The people I’ve photographed in this series are all former gang members—many of whom spent time incarcerated—before walking through the doors of Homeboy Industries, a gang intervention organization in Los Angeles. It’s a place takes people in and sees the potential in them, when many others do not. In shooting and showing this project, I hope I can help everyone can see the subjects as humans trying to better themselves.
The style in which I’ve photographed them will draw comparisons to a mug shot. Almost all of these people have been arrested and had a mug shot taken. I’ve flipped that idea and made a more beautiful version of an ugly picture from their past. Just like what the subjects themselves are trying to do with their own lives.
Adam Amengual is a Los Angeles-based portrait photographer. For more information on Homeboy Industries click here.
Adam Amengual, 1981, USA, is a portrait photographer based in Brooklyn, New York. He studied at Massachusetts College of Art and Parsons School of Design. After graduating he started assisting commercial photographers as Ruven Afanador and Art Streiber. Even though he was photographing for himself and commercially he felt the urge to create his own series. While researching gangs, cults and hardcore religious factions he came accross Homeboy Industries, a non-profit organization assisting former gang members to become positive and contributing members of society. He portrayed the former gang members at Homeboy Industries which resulted in a series named Homies. The images are stylized and aesthetically composed mug shots. He hopes that the viewer connects to the portrayed on a more human level. It is important to Adam that his subjects are always shown in a respectful manner. The following images come from the series Homies: Portraits of Former LA Gang Members, Day Laborers and People, Places, and Things...