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Max Whittaker March 14, 2011

Posted by Geoffrey Hiller in United States.

Kids Playing in Trailer Park, Olivehurst, California 2004

Max Whittaker (b. 1976, USA) is a freelance photojournalist based in Sacramento, Calif. He studied history at the University of California, Davis, and became interested in photojournalism while on a climbing trip in South America. Max worked at newspapers in Iowa and California before going freelance in 2004. He’s covered the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, presidential campaigns, and social issues in California. He’s a regular contributor to The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Getty Images, and is a founding member of the Prime collective.

About the Photograph:

“This picture is part of a project I shot over six months on the dissolution of the Andina Village Trailer Park in Olivehurst, California – near Sacramento. The park had been taken over by the county for unpaid taxes, and sold to a developer. The residents were evicted, but had a hard time finding new housing that’s as cheap as the trailer park. The park was terribly rundown, dangerous, but I marveled at the way the kids seemed to ignore all of it. They played on the decaying trailers and molding furniture, seeming to have much more fun than other kids their age who had fancy toys or video games. At one point, they were goofing around and seven-year-old Quentin Lay innocently balanced some coins on his eyes as a friend crept up behind to scare him. Eventually, the park was bulldozed. The residents moved away, often out of state to find cheaper living expenses. The developer has yet to build on the lot and it’s now a vacant lot choked with weeds.”