Los Angeles has a way of creeping up on you. From Ladera Heights to El Sereno from San Pedro to L.A. Crescenta it envelops you, spins its oil slicked web around you and kisses you with its marine layer sunrises and dramatic smog filtered sunsets.
I have lived in Los Angeles and indeed called it home for eighteen years. I never thought I would say that but it's been eighteen years and I'm still here. These photographs were made in Los Angeles at the beginning of March 2008.
Equipped with a daily map and a slew of Dickies we drove the length and breadth of the city to make these images. The light you see is the light of the city.
From cloud covered gloomy days in downtown with bike messengers competing with each other on their day off to the ochres and blues of a Silverlake sunset overlooking Frog Town - few cities have this.
Dickies are the work clothes of Los Angeles. At every turn we would find a waiter, a hotel bus boy, a mail delivery person or a security guard wearing them.
It was as though the city had already dressed for the shoot - of course Los Angeles wakes up everyday dressed and ready for a Dickies shoot. So many of our subjects declared "I'm not sure that I have any Dickies" and then showed up to be photographed wearing a pair of pants or a shirt explaining, "This is all I wear I just didn't realize they were Dickies". It's as though the brand can be as invisible as it is omnipresent.
It's not that often that you have the chance to photograph people at work in your own city and be compensated for it. It was a great pleasure to make these portraits - from my favorite mechanic to an old Dogtown skater who now plays harmonica and cleans pools - they all had stories.
Big stories, small stories - stories of adversity and stories of commitment. Stories of dreams dreamt and stories of dreams deferred.
About The Photographer
Brian Cross more known as B+ is a photographer, director, filmmaker, writer etc. He is originally from Limerick, Ireland but has since almost 20 years been based in Los Angeles.
B+ has done over 100 classic album covers for artists such as DJ Shadow, Jurassic 5, Eazy E, Q-Tip, Mos Def and a bunch of Stones Throw stuff.
For the last couple of years he has been busy with his projects "Keepintime: Talking Drums and Whispering Vinyl" and the sequel "Brasilintime: Batacuda com Discos" where legendary funk and soul drummers and LA´s most talented turntablists collaborate in an improvisational performance.
Live performances that have turned as documentaries that have gained worldwide respect and attention. B+ has captured L.A. hip hop history, legendary musicians and the average joe through his Hasselblad lens for almost two decades and is truly a legend in his craft.
Photography / Portraiture / Urban, Graff, Tatts & Beatz
Clothbound hardcover with tip on, 9 X 9.25 inches, 80 pages, full color photographs