The People of Amsterdam











It’s a pretty universal standard to judge strangers based on their appearance. Our assumptions are shaped by the smallest details, from a person’s vintage jacket to their hypebeast sneakers, their minimalistic outfit to their plentiful piercings. My point is, looks define our assumptions.

Shooting this series was a great opportunity to observe Amsterdam’s diversity. Though the city looks exactly the same no matter which building, canal, or street you photograph, every person looks remarkably different—which is what makes Amsterdam so fascinating. 

To say the least, photographing strangers on the streets was intimidating. I spent a lot of time too scared to even approach people to ask to take their picture! But then my friend, Wen, decided it was time for me to step out of my comfort zone and start approaching strangers. It was incredibly encouraging to discover that people were open to being photographed by me—a random stranger.


By Rina Dokai

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