Review by ROS MARSDEN
Social media | HONY | Brandon Stanton
One week’s notice, one night only and Brandon Stanton hit Melbourne last month to a full house.
“Who is Brandon Stanton?” I hear you ask.
For anyone interested in new ways of telling a story, Brandon’s tale of starting Humans of New York, the famous Facebook/Instagram blog – and now book – sounds irresistibly easy.
At the age of 26, sacked from an all-consuming job on the US bond market, Brandon made a decision to live with less money but do something he really enjoyed. He picked up a camera and started approaching people on the streets of New York to pose for a portrait.
Two in three said no at the start; now it’s about one in three.
Brandon’s collection grew quickly and he started posting beautiful studies of everyday people accompanied by a short quote/tale from them.
Mainly, he asks his subjects what they struggle with. People’s answers revealed a surprising honesty and rawness with some confiding intimate details they had sometimes not even shared with their family.
On the Melbourne stage, Brandon told the audience that people’s openness surprised him and made him aware of his responsibility to them. He makes it clear that if people want their photo removed at any time, he will do so.
Brandon’s jeans and t-shirt clad presence on stage is modest and he appears amazed that he and his blog are a global name. He ambles in front of his audience like he’s walked through the wrong door but the crowd hang on every word.
The biggest lesson from Brandon’s presentation is that time is a more important asset than money and that following your dream is the way to live. He now visits countries across the world, extending the stories outside New York.
Stories of faith, hope, endurance, grief no longer have to be written in traditional formats. Drop by Brandon’s site: www.humansofnewyork.com
You’ll be inspired.