Insights from Photographer Behind ‘Humans of New York’ Phenomenon

Brandon Stanton has made a name for himself in the world of photography after creating a street photography project titled “Humans of New York.” The project entails Stanton walking the streets of New York City and finding interesting people to photograph. But the project doesn’t just stop at taking a snapshot, Stanton takes his time to get to know his subject by asking simple questions such as, “Where are you going?” and “What was the happiest moment of your life?” The project has given Stanton a different perspective of the city and, in the TED talk below, he shares some of his coveted insight. Take a look:

One thing Stanton has learned throughout his project is that media tends to flock around the most extravagant characters at big news events. He says that he consistently observes photographers crowded around the same individual, meanwhile many other interesting characters go unnoticed. This has taught Stanton to not just focus on the extreme, but also get to know the less outgoing people.
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“There’s something about people’s perception of reality, in New york specifically, that was different than what I was experiencing on the streets. I was wondering what it was that caused those perceptions to be so different. Then one night I happened to catch a local news story and all I was seeing was stories of violence and rape and murder.”

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