365 Strangers

What started out as a high school project during Marie Eriel Hobro’s sophomore year of high school  in Hawaii evolved into something much bigger. In 2011 she was given an assignment that forced her to photograph random strangers on the street. After her photo teacher, Keith Sasada, introduced Hobro to street photography and portraits, she became inspired to do the same. She photographed and interviewed everyone from the biker gangs of Haleiwa, to the homeless that roamed the streets of Wahiawa. She documented the Filipino culture and the eccentric fashionistas of Waikiki.

“I don’t think I’ll ever stop doing this project,” she says. There’s not a day that I haven’t left my house without my camera and my strangers notebook to write all of their advice in.” Her hobby eventually grew into the 365 Strangers Project, which she has been doing for over 5 years now.

Hobro, a Brooks student, confides, “Despite all the hiatuses I take, I’ll continue to do this project until I die. The incredible people I’ve met through this project have changed my life in these past 5 years through the short amount of time I’m able to spend with them. I meet them during times when I need to hear their advice most, and I truly hope that I’ve been able to impact them in the same ways that they impact me. It always enticed me as to how many stories lie within the people we walk by each day. The relationships that I’ve created will always keep me going. This project has helped me find my passion for giving voices to those that normally go unheard, and sharing the beautiful stories that every stranger on the street has to offer.”

Marie Eriel Hobro is one of the national silver medal portfolio winners for the 2013 Scholastic Art Competition with her 365 Strangers Project. Her piece also won a gold medal for the 2013 Regional Scholastic Art Competition, and placed second in the Hawaii Congressional Art Competition in 2013.