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NOLA Beings: Capturing the Humanity of New Orleans

NEW ORLEANS (WGNO) - Have you ever heard of the website Humans of New York?  A photographer takes photos of New Yorkers coupled with inspiring, life-changing and sometimes heartbreaking commentary from the people photographed.  A New Orleans woman is doing the same thing here and it’s becoming a phenomenon.  News With A Twist reporter Deepak Saini met up with the photographer on a day out on the street.

They say the eyes are the window to the soul.  If you look deep enough, you can see their truth.

“I’m really fascinated by the stories of people all around me and that’s something that’s been with me my whole life,” says Claire Bangser.

The human spirit captured in a single click.  Claire Bangser takes photos of people she meets around New Orleans and asks them questions about their life.  She compiles their photo along with a moving quote from their conversation on her website, www.nolabeings.com

“Sometimes I want to take a whole body shot because the person has a cool outfit on or they’re riding a bike or something, and other times I’m like, ‘Oh, I just want your face full-screen. You’ve got these mesmerizing eyes,'” says Bangser.

What if Claire walked right by a man named Devin.  She would never have learned that a man delivering the mail is also a veteran who made a decision to join the military after barely surviving Hurricane Katrina.

“I gave all my food and water to my great grandma and we had a pregnant lady from Philadelphia. Everyday I gave my great grandma my food and water and the pregnant lady my food and water. She was 8-9 months pregnant and I kept doing it every day. Would not eat, just give it to them til one day I just passed out,” says Devin.

Darlene has had a tough life.  She’s struggling to find a job and is trying to be a good example to her niece and nephew.

“I’m just proud of my life even though it hasn’t turned out to what I want it to be, but I’m still in a good place you know what I’m saying. I’m not homeless, I’m not broke, I’m with my family,” says Darlene.

It’s amazing how in just a few moments you can go from being strangers to friends.