Winter Cristofferson

Martin: “Tell me your name?”

Winter: “Winter.”

M: “You came to L.A. for your…?"

W: “My aunt’s medical issues and while we’re waiting, she’s taking a couple of classes.”

M: “Do you live on the street here?”

W: “We live in our car. We try to find a place to park the car and then we get our bed set up.”

M: “It’s you and your parents and…?”

W: “My aunt and my grandma."

M: “The three of you?"

W: “Yes."

M: “How old are you?"

W: “I am fourteen."

M: “Do you go to school out here somewhere?"

W: “I am homeschooled so I have a bunch of books for my schooling. My grandma takes pictures of my grades and since I’m home-schooled from Alaska she sends the pictures up to my teacher that’s up there for home schooling. So that’s how I communicate my homework.”

M: “With your teachers back in Alaska. Do you have a house in Alaska?”

W: “Yes. We still pay rent up in Alaska. That’s basically why we can’t really afford anything down here is because it’s so expensive but we’re still paying up in Alaska."

M: “And do you think about going back up to Alaska?"

W: “We’re going back up in August [this picture was taken in June]. Cause then my aunt is done down here."

M: “She had some doctor appointments down here?"

W: “Yeah. She has a problem with her back and so we’re waiting for her appointments to come. And we schedule them and everything so now we’re just waiting, that’s why she’s taking the classes to spare the time."

M: “You guys have a big, comfortable car to sleep in?"

W: “We have a mattress that we lay on. We fold down the seats, we lay it out and then we go to sleep.”

M: “And your parents are back in Alaska?"

W: “I was separated from my parents when I was younger because of what they did and I’ve lived with my grandma ever since I was a week old.”

M: “Have you been to the Food Coalition up the street?”

W: “Yeah. We’ve done it a couple of times now. It’s where we come to get our dinner.”
© 2024 Martin Schoeller


On the street corner of Sycamore and Romaine in West Hollywood, Los Angeles, Martin photographed the homeless throughout 2015 for Hollywood Food Coalition (formerly known as the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition), which was co-founded by friends Ted and Penny Landreth. The coalition provides many services, but notably, they have been serving hot meals made from scratch every single day for over thirty years. Through partnering with the Hollywood Food Coalition, Martin photographed and interviewed over three hundred individuals.

“Most of the people in this series are clients of the Greater West Hollywood Food Coalition. I wanted to give them a face and a voice. The interviews are recorded on my phone and then transcribed. Sometimes it’s a five-minute exchange, other times it’s over an hour - it all depends on how much somebody wants to share with me. The interviews were then condensed to fit the Instagram format, as this series was shared on the platform. Editing is always subjective, but I try to present these interviews as authentically as possible, using only direct quotes from our conversation.

I am very grateful for everyone’s trust and time.”
– Martin Schoeller

For more portraits and stories, please visit Martin’s Instagram here.