Westlake residents gain access to New Yorkers’ lives


She stands impressively tall, arm outstretched hailing a cab. The jewels on her dress sparkle in the rush of Times Square. Photojournalist Brandon Stanton asks her if he can take her picture, and she replies, “I’m late for a show, but you can try while I hail a cab.” He snaps his shot and it instantly goes viral with 52 thousand likes and 885 comments on Facebook.

We are so in tune with our own lives. Everything that happens to us is somehow a little bit more real, more intense than what happens to others. Stanton and his blog, Humans of New York, have set out to change that. With daily posts on Facebook and Instagram of candid pictures and captions of people living their real lives, Stanton gives us a glimpse of the city of New York through the eyes of its residents.

Recently Stanton also came out with his very own book of the surreally real photos and stories that he has discovered on the streets of New York. The  life experiences of people range from a strikingly sweet picture of a father reading to his daughter on the way to school to the most honest tellings of veteran feelings.

These are the kinds of stories that leave viewers with the feeling that your faith in humanity has been restored. So much of the news we receive is bad news. It’s so refreshing to open up Facebook or Instagram to see a stunning picture of a dancer on the way to a show, or a man walking his dog. These may not be breaking news stories, but they touch the hearts of readers in a way that only a personal story can.

Stanton started taking pictures of New Yorkers with the idea that he could capture the spirit of New York City in 10,000 portraits of residents. That dream slowly turned into a passion for telling people’s stories. Stanton started adding captions to his shots, and they quickly turned into a worldwide fandom. He now posts his pictures on his website www.humansofnewyork.com, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr and in his recently released book.

A perfect snapshot of the residents of New York and a wonderful surprise every day, Humans of New York is a genius blog done by an inspired photojournalist.