My sister Alden just introduced me to photographer Brandon Stanton’s amazing portrait project called “Humans of New York.” Brandon started taking portraits of strangers on the streets of NYC back in 2010 and now has over 5,000 portraits, each accompanied by a comment or quote from the interaction. His portraits are great and full of life, but his words are really what drew me in. Below is Brandon’s description of how he got into this project:
“Hey there. I’m Brandon. I get really passionate about things. At some time in my life, I’ve been obsessed or borderline-obsessed with saltwater aquariums, the baritone euphonium, Barack Obama, reading, piano, filming, financial markets, New York City, and photography. I was once arrested for taking photographs inside Gianni Versace’s South Beach mansion. It was 3 AM. I was super drunk. I studied History at the University of Georgia. During my senior year of college, I took out $3,000 in student loans and bet it on Barack Obama to win the presidency. A friend heard about this bet and got me a job trading bonds on the Chicago Board of Trade. I traded for three years. It went really well for awhile. But then it went really bad. Whoops. After I lost my trading job, I decided to move to New York City and take portraits of strangers on the street. Mom wasn’t too happy about that decision, but so far it’s gone pretty well. I’ve taken nearly 5,000 portraits and written 50 stories. And I’ve met some amazing people along the way.”
Below are some of my favorites:
Entrepreneurial twin sisters set up a handmade jewelry stand at Union Square. They look cute now, but wait until it’s time to split the money and one of them decides she did the most work.
He sent me a follow-up email to clarify that the haircut is known as a “cheerio bowl.” — at East Village.
Guy on the far right decided he’d try a pet first and see how that goes…
His friends said: “Make sure everyone knows that he tells underage kids where they can get their nipples pierced.”
“I love her sensitivity and civilization. I grew up in the Tasmania region of Australia. Back then, it was a very primitive place. She really showed me how to be cultured.”
“Just to let you know, I’m out here promoting my company. I know you wanted my photo because you thought I was a grown ass man sitting around with a puppet.”
Rackk and Ruin