Hollywood Street Characters A photography project by Ken Hermann

Behind the mask is a series of portraits of people working as Hollywood street characters on the Hollywood Boulevard in LA.

The street characters make a living by letting themselves being photographed together with the thousands of tourists who visit the Boulevard each day and pay them a small tip to take a shot.
Some performers do a really good job acting as look-alike while others just look like silly grownups in poor and dirty costumes.

Most of the street characters have one thing in common though: They are (or once were) pursuing the American dream – Trying to become someone special and famous. When I first visited the Hollywood Boulevard I was fascinated by the contrast between good look-alikes and poor ones. I also noticed that the success of the street characters wasn’t about being the most perfect character – it also depended upon acting as the most hyped or popular character, and sometimes just having a fun and crazy attitude.

Normally the street characters are pictured with a funny face in lively settings. Instead I tried to capture a more personal expression of the real person behind the mask and in order to achieve that specific goal several of the portraits were also taken in the character’s own home or neighbourhood.

Monthly Photo Contest

Color film portrait photograph of a young woman by Michelle Marshall
© Michelle Marshall

2021 Portrait AWARD Deadline: 31 May 2021

"In a portrait, I’m looking for the silence in somebody."
- Henri Cartier-Bresson

Portrait photography has one of the oldest and most interesting histories that harkens back to the early days of the medium. Through portraits of iconic figures or ordinary people, we discover a deep interest in others.

Recent works or gems from your archives, classic or experimental, and through any kind of storytelling: we want to discover the most powerful and captivating images of today’s portrait photography. We are open to all interpretations and want to see faces that gaze right into the soul!


1st Prize: $1000 · 2nd Prize: $600 · 3rd Prize: $400

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