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Homeless Rock Stars

Nigel Skeet has been photographing some of Rock & Roll’s greatest like Van Halen, Bon Jovi and Poison, to name a few, since arriving in L.A. in 1986.  But now, his focus has shifted to capturing the inner rock star in the homeless man and woman.

In a studio in downtown Redding, Calif. Skeet and his team transform local homeless men and women into rock stars for the day. The sessions, which Skeet calls “Rock Star Sessions,” offer the homeless the opportunity to feel like they are part of the community.

Many of the homeless that find their way into his studio have never had their picture taken or their hair and makeup done. From beginning to end, the subjects are treated and referred to as “rock stars” by the Homeless Rock Stars crew.

Skeet started Homeless Rock Stars in Redding after he left L.A. to raise his family. Before opening his studio, community members warned him about the homeless issue in the city. Their concerns didn’t discourage Skeet, who had spent a portion of his early career documenting skid row in L.A.

By offering rock star sessions, Skeet has found a way to open up the channels of communication between the homeless and the community.

The Homeless Rock Stars tour will be making a stop in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles this year. They need help putting on rock star session. For ways to volunteer visit
Every Rock Star sessions consists of a photo shoot with Skeet and a sit-down interview with a local community leader. The questions are designed to spark up casual conversations and ask things like where were they were born, what their greatest accomplishment to date is and what their favorite band is. The homeless are not asked about their current situation or how they found themselves out on the street.

A month after each session, Homeless Rock Stars invites the rock stars, the community and the community leaders to a gallery exhibition.

The catering at every event is coordinated by Jessie who is a rock star herself. Jessie was one of the first 50 homeless persons Skeet photographed. In her interview she mentioned her greatest accomplishment was receiving a full ride scholarship for baking.  Skeet and his team stayed in touch with her and made her part of the team. She, along with the rest of the Homeless Rock Stars crew, will be going on tour this year to bring out the inner rock star in homeless individuals in select cities.

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