Review // Humans of New York

Friday, January 3, 2014

 I’ve been a huge fan of Humans of New York for a long time. HONY, as Humans of New York is affectionately shortened to, captures the people of New York and the spirit of them as well through photographs and short blurbs.

Humans of New York
photo via Humans of New York blog

The book version of HONY, also called Humans of New York doesn’t disappoint either. There’s something different about having a book with the photographs instead of just looking at the photos on your computer. The stories of the people captured in the book hit you so much harder and more poignantly because there’s so many different stories. Usually when HONY photographs are released, only a single story and portrait is released at a time but now, there are so much at once. I really felt the diversity of New York and it’s made me fall in love with the city so much more.

Brandon Stanton's photography, paired with the short snippets, allow the reader a glimpse into the portrait's life. It's strangely fulfilling and addicting to know someone through their photograph and couple words they said. 

Brandon Stanton, the creator of HONY, used to be a bond trader in Chicago. When he was laid off, he traveled from Chicago to New York, camera in hand, much to the chagrin of his parents. He wanted to capture the demographic of New York in photos. Soon, he gained the support of more than just his friends, he captured Tumblr as a fan, and more. He was onto something. 

HONY has become something more than what Stanton set out to capture. It's become an online phenomenon, joining New Yorkers and non-New Yorkers together. There are multiple spin-offs, Humans of Paris, Humans of Paris, and more. 

What started as a simple photography project after one-man's lay-off is now read by nearly a million people, across Facebook, Tumblr and Twitter. It's amazing and the book is no-less stellar than its online counterpart. 

Also, last year at BEA (Book Expo America), Stanton was there to photograph some of attendees. While I missed it entirely, Stanton's photographs of the attendees and their stories are no less interesting than Stanton's usual works. 

In all, Humans of New York is a great coffee table book to have, to flip through and read. 


  1. I absolutely want this one. I've followed HONY for a while myself and am always so captivated by the people and their vignettes! It's wonderful to think we all have a story to share . . . because we totally do.

  2. I love the Humans of New York blog. I just think it's so cool to be able to have a tiny snapshot of each person's life. I've had my eye on this book for a while so I'm definitely thinking of cashing out for one as a treat.

  3. I think this is so cool! I absolutely love New York and really want to go there to study and I think this is fascinating. Photographs can indeed capture so much more about a person than you would think. Thanks so much for sharing!

  4. You went to BEA? So lucky!! Also you got to see Taherah Mafi-Aaaaaah!

    Seeing these photographs almost feels like you are in NY-So much diversity! This is the first time I'm seeing the Humans of New York blog so thanks for sharing! :)

  5. Yeah, I did. It was only possible since I live within commutable distance, otherwise I don't think I would've gone. It gets really pricey once you factor in NYC hotels and eating expenses. It was fun, though! I hope you have the chance to go sometime! :)

    Isn't the blog great? Such a joy to follow,

  6. Good luck with your publishing dreams in New York Charlotte! :) I'm sure you can achieve them!

    Photographs are indeed a thousand words, aren't they?

  7. It's definitely worth it! Thanks for stopping by Annie! :)

  8. Yes! I agree with that! It's amazing how a photograph and a few words can share so much and offer such an insight into a person's life.

  9. Oh I wish but I don't live in the US so the chances of me being at BEA is really low especially since the cost would be crazy high! Will you be going this year too?

  10. Um wow, I love this!

    I discovered HONY only a few months ago and I've felt completely in love with it. It is enthralling to get a true glimpse in people's lives through HONY and I I follow him across all media. Clearly, I'm obsessed and rightly so. =)

  11. Yes, I think so! Hopefully everything works out. :)

  12. No shame in being obsessed with HONY! It's great and it's lovely to see the other spinoffs of it as well.

  13. I've never heard of this, it sounds super intriguing and personal! I'd love to check this out at some point. I love having something light and intriguing to read while sipping on coffee! Thanks for sharing Alice!

    Best xoxo,


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