A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A lot of people turn their noses up at trailer parks. That's unfair, and David Waldorf's photo essay about the Brookside Trailer Park in Sonoma, California show us that there's beauty everywhere, trailer parks included.

Waldorf spent years driving to Brookside in a Uhaul that he'd set up to be a mobile studio. The accomplished photographer would offer free portraits to the residents of the trailer park, and eventually, they came to trust him and invite him into their homes. The access yielded a series of stunning images showing Brookside residents in their homes being themselves. The photos are nothing short of poignant.

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

There's something else, though. The photos resonate with me, I think, specifically because I myself have played the role of a camera-toting outsider in a tight knit community. Chris Killip, my photographer teacher in college, always challenged me to go to places I wouldn't normally and talk to people I might otherwise avoid. Sometimes you have remove yourself from your comfort zone in order to find a fresh perspective on your subjects.

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

Waldorf is clearly a master at this. Clicking through his work, it's clear he has a gift for capturing people in a wonderfully intimate posture. His photos are the kinda of photos that make you want to take photos of your own. And those are the best kind. [David Waldorf via FastCo Design]

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

A Poignant Look at Life in America’s Trailer Parks

All photos by David Waldorf