30 Under 30: Meet Brandon Stanton, the Photographer Behind Humans of New York

Meet the street photographer turned culture spotter who turned his hobby into a global sensation

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You’d be hard pressed to find Brandon Stanton, the brain behind storytelling blog turned New York Times bestseller, “Humans of New York,” without a camera in his hands. He needs it for the 5 to 6 portraits he takes each day and posts for his thousands of social media fans and website visitors to see. Stanton turned to photography full time after being laid off from his job as a Chicago bond trader in 2010. He took a chance on an idea he had to take 10,000 portraits of people around New York City and plot them on a map like a census of the metropolitan area. The resulting project has turned into something larger than he ever could have expected. Stanton’s photos are being imitated all over the world (see Humans of India, Humans of Tehran, Humans of Bronx Science and Humans of LaGuardia), and the 29-year-old is garnering major media attention for his capsules of a moment in time.

To see the rest of TIME’s 30 Under 30 World Changers, click here

(MORE: Meet Shiza Shahid, Malala’s right-hand woman)

16 comments
StacyKantieva
StacyKantieva

Brandon, we so love what you do. You're inspiring! Thank you!


bluegraph
bluegraph

Dude doesn't present well. At least take off the adolescent backwards ball cap and dress up a bit.

Jimmy1967
Jimmy1967

If you like HONY's work, check out Sara Louise Petty. She's been taking street portraits of the people of NYC and elsewhere for years AND she shoots film. Lots of soul in her pictures.

WulanKusumawardhani
WulanKusumawardhani

Thank you Brandon for sharing those amazing pictures and stories. You are an inspiration. Love you!

itsalittleisland
itsalittleisland

Love you Brandon! The way you touch us is indescribable. We sincerely thank you for everything.

BallaratPhoto
BallaratPhoto

Timeless portrait. Makes you want to know the story behind

JoAnnSummers
JoAnnSummers

You are succeeding because you are real and the people you photograph are real. Thanks for connecting us.

documental
documental

Wow. The amazingness of this guy and his photos almost overcomes the annoyingness of that interviewer.

missdiscipline1313
missdiscipline1313

I have enjoyed and looked forward to seeing Brandon's pictures everyday on FB. I bought his books for Christmas gifts because I wanted them to see what I see and feel. Makes me feel so human! Thank you Brandon

dianaperne
dianaperne

thank you brandon for the daily smile you bring to people in the low and high shades of life.  i love seeing a random picture popping up in my feed, and more often than not, it's what makes my day. just thank you.

romikid
romikid

Goosebumps. This guy became amazing just by opening his eyes and really see life around him, even in a city of cold concrete walls. You're a true inspiration, Brandon. 

Melarosee
Melarosee

Brandon is so deserving of this recognition. I love seeing a real, down to earth person in the spotlight. He has become so famous but has stayed true to himself. He is a true role model and an inspiration.

NstateofmindY
NstateofmindY

@bluegraph you seriously have a problem if you're juding the causal style of an amazing person like that