A photographer from Northampton is hoping to build up a unique snapshot of the town’s inhabitants through hundreds of intimate portraits.
Dad-of-two Ben Currington launched Humans of Northampton in January and has already spoken to more than 200 people for it.
The project, based on a similar one started in New York in 2010, sees the IT worker engaging in conversations with people across the town before taking photos of them as they go about their daily life.
Mr Currington, of Far Cotton, said he started the project to get better at taking portrait photographs, but now with more than 2,700 page ‘likes’ on Facebook it has snowballed into a study of life in present-day Northampton.
He said: “There wasn’t really a rationale behind this to start with, I just wanted to meet some people and take some photographs really.
“But as I’ve been doing this more I’ve begun to realise the positivity behind it.”
There is something fascinating and wonderful about everybody, sometimes it is just a case of finding it outBen Currington
Mr Currington takes his camera out at weekends and during lunchtimes through the week to various different locations around the town.
His encounters are posted on the Humans of Northampton website and Facebook page with a short extract of conversation between him and his subject.
“I do have a few questions I like to ask, though there isn’t always a plan.
“I often ask ‘who inspires you?’ And ‘what’s the greatest struggle in your life’?”
Since launching the project, Mr Currington, who claims only to be a hobbyist photographer, has encountered some ‘inspiring’ people he says, but he does enjoy the more ‘whimsical’ encounters.
One of his favourites was when he happened to bump into two people he had seen carrying a dining room table over a zebra crossing the day before.
“But some people go a lot deeper into their personal lives,” he added.
“I met a guy at Northampton train station who wasn’t meant to be here, he was re-routed after someone had jumped onto the line.
“We ended up talking for ages about his life.”
Not all Mr Currington’s conversations go as planned and he says he is still ‘getting better’ at talking to people, but the father-of-two is convinced every person in Northampton has a story to tell.
“One of the people I met said inside every grown adult there is a seven-year-old, which looks at the world in astonishment.
“That’s what I am looking for in people when I talk to them and photograph them.
“There is something fascinating and wonderful about everybody, sometimes it is just a case of finding it out.”
To find out more conversations with Northampton folk head to www.humansofnorthampton.com or visit the Facebook page www.facebook.com/northamptonhumans