Just like owning an expensive pen doesn’t make one a prolific writer, owning a DSLR doesn’t embellish your skills as a photographer.
Brandon Stanton is no photographer, he’s just a person, like all of us. He is a human who is out there making a difference in everyone’s life by doing what he loves - capturing life. On a casual day, you’d find him roaming around the city of New York, covering every nook and corner carrying his camera and a tape recorder. And if he piques his interest upon you, he’ll come to you and ask for your permission to take a photo of yours. And if you really don’t mind, then he’d ask you some strong personal questions and then publish his article online – on Facebook or Twitter, you name it! The best part is that his book was New York Times bestseller for 28 weeks.
That is Brandon Stanton for you, and his creation:
It was the January of 2015 when I first saw a post by the Humans of New York (HONY) on Facebook. Actually, I was obsessed with this girl at college and was kind of seeing the stuff she likes. Thus, I stumbled upon HONY because she had shared a post.
This particular picture, if I remember correctly, was of a girl gazing through the camera lens and into your soul. There was a tinge of vibrancy in her expression as I saw her face change whilst reading the excerpt:
We were lying in my mom’s bedroom watching TV, and she asked me to get up and turn the lights off in the living room. But I wouldn’t do it because I’m lazy.
I felt okay, just another girl in town. Who doesn’t feel a bit lazy now and then? Just another day in the house, I suppose.
So she got up to do it herself, and she tripped over a Fresh Direct box and broke her arm.
I feel terrible for her. The one thing she didn’t do - break her mother’s hand … and her own heart.
She never left the hospital after that, and she died from her cancer a few weeks later.
Words have the potential to render a picture with a completely new meaning. Initially where I saw a vibrant young girl going to college and enjoying life, I now saw a strong woman who is constantly trying to mend the devastated situation she might be in.
HONY is a spectacular initiative taken by Brandon, who himself went through a mid-life crisis prior to succumbing to his passion for photography and creating this well-renowned social experimenting project. Each picture focuses on any random person off the streets of New York (recently he interviewed President Barrack Obama though), along with a response to a personal question asked.
With over 13 million likes on Facebook, his project is touching hearts all around the world, just like it touched mine. I guess it would be a dream to ever know Mr. Stanton personally but till then I hope to manufacture inspiration for people, just like he does, but in India.
There are 1.3 billion stories to be told!