Humans of New York

Humans of New York

[View Related Sub-entries]

Updated Aug 12, 2015 at 01:23AM EDT by Brad.

Added Jul 09, 2013 at 02:28PM EDT by amanda b..

PROTIP: Press 'i' to view the image gallery, 'v' to view the video gallery, or 'r' to view a random entry.

This submission is currently being researched & evaluated!

You can help confirm this entry by contributing facts, media, and other evidence of notability and mutation.


Humans of New York[1] is a photography blog run by Brandon Stanton, a self-taught photographer who shares portraits of people he meets on the streets of New York City along with a snippet of the conversation he has with them.

Online History

After purchasing a semi-professional camera in 2010[2], Brandon Stanton began photographing portraits of people in downtown Chicago, where he worked trading bonds on the Chicago Board of Trade.[3] After losing his job that July, Stanton began touring the United States, taking photos in New Orleans, Pittsburgh and Philadelphia. He shot more than 1,000 photos per day and uploaded 30-40 of them to a personal Facebook photo album. He began to focus more on taking candid portraits by the time he had reached New York City in August 2010, which were collected in Facebook albums titled Humans of New York. After uploading three Facebook photo albums worth of portraits, Stanton decided to move to New York with the intent of photographing 10,000 people to create an interactive map as an unofficial census of the city. On December 4th, 2010, he began sharing his photo essays to the Tumblr blog named after his Facebook albums, Humans of New York[4], about various events he saw around New York, including a street fight (shown below) and a man talking to pigeons.

5 PARK I was taking portraits in Chinatown when I noticed an agitated shirtless man in the middle of the street. He was screaming, pacing, and flexing his muscles.I approached him for a portrait, but stopped short when I noticed three other men approaching. Then this happened...

On January 13th, 2011, Stanton launched the Humans of New York Facebook fan page[5] and three days later, posted the first portrait to be paired with a piece of conversation that took place with the subject of the photograph.[6] By March 2nd, the blog had accrued more than 1,400 photos and saw its first press mentions in the local NYC blogs EV Grieve[7] and Gothamist.[8] In the following weeks of March, Humans of New York was also featured on The Village Voice[9], The Huffington Post,[10] New York Post[11] as well as The Associated Press (shown below).

In May 2012, Humans of New York was featured on the Wall Street Journal.[12] Three months later, New York Magazine[13] partnered with Tumblr’s now defunct editorial team Storyboard[13] for a video profile (shown below) on Stanton and his blog. Also in August 2012, images from Humans of New York were featured on Vogue[15] and My Modern Met.[16] Beginning in February 2013, Stanton partnered with Vogue for an exclusive project during the New York Fashion Week[17] as well as street punks[18] to coincide with that year’s punk-themed Met Gala. On May 20th, Stanton participated in an Ask Me Anything thread on Reddit, which gained 8,023 upvotes, 1,954 points overall and 1,249 comments prior to being archived. In May 2013, 21 photos from Humans of New York were featured on Twisted Sifter.[19] As of July 2012, Humans of New York has more than a million followers, accrued more than 905,000 Facebook fans and gained more than 27,000 followers on Twitter.[21]

Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser

Following Hurricane Sandy in October 2012, Stanton began photographing people affected by the disaster[26] (shown below) and on November 11th, the blog launched[27] a fundraising campaign cosponsored by Tumblr with 100% of the proceeds going to The Stephen Siller Tunnel to Towers Foundation, a charity located in Staten Island. Using an Indiegogo[28] crowfunding page, they raised $86,000 within 12 hours[29] and a total of $318,530 in ten days.

Book Deal

On December 4th, 2012, Stanton announced[22] that he was working on two Humans of New York books. The news was shared on publishing blog Galleycat[23] two days later. The first book, also titled Humans of New York[24], is scheduled to be released on October 15th, 2013, featuring 400 full-color photographs, including 80 brand new shots.[25] A children's book, Little Humans, is anticipated for Spring 2013.


DKNY Controversy

On February 25th, 2013, Stanton posted a photo[30] to the Humans of New York Facebook page of a DKNY window display in Bangkok, Thailand that had used his photographs without his knowledge. He noted that DKNY had previously contacted him, offering to purchase 300 of his photos for $15,000. After attempting to negotiate for more money, DKNY revoked their offer, but seemingly went on to use the images anyway. Stanton requested people share the photo, asking DKNY to donate $100,000 on his behalf to the YMCA in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn. He reposted the plea to his Tumblr[31], where it gained more than 42,000 notes. The same day, the story was publicized on the Wall Street Journal[32], Gawker[33], Gothamist[34] and the Huffington Post.[35]


Later that day, DKNY responded via Facebook[36], noting that the Bangkok store had wrongly used an internal mockup and would be donating $25,000 to the Brooklyn YMCA in Stanton's name. To raise the rest of the money he asked for, Stanton launched an Indiegogo[37] to raise the rest of the $100,000 to send 300 kids to summer camp for free and within 72 hours, the campaign collected $103,000. In April 2013, Stanton was honored at City Hall for his actions.[38]

"Let's Sends Kids to Harvard" Fundraiser

On January 20th, 2015, Stanton posted a portrait photograph of Vidal, a teenager from Brownsville, Brooklyn, along with his commentaries on the challenges of living and growing up in a neighborhood with some of the highest crime rates. In one particular photo, Vidal expressed gratitude for his school principal Nadia Lopez.

Humans of New York January 19- Who's influenced you the most in your life?" "My principal, Ms. Lopez. "How has she influenced you?" When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter." Like Comment Share Top Comments- Harvard University, Hillary Fox, Mary Alice Stephenson and 1,055,638 others like this. E 142,712 shares Mary Kay Jensen I sat and watched the golden globes last week. A whole night celebrating these actors...these people we pay to entertain us. Every award in the universe should go to people like Ms. Lopez... A lady who does not get paid enough to educate our youth and change lives Like Reply 327,347 January 19 at 7:22pm 116 Replies . 6 hrs Christina Annette Ms. Lopez for President!!! Like Reply , Kg 11,175-January 19 at 7:05pm 20 Replies Tyler Galli We need more of this in schools. Like Reply 3,835 January 19 at 7:05pm 9 Replies

"When we get in trouble, she doesn't suspend us. She calls us to her office and explains to us how society was built down around us. And she tells us that each time somebody fails out of school, a new jail cell gets built. And one time she made every student stand up, one at a time, and she told each one of us that we matter," he said.

Upon being shared on Humans of New York’s Facebook page, Vidal’s photo and his quote immediately went viral and began to spread elsewhere online, with the original post garnering more than a million likes in just over a week. In the following week, Stanton visited Vidal’s school at Mott Hall Bridges Academy to speak with the principal Nadia Lopez and shared her portrait and her story in a follow-up post.

Humans of New York January 22 Edited e e coo A couple days back, I posted the portrait of a young man who described an influential principal in his life by the name of Ms. Lopez. Yesterday I was fortunate to meet Ms. Lopez at her school, Mott Hall Bridges Academy This is a neighborhood that doesn't necessarily expect much from our children, so at Mott Hall Bridges Academy we set our expectations very high. We don't call the children 'st... See More Like Comment Share RSI Top Comments Harvard University, Hillary Fox, Drake Martinet and 582,924 others like this. 48,751 shares Tommy D Tran Ms Lopez for president 2020 21,570 January 22 at 11 44 Replies is people likıe going to change this country and the world Aaron Lerch I Ms. Lopez who are Like . Reply-D42517-January 22 at 10:46am 78 Replies Megan Lundquist Now THAT is an educator! Like Reply 10,940 January 22 at 10:46am 6 Replies Melissa Morritt Coble You ROCK Ms. Lopez! Like Reply 4,249 January 22 at 10:46am 1 Reply Write a comment...

On January 22nd, Stanton submitted an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign in an effort to raise $100,000 for the school, with the initial vision of funding a tour of the Harvard University for incoming sixth graders at the academy. Within the first week of its launch, Stanton’s fundraising campaign raised more than $1 million from 35,000 donors, exceeding its goal by 1,087% with another whole week remaining in the timeline.

Community Let's Send Kids to Harvard New York, New York, United States CHANGE THE WORLD. $1,087,342 USD RAISED OF $100,000 GOAL 1,087% funded O 7 days left This fundraiser started on Jan 22 and will close on February 05, 2015 (11:59pm PT) Donate Now Share on Facebook 6.5k Organizer Humans of New YorkforMott Hall Bridges Academy Contact
Click through the image to visit the Indiegogo donation page.

Notable Examples

Spin-Off Blogs

Since its inception, Humans of New York has inspired dozens of similar portrait blogs and Facebook groups from cities and towns across the globe, as well as college-specific blogs. Additionally, there are a handful of parody blogs including Hummus of New York[39], which photoshops containers of hummus in New York photographs, providing humorous commentary from the point of view of the dip.


As of July 2013, Humans of New York has an Alexa[40] US rank of 27,647 and global rank of 101,362. Much of their traffic comes from search results, Facebook, Imgur and Pinterest.

Search Interest

External References

[1] Humans of New York – Home

[2] Huffington Post – Humans of New York: Behind the Lens

[3] Humans of New York – Photographer

[4] Humans of New York – Streetfight in Chinatown

[5] Facebook – Humans of New York

[6] Humans of New York – Do you know who you are talking to?

[7] EV Grieve – Humans of New York

[8] Gothamist – Photographing Every Interesting New Yorker

[9] the Village Voice – 'Humans of New York' Photo Census Gives the Crowd a Face

[10] Huffington Post – Humans Of New York: Brandon Stanton's Interpersonal City Catalogue (PHOTOS)

[11] New York Post – Brandon Stanton's NYC streets photo project 'Humans of New York' creates a visual census

[12] Wall Street Journal – Humans of New York, a City of Faces

[13] New York Magazine –

[14] Tumblr Storyboard – Photographing the Humans of New York

[15] Vogue – Style and the City: Humans of New York Spotlights Creative Individuals

[16] My Modern Met – Wonderfully Diverse Humans of New York

[17] Vogue – Humans of New York Takes On NYFW

[18] Vogue – Street Art: Humans of New York Captures Punk's Enduring Influence

[19] Twisted Sifter – 21 Moments with Humans of New York

[20] Publishers Weekly – BEA 2013: The Humans of BEA, a Photo-Essay

[21] Twitter – @humansofny

[22] Humans of New York – Been sitting on this news for awhile

[23] Galleycat – ‘Humans of New York’ Blogger Inks Two-Book Deal

[24] Amazon – Humans of New York

[25] Humans of New York – Here’s a rough mock-up of what the HONY book cover is going to look like.

[26] The Daily Dot – Humans of New York shines during Hurricane Sandy

[27] Humans of New York – Hey guys. For the next ten days, I’m going to be dedicating HONY to raising money for Hurricane Sandy.

[28] Indiegogo – HONY & Tumblr Hurricane Sandy Fundraiser

[29] The Huffington Post – Humans Of New York And Tumblr Sandy Fundraiser: Brandon Stanton's Photos Inspire Viral Campaign (PHOTOS)

[30] Facebook – Humans of New York: I am a street photographer in New York City.

[31] Tumblr – Humans of New York: I am a street photographer in New York City.

[32] Wall Street Journal – Fashion Label Lifts Photos From ‘Humans of New York’

[33] Gawker – ‘Humans of New York’ Photographer: DKNY Stole My Photos After I Turned Them Down [UPDATE]

[34] Gothamist – DKNY Caught Using Photographer's Images Without Permission Or Compensation

[35] Huffington Post – Humans Of New York Photos Accidentally Stolen By DKNY

[36] Facebook – DKNY: Since its founding in 1989, DKNY has been inspired by and incorporated authentic New York into its imagery.

[37] Indiegogo – Let's Send Kids To Summer Camp:

[38] Huffington Post – Brandon Stanton, 'Humans Of New York' Photographer, Honored For Bed-Stuy YMCA Fundraising

[39] Tumblr – Hummus of New York

[40] Alexa – Humans of New York

[41] Indiegogo – Lets Send Kids to Harvard

Recent Videos 4 total

Recent Images 36 total

Top Comments

+ Add a Comment

Comments (18)

Display Comments

Add a Comment

Sup! You must login or signup first!