Humans of New York
Photographer Brandon Stanton captures the spirit of big city living.
Web2Carz Contributing Writer
Published: July 17th, 2012
"The most popular photos seem to be the people with really interesting backstories." -- Brandon Stanton, Humans of New York.
e've all had moments when we're walking around town and see someone or something interesting, and we've either stopped to ask for a photo or later wished we had. Lately, though, Humans of New York is not only taking those pictures, but the stories behind them as well. Brandon Stanton, the man behind the lens, has been documenting both the interesting and the seemingly mundane in New York City, and with the blog's rapidly-growing popularity, we had a few questions about the project.
The pictures Stanton posts are varied; from child to adult to senior citizen, from one person to groups of people, people from every walk of life. So we wondered, what are his favorite sort of people to photograph and what type of person gets the best response?
"Not sure if I have a favorite type of person to photograph," he told us. "I'd say, generally, the most popular photos seem to be the people with really interesting backstories. Often the reception of a photo depends less on the quality of the image than the quality of the story."
As for what he looks for when trying to track down a good story, Stanton says, "I try to keep my criteria as vague as possible, just to keep myself from looking for anything in particular. I tend to say that I photograph 'anything that strikes me.' I feel that keeping an open mind about what I'm looking for helps to keep the blog diverse."
Some photos have stories, but others just have quirky captions; for example, one recently-posted picture of a child wearing a dragon (at least we think it's a dragon) costume is captioned, "BREAKING: Cold-blooded, sharp-toothed, flesh-munching reptiles spotted in Central Park."
As for where he shoots, Stanton says he tends to frequent the same areas, and sees "many of [his subjects] on a regular basis. A lot of times I'll stop for a chat."
The concept is popular enough to have inspired some similar blogs, too. We've seen the likes of "Humans of Chicago" and the grosser "Poops of New York," and while it may seem like a copycat, Stanton prefers to think of them as "spinoffs" rather than a direct ripoff.
"I don't feel like they are ripping me off because almost all of them state pretty clearly that HONY is their inspiration. Some of them are quite good. My aim," he says, "is to focus on HONY, focus on my work, and to not concern myself with what others are doing."
And focus he will.
"I don't see an endpoint at the moment. I'm really enjoying what I'm doing, and at this point I plan on continuing for as long as I have an audience."
With photos getting anywhere from 300 to several thousand comments/notes on the Humans of New York Tumblr, we suspect Stanton will be pretty busy for a while.
All photos courtesy of Humans of New York