Photo project highlights dynamic people of Detroit

DETROIT (WXYZ) - The striking images taken by photographer Noah Stephens are meant to put dynamic Detroiters on display.

Stephens also writes an essay on each person and tells their stories. "You would be surprised by the stories they tell," said Stephens.

From the pharmaceutical representative to a book store owner, Stephens is intrigued by the positive people who call the city their home.  The pictures are part of a media project called "The People of Detroit."

"The purpose of it is to show people another side of life in the city that they may not otherwise be privy to,"  said Stephens.  "And in doing so, hopefully, drive directed investment and residency."

He started the project in 2010 after seeing a national TV program portraying Detroit in a negative way.  Since then his website has gotten a lot of attention.

"Media has the power to influence how people think about places.  The whole purpose of the project is to help reform some of the ways people may think about Detroit," said Stephens.  "What they think about who lives here may not necessarily be the reality. I want to introduce them to a different reality."

A company in China was so impressed with his eye for art, they hired the photographer for an advertising campaign in 2011.

While Stephens is happy to be recognized for his talent, he truly enjoys honing his craft in his hometown.

 "There's a lot of interesting people that you just encounter on an everyday basis. That's what I love about it,"  said Stephens.

 The project will be showcased at Eastern Market from 5 p.m. - 8 p.m. Thursday.  He is currently looking for more corporate sponsorship to continue showcasing remarkable residents.

To see the pictures go to thepeopleofdetroit.com .

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