Yesterday photojournalist Benjamin Lowy posted a photograph on Instagram and Facebook of a man he identified as a former photojournalist, who through a series of tragic circumstances found himself living on the street. Lowy shared his image of the man, named Scott Sutton, and recounted the conversation he and Sutton had on the street near Union Square in New York City. After Lowy told Sutton that he is a photojournalist, “the conversation took a turn to the surreal,” Lowy wrote.
Sutton told Lowy that he had once been a photojournalist as well. According to Lowy, Sutton told him he’d lost everyone close to him, including his wife, who passed away, and has been on the street for two years.
Many in and out of the photo community have shared the story and posted nearly 100 comments on Facebook. Several people have said they know Sutton and have offered to help him. “Very difficult to see him this way but any of us could easily find ourselves in the same spot,” wrote Patrick Whalen, a Wall Street Journal photo editor who said he worked with Sutton in the 90s.
As of this afternoon, Lowy wrote an update saying that since the post yesterday, “quite a few of his friends have contacted me from RIT – where he did his PJ grad schooling, and Archive Photos – where he was a darkroom tech in the 90’s. Currently we are all trying to figure out how to best help him, and I’ll be going back out today to try and find him.”
Update: A previous version of this article stated that Sutton had worked as a photojournalist for Getty Images. A Getty representative told PDNPulse via email that Sutton never worked as a Getty Images photographer.