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A Picture Book for Adults

posted Mar 26, 2014, 5:24 PM by Unknown user   [ updated May 12, 2014, 8:31 AM by Unknown user ]
Michelle Flanagan

In 2010, Brandon Stanton lost his job as a bond trader, and in 2013 he published a book. Entitled Humans of New York, this book is a paper version of his blog, which shares the same title.

What began as a journey through several cities snapping candid shots of people on streets turned into a career for Stanton. Originally planning to spend only a week in New York City, he stayed for the rest of that summer and decided to move there permanently in November 2010, only 10 month

s after he

had lost his job as a bond trader.

Stanton’s original plan was to take photos of people in every neighborhood in the city, and create an interactive map with these portraits. His vision 

was that any person could click on a neighborhood and scroll through the faces of those who lived there.

As many things do, however, this dream changed. Instead of just taking a stranger’s picture and continuing down the sidewalk, Stanton began to ask them a question or two about their life. By posting both the portrait and the piece of their story onto social media sites such as Tumblr and Facebook, Humans of New York exploded.

After walking thousands of miles around the city that never sleeps, and collecting three years of photographic evidence, Stanton has
compiled over 400 of his favorite stories and photos into one book.

Stanton continues to add to his collection. I follow the blog on both Facebook and Tumblr, and see multiple new pieces each day; however, the boo

k feels more personal. Whether it’s the breathtaking two-page spreads or a colorful collage of pictures and words on a page, there’s something about ink and paper that adds a whole new quality to this project.

The stories of these people made me laugh, cry, and feel inspired to do something bigger with my life. It reinforces the knowledge that someone’s outer appearance is not all of who they are, and it lends strength with the assurance that we are no

t alone in the struggles or the joys we are facing.

Humans of New York is a fascinating look at our world, and the people in it. I wholeheartedly recommend following the blog and making the purchase!