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A Day In The Life Of A Big Issue Seller

Published February 23rd, 2012

The Big Issue is a street newspaper that was created to offer homeless people the opportunity to earn a legitimate income. This project looks at a 59 year old man named Jay who has been selling The Big Issue for over 11 years, depending on the money to eat and get by. Jay works long 11 hour shifts from Mon-Fri, taking the weekends off which he once used to work but made very little money doing so. Depending on the day and location Jay can make between £15-£20 a day which for the amount of hours he works is very little, as each day can be very lonely and slow often going hours and hours without making a sale. Most of his sales are from regulars whom he has built relationships with over the years, rarely making any sales from strangers walking by. People tend to just walk by without even noticing Jay, those who do pretend to be on their phones and on some occasions take a different route just so that they don’t make eye contact. Jay is an itelligent, softly spoken man who has been through a lot in his life and works very hard at selling The Big Issue, a job which most disregard.

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Jay selling The Big Issue on Long Acre road, hoping someone will stop to buy one.

  • November 18th, 2011
  • NIKON D90
  • 35mm / f/3.5 / 1/500 sec
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Depending on the day and location Jay can sell between 15-20 issues earning him between £15-£20 a day which for the amount of hours he works is very little.

  • November 17th, 2011
  • NIKON D90
  • 35mm / f/3.2 / 1/640 sec
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Jay is 59 years old and has been selling The Big Issue for over 11 years.

  • November 18th, 2011
  • NIKON D90
  • 35mm / f/3.2 / 1/125 sec
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Jay makes the majority of his money through his regulars whom he has also built relationships with. Some regulars have been buying the issue from him for over 7 years.

  • November 17th, 2011
  • NIKON D90
  • 35mm / f/3.2 / 1/640 sec
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Jay buys The Big Issue for £1 and sells it for £2. Every year the price increases which he feels will eventually put him out of work.

  • November 18th, 2011
  • NIKON D90
  • 35mm / f/2.8 / 1/160 sec

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ThamerAlTassan
Thamer Altassan  about 6 years ago

i remember walking by him a number of times on Long Acre. thank you for the story!