Humans of New York

Opinions, Social Media Posted Oct 30, 2014 by Kayla Krause

This past weekend I bought a book called Humans of New York. Some of you may be familiar with the concept and blog started by a photographer named Brandon Stanton. I had heard of it and seen posts on social media but had never really looked into what the blog was all about. So there I was, on a Saturday afternoon in a local bookstore, reading this book nearly in tears.

HONY 5You see, Brandon takes photos of people every day throughout the melting pot of New York City. As a project that he started simply to take photos of people and label them according to each borough, his Humans of New York project soon took a turn. He began asking the people he was photographing questions about their appearance or where they came from, etc. Brandon would add these quotes and snippets alongside of their portrait, giving the blog more character and meaning behind just the photo.

Humans of New York is updated on a daily basis – posted on its Tumblr blog, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram – giving it worldwide access. Anybody and everybody can view these photos and stories of everyday people like you and me. And that’s what I love about this blog. It’s not posting photos of celebrities and famous people typically in the public eye. Humans of New York depicts the everyday life of people we pass by on the street.

Everyone has a story; some are incredibly motivating and uplifting, while others are sad and make you tear up (like I did a few days ago). That’s why I think this blog is something that everyone should take a look at—if only once. It shows you people you can relate to or feel for or inspire you, whether you live in New York, Boston, Chicago, Milwaukee or Alaska, they’re everyday people just like us.

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In a society where we are often judged quickly, people tend to critique others based upon appearance. This blog challenges that impulse. It shows that everybody has a meaning; everybody has a past; everybody has experienced something that we can’t see just by looking at them. The photograph will grab your attention, but the quotation and story next to it will keep you reading the blog.

Too often people are dismissed because of what they’re wearing or how they look. Humans of New York proves the old adage: it’s what’s on the inside that counts.