Matt Roberts - Humans of Long Beach
Matt Roberts is an Englishman who packed his bags to start a new life in the United States in 2008. Settling in Long Beach the first thing that struck him on arrival in his new hometown was the diversity of its people. It was something he felt was unique to a city of its size anywhere he'd seen before and was just one of the many reasons he immediately fell in love with the place.
His first purchase after crossing the big pond was a camera to document his new life and it didn't take long for him to realize that people, as opposed to landscapes or architecture, were his favorite subject matter. As a result his newfound hobby quickly developed into jumping on his bicycle, cycling to all corners of the city and snapping whatever, or more importantly whoever caught his eye.
One day Roberts read an article in The LA Times about a man, Brandon Stanton, who had developed a fascinating blog called 'Humans Of New York' and realized that what Stanton was doing, chatting to people, taking their photograph and then re-telling their stories was not too far removed from what he himself was doing in Long Beach. This inspired him to start recording his own experiences and as a result ‘Humans Of Long Beach’ was born.
For the past four and a half years Roberts has been photographing the people of Long Beach and documenting their stories on his blog 'Humans Of Long Beach’. The result, although seeing the light of day only through the medium of a Facebook page, is a fascinating insight into the lives of the people of this fabulous city.
Initially seeing the page simply as a tool for recording his experiences no efforts were made to publicize his work but (very) slowly but surely by word of mouth alone the page started to attract 'likes'. Messages were received from people saying how much they liked the page and suggesting that a book would be a good idea which brings us up to the present day. Four and a half years in with almost ten thousand followers and a book under creation ‘Humans Of Long Beach’ shows no sign of letting up.
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