Ah yes, Humans of New York. Who hasn't heard of HONY before? In the few short years that it's been around, the blog has gotten millions of viewers and the momentum just seems to be getting bigger. I actually picked up this book in preparation for some very convenient synergy between this and Brandon Stanton's newest book, Little Humans. I was initially excited for that book, but then I found out that it was a "children's book" as in, made for children and not just filled with children. It's also very short as well, so that kind of turned me off from it, although I'd most likely buy it if I had kids of my own. All of that aside, I still had this book to read and decided I to share some of my thoughts about the book.
It's very well made and I was caught off guard by how good the photo paper in the book is. Now of course there are much higher quality papers that could have been used, but for the retail price of $30 and having over 300 pages, you can color me impressed (I'm sure that's probably a Crayola color). Anyway, the book starts out with an introduction of the photographer, Brandon Stanton, and how he basically stumbled upon his current career of HONY. He was actually a bond trader in Chicago and ended up losing his job due to some not so great financial calls. He then traveled around America going from city to city until he finally ended up in New York. His original intention was to take 10,000 photos and place them online in an interactive map where anyone could see them. Eventually his goals changed when he started adding in more interviews with the people on the streets, which is what he's more well known for now.
Once you get into the heart of the book, you'll notice that there's a lot less personal stories and more one liners or short sentences. I was pretty disappointed about that. I was hoping to see more of the longer stories which you can find on his blog than the short snippets that made it into this. Now don't get me wrong, there are still some photos with walls of text and longer stories, but they seem to be few and far between. Although, one of things I do love is how the text is so nonintrusive (a word that I seem to use a lot in the video...) that it doesn't distract you from the main attraction, which of course is the photo itself. Regarding the photos, they really pop off of the page and are composed well. There's even some photos added that are exclusive to this book. So even if you've seen every single image on the blog, there's still more to capture your interest.
If you're interested in seeing some of the actual photos in the book or if you'd like a more in depth review, then check out the video below. I'd also like to hear from you reading this in the comments and I promise I'll respond. Let me know your thoughts on Humans of New York or my review of it. ^_^