Sunday 20 April 2014

Humans of New York

Have you guys heard of Humans of New York? You must have, it's huge. It's a blog created by photographer Brandon Stanton in 2010, where he documents the people of NYC. He takes a picture, and either gets a quote or a short story from the people he meets. The picture and the quote go on his blog, and the result is pure magic. It gives you a glimpse into the life of a fellow human being. Some are funny, some are sad, and some are heartbreaking.  

"I wasn’t lucky enough to have ever found what I wanted to do. Don’t get me wrong— I did nicely. But I never found my passion." (source)

There are many, many things I love about Brandon's project. One of them is how he started out. 
Brandon used to be a bond trader, and started photography as a hobby on weekends. When he lost his job in 2010, he decided to take up photography full-time. He had no formal training or experience, but figured the best way to get some was to start taking pictures. 
He had started out in Chicago, but decided to tour some major cities, and went to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia - and then New York.
In the beginning he uploaded the photos to his personal Facebook account.
When Brandon arrived in New York, the sheer mass of people inspired him to call his photo album: 
Humans of New York.

These two were acting like complete teenagers. When I walked up, she was nuzzling her head against his shoulder. She giggled the entire time I talked with them, while he kept a big goofy grin on his face. And whenever I asked about their relationship, she clutched his arm, looked at him just like this, giggled, then said: “We’re not telling!” (source)

Like I mentioned before, the blog is huge. It has millions of followers, the book is a bestseller, and Brandon keeps going strong. His mix of portait and story is so special and moving, you can't wait for the next one. 
It never gets boring, because we are all so different and everybody has a different story to tell.

I regard these as life lessons - especially when older people are featured, some of the things they say are so profound and thought-provoking.

"I dealt with people all my life, and now I’m burnt out. I just like to be alone. It’s more comfortable." (source)

Brandon's success story is so inspiring to me. He figured out his passion, and then he went for it.
He didn't know if it would work out; he didn't have a plan for money; but he took a leap of faith and did what he loved. 
I know it is rare that someone gets as successful as he did. But you know what? It's possible. 

I think about this a lot - why some people succeed while others fail. I don't really have the answer. 
But I think passion and commitment are both essential. You have to be willing to commit 100% and go all the way. Of course, talent, exuberance and luck don't hurt either. 

I guess what I'm trying to say is this: Our world is big and full of opportunities. Once we figure out what it is that makes us happy, there is a way to make it happen. It may not be obvious or easy, but it is there.
Because in the end, don't we all want to be like this guy:

"I’m happier than a pig in shit." (source)
Happy Easter Sunday!!
I wish you all happiness, fun with friends and family, and lots of chocolate.

Love, Miriam

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  1. Humans of New York is amazing...most of them in some way make me want to cry :) Happy Easter!

  2. I have heard of this blog but I had not checked it out. You have inspired me to do so now though. Brandon has a special gift to capture personality and spirit in a photo and a few words.

    Thanks for sharing! Happy (belated) Easter!


  3. Well that last guy is my fave! HAHAHA! I love that saying!

  4. I LOVE Humans of NY! (I also love NY, maybe this love is related? ha) It was such a simple idea too. I always wonder if the people sign disclaimers as to who owns the rights to the images etc? But yes the message behind this post is so important. And I guess too, the fact that it doesn't have to take losing your job to follow your passion and just DO.

  5. What a grand idea, and so inspiring! I was completely unaware of this, and I just love it. Thanks for sharing, lovely.


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