Nigel
Brunsdon

Photography of
Harm Reduction

Working for over two decades in the field of harm reduction has given me a privileged level of access that many photographers will never get to this wonderfully diverse set of communities.

My photography subjects are the workers, advocates, people who use drugs and academics I have met around the world. Sometimes it’s people I meet once at a conference, often it’s people who I meet repeatedly over the years, building friendships and trusts that I try and reflect in my photographs.

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Ponytail Steve (1957-2020)

Sometimes as a community photographer there are people I spend years wanting to photograph because of how important the work they’ve done is. These people are not always high profile, not in the public eye in any way, but the work done and the lives saved mean far more. Steve Kamenicky was one of these people.

Ongoing Projects

Harm Reduction Heroes

Working in harm reduction all these years I’ve met some amazing people. I tend to think of them as a single harm reduction community, but in reality they are part of many distinct communities that share a basic philosophy. That philosophy, at it’s purest, aims to reduce individual and community harms while working to ‘meet people where they are at’ (physically and mentally) without judgement.
John at CRA
John Gutenson

Drug Use Equipment

I’m currently working on multiple projects covering drug use equipment, it’s history and use. These include projects around drug related litter and a project documenting a beautiful collection of vintage drug paraphenalia.
The Bonnet Collection

The Hands Project

I started this project back in 2014 when I realised that one of the ‘constants’ in my photography was my obsession with people’s hands. Many of the people in our harm reduction communities have hands that tell stories and/or reflect their personality. A significant portion of us have tattoos and scars documenting our lives.
Angie Woody
Angie Woody

Event Photography

Over the years I’ve been very lucky to attend events, seminars, conferences around the world, harm reduction cafés, or even just the times a small handful of us meet up in a friend’s appartment for a meal. All of these times I can be found behind a camera.
Greg Scott & Timothy Shortell
Mona and Catherine

Mona and Catherine

Mona Bennet is the executive director of the Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition. Catherine Swanson now runs Balanced Perfection an org aiming to support people working in harm reduction.

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Carl Hart

Carl Hart

Carl Hart is a neuroscientist and author with a special interest in drugs and people who use drugs.

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Bobby Tolbert

Bobby Tolbert

Bobby Tolbert was a leader and board member with VOCAL-NY and has worked for over a decade as a peer health educator in the Bronx and Brooklyn.

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All images and content © Nigel Brunsdon, all rights reserved.

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