Brandon Stanton is the creator of the force of nature that is Humans of New York. The New York-based photo blog gained popularity due to the emotional and intriguing quotes and interviews that accompanied the images (not to mention their sharable nature). You've undoubtedly seen them before. Heck, you've probably shared a couple of them yourself.
The fine folks at UNT's Fine Arts Series are bringing Stanton to Denton this month. Wednesday, September 28th, Stanton will be at the UNT Coliseum talking about the nature of his work in an evening called Humans of New York: An Evening with Brandon Stanton. Read on for more info and to check out some of our favorite HONY posts.
Stanton has met and talked to basically every time of human being there is. His body of work (now up into the tens of thousands of portraits/stories) show it. Whenever a HONY post comes across your newsfeed you never know how it will affect you. His posts run across the entire spectrum of human emotion. Certain images are heart-warming, some are sad, a few more are funny and then there are a couple that will make you rethink your life as it is.
UNT Fine Arts Series recently held a contest for free VIP passes and asked participants to share their favorite HONY posts on social media. We loved seeing the various images that people shared and thought that we should get in on the action, ourselves. Afterall, what better way to get prepped to listen to Stanton talk about his work next week than by checking out a few of our past favorites.
The above two images are from Stanton's series that focused on refugees from late last year. I was so touched by the stories of the refugees. At a time when we were hearing about people being turned away at the border, unable to seek asylum from the horrors of war, terrorism, or oppressive governments. These were stories of tragedy and great loss. It was a true reminder to actually love thy neighbor, and stop and ask ourselves how we're actually living that out.
As an educator, reading about the influence of Mrs. Lopez's compassion for her students gives me all the feels. Her unwillingness to let the fail and her unwavering support for their success was so inspiring. Even more than her efforts though - was the student who took a glimmer of hope, one person cheering him on, and committed to achievement - for himself. Knowing that this was not the only student changed because of the care of a principal and the teachers work hard for their success, this is one of my favorite HONY stories.
Sometimes a HONY photo and quote go so perfectly together that you can't read or see one without thinking of the other. For that reason, every time I hear the phrase "the Google," I think of the stylish, bespectacled woman in the photo above. Her entire quote was, "Put me on the internet! Even on The Google!" That, plus the fact that she reminds me of Judy Smith of Rose Costume's when she isn't wearing her T-shirt that features a plumber's butt crack predominantly. This photo received over 40,000 shares on Facebook. If I am half this cool when I am old, I will be happy with my life.
New Yorkers are a tough bunch. In the photo above, Stanton asked the man, "What's your greatest struggle right now?" To which he responded, "No struggles." Remind me about this old man and his mindset next time I complain about the construction on University.
Those are some of our favorite HONY posts. We can't wait to hear what Stanton says about his career next week. Do you have a favorite HONY post that isn't highlighted above? Link us to it in the comments.