Over the past couple of months, Agence France-Presse photographers have been finding and photographing people who hold job titles that are becoming very rare, such as lamplighter, street clerk, rickshaw puller, plowman, or elevator attendant. On May Day, these portraits provide a glimpse of a wide array of jobs that are vanishing under the pressures of automation, inexpensive mass production, and other technological and societal changes. Here are photos from workshops, street stalls, farms, cathedrals, darkrooms, and DVD stores, illustrating how technology has ushered in rapid changes to the services and products available worldwide.
Dennis Randall, the yard boss for the Baltimore Arabbers on Fremont Avenue, adjusts the reins and bridle on a horse in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 13, 2018., Jim Watson / AFP / Getty
Dennis Randall, the “yard boss” for the Baltimore Arabbers on Fremont Avenue, tacks a horse as he prepares the bridle in Baltimore, Maryland, on April 13, 2018., Jim Watson / AFP / Getty
Dilson Lopes Santana, 60, an elevator operator, stands in an elevator doorway in the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center (CCBB Rio) in downtown Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on April 18, 2018., Mauro Pimentel / AFP / Getty
The elevator attendant Dilson Lopes Santana operates a lift at the Bank of Brazil Cultural Center in downtown Rio de Janeiro on April 18, 2018., Mauro Pimentel / AFP / Getty