What Does Brandon 'Humans of New York' Stanton's Popularity Signify?

Hindustan Times (New Delhi, India), September 14, 2014 | Go to article overview

What Does Brandon 'Humans of New York' Stanton's Popularity Signify?


New Delhi, Sept. 14 -- It's not commonplace that an independent writer-photographer lands up in Delhi's Connaught Place (CP) and a large crowd gathers to meet and listen to him.

Thus, needless to say, Brandon Stanton's -the man behind the popular Humans of New York (HONY) project-escapade at CP on Friday evening leaves us with much to ponder upon.

Firstly, Stanton's popularity signifies that we love to hear a good story-a story which moves us, a character that stays with us. We want, at the bottom of our hearts, to see a good photograph, something which lies buried in our minds forever. Stories needn't be sensationalised or sexually provocative, nor need they be about superheroes. They needn't be sycophantic about the rich and famous, or pitiful towards the poor. Stanton shows the world that stories about the common man, whom you meet every day on the street, can also be attractive and well-received, provided they are straight from the storyteller's heart.

As one browses through the more than 6000 photographs put up thus far by Stanton on the HONY Facebook page what strikes most is the unbridled emotion of his subject that's captured by Stanton. The entries-- vignettes of a conversation and portrait photograph-provide a window to assess how intimately strangers must have opened up to this random guy with a camera and shared touching anecdotes about their lives.

Post by Humans of New York.

Stanton's HONY perhaps signifies that rather than bludgeoning the subject with a microphone and camera to get a quote, a practice quite prevalent in the media, what really brings out a memorable story is a long heartfelt conversation. Empathy is perhaps what sets Brandon Stanton apart when perceived as a journalist, and his sense of realism is perhaps what's unique in the artist called Brandon Stanton.

Secondly, Stanton's work is unique and fun because of its freshness. Neither does he use doctoral thesis kind of text, nor does he shoot with a fisheye lens or process images in the HDR. …

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