In September of 2010, New York-based photographer Brandon Stanton started a side project he called “Humans of New York,” or HONY. Stanton’s idea was to create a visual catalog of the people living in New York. Photographing strangers he met on the street, Stanton soon began collecting their stories. The project showed a very human side of a city that can sometimes seem full of nameless faces. Since HONY started in 2010, hundreds of other photographers have followed Stanton’s example. There are Humans of Chicago, Humans of Austin, and even recently a Humans of Salt Lake.
So, why start a Humans of St. George (HOSG)? Since I moved here in 2010, I’ve noticed many divisions in St. George, and southern Utah by extension. But when it comes down to it, we’re all just people, and it’s a lot harder to place someone in that “other” category once you know them a little.
The goal of Humans of St. George is to help us see the humanity in each other, especially in those we see as different from ourselves. Project subjects are generally met on the streets of St. George and always asked the same five questions. “How did you end up in St. George (and/or) what has kept you here?” “Where do you fit in in St. George?” “How would you describe your personal sense of style?” (Can go deeper than clothing.) “How would you describe St. George to someone who has never been here?” “If you could have one wish for the St. George area, what would it be?”
Mathew J. Pectol
“My family moved to St. George when I was 9 years old to live with my grandparents when my dad passed away from cancer. After my dad passed, my mom bought a home, and we never left.
I think I fit-in the most hanging around local coffee shops and meeting new people. I spend a lot of time creating art, and St. George is an amazing town to live in for inspiration.
My style is casual, both in my clothes and personality. But I do collect sweaters, hats, and my worn-out Vans.
St. George needs a nightlife, better bars, and a rock-climbing gym. Oh yeah, and less churches!”