Multimedia artist Claire Bangser created NOLAbeings as a portrait-based story project that marries image and text. Inspired by the Humans of NY project, it stems from the belief that we can all learn from one anothers' stories. Primarily featured on Instagram (and tumblr), Claire meets people in coffee shops, grocery stores, living rooms, sidewalks, and learns something about each individual through a snapshot conversation and image. After discovering and falling in love with the project, editors at NolaVie asked to post a weekly roundup of her most visually and narratively stimulating photos.
"We're all freaks and outcasts, we just embrace our individuality."
"Some of the richest people I know financially are the poorest in friends. And some of the poorest people I know are so damn rich in friends it’s unbelievable."
"What about you?"
“I’m fuckin’ rich. I have a family and a support group here that far exceeds anything that anybody could imagine. I go to the coffee shop - Joe works at the coffee shop - he sees me coming and he knows that I have a certain cup that I like.”
“Two shades of green.”
“Yes, two different shades of green. He’ll dig through the cups to get one of those green cups out. I’m dead serious. And he knows how I like my coffee. And it’s not only me, it’s the other customers as well. It’s because that's who he is. And that’s why people here love him.”
"I like Mardi Gras 'cause I get beads, candy, beads, stuff... animals! And I'm in the color guard and I march like this. The first day that [my brother] had came to parade practice he was looking like our daddy. He was sticking his tongue out!"
"My daughter goes to Howard University - she's actually leaving back for college today for five o’clock. I really want to see her off right now, make sure she’s got everything she needs before she returns. I’m so proud that she is very wise, very well-educated. She’s got a good head on her shoulders and she actually scored a 31 on her ACT the first time she took it as a junior so the scholarships just started rolling in.”
Claire Bangser is a New Orleans-based photographer and filmmaker with a passion for storytelling. She is the creator of NOLAbeings and has produced work for local, national, an international organizations and media since 2009. Highlights include a three-month bike tour storytelling project on the west coast, documentation for a four-month National Geographic Young Explorer’s grant in Turkey, and New Orleans-based digital storytelling projects like Cry You One and BOUDIN: The New Orleans Music Project. Find more of her work at www.clairebangser.com.