It's been officially 4 years since Brandon began his web project Humans of New York. Now in 2014, Humans of New York has over 7 million fans on Facebook + another 1.3 million followers via Twitter & Instagram combined. In terms of content, it's a truly unique idea to combine a portrait of a person on the street and tie a real story that relates to that image. I began following Humans about a year or so ago and became completely enamored.
Earlier this year, I stumbled upon the New Orleans Instagram account titled Nola Beings. It's clear founder Claire's Nola Beings is inspired by Humans of New York. Although there are similarities, Nola Beings truly raises the bar and takes the initial concept to an even more personal and intimate level. As I began to become involved with each image and subsequently each person, I realized just how cathartic it must have been for each participant to tell their story.
I have to be honest, as I swiped through my daily feed and came across both accounts, I began to really consider Nola Beings to be an entity all on it's own, and quite frankly the one I favored. The intimacy in Claire's shots hinge on several factors. The background, the authentic expression on the subject(s) face, and the most important factor imho, how close she gets to the moment with her lens. Don't get me wrong, the story that relates to the image is key, but it's the overall closeness and proximity to the subject that portrays that delicate connection.
Below are some of our favorite recent images from the Nola Beings Instagram feed. I implore you to experiment with how you interact with each image. If possible try not to look at the image too closely and take in the story, then flip and see which one is more impactful. You'll find that there are 2 elements speaking to you.