Blog

Dear Salt Lakers!

I am going to continue the series of ‘pre-scheduled’ interviews for another little while or so. The response from people who are choosing to bravely share their stories has been absolutely overwhelming and I’ve loved every minute of it!

That being said, I am still anxious to meet with religious leaders and members of the African Methodist Episcopalian Church, the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga, any Islamic mosque, and any Jewish synagogue.

I still hope to speak to a veteran of World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War.

If you or someone you know would like to be profiled in the scenarios above or if you have your own story you’d like to share on HOSLC, please message me and we will make it happen!

Thanks everyone for staying tuned!

Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City

Dear Salt Lakers!

As you all might recall, I recently embarked on an ‘experiment’ to engage, interview, and photograph people who could relate to specific challenging or otherwise interesting situations. In response, I have been flooded with wonderful requests, related not only to the situations I proposed, but there have been many other suggestions from people who have voluntarily opted to share their stories and to be photographed.

There has never been, nor will there ever be, any intent whatsoever on the part of Humans of Salt Lake City or myself, to sensationalize, trivialize, or make light of anyone’s story, whether it be trauma related or not. This is just an experiment to see what happens when people are given an opportunity to share something that they might otherwise never share…and to further prove that, whatever our struggles, challenges, or pains might be, we are not alone with them.

This page and this project I’m on is about capturing the magic and the mayhem…the good, the bad, and the ugly of what it means to be Human in Salt Lake City. Sometimes, that means you might not like or agree with the subject in a given story and that’s OK. If you don’t like something, I welcome your privately messaged opinion. Public negative commentary defeats the purpose I believe is best for this page…that it is a forum for positive, kind, and friendly discussion. If you have something that isn’t nice to say, by all means, send me a private message and tell me what’s on your mind.

To have been accused, even somewhat gently, that my motives in this experiment are less than pure is offensive and saddening. I will not hesitate to ban those who fail to understand or to remember that this really is MY page and I plan to conduct the affairs of this project in ways that I believe will be of some good to everyone. I hate to lose anyone this way, but this page is not a place for rudeness, undue criticism, or plain meanness. I believe that ALL Humans are better than that.

Thanks for reading and for staying tuned!

Mike

Dear Salt Lakers!

I’m in the middle of a ‘pre-scheduled’ interview blitz this weekend and I am SO grateful to those who have shared their stories with me thus far! Those portraits and stories will be up very soon so stay tuned!

Now, if you recall, I posted a list of specific scenarios for which I would like to interview people. I’ve met and captured several stories about obsessive compulsive disorder and mastectomy. I hope more people who can relate to the other scenarios on the list will come forward and share what they’ve experienced.

That being said, I’m ready to add some more topics. I’d like to talk to:

Someone who has had a miscarriage

A veteran of World War II, the Korean Conflict, and the Vietnam War

Someone who has been held against their will

A Tuskegee Airman

Someone from the Trinity African Methodist Episcopal Church

Someone from the Free Wesleyan Church of Tonga

A former prisoner and/or a prisoner of war

Someone from Japan

Someone from Taiwan

I will add more to this list in the coming weeks but if you or someone you know can relate to any of these topics and would like your story/portrait featured on Humans of Salt Lake City, please message me and we can set it up! I’m looking forward to hearing from you all and I’ll answer you as fast as I can!

Many thanks!

Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City

Hey Salt Lakers!

I’ve had a couple of cancellations of ‘scheduled’ interviews so I now have some openings on this coming Saturday. I’ve had a great response from people wanting to share stories about OCD and, surprisingly, the subject of mastectomy. That being said, I’m still anxious to meet people in some of the other scenarios from my earlier post sooooo….

Do you know a religious leader? Do you know someone from Polynesia? Do you know someone who survived the Holocaust? Are you secretly in love? Are you gay and living a straight life?

If you do know someone who can relate to those scenarios and think they’d like to share their stories, please message me and let’s make it happen!

I will be introducing other subjects I’d like to talk to people about later on so stay tuned! As always, if you’d also like to just share a personal story of your own, let’s meet and knock down the walls behind which we all tremble with fear and let’s learn from each other!

Hope to hear from you and I’ll answer you as fast as I can!

My best to all of you wonderful followers!

Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City

Dear Salt Lakers!

Now that I have an extra hour of daylight, I am embarking on a new aspect of my quest to capture the magic and the mayhem of being Human in Salt Lake City. When I met Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York, he said that he makes a point to tell his subjects that he is going to ask them hard questions. I want to try talking to people with specific challenging or otherwise interesting experiences and ask them hard questions, too.

This is just an experiment and I’m curious to see where it goes. Over the next few weeks, and in addition to the random people I come across every day, I want to interview and photograph the following:

Someone who has witnessed a miracle
A survivor of the Holocaust
A religious leader
Someone who has had a mastectomy
Someone from Peru
Someone from Russia
Someone from Polynesia
A Syrian refugee
Someone with a real addiction
Someone who has had a crisis of faith
Someone who is secretly in love
Someone who is gay but living a straight life
Someone with hallucinations
Someone with OCD
Someone who has had to declare bankruptcy
Someone who has had an out of body experience

So, if you fall into one of these scenarios and would like to share your story, please message me and let’s make it happen. By the same token, if you have a story of your own that you’d just like to share, don’t hesitate! This is a chance to drop barriers, throw caution to the wind, and tell the stories that might otherwise go untold. I believe there’s magic in those stories and I want to capture them here for everyone.

Thanks

Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City

Dear Salt Lakers!
Today, I had the extraordinary honor and privilege to meet Brandon Stanton, the founder and creator of Humans of New York, in Kingsbury Hall at the University of Utah. I only had a few moments to take his portrait and ask him this question:
With all that you have learned and seen and shared to prove that we, as humans, all have so much in common, what is it about humanity that still perplexes you? Said he…
‘I always thought that social media would bring us all closer together. I thought it would be a revolution to help people reach across borders and communicate in a way that didn’t involve gatekeepers and government and media. It’s kind of had the opposite effect. Populist leaders are taking control all over the world. We still have a lot of fear and hatred of each other. So, I guess the thing that still surprises me is how durable the darker side of humanity is. There’s a race between the lighter and the darker side of humanity.’
I hope that the efforts of the worldwide “Humans of” movement, in all of its facets, continue to prove that we can win that race Brandon spoke of on the side of light, love, and peace. If I may say so, I think the Humans projects do, indeed, bring us closer to being more understanding and accepting of one another and even if we still have a long way to go, we’re going in the right direction.
My best to you all!
Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City

Dear Salt Lakers
My heart is heavy tonight as I have just learned that this man, Brady Shepherd, who I photographed in September of 2015 at the Out of the Darkness Walk for Suicide Prevention, was himself killed in a car accident last week. I am reposting his story because it needs to be read again and again. We all have the power inside of us to make the most of the time we have and to make a DIFFERENCE with that time and Brady did exactly that…
‘I lost my sister to suicide seven years ago. We couldn’t find any reason in her personal belongings about why she ended her life, so, we started an organization called No Story Left Untold to get people to share their stories and let them know that they can talk about whatever they need to and that they’re not by themselves. We’ve discovered that, when it comes to suicide, people don’t believe they can talk about it and when they see our booth, they’re surprised that we want them to talk about it and we want to hear their stories and to know and share their struggles so they know they’re not alone. Furthermore, just because a person is gone, for whatever reason, doesn’t mean their story has to end.’
Brady’s life may be over…but his story and the differences he made in the lives of his family, friends, and people like me, that he touched in such a positive way…will go on. Please look out for each other. If you see someone who you think might be in emotional trouble, for GOD’s SAKE…reach out and do it without hesitation. You never know when you might save a life.
There’s a donation account that has been set up at America First Credit Union to help Brady’s wife and children. Please consider helping this amazing man’s family get through a terrible loss. A hero such as this deserves everyone’s love and support!
Thank you!
Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City
Dear Salt Lakers and fellow Humans…
I went to the Utah March for Refugees today, my only intent being to observe a moment in our history when people of good will from places near and far came together peacefully to express support for the ‘wretched refuse and tempest-tossed’ from around the world.
This topic is yet another sensitive issue in our society as the comments on my recent posts have shown. Regardless…I stood among people today in the rotunda of the Utah State Capitol and listened to government leaders speak words of hope and reaffirmation that the American dream of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness still dwells and thrives in the hearts of people in Salt Lake City…
America is the land of the free and the home of the brave. There is plenty of room for those from far-off places who seek a better life here…who are prepared to work hard for their dreams and who should be welcome to add their colors to the tapestry that is this great nation, built by the labors of immigrants and refugees from all over.
The answer to the question of who should or should not be welcomed lies in vigilance and compassion. We must watch out for each other and do more to help each other…to understand and respect each other. We can be welcoming AND vigilant at the same time. Should someone from another country come here and prove unworthy of the privilege of living in America, and with intent to do harm, we must deal with him or her swiftly and decisively.
At the same time, we must remember that there are people all over the world who have been broken by their governments or by tyrants…ravaged by fear and injustice. They have put their lives on hold to find a better place to be who they are…to believe and to worship as they choose and to stand up in defense of their new homeland…to give back and to teach their children that America…from sea to shining sea…holds up a light for all to navigate by and to find safe harbor in the eyes and hearts of us all…the children and grandchildren of immigrants and refugees who came before them.
These are just some of my thoughts in retrospect of a beautiful moment today when I saw proof that there are still people who believe in kindness to others, compassion, and understanding. That’s the kind of proof I seek for this page and this project. I look forward to what happens next!
Mike
Humans of Salt Lake City
Dear Salt Lakers!
On this New Year’s Eve, I feel the need to declare that I STILL BELIEVE in the inherent good in people…no matter who they are, or what they do or believe…no matter where they come from, or where they’re going. I WILL NOT GIVE IN to hate or fear in 2017…or EVER! No terrorist…no radical…no politician…NO ONE can take away my hope and faith that good will overcome every challenge or my belief, however fragile it may sometimes become, that humankind will reach for the dream of true bonds of friendship, understanding, and peace. In 2017, I look forward to meeting and interviewing more amazing people and capturing and sharing their stories with you! Thank you all for staying tuned and for believing with me that this journey I’m on is worthwhile in the first place! Happy New Year, everyone!
Dear Salt Lakers!
With 831 votes, the Homeless Youth Resource Center has won the $2000 grant from Humans of Salt Lake City! Congratulations! I am so excited to see this money used to help make a positive difference in the lives of people in this community!
May we all remember and exercise the power in each of us to do good, to be kind, and to look out for each other! That’s what a big part of this project is all about and it has been my privilege to try to capture and share it with you!
Please also remember Ogden Youth Futures and the Mascot Miracles Foundation! It was an honor to shed some light on the good work they do! Please support them in whatever way you can!
Thanks for staying tuned! There’s
lots more to come!
So Salt Lakers!
Tonight at 7pm the winning charitable organization to receive a $2000 grant from Humans of Salt Lake City will be announced! There’s still lots of time between now and then to rock the vote! Please check out the photo album below and hit like on the image of either the Homeless Youth Resource Center, Ogden Youth Futures, or the Mascot Miracles Foundation. The image that has the most likes at 7pm will be the winner!
I want to thank everyone for helping to make this the biggest fundraiser in HOSLC history! You guys are the best! 😀
Mike

is is the page where users will find your site’s blog