Approaching Humans on the streets of Amsterdam and asking them for their photograph and story can be challenging and sometimes even scary. I still remember the first day I went out on the streets. I was not really familiar with my camera and had no idea how I was going to approach people. Over the past year I have received many emails asking me how I go about it. And indeed since that first day I have stopped at least a 1000 humans on the streets, taken their photograph, made them tell me their story. I have tried to explain how it worked but I think if you are really curious you ’d better experience it yourself.

That is why I would like to challenge you to go out in your own neighborhood and do it yourself. Ask a stranger for his/her photograph and story. You can send your photo and story to humansofamsterdam@gmail.com and on the 5th of May I will post 5 of the best portraits in an album on the page. The winners will receive a set of Humans of Amsterdam postcards. In order to participate you don’t need a professional camera. The photo can even be taken with a mobile phone. Neither do you need to be from Amsterdam to participate. Great humans and stories can be found all over the world.

If you need some support, here are some of my (golden) tips:

– Approach people in a friendly way and explain why you would like to take their photograph
– If somebody doesn’t want to be photographed, no hard feelings. Stay kind and don’t take offence, it has nothing to do with you.
– Ask specific questions, that is how the story becomes personal.
– Make use of the environment. Each city has typical characteristics like for example beautiful streets, cool walls etc. all of which you can include in your photographs.

I am looking forward to see your response.

Good luck,
Debra/HOA

More stories?

By buying this book you are directly contributing to the continuation of Humans of Amsterdam.

See more

3/3 “I always wanted to learn how to play basketball so I googled: How to play basketball? in Arabic. I only got English search results so that is when I realized I needed to learn English. Since I only had an education until the age of 9, a lot of basic things like...

2/3 ''My friend told me that my youngest brother got murdered. He got into trouble with a group of criminals in Aleppo and they killed him. I immediately packed my stuff and I went back to Aleppo for the funeral. The next day, after the funeral my father and...

(4/4) "Years later, we found out, through a reconstruction based on stories from different people, that Sadif was seen carrying Enesa through the forest while she was already dead. People had told him to leave her body behind. Sadif had told them that he wouldn’t...