22nd October 2015
I attended the opening of the Humans of Leeds exhibition at Lamberts Yard in Leeds. The anonymous photographer named ‘Z’ goes around Leeds and gets chatting with strangers about their life and photographs them. Alongside his images he puts a section of quote/text from the person in the photograph. I had actually been looking at his work (and also the Humans of New York series by Brandon Stanton) online way before I knew about this exhibition, and when the opportunity arose to go and see them in the flesh this really excited me and I jumped on it! I love the realness of the stories behind the images and meaning each of them have, about different peoples lives and sometimes very personal things they have been through. It amazes me how ‘Z’ gets this information out of them. I didn’t get to meet him on the night as he is anonymous however I am guessing he has a way with communicating with people that is really catered to them individually, and I imagine he is a great listener. This is inspiring for me as a photographer because this is the kind of work I want to create. Realness. Rawness. Peoples lives and relationships.
On the board here is says “…Sometimes shocking, often heart-warming, always engaging – these narratives are an integral part of the portrait, and in this intertwining of the visual and the verbal we experience the rich, inspiring, multi-layered lives of the Humans of Leeds.”
When I read this at the exhibition I immediately thought ‘that is exactly what I want to do!’
I want to show the real lives of people, not the fake, media perception of what peoples relationships ‘look like’ or are meant to look like.