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Striking, Strange Portraits of California Trailer Park Residents

Photographer David Waldorf once captured a rare portrait of David Lynch in his private sanctuary, the “think room.” There’s certainly something Lynchian about his photos of trailer park residents in Sonoma, California. One surreal snapshot reveals a grim bride in a gown worthy of the 1980s. She holds hands with her bare-chested husband (perhaps), both lit by the flames of a roaring barbecue. It is American Gothic at its strangest — and it could easily be a photo taken at Twin Peaks’ Fat Trout Trailer Park. There are proud men slick with sweat, sticking to vinyl car seats. Residents peer from windows disapprovingly. A family of four in an overstuffed bedroom surrounds a young boy whose limbs are covered in dirty bandages. It’s the details of Waldorf’s portraits that quietly creep up on you. He aims to “to capture the truth in people’s eyes” — and these eyes don’t lie.

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

Photo credit: David Waldorf

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7 comments
TracieMadden
TracieMadden

Powerful. Number 7.....wow. On the other hand, many moments of pride, or at the very least contendedness.

BethGibson
BethGibson

That boy in the bandages appears to have  dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa. The bandages would be dirty because he always has to wear them. 

Ripsitntwistsit
Ripsitntwistsit

Interested to know what condition the little boy covered in bandages has.

Abuelita_Japonesa
Abuelita_Japonesa

It's amazing how grim you can make people look when you tell them not to smile.  OTOH it's truely awesome to see that the hispanics have been through it all but their smiles still show through, even when they are not 'smiling'.  I think they are unmistakably smiling on the inside.  I'm not so sure about the white people though, lol. 

brassman
brassman

@Honey Ann White people earned that bad name. You just to take another look at these pictures to see how screwed these people are. It's heartbreaking to see such hopelessness in the once great nation of the United States.

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