Interview with Brandon Stanton and Humans of New York
With us today a personal favorite of mine, Brandon Stanton.
The creative photographer behind Humans of New York aka HONY.HONY is easily one of my top 5 favorite photo projects on the web today so I am pretty stoked to have you here Brandon. Thanks for giving us some of your time today.
Can you give us a brief synopsis of how HONY came to be?
HONY emerged organically out of a love of photography. At first, I just did regular street photography. I’d go out into the city (at first it was Chicago) and just photograph anything and everything that interested me. Occasionally I’d photograph a person. Eventually I got up the courage to ask someone for a portrait, and I quickly discovered that these were my favorite types of photos to take. When I visited New York in the summer of 2010, I realized that it was far and away the best place to do street portraits. I’d already taken several hundred of them when I had the idea to organize them with HONY.
What is the thing you yourself enjoy most about HONY?
The freedom. The ability to walk the streets of New York all day. The interaction with people. The random things that happen. The belly laughs with absolute strangers.
When shooting for HONY, what gear do you have in your bag?
Nothing! I don’t even carry a bag. Just use a Canon EOS 7D and a Canon 50 mm 1.2.
After a day in the streets, tell us a bit about the vetting process for shots that make it to HONY, Is it difficult choosing the final photographs that get posted?
Not too difficult. I know what I like, and I know as soon as I walk away if a photo really didn’t turn out like I was hoping. It’s never the subjects fault. Sometimes you just think something is going to look good, and it doesn’t work out.
Do you have a favorite photographer or one that inspired you along the way?
Currently my two favorites are Vivian Maier and David LaChapelle.
Who or what would you love to shoot that you’ve not photographed already?
Well Mad Men is probably my favorite show so I’d love to shoot Jon Hamm. He was actually shooting a movie by my apartment one day, so I waited around a bit for him. I ended up leaving after a few minutes because I felt like a stalker. I also wouldn’t mind getting a Yankee.
Any plans to photograph Robert De Niro in Tribeca someday?
Oh I would love to run into him. He’s about as New York as it gets :)
I hope I am hanging out with you on the day this happens Brandon.
Brandon I’d like it if I could post or link to 3 or 4 photos, you can select them or I can, you have so many fabulous photos it will be a daunting task.
You can select them, I like to see what other people choose! :) <— and so I did.
Thank you my friend for your time today. To find Brandon’s Humans of New York follow the links below.
His web site: http://www.humansofnewyork.com/
An interview by John Frenzel