Leah Denbok travels across North America with her father in the pursuit of an unusual photography subject.
The 16-year-old, a Collingwood native has travelled to Toronto and New York to photograph a hidden treasure most people ignore.
“We go on the streets and offer to pay a homeless person to take their picture,” she says.
The person gets $10 dollars to model. Denbok’s dad holds up the background, while she snaps the photos. But between each shot, she asks questions.
“How long have you been living in Barrie?” she asked someone on Thursday.
She’s taking a snapshot into a person's life.
Every photo is added to her portfolio, with the goal of one day showing them in a public gallery.
More than 50 photos have been added to the portfolio – just a few of the over 35,000 people in Canada who on any given night are without a home.
“These aren't bad people. They could be you. It’s just that they had an unlucky thing happen to them that made them end up without a home.”
It's a story all too familiar to Leah’s mom. Sara Denbok was found on the streets, in what was Calcutta, India.
Fortunately, she was saved and taken to Mother Teresa's orphanage. She later moved to Stayner after being adopted.
“It's a real eye-opener that any little thing can happen and you could be in that exact same situation without a home and no one to help you.”
A reality captured one photo at a time.