It has been a whirlwind few years for photographer Brandon Stanton.
Since the publication of his hugely popular book Humans Of New York in 2013- which in turn was spawned by his successful photography blog of the same name- Stanton has interviewed and photographed thousands of people on the streets of New York City. He has also travelled to twelve different countries (in collaboration with the United Nations), met with President Barack Obama in the Oval Office, and been named as one of Time magazine’s thirty most influential people on the internet.
But how did it all begin? How did one seemingly regular guy achieve so much in a relatively short period of time? Simply by taking photographs of the various people he came across, learning a little bit about them, and publishing his work on his blog. While it is a simple concept, Stanton’s blog has reached millions of people across the world. Not one to shy away from unusual-looking individuals, Stanton manages to capture the very essence of his subjects, and his audience has come to appreciate his eye-catching portraiture work. They have also grown to love reading the sometimes funny, often heartfelt stories of the people he has chosen to photograph, which is partially the reason for this accompanying book to the original.
Following in the footsteps of his first book, Humans Of New York Stories focuses more on the personal stories and snappy quotes of Stanton’s real-life models. Featuring just as many photographs as the original, this book takes the concept one step further, however, by including a lot more text. Personal stories about love, war and illness are interspersed with reflections, nostalgia and cheekiness. Stories are told by the young and old, the spritely and the wizened, the weak and the strong. There are stories of heartache, triumph, childhood experiences and depression. And all are accompanied by a photograph (or two) of the person sharing their experience.
This book shows that physical appearance is no barrier to the universal struggles that everybody faces at some point in their life. Seeing the photos of these people, alongside their stories, really brings home this theme. Stanton’s newest offering is both engaging and sincere, with brilliant photographs and touching words. If you enjoyed Humans Of New York, you won’t be able to go past this one.