//Meet Marcus Baney.
I met Marcus about 7 years ago at a random gas station some place deep into the heart of Illinois. The back story of our friendship is quite long and random, however it is irrelevant to the purpose and topic of this post.
To know Marcus and his heart, you have to meet him and dig deep. From the outside, he is a intimidating solid mass of muscle with tattoos that cover roughly about 80% of his body. However, from the inside, he is one of the most genuine guys that I’ve ever known, with a true heart for understanding people and seeing them for who they truly are. Marcus has a way of telling you how it is. A straight shooter. No filter. Which is something I highly respect about him.
Roughly about a year and a half ago Marcus moved to Nashville to further pursue his photography career, and upon moving here he got involved with a homeless outreach called People Loving Nashville. People Loving Nashville is all about community, building friendships, and investing in people’s lives. One night, Marcus talked to me about digging a bit deeper, and pursuing a project that he had been thinking about doing for some time. A project that would tell the stories of some of the guys that he was meeting, through the use of photography. What started out as an idea blossomed into reality… starting last night, and bringing only a SLR that uses film and the clothes on his back, Marcus is living side by side with 4 different guys who live on the streets, living as they live, to capture their lives and stories through the eye of a camera. Through this experience his intention is to create a photography book about his time living on the streets - and telling the stories of each of the guys whom he is living among. (all proceeds of this book will be donated to People Loving Nashville)
I find myself having such a huge respect for Marcus and this project. Taking the time off work to invest in these people’s lives, to live and sleep on the streets, where most people take vacation time to head to a resort, eat expensive dinners, and let the time pass by while laying on the beach- is truly admirable. This whole project is such a reflection of Marcus’ heart. It truly is.
I sit here thinking about the return of Marcus with the stories and photos he will have after this… the life lessons that he will have learned and perspective he will gain. I can not help but think that this is a story that needs to be told, not for a ego boost, not for praise, and not for winning over a few hearts… but for the sole fact of one man’s willingness to take on the burden of a complete stranger and be their voice. To legitimately care. To genuinely invest. To be ultimately humbled.
This is my friend Marcus Baney.
For more information on what Marcus is doing: Click here.