If anyone has been feeling down lately; be it a slump in clients or feeling like you’ve hit a creative dead-end, I recommend watching this short video.
I was first directed to Brandon Stanton’s Facebook page in 2012 by my friend Jacqui while I was waiting for another friend at a bar. At this point in my life, I had already been a “Human of New York” myself. I had recently relocated to Philadelphia from New York City, but I hadn’t heard of Stanton or what he had set out to accomplish. Scrolling through my iPhone that evening, I realized how many individuals I waltzed on the streets of New York, uninterested in the fact that each of these passersby had stories to tell.
Brandon Stanton is a photographer with a clear vision. The genuine connection he establishes with his subjects is inspiring to me. I recently purchased the Humans Of New York book, published by St. Martin Press. Just like on Facebook, I am reminded of my home with each turn of the page. “Oh! I’ve totally seen that guy in Times Square,” “I definitely know what that woman means!” etc. Anyone is game to stand in front of his camera: Stanton has photographed toddlers, the elderly, the homeless, and the wealthy. His efforts have given the world a true cross-section of what it’s like to live in New York.
Stanton moved to New York City in 2010 with no money and no job, but he had his camera; and he had the streets of New York. On a daily basis he would approach someone in New York and connect with them. Not only was he taking their picture, but he genuinely cares about who they are, where they came from, and what they are feeling. Initially, Mr. Stanton intended on creating a “photographic census” of the City that never sleeps. His vision was to attach each photograph to a map of New York City, an interactive experience which would allow users to really “see” into their own neighborhoods. Frustrated with the lack of exposure, Stanton turned to Facebook Pages (which was in its infancy at this point). The Facebook platform allowed a direct link to the socially-connected world. As of today, the “Humans of New York” Facebook page has over 2.9 million likes.
I urge everyone to take a look at Humans of New York––especially if you have spent time in the city. It will undoubtedly inspire you.
Humans of New York is available on Amazon.com for as low as $15.88 (if you’re a Prime member).