Teenage girls portray “Humans of Luxembourg” on Facebook
(MSS) Inspired by a wave of photo blogs on social media, 17-year old Marie Lavis and Vyara Boyadjieva created “Humans of Luxembourg” on Facebook where they have generated almost 2,000 likes for their portraits of the Grand Duchy's inhabitants.
Little over three years ago, photographer Brandon Stanton moved to New York after losing his job trading bonds on the Chicago Board of Trade. He wanted to create a photographic census of the city.
What the young photographer probably hadn't even dared dream of was that “Humans of New York” would amass a collective of over one million followers on social media and inspire professional and amateur photographers alike, including two final year students from the European School of Luxembourg, to portray the humans of their respective cities or countries.
Surprised that no one had come up with the idea before them, Marie Lavis and Vyara Boyadjieva decided to set up Humans of Luxembourg in the beginning of October. Their site quickly gained popularity and the iconic “thumb up” on Facebook, and at time of writing the site counts 1,711 likes.
Vyara had stumbled upon People of Sofia, the capital of her home country Bulgaria, on Facebook. A bit of research revealed that "Humans of New York" was actually the pioneer project, but that didn't matter – the idea was the same: You take a picture of a person and put it on Facebook.
Although the idea may sound simple, approaching strangers in the streets of Luxembourg has proved quite a challenge for the girls. People react very differently to their request of letting them take their portrait and put it on the internet.
“Some know the concept and think it's a great idea,” Marie, who's French said, but also explained how some are very dismissive and rush on when the girls pitch their project to them.
“We have to make people feel comfortable, and to do that you need to believe in yourself and have confidence. It's not always that easy,” Vyara explained. But despite a few small bumps on the road, the girls enjoy the work and feel it's very rewarding.
“It's really like therapy for us,” the girls, who have already received proposals to work together from professionals, agreed.
Marie and Vyara are both leaving for university, so the offers might come in handy, as they are looking for someone to "adopt" the project for when they leave Luxembourg.
- Visit and join the "Humans of Luxembourg" Facebook page