Singer Bryan Adams is releasing a book of his own photography showing candid portraits of Big Issue vendors in London.
The concept came together when the Canadian rocker was approached by the magazine’s guest editor Trudie Styler in 2011 to tell the story of homeless street vendors through pictures.
The project eventually led to Adams, best known for worldwide hits including Run To You, Summer of ’69 and (Everything I Do) I Do It For You, taking a deeper look at the problem of homelessness.
His work has been pulled together for Homeless, which contains 84 images of Big Issue vendors, with all the proceeds going to the magazine’s charitable arm.
Adams, 59, said: “The photographs I took of people who live rough on the streets of London highlight an unavoidable fact, and almost every city around the world has a similar problem: too many people fall between the cracks and have no means to sustain a roof over their head.
“Thank goodness for organisations such as the Big Issue in the UK, who give the support the homeless need to get back on their feet. They help the vendors earn their own independent living by selling magazines on the streets, and many people, some featured in this book, have survived because of this.
“Homelessness is too widespread and significant to ignore. Hopefully after reading this, you might think twice as you walk past someone trying to make their way selling the magazine, or even busking on the street. These are people have lost their anchor and their compass, so need our compassionate understanding and our help.”
The Big Issue is a weekly entertainment and current affairs magazine which allows its vendors – often homeless or vulnerable people across the UK – to make a living.
Vendors buy the magazine for £1.25 and sell it to the public for £2.50, keeping the difference and helping them sustain a legitimate income.
David Martin was featured in the book and said he found the experience “exciting”.
He said: “I was a bit nervous, but it was fascinating to see how he was curating the images, he took the pictures, looked at them and decide what they wanted.
“I was there a couple of hours. He looked after us well. It was fun – I had never done a photoshoot before in my life. It is exciting to be part of it.”
Kevin Young, also photographed for the book, said: “That made my day, meeting him. I was buzzing for days. He is such a lovely man. Really nice meeting him.
“He’s the most famous person I have met but he is really down to earth.”
The Big Issue is available to buy across the UK from Monday for £2.50.