Product Blog: The "Humans" Process
After getting a steady stream of messages from people asking "But wait, how do I get featured?", I decided to write a little note detailing my process for Humans of UF (featuring my signature sass).
Absolutely anyone can be featured on here.
Often times, actually, it's a matter of the opportunity presenting itself. If you come up to me for any reason (yes, even you Swamp Party-ers) and I happen to have my camera, there is a 99.2% chance that I will hit you with probing questions and ask to take your portrait.
But other than that, I seek out certain kinds of people. Yes, I have a type.
- People who, put simply, look bored out of their minds. Hunched over their phones, refreshing their Twitter feeds every millisecond hoping to see ANYTHING new - yes, even from that girl who only retweets pictures of cute animals. They are often droopy-eyed and dangerously close to drooling.
- People who sit (or stand) anywhere alone. Benches, tables, hammocks, the Reitz lawn, the middle of the sidewalk. I usually try to gauge if the person is doing anything important because, hey, this is the procrastination nation. I feel you, my brothers and sisters.
- People who look so interesting that I can't help myself. Well-groomed mustaches, vintage clothes, hats of any kind, sweet sneaks. Things that make me think: well, if that person is confident enough to pull off all that awesome, they'll probably talk to me. Sometimes it's people who exude happiness, or energy. Or look like they have dang good stories. No matter what it is, the power of Yeezus compels me to get inside the mind of such a dazzling creature.
These are just the things I can think to list but, to be honest, it could be anyone. My problem isn't finding people to interview. It's NOT finding people to interview. I always feel like if I pass up someone, I pass up an amazing story.
Some have asked how I go about picking the quote. That's the hardest part, but also the most fun. Three or four questions usually turn into a 15-30 minute conversation, so there's a treasure trove of things I could pick. (Also, I record the entire conversation to get the quote WORD-FOR-WORD.)
I pick the quote or story that I feel captures that person the best. Stories that illustrate things beneath the surface that people wouldn't otherwise know. Funny, sad, or so random that I'm left saying "whaaaat?" and laughing my head off. During the interview, I make note of certain nuances of his or her personality. If the person's sarcastic or super nerdy, your darn tootin' I'm going to capture that.
And lastly, the portrait. I want everyone to know off the bat that I am not claiming to be a photographer. I don't know all the rules of a great photo and don't pretend to. Photography is an art and a science, and I have great respect for photographers. I recently got a Canon Powershot Sx500 and while the quality won't knock your socks off, it's better than an iPhone, eh? I plan to buy a better camera in the Fall and attend seminars to learn all that I can. I hope you guys are willing to grow with me.
Bottom line: Everyone's got a story to tell. And I just want to tell it.
(UPDATE: By the grace of Yeezus, I recently upgraded cameras to a Nikon D5300. Needless to say, I am stoked.)