Humans of New York
Oct 14 2014
Before I even begin this post, I just have to say that I am in absolute awe and cannot believe I have never come across this book (or website, or Instagram, etc.) before. However, I am equally thrilled that I finally found it. This is one of the most interesting things I’ve seen in a very long time, and I’m very excited to share it with anyone else who has not heard of it yet. So, here we go..Humans of New York.
“He was representing my best friend’s ex-husband in a trial, and I marched into his office to inform him that his client was a lying scumbag.”
Humans of New York is a trail of photographs and stories about people all over the city – and it’s absolutely fascinating. There’s a quick intro by the artist on his website, so I’ll just let him (Brandon) introduce everything:
“My name is Brandon, and I began Humans of New York in the summer of 2010. I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of New York City’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind, but somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character. I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog. With over eight million followers on social media, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City. It has also become a #1 NYT bestselling book. It’s been quite a ride so far. Feel free to follow along.”
This is the type of thing I could get caught up in for hours and hours. It’s nothing short of fascinating – that’s the one word that keeps coming to mind when trying to explain this. The pictures alone are wonderful, but the “snippets,” as Brandon calls them, that accompany the photos are outstanding. It adds the “Oh wow” or the “Holy shit” reaction to the photograph (like the one above). Or just tears, which happened to me with the one below.
“Before he was born, so much of my life was about moving forward. I was always looking toward the next house, the next car, the next job. Having a child with special needs really made me slow down and examine my definition of success. It also opened my eyes to how many people around me were willing to help.”
“After being strong for so long, there was a moment when my wife finally broke down. And that was very difficult for me to see.”
“After months of coming home from work every day, kissing him on the cheek, and telling him I loved him – one day he said it back.”
There’s a video on Brandon’s website where you can meet him and see just a bit of what his life is like and what his photo-taking entails (see it here). At one point during the video, he says, “So much that walks by me inspires me.” And that says it all.
In a world where people are so consumed by themselves, their stupid phones, their own issues..it’s very rare that people LOOK UP..and realize what’s going on around them. There are unbelievable people and stories all over this city..and everywhere..and Brandon captures what everyone is missing. Again – it’s simply fascinating. (I sat on the website and Instagram page last night for hours).
“I never know how she learns things. I made her eat a sandwich, and she told me, “I don’t want to eat.” I said, “Well, you need to eat.” Then she said, “If I eat, can I play later?” And I thought..did she just bargain with me? How did she learn to bargain?”
“Thanks to everyone who sent in pics of little humans with Little Humans, This one gave me the biggest smile…”
Take a look at Brandon’s work whenever you have a chance, and make sure it’s a time when you can spare at least an hour. You will be hooked immediately. Trust me.
You can also buy Brandon’s book here. (And his Little Humans book, too)! I’m adding them both to my coffee table collection immediately.