J. Wesley Brown’s vivid nighttime portraits of bus riders are a refreshing look at a rarely seen side of Los Angeles. The city’s freeway interchanges are iconic, but for many Angelinos, these bus stop dwellers represent an even more authentic feeling of home.
Brown, 34, spent two and a half years roaming the city to shoot Riders, a series of fascinating portraits of ordinary people doing ordinary things. That might seem like a mundane topic, but Riders offers a commentary on the societal strata of Los Angeles.
“Riding a bus in L.A. is the most outwardly visible sign of class divide,” says Brown.
In shooting Riders, Brown found the movie posters in bus stop advertising sometimes offered a commentary on the scenes framed by the bus shelters. And his exploration of the city noted that poorer neighborhoods that don’t attract advertising dollars often don’t have bus shelters at all.