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Humans of Zürich – 10 Fountain Portraits by Michael Lamarra

Zürich, Switzerland is host to over 1200 public water fountains with clean, drinkable water. The locals will drink from the tap while on the go, or you can see them fill up their water bottles.

I knew that I wanted to get to know Zürich past its beautiful buildings and lively lake. That is when I remembered what I had heard from a man: That these fountains were the "Facebook" for the Middle Ages. The fountains is where people would come to meet and interact.

I decided to choose ten different fountains around the city and strike up a conversation with people at these fountains. I uncovered some interesting stories and I really felt like I got to know the city a bit better.

Initially, many were surprised at my request for a photograph of them drinking water, but I rarely heard "no". Here are ten of the wonderful citizens and travelers who went along with my Zürich portrait series:

Fred (Zürich) is a hair stylist with a great salon in the city.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Annada and David (Czech Republic) are wandering the city while Annada visits her sister here and David is looking for a job.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Melinda (Zürich) is walking home from her shift at the Teuscher Chocolate Shop around the corner.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Frank (Stuttgart) is visiting a friend in Zürich, but the friend is working during the day. Frank is just exploring the city a bit while waiting.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Heinrich (Zürich) is showing family around the city while they visit him and his wife.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Nate (US) used to live in Zürich for 5 years, but now he is a retired photographer back for a visit.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Franz (Zürich) studies audio engineering and likes Rock, Electronic, House... Anything but Alpine yodeling folk music!

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Bruno (Zürich) works at the Lindt Chocolate Factory as an ERP consultant. He mostly enjoys his work there.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Robin (Glasgow) is on a home holiday visiting family in Zürich.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

Florian and Sanya (Zürich) live and work in the city.

Humans of Zurich - 10 Fountain Portraits

About the Photographer

This is a guest post by Michael Lamarra, a New York based photographer and cinematographer. He was introduced to the camera at age 12 by Philadelphia photographer Mike Allebach who mentored him in composition and lighting. Michael now applies his visual ideas to narrative film and broadcast/documentary where he gets to combine his passion in camera work with his love of travel and documenting of various cultures.

(All photographs are copyright by Michael Lamarra)

Dimitri Burkhard

As the founder, editor, and community manager of Newly Swissed, Dimitri owns the strategic vision. He is passionate about storytelling and is a member of Swiss Travel Communicators.

Dimitri loves discovering new trends and covers architecture, design, start-ups and tourism.


Dimitri Burkhard

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