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PHOTOS: Gary Leonard and Colette Miller find the better angels in our nature

by John Rabe | Off-Ramp

Gary Leonard photographs Lisa Derrick at Colette Miller's wings project. John Rabe

UPDATE (5/8/2014): Gary Leonard's Wings photos are all together and showing at an exhibit that opens tonite at 6. "Angels on Main Street" is at the Fine Arts Building, 811 West 7th Street, downtown LA.

It's a very simple idea. Colette Miller painted wings on the pull-down security shutters at the Regent Theatre in downtown Los Angeles. Stand in front of the wings and have your photo taken and voila, you're an angel in the city of Angels.

For freelance photographer Gary Leonard, who strives to capture a broad range of LA life, it was the perfect setup. He simply emailed a bunch of his contacts and asked them to meet him last weekend in front of the wings. It turns his paradigm on its head: instead of having to travel all over LA to capture LA's diverse people and events, different people from all walks of life in LA came to him. He photographed street people, activists, Mayoral candidate Eric Garcetti, an aging public radio host, an unborn child, and many more.

And I can tell you from experience, something interesting happens when you pose in front of those wings: you stand a little taller, you feel like - maybe - you're flying a little, you turn into a slightly better person.




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