Humans of Metro Manila witness a day in the life of the world famous digital storyteller, Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York (HONY).
With over 25 million social media followers worldwide, Stanton decided to do HONY’s first ever meet up with its audience in the Philippines. Taking up its history in a back-to-back, one-hour talk at the University of the Philippines Cine Adarna on February 3.
The idea of Humans of New York was born eight years ago when Stanton was caught in the midst of a finance crisis as a bonds trader. “I was absolutely terrified of losing that job because I have come from a place where I was such a failure,” he said.
From dropping out of school and going back into earning a history degree, to his fear of losing a lucrative job, all of Stanton’s thoughts were poured into that time when he was sitting in his office chair, contemplating about what he really wanted to do, what he wanted to be remembered for.
“So I asked myself, if money wasn’t an issue, and I were to spend my time doing anything that I would want to do. What would I do? And the answer was photography,” Stanton said. This decision has led him on to the path to what Humans of New York is known today.
Stanton’s goal was to photograph all day long. His early iterations were just as common as photos other people take. “The thing that I could really do was not really about my photography, but maybe I could get really good at approaching, writing about random people. And make people comfortable enough for them to allow me to take their photograph,” Stanton emphasized.
HONY is a vibrant blog, capturing lives of people on the streets of New York. Today, it is expanding in over 20 countries including the Philippines, telling stories of people in different walks of life. Stanton’s work is also featured in two bestselling books, “Human of New York” and “Humans of New York: Stories.” (Stephanie S. Cabigao, UP MPRO)