I noticed that another blogger already used Humans of NY as an example of digital rhetoric they pay attention to each day, but I couldn’t help but post about HONY as well.
I started following HONY on Facebook a few years ago. I would sometimes go on the page and go through 100s of photos, unable to stop. Some people looked ordinary and had extraordinary photos; some looked fairly unusual and led corporate lifestyles. It taught me a great deal about humanity. You never know how much a person has endured, and you most definitely can’t tell on just a surface level.
The photographer behind the campaign, Brandon Stanton, started it for fun, and then it quickly took off. He must have a gift, because he gets strangers to tell their biggest stories. I ultimately ended up ordering his first book for the coffee table, and it was fun to have some of his photos in book form.
HONY is everywhere, with millions of shares on social networks (Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter), but if you haven’t looked at any of his work yet, I would highly recommend taking a visit to the Facebook page: HONY
Here’s one of my favorite photos:
UPDATE: Shannon made a comment on my blog about how she has an irrational fear that she would have nothing to say if she were to meet him. I definitely sympathize with that. I’m not sure I’m unique in a way that’s good for a short story…but I think the point of HONY is to prove that everyone has a story, so I’m sure he’s good at prompting the person he’s photographing. I also occasionally wonder how many of the photos he takes land on social media. Does he sift through them at night and then not post some of them because others are more interesting? I kind of hope not, because that takes some of the allure of HONY away.