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What I love about Humans of New York

by Amanda Bechen

Humans of New York from Facebook Stories on Vimeo.

I received a copy of a seemingly strange book as a gift recently. It's called Humans of New York. My sister knows I have a big, bold, bright-eyed love for this big place called New York City. In addition, I'm a photography geek. Whether it's on my phone via Instagram or on my "big camera", I have a passion for capturing BIG and little moments all around me. So this book was kind of a no-brainer, super thoughtful gift.

My biggest pet-peeve is overly-posed photos. I guess it stems back to my hatred for anything unauthentic and fake. My heart and my head nearly explode in rage when I stumble upon phony-looking poses in photos. (Don't get me wrong - I'm a little bit addicted to Awkward Family Photos, but it's mostly for because they are SO completely ridiculous). You can tell when the subject and the photographer have a connection and a level of comfort with one another, even though you don't see the person behind the camera. A great photo bridges that awkwardness that often occurs when you stick a camera lens in someone's face. When someone bursts out in a laugh that starts in their gut and bellows through the air, I can't help but lose myself in the moment behind the lens of a camera. Real, authentic, raw photography is hard to find. This book is a testament to the life of a photographer that's just starting out. A photographer that has that innate sense that they have something to prove. A photographer that wants to leave the world a little bit better with authentic photography of real-life people in real-life situations. A photographer who bridges the awkwardness gap that happens when you ask a stranger to take their photo. A photographer who creates a real, authentic connection with whomever he/she is photographing. 

My copy of this book is so much more than a measly coffee-table book. It is full of post-it marked pages of my favorite stories and photos. Most importantly, it's filled with my own ideas and dreams about this place I'm miserably in love with, sight-unseen.

This whole project is beautiful and different and heartbreaking and all sorts of wonderful. A glimpse of Brandon's story is told really well in this video. It is also amazing to see how social media has the ability to bring people together - wherever they are. 


By a Human of SoDak