Seated with their arms crossed, a man and a woman sell their wares, shaded by a striped shawl that has been tied to two trees. Manuel Alvarez Bravo made this photograph outside the Villa de Guadalupe, a shrine to the Virgin of Guadalupe, Mexico's quintessential religious figure. Much of Mexico's rural population began moving to the capital around the time that Alvarez Bravo made this image. Their hardship and the disparity between the social classes became highly visible among Mexico's citizens, and in Alvarez Bravo's work.
Alvarez Bravo used visual clues to illustrate the couple's social plight. By relegating the figures to the extreme lower foreground and filling the remainder of the composition with tree trunks and branches, Alvarez Bravo illustrated their lowly status. To symbolize the almost impossible task of improving one's circumstances, he cropped the couple's feet out of the photograph. At the same time, a beam of light falls across the left side of the image and onto the woman's figure, as if to signal that a better future may be forthcoming.