They say a picture is worth 1000 words, but in the case of Humans of New York, it’s worth millions of dollars.
Brandon Stanton of the popular HONY blog has been profiling strangers around NYC for the past few years, getting them to divulge their innermost secrets, goals and fears. More recently he’s taken to travelling around the world, documenting life everywhere from Uganda to India to Iran.
This week Brandon’s photo of a bonded brick labourer in Pakistan, and the profile of the woman who is trying to free him and millions of others like him, prompted HONY followers to raise $2 million (£1.3m) in just 72 hours!
Here’s why we love the humble photographer and his blog.
1. He uses his fame for good
Brandon’s photos have the power to save and change lives because he encourages his massive following (14 million on Facebook and nearly 4 million on Instagram!) to donate to worthy causes. When he sees a person or community in need, he doesn’t hesitate to reach out to the public – and they always respond with love and charity.
Aside from helping to end bonded labour in Pakistan – one of the last remaining forms of modern slavery – he’s raised over $1million in scholarship money for inner city kids in New York to go to Harvard, previously his biggest fundraiser ever. He’s also helped send a disabled NYC boy who dreamed of buying a horse on holiday to a horse ranch in Colorado, among many other good deeds.
2. He sees everyone
HONY features everyone from drug addicts to high flying execs to children and lovelorn teens. All races, ethnicities, religions, nationalities, ages and socio-economic statuses are presented. No one is left out.
3. Sometimes it’s the little things that count
While some of his more heartrending profiles attract a lot of attention, he balances out the emotion with lighter, happier stories.
4. The comments on his photos will restore your faith in humanity
No matter how sad or controversial a photo on HONY is, the words of encouragement and acceptance left by total strangers is enough to brighten anyone’s day.
By Reenat Sinay