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17 Images of Poverty

Today is Blog Action Day – a day where thousands of bloggers around the world focus upon and highlight issues around one topic – poverty.

Here is our contribution – a collection of images taken to highlight poverty from around our globe. Click the images to be taken to the Flickr pages of the photographer and to learn more about the story behind the faces you see.

PovertyPhoto by Carf

Poverty-11Image by Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel”

Poverty-2Image by Carf

Poverty-14Photo by Sailing “Footprints: Real to Reel”

Poverty-12Image by Mick y

Poverty-13Photo by Thomas Hawk

Poverty-10Image by Alex Bath

Poverty-5 Image by HORIZON

Poverty-3Image by carf

Poverty-8Photo by Stitch

Poverty-4Photo by Carf

Poverty-9Image by JimFishcher

Poverty-6Image by Carf

Poverty-7Photo by Zerone Eric Ouano

Poverty-16Image by magnetomotive

Poverty-15Photo by PJOnori

Poverty-17Image by Stuck in Customs

Read more from our Tips & Tutorials category.

Darren Rowse is the editor and founder of Digital Photography School and SnapnDeals. He lives in Melbourne Australia and is also the editor of the ProBlogger Blog Tips. Follow him on Instagram, on Twitter at @digitalPS or on Google+.

  • Marcos Loyola

    What’s the use with highlight the poverty and do nothing about it?

    Show the poverty trying to make us know that exist is not enough. We all know that exists.

    I really consider sick when somebody show pictures like this, creating some kind of freak show to inspire charity that last 5 minutes.

  • AADIL FAHIM KHAN

    Agree with you..
    we can just shout or abuse the players while sitting in the crowd but the difficult theing is to go and perform in ground…..

    we all know poverty exists but the thing is to help over come this poverty..

  • AADIL FAHIM KHAN

    Just for one day, go and live the life they are living..
    then come and tell us what u feel..

    just taking pictures of poor people dont show ur greatness, rather go and help them…

  • Alexandra Canlas

    Wonderful photographs.
    It’s not that they just want to show their greatness. They just want to show us how lucky we are that we are not homeless, starving and unfortunate like them. They just want to open our minds and eyes that we should thank everything we have right now. We should be contented and happy with our lives. I know that everyone helps. This also helps. These photos serve as an eye-opener for all of us lucky people.

    We must not judge easily. What if they show those pictures right now and when they are off-cam they communicate and help those starving people? We don’t know the whole thing that happened when they are taking those pictures.

    And another, you see it’s natural to post awesome photographs because this is a digital photography school.

Some older comments

  • mike

    June 20, 2013 02:57 pm

    Go to the forbes site and see the greed. Its insanity! Theres no reason anyone should go hungry. The insane greed in the 1% is a crime! We have let them shape and rule OUR world long enough!

  • Br.Pradeep

    May 20, 2013 06:31 pm

    these photos are really inspiring me to do something charitable work for the poor.

  • david shikalepo

    March 24, 2012 01:08 am

    once it is them soon it may be you

  • Scicere Reid.

    March 21, 2012 04:02 am

    These are touching pictures and I care. And I pray that god will bless these homeless people and give them his love, because I care and understand.

  • david

    March 7, 2012 11:03 am

    I'm currently an art student study fine art. I'm looking into the freedom of speech and expression, I'm trying to portray the poverty side of humanity and ask what if any rights have we acknowledged?

  • tina

    December 5, 2011 10:53 pm

    Nice list of images.the pics are really heart touching. it indicates the poverty in India.

  • Mr. Vee Tetseo

    November 30, 2011 11:52 am

    Hello Darren,

    I want to let you know how powerful your pictures are. Brought tears as we (Me and wife) watched the pictures. I had come across your blog when I was looking for some information about poverty in the world with the intention to encourage how we must become more involved to reach out to them. Would it be possible like to use your pictures, along with some of mine for a powerpoint presentation in our school Christmas program. I will use it with my song called 'Walk this Life'. I will copyright your work and print your website. I will be glad if you can also give me permission to use it for my 'Cafe Live' I do at church in Japan. I live in Okinawa, Japan.

    Thank you.

    Vee

  • misha

    November 13, 2011 06:35 pm

    oh!the pics are very heart touching. still the povery is present in our world this is really shameful.......

  • ashton

    October 21, 2011 04:05 pm

    Like the third picture best

  • David

    September 4, 2011 04:59 pm

    Nice list of images. I've noticed the most impactful photos usually feature young children. I've also compiled my own list of 41 heartbreakingly beautiful poverty pictures if you're interested in looking!

    http://flairpix.com/41-heartbreakingly-beautiful-poverty-pictures/

  • Atul

    August 2, 2011 12:33 am

    Men it's heart touching images

  • April

    July 8, 2011 02:56 am

    Darren, great eye! I lived in Thailand for a bit while in the Peace Corps, visited refugee camps in Cambodia, taught in the inner-city, and grew up in rural America. I have seen poverty from multiple perspectives and can appreciate the challenges in the eyes of the people you photograph. Studying poverty as a doctoral student, I found your work honest and beautiful. Hopefully, the critics who don't "see" the poverty in all of your work will understand that even if you don't see it, it doesn't mean it is not present. Thanks for sharing!

  • Nadeem Sibtain

    June 17, 2011 10:49 pm

    from PAKISTAN kARACHI

  • Nadeem Sibtain

    June 17, 2011 10:49 pm

    POETRY by me to see theses pics
    A WALK FOR FOOD
    kaisi duniya hai samajh mn hi nahi aati hai
    kuch ko mil jati hai aur kuch ko yeh tarsaati hai
    kha kay khana ameer walk pe nikatay hn
    khanay ki bhook mn ghareebo'n ko bhagati hai

  • ROHINI

    May 27, 2011 10:40 pm

    ITS REALLY HEART TOUCHING TO WATCH THESE PHOTOS

  • Venu

    April 25, 2011 01:50 pm

    I am from India, the above pictures matches with upper middle class Indians. Each 100 individuals among one indiviual in my country is having tons and tons of poverty. Try to get pictures from India.

  • Avi

    April 4, 2011 08:04 pm

    too sad to see these photos....... I wish i could help.........

  • Babaeng

    February 20, 2011 04:58 am

    My b/f helps me start a blog about my life in town near Cagayan de Oro, and helps with some expenses.
    Somehow people do not know or care about poverty, so he says I should write my stories, and post pictures of life here.

  • Anna Patrick

    February 15, 2011 12:04 am

    Can anyone tell me when will this action take place in 2011? I also like to submit some more images of poverty, focused on India http://www.photographymojo.com/2011/02/fascinating-india-a-photography-journey/

  • Karl Engelmann

    January 28, 2011 04:34 pm

    Thank you for the terrific images! I have a song titled "Last Night in America" that I set to images that I found on the web including this website. You and your artists have provided me with good imagery for what I am trying to convey.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VHopAmyuhCo

    I hope you approve and enjoy.

    Thank you!

  • lably

    May 18, 2010 10:18 am

    how to stop povert? isthere a possible solution for that? gosh...poor creatures...huhhhh

  • Alrady

    May 13, 2010 12:41 am

    Sarah.. I think he was referring more to difficulty of the photoshoot. I think the poster (lee) must have misssed a few of the photos...

    Now a year or so later, I would love to see a second page,,, one with foreclosure signs, evictions, people living in the national forests, cars loaded to the grill with possessions while moving, a hobo on a train. Things like that for a second edition. :)

  • Sarah

    May 12, 2010 11:26 am

    just because they are photos of homeless people doesnt mean that they dont live in poverty.

  • Lee

    February 24, 2010 05:19 am

    Photographing homeless alcoholics and crack-heads is not exactly what I'd call definitive of "poverty". I would have been more impressed with say, a family living in their car or children poorly dressed playing in a ghetto neighborhood. It's not much of a challenge to go downtown and start snapping street people.

  • Adit

    January 28, 2010 05:56 pm

    thanx a lot man

  • Vidya

    November 27, 2009 07:46 pm

    the way you portrayed zes people is worth praises...not only can we find poverty, but also rays of hope in those eyes...

  • LEX

    November 14, 2009 05:51 am

    what what ever Eric

  • tamanna

    October 25, 2009 12:32 pm

    hey ur pics were so realistic that it was remind me & those people who have seen these pics that after independence,india was totally changed but still there is a poverty exist!thax a lot these touchable pics.........

  • peri

    October 24, 2009 01:00 pm

    Thanks for your picture, remind me there is "people" out there waiting for us.

  • ram

    June 30, 2009 12:52 am

    hey the pics are really great..the girl child specially..

  • spencer black

    May 20, 2009 02:37 am

    Just wanted to say I'm really proud of everything you're doing.
    Here is the video I did for the young lions competition in hopes of encouraging people to add their names and help Oxfam by joining the movement to encourage world leaders to vote for change at the summit in Copenhagen in December.
    Hope you enjoy!

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xJ0nlJ9Ythc

  • Toure

    April 17, 2009 04:56 pm

    This is so touching and I can find any word to express the pain I feel seeing these

  • manoranjan

    April 9, 2009 09:18 pm

    really, images shows the reallity of poverty.

  • Administration

    February 1, 2009 09:16 pm

    I did not mean to leave my email in my previous post. Please remove.
    Lipadmin Says:
    February 1st, 2009 at 9:11 pm
    Please post as follows:

    Hello,

    We saw you pictures of poverty on the internet.

    Please consider adding some pictures with a link back to your site in our forum at Liplies.com.

    We promote charities and provide an outlet for constructive criticism of today media networks and broadcasting companies.

    Also please consider linking back to our site from your web site.

    Check out Liplies Social Media Network

    Thank You,

    Administration
    Liplies.com

  • Lipadmin

    February 1, 2009 09:11 pm

    Hello,

    We saw you pictures of poverty on the internet.

    Please consider adding some pictures with a link back to your site in our forum at Liplies.com.

    We promote charities and provide an outlet for constructive criticism of today media networks and broadcasting companies.

    Also please consider linking back to our site from your web site.

    Check out Liplies Social Media Network

    Thank You,

    Administration
    Liplies.com
    Lipadmin@liplies.com

  • Ivory Smith

    January 3, 2009 04:14 am

    I hate the reality in which these pictures bring...because this world is so rich in resources there should'nt exist any poverty, I wish everyone in this world were atleast thousand heirs or up<<<(made up word).

  • Ruth

    December 16, 2008 01:43 am

    I agreee with Lara! we should all start doing something about!!!!
    you can go to
    www.freerice.com or www.freepoverty.com
    these websites donate food and materials to people i poverty!

  • Prad

    December 2, 2008 04:03 pm

    Letting some one live in poverty IS A CRIME !!!

    http://heavenuezation.blogspot.com/

  • lara

    November 12, 2008 03:33 am

    we all have to put hands 2gether an try to solve this problem.saying :these pics are really sad wont solve any of these problems.insted of talking so that u care through action

  • lara

    November 12, 2008 03:26 am

    you dont see poverty in the frist pic and so on cuz you dont want to see it

  • Khalil Dawood

    November 8, 2008 04:58 am

    let's try to change ! not just to say that those pictures are really bad ............. this is the most important point here.

  • manisha

    November 7, 2008 02:48 pm

    its too touching every picture is real and it makes my heart melt down

  • mehmet

    November 5, 2008 02:29 am

    I guess it would depend who is looking at it, each person will see something or feel something different, maybe that is what makes them beautiful.

  • cheritycall

    October 27, 2008 06:14 pm

    How are you?, Give something for help those hungry people from Africa or India,
    I added this blog about them:
    in http://tinyurl.com/5qlbzs

  • MiMi

    October 26, 2008 07:00 am

    I got two messages from your images; there is raw pain in poverty and there is always hope!

  • choen

    October 25, 2008 05:00 pm

    how large a photo can make changes ... friend. images of poverty are often only consumption, not a change of ideas

  • Soul Economy

    October 23, 2008 06:48 pm

    Torn - great photos but disturbing at the same time.

  • Clindy

    October 21, 2008 02:45 pm

    The subject of poverty and overpopulation in the Philippines- my country of birth is a subject that I have been writing with passion on my recent blogs. The pictures on this blog really touch my heart, since I believe, the time that you have really live is the time when you have touch the lives of others..

  • Joey Rico

    October 21, 2008 11:39 am

    here's another one:

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alienscream/2958309860/

  • aristarkhos

    October 20, 2008 05:42 pm

    These are powerful images. So saddening yet the children look so happy in some. Some say that these are images that people don't see...images that we do not come across in our everyday lives. How wrong that is...there is poverty everywhere in this world. We, as the "privileged" ones, are just used to blank out who we come across even when we walk down or drive down the street to buy groceries.
    I only hope Blog Action Day makes a bit of a difference. Anything to keep the ball rolling towards equality in our standard of living and thinking.

  • sharon

    October 19, 2008 05:11 am

    Extremely powerful and honest images that remind us the number of poor are increasing and today getting closer to each of our homes. There's not a single adult American who has not walked past an impoverished person. This is staggering.

    I am wandering around the blogs feeling the unification and linked into a beautifully simple solution I found on a young girl's blog. I lost her link, but am carrying on the message of "The Girl Effect"...
    http://dreamingaloudallowed.blogspot.com

    wiser now...
    Sharon

  • Don LeBaron

    October 19, 2008 03:07 am

    Great photos, great subject. Now what are the answers. Look at all the efforts to alleviate poverty and what are the present results. Not a real solution but at the moment I am appalled at government and corporate theft. What has allowed this monster to exist that CREATES POVERTY!!!

  • jun madayag

    October 18, 2008 11:10 am

    Wow great images. I have one to share.

    http://www.redbubble.com/people/junmadayag/art/1334158-1-the-beggar

  • matt

    October 17, 2008 08:20 pm

    Redundancies at work and in surrounding industries are happening at a rapidly increasing rate (as of today my partner is now 'unemployed'), the financial world is crumbling around us, and we haven't seen a proper depression since right after WW2. I can't even begin to think of what a society must be like where a significant portion of it turns to food vouchers just so they can put a meal on a table.

    Not sure about anyone else but the images here make me think about it.... it's not a political forum this, but it sure as hell makes you think like any good image should....

  • Clare

    October 17, 2008 09:01 am

    I love your pictures-- I am particularly happy that you chose some shots which were joyful. Too often poverty is depicted as the negative (with sad faces, dirty bodys, etc). We forget the humanity... that these people live lives and experience a wide range of emotion and experiences.

  • d4n131m3j14

    October 17, 2008 07:12 am

    HDR sux (when not used properly, which is almost always). The guy ath the memorial wall has an ipod. Some are good, but they are a few.

  • Boots

    October 17, 2008 03:14 am

    What a powerful group of pictures.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Booots

  • Allison @ Entry Level Living

    October 16, 2008 11:20 pm

    One of the last pics looks like it's from the NYC subway...is it?

  • Karen Kitchel

    October 16, 2008 06:35 am

    Another step taken to end poverty! Thank you.
    www.cheerfulgivers.org

  • Miguel Wickert

    October 16, 2008 02:27 am

    These photos are touching... sorry at a lost for words. :(

  • kouji haiku

    October 16, 2008 01:00 am

    i too live in the philippines. indeed, we see much poverty everyday unfortunately. these are some striking shots.

    for my part, i turn to sites like freerice, kiva, and goodsearch, as ways to help alleviate poverty online.

    saw this post via the front page of blog action day. it's great that you're participating. :)

  • michael | buttons of hope

    October 16, 2008 12:45 am

    Unbelievable striking poignant, thank for you speaking with your camera. I hopee you'll check out my BAD 08 posthttp://www.behindthebutton.com/2008/10/end-poverty-end-poverty-end-poverty-end-poverty-end-poverty.html

  • Chayrl

    October 15, 2008 11:35 pm

    The photos are touching and stunning! Beautiful? I guess it would depend who is looking at it, each person will see something or feel something different, maybe that is what makes them beautiful.

  • Mike Panic

    October 15, 2008 11:20 pm

    As stated yesterday, here's my Blog Action Day, Poverty in Photos: http://www.randomn3ss.com/2008/10/15/blog-action-day-poverty-in-photos/

  • irtiza

    October 15, 2008 05:55 pm

    hi, very nice pics. some of the pics have really touched me. i liked the kid with the dog most.

    peace....

    p.s. i've written a post on blogactionday to.

  • GSIK

    October 15, 2008 02:13 pm

    Very striking images... great selection!

    I too used some images from "Carf" in my video for "bad08":

    http://www.gauravsikka.com/blog/2008/10/blog-action-day-say-no-to-poverty/

  • DB

    October 15, 2008 01:59 pm

    Thank you.

  • Jennae @ Green Your Decor

    October 15, 2008 01:16 pm

    These are some exceptionally powerful images. They show a side of the world that so many people don't get to see up close. And for some people, poverty hits closer to home than many of us think. Thanks for helping to put it in the forefront with these images.

  • lilalia

    October 15, 2008 11:57 am

    Poignant, disturbing, uplifting, and introspective... thank you for presenting your images.

  • Joey Rico

    October 15, 2008 11:52 am

    i live here in the philippines and you could see all those poor people around!!!!

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alienscream/2827393542/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alienscream/2754538667/

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/alienscream/2544405616/

  • c wylie

    October 15, 2008 11:06 am

    makes me thankful. you can almost smell these photos.

  • Sime

    October 15, 2008 08:08 am

    Nice post Darren... Lots of poverty everywhere, sad times... I've asked myself this many times "what can one person do?"

    Well?

  • Vanessa

    October 15, 2008 07:42 am

    God help us. If you've never been poor or homeless I guess this would be beautiful. It isn't. Oh, very talented photographers.

  • Joe

    October 15, 2008 07:01 am

    HDR FOR POVERTY. HDR + PEOPLE == THE SUCK.

  • Alrady

    October 15, 2008 06:51 am

    One other note.. I notice many are happy or smiling. That reminds me of an article on 20/20 (I think) it was about how people in one third world country are genuinely more happy than any other country in world. just musing outloud

  • Alrady

    October 15, 2008 06:42 am

    Wow some great photos there. AGAIN the black and white photos seem to convey more and seem more powerful to me. Pungent?

    I woudl love to see a desolate picture of building... imagining what happened to occupents.

  • Darren

    October 15, 2008 06:26 am

    Thanks all for your comments. Part of my hope with this series of images was to get people talking - I think that's part of the point of Blog Action Day. Some of the themes discussed in this thread are important and I appreciate your time in commenting.

    Lara and Mike Pnic - actually today is Blog Action Day, I live in Australia and we are a little ahead of the rest of the world :-)

    Stephen - as I said in the post, click the photos to see the story behind the photos. Just because someone is smiling or doesn't look in poverty doesn't mean that they are. That's actually why I used some of the images that I did, because sometimes poverty is hidden.

    The other reason I chose the images in this selection was because some of the 'beautiful' shots actually reflected some of my own experience of poverty when living in the Third World doing aid work - ie I found that in the midst of extremely desperate situations there was at times surprising things like beauty, hope, faith and community.

    I also like some of these images (especially those by Carf) because I think they give the people being photographed dignity by showing them not as desperate people but showing their beauty.

    living in poverty - I am sorry to hear that. Poverty is a world wide thing, some of the shots above depict the problem in your country too. It's also evident in mine and I only hope that this post shines a little light on a problem that we all should be working to eliminate.

    Travis - as I've said above, I chose these images for a number of reasons - a mix of shots of people shown in desperation as well as shown with dignity, illustrating their humanness and the 'hidden' nature of poverty.

    I guess also I partly chose those that I did because this is a photography site and I wanted to show good shots - the work of good photographers doing something worthwhile in their photography.

  • MADz

    October 15, 2008 04:55 am

    Great pictures, full of life and pain

  • Gridskipper

    October 15, 2008 04:50 am

    I agree with Stephen...there are at least a few that don't show poverty.

    @ collective lens...i agree with you as well, but wasn't that the point of the post?

  • millied917

    October 15, 2008 04:49 am

    I love the expectant mother and child. There is love, innocence, and a sense of sharing in the image.

  • Travis

    October 15, 2008 04:46 am

    Alice: It's a lie. It's a bunch of sad strangers photographed beautifully, and... all the glittering assholes who appreciate art say it's beautiful 'cause that's what they wanna see. But the people in the photos are sad, and alone... But the pictures make the world seem beautiful, so... the exhibition is reassuring which makes it a lie, and everyone loves a big fat lie.

    From the movie Closer.

  • David B Katague

    October 15, 2008 04:46 am

    The subject of poverty and overpopulation in the Philippines- my country of birth is a subject that I have been writing with passion on my recent blogs. The pictures on this blog really touch my heart, since I believe, the time that you have really live is the time when you have touch the lives of others..

  • Collective Lens

    October 15, 2008 04:25 am

    stephen,
    Just because you can't see poverty doesn't mean it's not there. The smiling faces of children hide it well.

  • Akshay

    October 15, 2008 03:55 am

    Quite brilliant photographs.

    http://www.flickr.com/photos/ignoto_someoneski/2932268700/

  • Karl

    October 15, 2008 03:22 am

    these are some stunning images.. makes you wonder how our world got into this dreadful condition in the first place.

  • living in poverty

    October 15, 2008 03:10 am

    Do you'll feel good and guilty now? Spare me the one day a year angst-fest.
    Living in poverty in America

  • Mike Panic

    October 15, 2008 02:15 am

    You're a day early, but I've been building a very similar post for the last week that will be published tomorrow morning, and it looks like we are share at least one common image.

  • Henrik

    October 15, 2008 02:05 am

    Wow! Very realistic shots! Excellent work!

  • stephen

    October 15, 2008 01:52 am

    eric...this is a photo site... not a political site.

    On a side note, a lot of these images don't really show poverty at all. I can't see poverty in the first and third images, and so on.

  • jgodsey

    October 15, 2008 01:09 am

    do you get a homeless or poor person to sign a release
    and what if they don't speak english?
    what do you do when they say no? don't they feel you are exploiting them?

  • Lara

    October 15, 2008 12:36 am

    Actually, I'm pretty sure TOMORROW is Blog Action Day! :)

  • Eric

    October 15, 2008 12:36 am

    These folks could use a bailout. Oh wait bailouts are only for rich corporate fascists

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