"I thought it would be interesting. I didn’t know it would be that big that fast," said Atown photographer and Humans of Ashland administrator Tim Black. "People just responded."
Respond they did, and continue to do. The Humans of Ashland page continues to gain followers by what seems to be leaps and bounds. And any given post can rack up 300-500 "likes" in just a matter of hours.
Black copied the idea from the famed Humans of New York Facebook page, which posts pictures of random New Yorkers with a brief caption of their particular "story."
"I thought it would be something positive and fun for the community," said Black.
The page kicked off by featuring Ashland Firefighter Chris Schmidt, comfortably posed in front of one of the fire department's bright red engines.
Chris's story simply reads, "I was born and raised in Ashland. I want to protect our people."
With that one has what seems to be more than just an introduction to a random stranger. He has a deeper and more vital connection to a neighbor and fellow community member.
Black says that there may be one advantage that the small town manifestation may have over the Big Apple's page. He said that he and his team of photographers can tag many of those who were caught on camera.
"We list the first names and tag them where possible. Most of the people I already know and interact with. That's not something you can do in a big city," he said.
Emmons picture was a virtual skyrocket, receiving over 1,100 thumbs up, +100 comments, and 25 shares in just one day.
Ashland Facebookers raved over his tale of victory:
"To battle cancer and overcome it, I just now finally got my last check-up. I'm now cancer free. I now only have to check up every 6-months, instead of every 3-months. I had huge support from the community, employees and my family. Without them I couldn't have done it. I went through two rounds of chemo and been through two surgeries; the first one was a nightmare. But we're going to beat the odds."
"We want to meet and expose people from the community with different social and economic backgrounds. We want to get a good cross section of the town."
Currently Black has a team of two others photographers who work with him. They are looking to have confirmations from at least two more for their HoA venture. But right now Black's team consists of Patrick Sprague, who runs Uniontown Media, and Isaac Coffy, who heads up Coffy Creations.
"We do not put credits on the shots. We want it to be about the people of our community and highlight what they are all about."
Part of the draw of the page, of course, lies in the fact that the next post resides purely in the fickle desires of the camera holders. The photographers are not looking to stage pics or take any prior arranged photo ops.
Black says that his subjects are simply those random people who happen to be around him when he has a camera in his hand.