A few weeks ago, HONY's facebook page hit 3,000,000 likes. Considering other street photographers' popularity -- well, the number is pretty big.
It's been four years since Brandon Stanton started taking pictures of complete strangers walking about the NY streets. It's been four months since he changed the way in which I used to perceive people I'm meeting every day when walking around my hometown.
When I found Humans of New York, the site's founder had already won a few awards, took some portraits in Boston and Iran, and published his book. However, it was better late than never.
Stanton has not just a talent for taking pictures. Since he started adding captions to his photos, his capability of listening to other people has been revealed. People he meets often open up in front of the camera. Also, some of them answer questions like "If you could give one piece of advice to a large group of people, what would it be?"
Although it's hard to capture one's personality in a few sentences, Brandon seems to know which quotes he should pick and add as captions. These are pieces of advice, memories -- both good and bad, jokes or even poems. All of which are unique. Surprising, sad or amusing, often poignant. These are just a few words that can describe what the photo descriptions are like. People that Stanton photographs and quotes are so different, but they often seem to be like poets by having a way with words. Is it possible that we all have so much to convey?
Despite all the lessons many Humans of New York have taught me, the greatest one came from the page itself. Behind every person you meet there is a story. More or less complex, more or less happy. However, in most (or all) of the cases, definitely worth listening.