Wayne State University

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.”