Updated: Sep 22
One of the lectures I attended in February was with Brandon Stanton, the creative mind behind Humans Of New York or HONY. He started off by sharing he was not a public speaker, but he had everyone's attention in the room. He told us he bought a camera in 2010 as a hobby. He then lost his job as a bond trader. He started taking photos of scenery. Then on the subway one day he shot this photo of two young kids with their mothers.. There it was, his first introduction to making a change in the world!
He said over the last 5 years he has learned many things. Like, photographing 1 person at a time instead of a couple or more in the photograph. Also, if you see someone that you really would like to photopgraph not running up to them from behind. He actually showed us how he will run full circle just to get in front of the person (trust me it was funny).
It appears that this gift he is giving to the world is a small therapy session. He asked for a volunteer from the audience and a girl came up and sat in a chair. He then started asking specific questions and built on those former questions. Some of his thought process for questions:
What is your happiest moment in your life?
When have you been the angriest in your life?
What has been the saddest moment of your life?
When have you felt guilty?
Whose expectations are you not meeting?
As a society, how often do we really get to share our story with the world? We are at such a technology age that there is a lack of communication via face to face in the world. To have someone like Brandon show up, ask to hear your story, take your photo and share it with the world is a true gift. It is allowing us to have a voice and share a piece of our true selves.
Brandon stated he tries to have a dependable source of content on a daily basis for his Facebook page which has 12,397,099 likes as of currently. You can go here to like his page. For all of you entrepreneurs Brandon only started his Facebook page in 2010. Brandon said; "become your first fan and recognize that your business is always evolving and changing. Also overcome your fears and ask yourself, how can I make it better?"
There is also a Humans Of New York book. It sold 30,000 pre order copies and reached number 1position on The New York Times Non-Fiction Best Sellers of 2013 for the week beginning November 3, 2013.
Never give up on your dreams. Wake up every day knowing you CAN make a difference in this world. Thank you Brandon Stanton for closing the gap and reconnecting us as a society again.