This is the Angel Gabriel. I met him on the Newport Beach pier as he was eating French Fries out of a trash can. He was homeless and hungry. I asked him if he would help me with a photograph, and in return I would buy him lunch. The pier was very crowded and I wanted to take a 30-second exposure so that everyone would disappear except Gabriel. We tried a few shots and then Gabriel wanted to hold his Bible. The image worked and the only people you can see besides Gabriel are those “ghosts” who lingered long enough for the camera.
Gabriel and I then went into a restaurant to share a meal; he ordered steak with mushrooms and onions. When it came, he ate it with his hands. I discovered he was Romanian and so am I, so we talked about Romania. He was simple, kind and a pleasure to talk with. I asked Gabriel how I might contact him, in case I sold some of the photographs and wanted to share the money with him. He said I should give the money to someone who could really use it; that he had everything that he needed.
Then the Angel Gabriel walked away, content and carrying his only two possessions: a Bible and a bed roll.
Listen to Cole tell the story behind this image