It's easy for poverty to hide in a big city, like Birmingham, and it's easy for the poor to go unseen; their voices unheard, I think to myself as I walk by a homeless person in the street - head held up high - eyes fixed forward.
So, I'm walking along, from here to there, thinking about the poor and then the plight of migrants in Calais - as you do - as I ignore the requests for help from this person right here and now at my feet. My automatic city activated lead shield wrapping around me and plugging my ears to their begging so that I can safely revel in my empathetic left of centre thoughts.
Yes, the poor do hide in plain sight in the city, but only because we choose not to see them.
I photographed a family of nine, it may have been ten including a baby, the other day as part of a venture that myself and Dan Burwood do at community centres across the city. We both run a participatory photography community interest company called Some Cities that, also provides affordable social photography to families who normally couldn't afford it.
*The writer pauses to readjust his halo*
They had all dressed up in their finest - their best - this family of nine or ten. The boys in shirts and ties, the girls in dresses; grandparents, mothers and grandchildren crowded into a portable backdrop and me perched upon a chair looking down at them, camera in hand.
Photographers are trained observers - private joke - but the limp greasy hair, the cheap clothing, with its artificial fibres and their market stall trainers don't lie. That's not me being cruel or nasty, but this was poverty, poverty in the West at least.
Granted there were no emaciated forms, begging bowls or fly covered children with extended tummies here but this is how poverty reveals itself, if you choose to look, to see, in Britain's second largest city.
A few minutes later when their print came out of the event printer as they all crowded around the photograph, smiling, pointing, and then laughing; it felt good to have given them this moment - this memento of a time in Highgate.
I looked at the baby and thought maybe perhaps thirty years from now they will look at this photograph and feel connected to their great grandparents who I'm sure will be gone by then.
For me this was just a 'snap' not a photograph to show off in one's portfolio, but it was probably the most meaningful photograph that I had ever taken - or maybe it was just the moment.
But there's always a moment and I'm always in search of them...because that's what photographers do.