After losing his job as a bond trader in Chicago, Brandon Stanton moved to New York and started a blog called Humans of New York (HONY) in the summer of 2010. As Stanton recalls:
“HONY resulted from an idea that I had to construct a photographic census of New York City.
I thought it would be really cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of the city’s inhabitants, so I set out to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers and plot their photos on a map. I worked for several months with this goal in mind.
But somewhere along the way, HONY began to take on a much different character.
“I lost my thumb in a freak playground accident when I was five. I was really insecure about it for the longest time, but eventually I just learned to have a sense of humor about it. Love your blog, by the way. I’d give it one-and-a-half thumbs up.”
I started collecting quotes and short stories from the people I met, and began including these snippets alongside the photographs. Taken together, these portraits and captions became the subject of a vibrant blog.”
“I’m not too emotional of a guy. People say I have a good heart, but they’re wrong. I have principles. The heart is a fickle thing. There’s no way I can love everybody. So I’m not even going to try. But I can respect everyone whether I love them or not. And that I try to do.”
The wildly popular site now boasts a Facebook page with almost 4 million fans.
The success has also led to a 304-page hardcover book that instantly became a #1 New York Times bestseller. The book features 400 hundred color photos, including exclusive portraits and stories.