Portlandia the Show created a wildly creative portrayal of Portland as home of the weird, the wacky, and the way-out-there. A drop down the rabbit hole, where the young come to get pierced and tattooed, and then retire. A community of idealistic, enthusiastic, socially conscious, environmentally obsessed, food crazed, oddly original, perplexingly sheep-like, and strangely compelling individuals.
But the portrayal is satire and extreme exaggeration. It’s wickedly, piercingly funny. And it’s not real.
Reality is rarely so funny. It’s more often blunt, dull, and heart breaking. And occasionally heart warming as well.
A real moment moves the heart, gives pause, connects to something so deep we sometimes forget it’s there. That thread that joins us to everyone else on the planet. Like a silent language, a forgotten existence, a shared understanding, a palpable grief.
Humans of Portland, a photo blog by local photographer, Briana Cerezo, takes us into the lives of Real Portlanders. In compelling portraits and brief snippets of conversation, we encounter another person’s story in the most intimate way. The heart moves.
Why does she do it?
Briana says, “In 2011, on my 31st birthday, I set out on what would be my first photography project: to ask 31 people for their best advice for my upcoming year and take their photo. I called it The 31 Project (http://bit.ly/1fzM6vq). It was a challenge and it had an impact on me, but to be honest, I kind of forgot about it for a while. During the summer of 2013, I discovered Humans of New York. Like so many others, I fell in love with it, though I really didn’t know much about it. I just knew that my love for it went beyond looking at the photos and reading the captions. I wanted to connect authentically with people and create understanding and inspire and be inspired. So I set out in the city with camera in hand and simply began.”
And perhaps not surprisingly, what we encounter are enthusiastic, socially conscious, environmentally obsessed, food crazed, oddly original, perplexingly sheep-like, and strangely compelling individuals. Just like the TV show. But also deeper, kinder, and more truly authentic.
Connect with Briana Cerezo