited drums and other such paraphernalia at their stands.
A few weeks ago when enroute to capture Skateboarders in Freedom Plaza I'd observe that the flower vendor at the corner of 13th a I inquired if he had other sizes he said that he sometimes will carry larger sizes but, at the time, he only had the one size.
It was then that I would vow that as a birthday gift to myself, I would return on 5 October and purchase a drum from the street vendor at 13th and F Street, NW, in downtown WDC.
Which is exactly what I would do. And since he still had only the one size at the price of $15 each, I'd purchase two. For starters. One is actually for Richard whose birthday is 11 October.
Before departing I'd inquire of the street vendor if I may photograph him and his stand. He said yes. His name is Fallen Fall.
Recently, in New York City, The Street Vendor Project released a study, Peddling Uphill (PDF), showing the difficulties street vendors have these days, given steep fines that are handed down for small infractions.