cover image Humans of New York

Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton. St. Martin’s, $29.99 (304p) ISBN 978-1-250-03882-1

Six months after Stanton got his first camera in 2010, he lost his job as a bond trader. Before that, he’d been spending his weekends photographing everything he could find in Chicago, returning home with more than 1,000 images each day. After a weekend trip to New York City floored him with the city’s wide variety of inhabitants, Stanton packed his bags and returned to launch “Humans of New York,” a photo blog that soon morphed into a Facebook page that garnered over 500,000 fans in a little over a year. Here, he presents his most striking images accompanied by commentary from his subjects. Many photo essays of this type have a singular topic in mind, such as highlighting urban blight or homelessness. Stanton doesn’t shy away from those topics, but he doesn’t dwell either, preferring to offer a more optimistic view of his fellow New Yorkers. There’s the Yugoslavian janitor who studied for 12 years to earn his classics degree; Banana George, the world’s oldest barefoot water-skier who’s now in a wheelchair; Muslims in prayer; and shots of adorable kids, crazy fashionistas, and young lovers, all paired with a comment from Stanton or from the subjects themselves. There’s no judgment, just observation and in many cases reverence, making for an inspiring reading and visual experience. Photos. Agent: Brian DeFiore, DeFiore and Co. (Oct.)