So here's what needed to happen. I needed to source models, find a location, props, styling, and wardrobe. I also needed to find assistants for the shoot. Along with that, the billboard is huge - 48x12m - so I wanted to shoot this on a medium format camera. Fortunately, the folks over at Sunshine Company were generous enough to hook me up with the Hasselblad H5D-50C, along with a couple of lenses. This monster would allow me to create the resolution I wanted for such a huge image.
I managed to find great models - the "homeless white guy" was a guy someone on Facebook pointed me to. He had a great beard and the exact look I wanted. The little black girl was actually the daughter of one of my mom's colleagues. Our homeless man was dressed in an old, weathered, torn wool blanket that my dogs sleep on - filthy and covered in dog hair.
So here's what the final image speaks of: This little girl sees a homeless man begging on the street. She sees he's poor and hungry. To her, that sandwich and toy will solve many of his problems, but in reality, the toy means nothing, and the sandwich will only carry him for an hour. She also doesn't see skin colour the way we do. With the history we have here in South Aftica, skin colour is visible to us all - both racists and non-racists. So ultimately, she sees a problem, and she feels she has the solution in her hands. She's got no criteria for him, no agenda, nothing - she just has unconditional love for this man. I personally believe that if we could all love each other like this, we could change the world in a special way. Sometimes it takes a hell of a lot of courage to love this way, but we should have that courage and do it.
Anyway, the location I chose was a great spot right in the heart of Pretoria Central - a market in a busy street.
So, we showed up on the Friday set up, and got shooting. This is the final image. Click it for a bigger version: