Humans of Cincinnati

Humans of Cincinnati

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Jen Rudolph, Founder of Humans of Cincinnati

With all the tragedies hitting headlines and making news, it’s nice to hear something positive.


That’s the idea behind Humans of Cincinnati, a photojournalistic census of the evolving Greater Cincinnati community and the positive changes taking place. “My first photo was of a man dressed in these gorgeously vibrant summer colors,” says Jen Rudolph, founder of Humans of Cincinnati. “I chased him and a friend down the street, because I thought he’d be the perfect first person to interview. I asked him what he thought had changed the most in Cincinnati in the past year, and he began telling me his thoughts on improved race relations.”


Conversations have led Rudolph to explore places she passes every day, but never went inside. “One woman talked about fear, another spoke about her incredible co-workers,” Rudolph recalls of her new experiences and interactions through Humans of Cincinnati. Rudolph grew up in a small town then moved with her parents to Cincinnati when she started high school. “I guess it gave me a unique perspective. I see everyone as a neighbor and like meeting people different from me,” says Rudolph. She then moved away for college. After spending the last decade in New York City, she recently moved back to Cincinnati.


Not only does Rudolph find inspiration for Humans of Cincinnati on a regular basis, she is also a physician. “One of the things medicine has taught me is very simple: People are people,” says Rudolph. “Our egos tell us we are unique, we are this, we are that. Maybe we went to this school, grew up in this neighborhood, or hold this certain job title. But at the end of the day, we really want the same things, we all feel the same insecurities and vulnerabilities, and we all need one another, more than we tend to let on.”


Peter Beard, Rudolph’s friend, had a big impact on this initiative, as did Brandon Stanton’s site, Humans Of New York. “I’ve taken all of the interview photos with my iPhone 5 camera, thus far. I don’t pretend to be a professional photographer,” explains Rudolph, “nor do I think carrying around something elaborate would be all that convenient to my every day life.”


Rudolph utilizes the power of social media platforms to spread the word, especially Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. “It has allowed me to find some incredibly unique stories that on foot that I otherwise wouldn’t have come across,” says Rudolph.


Humans of Cincinnati covers stories ranging from Ron Reblando to restaurants and small business owners. “The bottom line is if I meet you, you inspire me,” says Rudolph. “This might sound ridiculous, but let’s be honest: each of us has an incredible story, has overcome incredible struggles, and every day plays a role in making a difference.”


Photographs can be consumed as an opportunity to live right in the moment and help you reflect on the bigger picture. “Hopefully I’m putting something in people’s newsfeeds that makes them stop and consider the ‘big picture,’” says Rudoph. “Maybe it reminds them they are not alone, encourages them to be honest, open and direct, to reach out to and better know and understand those around them.”


Rudolph had several goals when starting this project. The first was to start a dialogue. Second, was to push herself to get out there everyday and see and do something new. “My current goals have broadened somewhat,” she explains. “I’m presently looking at some partnership opportunities. More information is available in the ‘About’ section of our site, for those interested in more information,” says Rudolph. “There’s a big reason I followed UC President Santa Ono’s lead and started calling this the #HottestCityInAmerica, from week one. This is an incredible city and great things are happening, all around us, everyday. I love this area, and it’s a truly exciting time to be in Cincinnati.”


For more information on Humans of Cincinnati, visit them on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter and Instagram.