Photos: 'Living On A Dollar A Day' Features Stark Portraits of Humanity

Photographer Renée C. Byer's new book captures the lives behind extreme poverty and hazardous living conditions.
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Photos: 'Living On A Dollar A Day' Features Stark Portraits of Humanity Renée C. Byer

Living on a dollar a day seems nearly unfathomable, but roughly one in six people in our world do on a daily basis. For her work Living On A Dollar A Day, photographer Renée C. Byer teamed up with San Francisco nonprofit The Forgotten International and ventured to four continents to capture intimate stills of people affected by extreme poverty.

"For me it's very important to go behind the scenes and into their home to find pieces of daily life that everyone can relate to," Byers said in an interview with National Geographic. "So people aren't seeing a photo that will push them away, but will pull them back into the scene. So they're not being overwhelmed by the emotion, but they're able to relate to the emotion. So that they can imagine themselves trying to live this life, and in some way, hopefully, they could help."

Check out several of Byers' photos in the slideshow, excerpted from Living On A Dollar A Day (The Quantuck Lane Press, 2014), for which she was just awarded the First Place award in the documentary book category in this year's International Photography Awards. The book is foreword by the 14th Dalai Lama, and is available to purchase here.

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Jestina Koko, 25, with her daughter Satta Quaye, 5. Crippled since the age of three, she depends on her arms to lift and drag herself. She survives by doing laundry for others, selling cookies on the street, and begging in Monrovia, Liberia. Both of them suffer from malaria. She wishes for a wheel chair, a private room to live in and for her daughter to go to school. They sleep in the hallway of a home that has no electric, toilet or running water and own nothing. Renée C. Byer