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Stanton captures tragic pasts

By Kimmy Manning
On March 27, 2014

A rehashing of tragic pasts, observant comments and inspirational truisms consumes a new art form in New York City these days.

Humans of New York has created a new journalistic photography style. The photographer behind it all is Brandon Stanton.

"With nearly four million followers on social media, HONY now provides a worldwide audience with daily glimpses into the lives of strangers in New York City," according to Stanton's website, HumansOfNewYork.com.

Personally, it's very easy to find yourself scrolling through picture after picture on his Facebook page as you begin to see an exhaustive catalog of authentic individuals. Each person pictured leaves a momentous quote alongside his or her picture. Some quotes are well known because they have value, but some are downright ridiculous:

"After my divorce, I couldn't sleep," said an older-looking fellow standing near his motorcycle. "I tried everything. I ended up going to a skating rink every night, where I'd skate until I was unconscious. I eventually got so good that I turned semi-pro. I was actually all set to tour with Cher as part of her show, but then the bottom fell out of roller skating."

This picture was just posted Wednesday and had raked in over 21,000 likes within an hour on his page.

What makes Stanton's blog different than others is that his stories begin to write themselves, and, with very little wording, you can relate with someone you've never met.

ABC News released a couple pictures from HONY's blog that struck a chord worldwide. One picture had a small blonde crouched against the walls of Grand Central Station. She created a conversation with Stanton as he photographed her,

"I'm dealing with the aftermath of a really horrible breakup," the blonde said.

Stanton replied, "What was so horrible about it?"

"Well, I was engaged," she said. "And now I'm not."

ABC said, "Capturing these intimate moments of pure emotion is the essence of [the] photo project called Humans of New York."

The HONY project has expanded into a book, "Humans of New York," which has become a New York Times bestseller, montaging the best of his city pictures.

Also in the works is "Little Humans of New York," amassing only children from the Big Apple.

When asked by Entertainment Weekly, "How do you think an NYC kid is different from other kids?" Stanton responded:

"I think a lot of New York parents may like to dress their kids up a bit more. But other than that, I think a kid is a kid. One of the great things about kids is that they don't often pretend to be someone they aren't."    

As HONY expands and hopefully reaches other cities, this blog has a little something for everyone, and its fame is just as equivalent to its genuineness. 


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