Humans of New York Founder Brandon Stanton Comes to Denton

We all have that moment, whether it is driving our car, walking down the street, even going through the same old day to day routine, where we have that same epiphany: the world is much larger than ourselves. Even as I sit here typing, millions of individuals are going through their own stress, their own job struggles, their own life struggles. We all have unique perspectives of where we are in our lives, a way of handling and overcoming obstacles, and an opinion on whether the cup is half full or half empty.

This is the big picture that Brandon Stanton draws our awareness to in his photo project “Humans of New York.” It’s not just about photos, not as simple as faces on film, it take us past the superficial exterior and into the darkest and lightest part of the souls behind the eyes that stare back at us. As you scroll through the different photos of people from all around the world, learning a little about each one along the way, you begin to realize that the time you spent worrying about fitting in, or being cool, getting that perfect score, or making the most money is in itself only temporarily emotionally valuable. It isn’t something tangible, love, joy, desperation isn’t something you can roll across your palm. Wealth is only paper, something solid that you can hold and watch disappear. The photos bring our focus to the unseen and intangible human emotion, the beauty that is in the vulnerability of allowing your own emotions to be ignited by the ability to let your flame be lit by another.

What began as a mission to photograph 10,000 New Yorkers transformed into something deeper for Stanton. Instead of just cataloging the diversity of the city through simple snapshots, he began to interview them. Why let just a picture say a thousand words, when the person in the picture has a voice of their own they can and want to share. The photos and included quotes and short stories has turned into a blog that touches the lives of millions of people everyday. Not simply the ones in the photographs, but the the lives of people scrolling through each page, moving from series to series, country to country, looking for an answer, a connection, someone who understands what they maybe going through, someone who they can relate too, someone who understands.  

Stanton didn’t just create visual entertainment, something for us to scroll past and acknowledge with a simple “like”, he opened our eyes to every crevice of the world. He popped the tiny bubbles of security and routine that we live in, and connected us across the world through the power of human emotion. Stanton takes the stage of the UNT Coliseum on Wednesday September 27th beginning  at 7:00 PM. Check out Facebook for more info.

Header image design by Jason Lee