Humans of Nelson leaps from screen to book

What began as an experiment is about to become a book.

The cover of the proposed Humans of Nelson book

What began as an experiment is about to become a book. Humans of Nelson, a project that has been charming legions of followers through Web and Facebook pages, will make the leap to the printed page this fall. A Kickstarter campaign to get the ball rolling launches August 8.

The project has come a long way since photographer Ryan Oakley (seen below) took the first shot, on his lunch break from his job as an engineer with the Ministry of Transportation.

“My heart pounding,” says Oakley. “I was thinking: Don’t do it! You’ll embarrass yourself! And then I thought: What have I got to lose?”

The very first person said no. But the next one said yes, and Humans of Nelson was born. There are now 220-plus captivating images of Nelson folk on the website, humansofnelsonbc.ca, and the Facebook page has been embraced with 5,786 likes.

Oakley was inspired by the Humans of New York project by photographer Brandon Stanton, which in turn has inspired spin-offs in major cities like Amsterdam and Paris. Nelson, thought Oakley, deserved to be in their company.

Oakley looks for interesting, approachable-looking people to photograph and conducts friendly mini-interviews. The results are sometimes telling, often charming commentaries that complement images of people of all ages and from all walks of Nelson life — and even a few dogs.

“A book just seemed the next logical step,” explains Oakley. “There is something about having a book in your hands. And when it’s a book about the people in your town — the interesting, the off-beat, and the regular folks — I think it’s an opportunity to celebrate what it is that makes Nelson … Nelson.”

Oakley is launching a Kickstarter campaign to fund the publishing project, a full colour hardcover photograph book designed by Nelson’s Steven Cretney of The Forest Design. Anne DeGrace, publisher of the photographic coffee table book Nelson, British Columbia, is assisting with the project.

“It’s a great team,” says Oakley. “The book will be beautiful, and a dream come true.”

Contributors to the campaign will receive a signed copy of the book, as well as other rewards based on the level of contribution. The goal is to raise $10,000 by August 23. $1 for every book sold through the campaign will benefit local charities. The book will launch this fall in a multimedia event at the Nelson Civic Theatre.

Just Posted

Nelson firefighter wage negotiations in year six

Firefighting is an essential service, so strikes are illegal

EcoSociety asks city to become 100 per cent renewable

The plan would have Nelson ditch fossil fuels by 2050

Finding support at Community Connect

The 10th annual event offered free services, clothing and food on Saturday

RDCK calls for reversal of Sinixt extinction

The board opposed a land transfer to the Westbank First Nation this week

Nelson city council to update banner policy

Council will revisit the wording of the policy at its December meeting

RDCK holds open house on proposed boat launch

RDCK hosted an open house at Blewett Elementary to discuss plans for a boat launch at Taghum Beach

LVR Bombers volleyball team off to provincials

The senior girls’ squad secured a spot with a win over Trail last week

Winter kicks off in Nelson

Over 30 events are set to celebrate the snowy season

Man pleads guilty to Leafs recycling depot theft

Dezmond Waggoner had been charged with theft over $5,000

Education minister blasts Chilliwack school trustee on gender issues

Fleming calls Neufeld’s behaviour ‘shameful’ and ‘unacceptable’

Most Read