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Shoe Shine Boy 3 by henster311 Shoe Shine Boy 3 by henster311
i know this story isnt well written but, its late, and i just wanna post some photos. sorry.

every shoe shine boys' story is different. but a lot of them have the same start. a lot of boys have no parents. they have owners who their parents sold to, who they work for. not all boys just shine shoes either. some work in factories making fireworks, in quarries or little shops. some of the older boys who can speak english, also sell drugs. you can tell what boys sell drugs, they have clean hands. the boys are also part of abuse, mentally, physically, and sexual. if they dont bring home enough money from that day back to their owner they get beat. not all owners are this mean. their lives are even more tough in the guatemala city. the police there call it "cleansing" and just shoot street children for no reason. i remember i asked an american tourist what they thought about shoe shine boys, after they got their shoes shined. they said that... oh, they are just cute little boys trying to make a few extra dollars. i just smiled, i didnt want to tell them. but i dont blame them for thinking that at all. when you go to guatemala for vacation, its the nicest place. but underneath all that pretty, there is so much, and too much wrong.

just crazy
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First i must state that after reading your comment i have a lump in my throat and a hard time looking at this picture and saying i like anything about it, it is a most unfortunate story about a most unfortunate way of life, it puts things in perspective about the average American traveler and how the ones that do travel outside the U.S. are probably the ones who should least leave as they have little to no concept on reality. I'm not sure how you managed to get so close to this gun toting guy, i presume to be either a cop or a soldier, if we were to get that close it would have been a bad day for the camera as it most likely would have been broken, you are either really brave, or they are really lax on that sort of thing. The picture is so deep on so many levels, especially with the fill in story, it's almost iconic how the boy is shining the soldiers boot with the constant threat of death less then 2 feet from his head. I would have like to have seen the focus be on the boy shining the shoes instead of the weapon, it has a sad and negative feeling about it, almost as though the youth is more expendable then a gun. Overall the story in combination with the photograph say a lot for how far we have come to being a better place in the world...
I have a hard time saying i like the picture, but i will say that it speaks loudly, and sometimes the message is more important then the approval of an art committee.
great job for such an eye opener.
What do you think?
The Artist thought this was FAIR
3 out of 3 deviants thought this was fair.

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Readysteadydude Featured By Owner Aug 8, 2012  Hobbyist General Artist
i have to get in guatemala somehow, but your story makes me wanting to go...
PhotographerGirl Featured By Owner Feb 26, 2010
Oh man, this is so sad. The way the gun is hovering over his head-*shakes head* Horrible.
Marinas Featured By Owner Feb 17, 2010  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
This is unreal...I don't know how people can be so heartless. It makes me sick to think that the authority we normally trust here in America can be so cold, willingly shooting children just because they're there. It makes me want to do something, but I don't know what. Realizing that maybe I can't do anything is one of the hardest things to endure.
nymphOFsorrow Featured By Owner May 9, 2009  Professional Writer
featKae Featured By Owner May 9, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Featured :)

JonnyGoodboy Featured By Owner May 2, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
You done a helluva job behind the lens mate,it`s a tough,tough fucking hard life for some people :no:
Even as good as your shots and story is it has to be seen in the flesh to truly comprehend just how hard it is no doubts.
robert-kim-karen Featured By Owner May 1, 2009  Hobbyist Photographer
Very moving and well captured. You were pretty brave to snag this shot.
lilangelrocs Featured By Owner May 1, 2009
wow...the delicate interaction of irony--child innocence and adult violence...good artistic angle too. BTW, do you edit these?
henster311 Featured By Owner May 1, 2009  Professional Photographer
yeh i do a little bit, on these ones you cant really tell, once you upload on dA they lose some contrast it seems, and other stuff...but im not worried, because i never do to much.
opossum-love Featured By Owner May 1, 2009
This photo is very much badass.
henster311 Featured By Owner May 1, 2009  Professional Photographer
yeh it shows a lot, like what i said, in the city cops there just shoot these kids. just cause they are street children, and only about 45 mins away cops in antigua are cool with them.
opossum-love Featured By Owner May 1, 2009
*mumbles* maybe I should have read the artist comments *mumbles some more*
henster311 Featured By Owner May 1, 2009  Professional Photographer
i was just re-stating,ha its just crazy, its unreal there.
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Submitted on
May 1, 2009
Image Size
6.8 MB


3,254 (1 today)
30 (who?)

Camera Data

Canon EOS 5D Mark II
Shutter Speed
1/125 second
Focal Length
24 mm
ISO Speed
Date Taken
Apr 2, 2009, 10:19:21 PM