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Photojournalist showcases diversity in SA through 'Humans of San Antonio'

SAN ANTONIO – One flip through the “Humans of San Antonio” book and you just might recognize a familiar face. Using photographs to tell stories of the people of San Antonio is what inspired local photojournalist Michael Cirlos to begin the project back in 2012.

Four years after taking his first photo, he now has a book and a new public outdoor gallery under his belt.

“There’s just so much going on downtown. This is sort of where everyone is meeting,” Cirlos said.

Approaching strangers and asking for their photos is part of the process. But Cirlos explains it wasn’t always easy. “It was a lot of failure in the beginning, that’s for sure and I made a lot of people feel uncomfortable in the beginning,” Cirlos said.

Sticking with what he calls a passion project eventually helped capture hundreds of photos and the attention of Trinity University, which later published his book.

While there is no specific process for street photography, keeping his eyes open to his surroundings and the faces around the city is what helped Cirlos capture some of his best work.

“I would just walk down the streets and if I saw a scene that came together in an interesting way, I would photograph it,” Cirlos said. “I was looking for people who could tell me a story or who were open to telling me a story about themselves.”

Each of those faces are what helped put together “Humans of San Antonio,” a book created to showcase the city’s diversity and individuality through a collection of more than 200 photographs.

“My advice would be to never give up. You’re gonna have a lot of ups and downs but if you stay with it, people will appreciate that and good things will happen.”

Cirlos is just one of several authors who will be at the San Antonio Book Festival on April 6. The event is free to attend and open to the public.

The outdoor gallery can be found in Peacock Alley, in between Broadway and Jefferson Street.


About the Authors: