If you’ve been living under a rock, in a cave or pursuing whatever kind of lifestyle “off the grid” really is, you may have not heard of Brandon Stanton. But if you’re fortunate enough to have eyes in your head and a wifi password, chances are you’ve seen his modern portrayal of our own, colorful species.

"You want a kiss? Five dollars."

“You want a kiss? Five dollars.”

Humans of New York (HONY) is a photography blog featuring unique street portraits of New York City residents. Since his November 2010 startup, financier turned photographer Brandon Stanton has produced over 5,000 portraits of Big Apple inhabitants, all unique as the prints of your fingers.

"I've had a lot of exciting jobs." "What was the most exciting?" 'Well, after Brown vs. The Board of Education, I was responsible for forcing desegregation in eleven Deep South school districts.

“I’ve had a lot of exciting jobs.”
“What was the most exciting?”
‘Well, after Brown vs. The Board of Education, I was responsible for forcing desegregation in eleven Deep South school districts.

Walking the streets of New York City, Stanton captures photos of strangers with a transformative effect unlike the stiffness of ordinary portraiture. Since breaking out his camera onto big city pavement, the photographer has captivated a massive audience with an eye for the remarkable, unusual and beautifully uncommon.

Today in microfashion...

Today in microfashion…

After launching his work on Tumblr, Stanton found quick success developing one of today’s most dedicated online communities HONY has nearly 1.5 million fans on Facebook, over 200,000 followers on Instagram and more than 33,000 on Twitter. Topping off his astounding popularity are the several thousand notes Stanton regularly receives for each Tumblr post.

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“My daughter lives in Pennsylvania. She’s working at a nursing home and studying to be an accountant. She’s my pride and joy.”
“Does she know you’re homeless?”
“No, she’s got enough to worry about. I just tell her that I’m retired.”

 

This photographer never misses a beat. Every age, every ethnicity, every outfit imaginable has been captured to display within Stanton’s means of social media and critically acclaimed recent release, a thick collection of photos bound for sale under the HONY name.

bookcover

Stanton’s book, released this October.

The photos are accompanied by few words, small stories adding depth to an already colorful drawing. Stanton agrees his site has become much storytelling than plain photography with the questions he asks his subjects, the kind of people to give answers as distinctive as their expression in a photograph.

"Do what the fuck you want."

“Do what the fuck you want.”

HONY is fascinating because it is relatable, as Stanton’s work paints pictures of you and I to the photoshopped images of magazines. There’s nothing more assuring than seeing a blue-haired girl with sleeves of tattoos feeling pressured by a mountain of schoolwork, or a 45 year old man who still doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up.

fidget

“I learned the word ‘fidget’ at a very young age.”

Since it’s boom, HONY has tipped the creative pot to result in a number of similar blogs. Good or bad or plain copycatting, Boston’s individuality has found its way to the limelight with Portraits of Boston, a blog ran by a photographer native to our own city. Such familiar backdrop makes setting easy to spot, bringing closer identification to pictures of neighbors, friends or even family. The images of our own urbanites offer insight much like the subjects of Stanton’s work, talk of life’s uncertainty and the beauty of our everyday.

Portraits of Boston: "I’m just practicing. And yes, it’s usually done on horses, but they need rest, too."

Portraits of Boston: “I’m just practicing. And yes, it’s usually done on horses, but they need rest, too.”