David Guzman Brings Solace to the Public

Since April 2014, David Guzman has been documenting homeless people he’s met and befriended in Orange County by publishing photographs of their faces and stories about their lives in a zine called Solace. Whenever he sells one, of which there are currently six volumes, a portion of the proceeds go toward giving a meal to a homeless person.

“One day, I acknowledged how blessed of a life I lived and how well off I was financially,” recalls Guzman. “So I would go around and give out money to the homeless. It clicked: make photography zines and sell them to buy meals for the homeless.”

Guzman shoots his images with 35 mm film, so the photos have a gritty, low-fi quality. He says he always gets to know his subjects first. “[Usuallly,] they don’t know I have a camera or what Solace even is until after I buy them food or supplies they need,” he says. “The conversation gradually leads to deep and random conversations.”

More recent volumes include names, quotes and interviews with every subject. Another volume is in the works, but the Santa Ana-based Guzman enjoys taking his time, basking in the process of getting to know each person he photographs. “[What I enjoy most about Solace] is giving them a friend and showing them that someone does genuinely care about their well-being,” he says. “I’ve met the most amazing and humble people on the streets. I love it.”

You can find Solace via Instagram (@solacephotozine) and Etsy (etsy.com/shop/SolacePhotoZines).

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