Being Human

For my photo essay I want humans to be the main focus. I have always  taken an interest in Humans of New York, which is a catalog of inhabitants of New York City.  Human of New York focuses on the story behind the image and that there is more than meets the eye. The point of it all is to show a diverse amount of people, and find out their stories. I was also very inspired by a YouTube video called First Kiss that took 20 strangers and made them kiss for the first time on camera. That social experiment evoked a lot of emotion that was visible on film, which I found very interesting.

People are captivated by other humans, always interested in emotions and how people feel. Feelings are relatable which is why I plan to make that my focus for this photo essay. I have been very invested in photography my whole life, but there is one thing I have always struggled to capture: people. I am taking this opportunity to challenge myself in a new way, because it is very hard to capture peoples true emotions on film. An image can say a lot about an emotion without any back story, so this is what I plan on delving into during this project.

I will convert my apartment into a small studio for some time, and allow willing subjects to be photographed by myself. I will put them on a white backdrop, and photograph their face with my Nikon D90. I will not tell them what emotion they are being, however, will show an image or a video to them and record my findings. I have found a few YouTube videos that I can show to help evoke emotions, as well as create specific scenarios with inside information. For example, a friend of mine just broke up with her boyfriend. If I showed her a picture of her ex-boyfriend with another girl, what would come across her face? Would she be sad or angry? Perhaps jealous? I can also incorporate two individuals into certain photographs if I decide to explore how emotions are effected from person to person. Here are two examples of emotions I would like to induce but can be interpreted differently by the viewer.

This will be challenging because it requires proper timing and also working with others which can cause more error. However, I think this will be a great way to evoke emotion, while incorporating photography strategies and challenging myself.


One thought on “Being Human

  1. Very cool idea, Deanna. Thank you for introducing me to Humans of NY and the First Kiss video. Fascinating stuff.

    Looking forward to to your photos!



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