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An Interview with the Humans of Fairview Photographers

By Sara McCrea in Student News

Four years ago, photographer Brandon Stanton took the world by storm with his interviews with everyday people walking the streets of New York. With over 12 million likes, the Humans of New York facebook page has become a household name. In the past year Brandon has published a book of his photographs, raised hundred of thousands of dollars for various causes, and been sent on a trip by the United Nations to start HOPE (Humans of Planet Earth.) Hundreds of blogs have been started around the world by different people that have a fascination with sharing stories.

A recent facebook page run by Fairview students interviewing people around school has gotten over 600 likes in the past month. We sat down with these anonymous photographers (one’s responses are in italics, the other in bold) to see their take on “Humans of Fairviews” success.

RB: How would you describe your project?

Our mission is to provide glimpses into the lives of strangers. It’s fascinating to see how different we all are, yet similar at the same time. It lets Fairview students connect through this interview process and collection of conversations. We’re trying to create a sense of community within the school.

RB: What do you like about hearing different students’ stories?

Humans of Fairviews allows us to approach people that we wouldn’t normally approach. We are able to ask people questions and get to know them on a relatively deep level after just a couple of minutes. That, to me is the coolest part--hearing people’s unique stories. I like how it allows you to identify with people you maybe wouldn’t have before. Hearing and sharing one person’s story changes the way you see them when you next see them in the halls.

It’s fun to talk to people and to listen to what they have to say. Everyone has something to say, sometimes you just have to coax it out of them.

RB: How did you actually start the project?

We were all sitting at lunch one day talking about how cool it would be to start this page at Fairview. It was somewhat of an spontaneous decision; there was little planning and a whole lot of doing. We made it happen with a dream in mind.

RB: How do you draw quotes from people?

What we do is purely conversational. All it takes is one initial question to get the ball rolling and then the rest just happens naturally. We try our hardest to just have a genuine conversation with someone.

RB: When do you interview?

Off periods and block lunch.

RB: Who is someone you would love to interview?

Don Stenstrud. HONY just interviewed Obama so we have to interview our equivalent.

RB: Do you want to give students a hint to your identity?

We like bubbles.

Yeah that. And we go to Fairview.

RB: What’s your favorite question to ask people?

I personally like asking people their earliest memories because I think it’s interesting to see what the mind first thinks of when asked to remember. It’s cool to see patterns in different types of people. But usually we don’t just ask questions, it’s simply a conversation and we go with the flow.

RB: What do you hope people will gain from listening to other students’ stories?

Realizing that everyone has something...no one is perfect, and we’re all just doing this, ya know? Like we are all just trying to make it through high school, that doesn’t mean we have it figured out yet. Everyone has a voice and a story that should be heard.

Obviously, we hope people look forward to our posts and that seeing a little bit of someone’s life is an exciting thing for them. Bigger than that though, I think we all hope that knowing more about the people that we all go to school with makes us feel more like a community and hesitate to pass judgement about people we don’t know.

I hope people will gain a sense of acceptance and love for everyone in the school, and in the world beyond. Each person’s differences create a diverse culture at Fairview, which makes it the school and community that it is. We need more love in the world… hopefully people will spread it with the influence of our page.

Check out Humans of Fairview on Facebook! For more faces of Fairview, check out Humans of Fairview with The Royal Banner.

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