Once suicidal and depressed, Corey Hudson, a photographer in New Haven, Connecticut has embarked on a personal mission to photograph The Hearts of Strangers. Similar to StoryCorps, Corey spends his time getting to know complete strangers and asks them a series of questions about their life.
I've always been curious to see how this could be done at the local level after seeing the Humans of New York project take off. But Corey's approach is different and remarkable because he dives in deep to ask people those very things that they might often suppress within themselves. That might be due to feeling disconnected from society or unwanted by their family members. By giving people a channel all their own to express themselves, Corey hopes that their stories will inspire others and convince most who read these stories that they are not alone at all.
Project has had a cathartic effect on Corey, who is now clean and sober, is not on any anti-depressant medications and sees every day as a special gift. He feels more connected to society and thanks to a fully funded Kickstarter campaign is set to get on the road to discover strangers all across the US who will talk to him and allow him to photograph them in this intimate manner.
We chatted quickly about the project. Give this is a listen:
Some of the “strangers” Corey has photographed. Remember, their stories can be found here.
Please spend the time watching this interview Corey gave to WTNH's Ann Nyberg:
Can embarking on a personal photography project help you overcome your obstacles and challenges? Brené Brown who wrote “Daring Greatly” explores the power of vulnerability. I highly recommend you read it!
What I find remarkable about Corey is his perseverance to pivot from a lousy situation and find purpose and meaning in his life through photography, writing and sharing stories contributed in large part by strangers. In the video, I tip my hat to Skip Cohen who at Shuttefest presented a fantastic idea to photograph local business owners and celebrate them through blog posts or social media channels. Imagine for a second if you are feeling like nothing is going right in your business or life and you suddenly start to connect with these strangers in such a positive manners. What could happen to your business and you? There is no downside to knowing more people in the world in an intimate and authentic way.
Are you working on a project you would like to share with us? Contact me to tell me more. I'll be in touch with you right away.