Humans Of New York, The Book

November 14, 2013

"I really don't have time to talk, these shadows are changing every second."


Creating a phenomenon may seem impossible these days, but for Brandon Stanton it just happened, like a beautiful necessary accident. Stanton moved to NYC to begin a unique project after a classic early 20s story: college, job, job-loss. But Stanton’s original project, a photographic virtual map of the city, eventually morphed into Humans Of New York, a photographic catalogue of those who make up this iconic metropolis. After growing and nurturing a large and devoted fan base as a Facebook page, Stanton expanded to Tumblr, provoking David Karp, the founder of Tumblr, to call HONY his favorite Tumblr blog. His fans are diverse, as are his subjects. With Stanton’s photographs, he quilts together the humanity that sometimes gets disguised by the concrete. And who knew there were so many children in NYC? Brandon Stanton finds them and makes them feel amazing. There are a lot of quality photographers out there, but it takes a special soul to be able to smooth talk New Yorkers into divulging their secrets and hopes. But this gentle young man with a soft deep voice and a t-shirt has won hearts around the city and the world. It is absolutely the combination of photo and caption that has brought about the real and legitimate interest in HONY. Not only that, but he has been able to orchestrate his fan community into generous mass action, like sending a boy to a horse camp and bringing attention to a family in need of funds to adopt their second child. When Stanton was inspired to put together a book, he learned a book of photographs was low on the list for most publishers, but luckily St. Martin’s Press took the chance. This book is more than a collection of bright photographs and smart captions, it is a piece of history.

-Lalé Shafaghi