Middle Class Photo Project - Most Recent
Joy Stoddard, Orchard Park, N.Y
I believe being middle class means having a garage sale and being excited about making $40. This is my friend Becky and me, showing off our "big earnings" after a sale we had at her place in Buffalo, NY. I believe being middle class means you don't ever have a brand new car. In fact for us, it usually means never having owned a car in the same decade that we're living in. Being middle class means only have one bathroom in our house. Being middle class means sharing a bedroom with at least one sibling. Being middle class means spending two full summers painting your own house. These are just a few of the things that I believe represent our financial "place" in society.
Leonard Curry, Petersburg, Va.
This is a photo of my house, which is assessed for tax purposes at $267,000. It is an old house built in the 1920s.
Robert Gladden, Los Angeles, Calif.
I love to take pictures. this is 3 generations of our family in the front of our house on a very typical get-together. it says a little & a lot about our life & times. We are happy, content & dealing w/ everything other families, black, white, latino, asian & others are dealing with.
Middle class is good (& a challenge) all at the same time.
Rebecca Morrison, Pukalani, Hawaii
This boy and his family, running a stall at the farmer's market, represent entrepreneurship and middle class aspirations to me. I didn't ask the boy his name, but I asked where he went to school, and he named a local private school. I took the photo in Pukalani, Upcountry Maui, in November 2011.
Debra Stewart, Naselle, Wash.
This is brunch at Bob's Red Mill in Milwaukee, OR. It is about as middle class as you can get. Our son took us here, or we wouldn't have been able to go.
Karen Napier, Huntsville, Ala.
This is a picture of a mother-daughter pedicure. (I'm the mom.) I chose it because it represents small splurges the middle class can afford.
Being middle class to me means learning how to prioritize resources. After paying a mortgage payment, a car payment, and paying the bills, the most important thing I can spend my extra income on is making memories for my children. Being able to plan small day trips on weekends to museums, farms, pumpkin patches, and the beach means I get to spend quality time with my family and give them memories that will last a lifetime. This is a photo of my daughter, Soleil, taken at a pumpkin patch in Elk Grove, CA. We didn't have a lot of money to spend that day on taking home huge pumpkins, so she was picking out a few smaller ones for our front porch. We decoupaged them with eyes, noses and lips cut out from magazine ads when we got home.
Steve Haupt, Clarksburg, Calif.
The house is what my wife and I built. After 16 months the house was done and we knew someone else had to build the barns.It shows about the extent of our small farm of 63 acres. Now our horse training business is down 85%. Our organic hay crop has come in down 30-40% due to lack of early rains in the fall but saved at a cost of having to irrigate through the winter.
Linda Waterfield, Anselmo, Calif.
During a typical afternoon rush hour traffic from San Francisco into Marin I was listening to Marketplace's segment on what it means to be middle class at the time this picture was taken. How perfectly middle class to work all day and commute home in traffic.
Richard Becker, Madison, Wis.
Middle class for me means having the money to travel back to Maine from Wisconsin, where my wife and I go to grad school, to visit our families and do a little fishing.