Photography major Tom Culver runs 'Humans of Detroit'...

Michigan Radio 91.7 FM (Ann Arbor)

"Why images of strangers make us feel less alone"
by Kate Wells

Tom Culver is a tall, shy-ish 24-year-old with red, hipster sideburns and mustache. Basically, he looks exactly like what he is: a Wayne State University photography student. But when Culver asks random people on Detroit’s streets if he can take their photo, they can be a little suspicious. “A common question I’ll get is if I’m, like, an FBI agent, if I’m a cop, if I work with the newspaper,” Culver says. “And a lot of people are skeptical. And then I’ll have to explain the project, and once I do they’re like, 'oh, of course.'” That project is called “Humans of Detroit,” a photo blog building a growing fan base around daily street photos and thought to be making people feel connected to the strangers they walk by every day. It’s among a landslide of spin-off blogs around the world inspired by “Humans of New York.”