Amateur Photographer Documents the Faces of Addiction in the Bronx

Based in New York, 46-year-old Chris Arnade is a banker by trade and a passionate photographer in his free time. While those attributes may seem pretty commonplace, it’s Arnade’s subjects that make his work stand out: Arnade focuses his “hobby” on sharing the faces and stories of drug addicts in the Bronx. He writes,

I post people’s stories as they tell them to me. I am not a journalist, I don’t verify, just listen.

It’s very easy to simply run with your crowd, to not explore the amazing diversity and perspectives that are offered. It’s also very easy to ignore others. By not looking, by not talking to them, we can often fall into constructing our own narrative that affirms our limited world view. What I am hoping to do, by allowing my subjects to share their dreams and burdens with the viewer and by photographing them with respect, is to show that everyone, regardless of their station in life, is as valid as anyone else. [#]

You can check out Arnade’s photograph in this Flickr set or read an interview he did with The Gothamist.

Faces of Addiction (via Chase Jarvis)

  • Kkevster

    I am sure my photo documentation of the changes in the river course, structures, landscapes, in the “region” where I live, will be well regarded, in 100 years, or, so.

  • ROB

    great story, with a real human side, so hats off to the photographer doing this, at the same time it can be said that there is a bit of irony since the photographer is also a banker, who in some cases might be the root to have lead those people spiral and hit rock bottom. at least in michigan it is common place to see people evicted from their homes with nowhere to go and choosing drugs to cope with their lives. obviously i don’t accuse the photographer of this, but the capitalist system you have in the US tends to have the motto of dog eat dog world, and unfortunately people give up on themselves……just a thought

  • Jeff

    more foreclosure more subjects. Nice essay, but from a banker, just ackward

  • David Williams

    Arf! A banker with a guilty conscience.  Boil your head, banker trash.

  • brob

    I’m surprised he wasn’t mugged for his camera

  • Aaro Keipi

    These are just incredible. Nothing more to say.

  • Aaro Keipi

    What a stupid comment. Did you even take the time to read the stories of the relationships he’s cultivated with the people in each picture? You assume he’s a greedy tool just because he works in finance, whereas he’s done more for these people than you ever will.

  • Merakist

    bankers don’t control banks, the owners of the banks control banks. you have a very valid point, though. just saying it isn’t “Joe” at Capital One who is putting you on the street- only taking orders like the rest of us. 

  • Jason


  • Tzctplus -

     Why? Maybe the photographer is the only genuine human contact they have had for a while: would you risk that for a bloody camera, no matter how fancy? I bet you  wouldn’t…