-
Advertorial
-
FOCUS
-
Guide
-
Lifestyle
-
Tech and Vogue
-
TechandScience
-
CHTF Special
-
Nanhan
-
Asian Games
-
Hit Bravo
-
Special Report
-
Junior Journalist Program
-
World Economy
-
Opinion
-
Diversions
-
Hotels
-
Movies
-
People
-
Person of the week
-
Weekend
-
Photo Highlights
-
Currency Focus
-
Kaleidoscope
-
Tech and Science
-
News Picks
-
Yes Teens
-
Fun
-
Budding Writers
-
Campus
-
Glamour
-
News
-
Digital Paper
-
Food drink
-
Majors_Forum
-
Speak Shenzhen
-
Business_Markets
-
Shopping
-
Travel
-
Restaurants
-
Hotels
-
Investment
-
Yearend Review
-
In depth
-
Leisure Highlights
-
Sports
-
World
-
QINGDAO TODAY
-
Entertainment
-
Business
-
Markets
-
Culture
-
China
-
Shenzhen
-
Important news
在线翻译:
szdaily -> People
Photographer captures‘Humans of Shenzhen’
     2015-May-15  08:53    Shenzhen Daily

    Zhang Qian

    zhqcindy@163.com

    “I AM a photographer. I take shots of pedestrians I meet randomly in the street and listen to their stories. I upload and share their pictures and stories online with the interviewees’ consent.”

    This is how Liu Zhenjin, an amateur photographer, starts a conversation with strangers he meets when looking for subjects for his photography project, “Humans of Shenzhen.”

    Liu is in his late 30s and works in a foreign-owned company in Shenzhen. Though he likes to talk to strangers and create instant portraits of them, he is counter-intuitively reluctant to voice his own story.

    His Sina Weibo account, which shares the portraits and stories of people that Liu has met in Shenzhen, has almost 14,000 followers so far. Liu said he was inspired by a photoblog called “Humans of New York” that features street photos and interviews collected in New York City that has been active since November 2010.

    Every portrait is accompanied by a few sentences or a short conversation that convey the subject’s story, thoughts or feelings. Some sentences are humorous and cheering while others are sad or depressing. A quick scan of his Weibo account will leave viewers with a mix of different feelings.

    Liu started collecting pictures and stories of pedestrians during his free time last year and has so far interviewed over 200 people. The interviewees are from all walks of life and live differently from one another, but many of them choose to voice their thoughts to Liu.

    In Liu’s eyes, shooting photos of people is more appealing to him than taking scenic pictures. “Human portraits are more meaningful to me than photos of scenery because humans are the most interesting subjects to observe and study,” said Liu, who spends a lot of time reviewing the pictures he takes.

    By posting the pictures and profiles on Weibo, Liu hopes to create a platform where people can share their stories and feelings while others can learn more about the people they share this huge city with.

    The photographer believes that understanding how people live in a city like Shenzhen can lead to better knowledge of the city itself because a city is comprised of every individual who inhabits it. He also thinks that ordinary people deserve a platform to voice their stories instead of just celebrities or people who have made extraordinary achievements.

    “It would be such a pity if the stories of these people are not heard,” said Liu. “Their lives are the most authentic things happening around us.”

    The first steps, however, always require extra courage and skills, and Liu is no exception. Liu describes himself as shy in front of strangers. The first challenge he encountered was that he needed to start conversations with strangers.

    “To be honest, I enjoy talking with people that I’m familiar with, but it is not easy for me to open myself up to people when I first meet them,” Liu admitted.

    His motivation to record Shenzheners’ lives, however, drives this photographer to be proactive.

    Liu tried many ways of approaching pedestrians, but he gradually found out that directly expressing his intentions gives him a bigger chance of getting into a conversation. So now, he usually starts by greeting passersby and asking if he can take their picture and learn more about them.

    In most cases, people will ask more questions about his motivation and purpose. Liu will then take the chance to explain his project further and show them his Weibo account. In general, people will not reject him when they have seen a few of his posts.

    Among all of the people he has interviewed, Liu has noticed that students in Shenzhen rarely turn him down for an interview.

    “The students are very confident. They are willing to express themselves and share their lives with me, which I appreciate a lot — I appreciate their trusting me,” said Liu. As Liu said himself, trust is the base for his project.

    The dedicated photographer is grateful to all his interviewees who have opened their hearts to him. For Liu, a two-way conversation is what he pursues throughout the interviews.

    “Because of the trust they put in me, I always speak gently and listen patiently to their stories and in return, I tell them my stories as well,” said Liu.

    Liu has learned a lot from talking to unknown people scattered around the city. One thing that made an impression on him was how almost everyone lives in their own world with limited exposure to other ways of living.

    For instance, many single women he has spoken with complain that it is hard to find a good man in these days.

    “It would be very hard for these women to find their true love if they choose to stay in their comfort zone instead of stepping out,” Liu commented.

    The photographer, by the way, has expanded his social circles greatly by actively talking to people. Some have even become good friends with him after the interviews, he said.

    Liu will continue talking with more people and taking more pictures, “because their kindness creates the best memories,” he said.

“To be honest, I enjoy talking with people that I’m familiar with, but it is not easy for me to open myself up to people when I first meet them.”

— Liu Zhenjin

 

深圳报业集团版权所有, 未经授权禁止复制; Copyright 2010, All Rights Reserved.
Shenzhen Daily E-mail:szdaily@szszd.com.cn