College of Arts and Sciences sophomore Tami Gabriely said she created her photography-based Facebook page Humans of Boston University to share the stories of individuals around the BU campus.
Gabriely said she drew inspiration for Humans of BU from Brandon Stanton’s popular Facebook page Humans of New York. Similar to Stanton’s page, Gabriely said she photographs people she thinks are interesting and then posts their pictures and quotes on her page.
“Originally, I picked people who I thought did … anything that is visually interesting to me,” Gabriely said. “… Then, I decided to just come up to people who I thought would have something interesting to say. But honestly, I think anyone has something interesting to say, so I really just go up to anyone.”
Gabriely said she began Humans of BU a few weeks ago, and is currently the project’s sole contributor. She said she has received offers from other students who are interested in taking pictures for the page, but has not yet decided how many people she wants to involve.
“I have a couple of offers from people who wanted to join and help me out and become a partner in it,” Gabriely said. “I am considering it, because it [managing the page] is a big time commitment. It would also be nice to provide this opportunity for other people, because I definitely know people have had this idea before, but have just not materialized it.”
The goal of this project is to give those who don’t think they look good in pictures, or those who don’t think they have anything meaningful to say, a reason to feel that their doubts are unfounded, Gabriely said.
“The goal is really just to share their stories or anything about people at BU,” Gabriely said. “So, some people have really interesting stories, and some people have something about their personalities that I think would be interesting to share, and some people are sometimes doing fun little activities, like juggling. So it doesn’t have to be deep, but it’s just to share something about the person.”
Gabriely said she hopes Humans of BU gives people the chance to learn about their peers around campus in a new, interesting way.
“It [the person in the picture] can be a friend, or someone that you see on the street all the time who you’ve just wanted to talk to, but never got the chance,” Gabriely said. “… I hope that the students, faculty or anyone who views this page just looks at the people in it [Humans of BU] and feels part of a community.”
Taylor Coy, College of Arts and Sciences junior, said her and Amanda Chivil, a CAS junior, were in the George Sherman Union working a bake sale for BU Global Environmental Brigades when Gabriely approached them and asked to take their picture.
“She asked if she could interview us and take our picture for her Facebook page, and we were more than happy to,” Coy, treasurer of the Global Environmental Brigades, said. “We felt pretty flattered.”
Coy said there are many times members of the BU community do not think twice about their peers they pass on the street, and she appreciates how Gabriely takes the time to really talk to people and hear more about them.
Chivil, president of Global Environmental Brigades, said Gabriely approached her and Coy, then explained that she takes pictures of people who seem like they are passionate about what they are doing.
Chivil said the Humans of BU Facebook page is an interesting concept, which she and Coy enjoyed participating in. Additionally, the picture Gabriely posted of Chivil and Coy was great exposure for BU Global Environmental Brigades and its members’ efforts.
“We all pass by thousands of people per day at BU,” Chivil said. “There are so many kids out there that we don’t know, and don’t know what they’re passionate about. This page really gives attention and insight into other people … It’s an interesting perspective about what somebody’s passionate about or what they enjoy doing.”