The latest from Stanton (Humans of New York), creator of the “Humans of New York” blog, which currently has over 14 million followers, is another rich collection of photographs of people from the streets of New York City and their stories. The strength of his work is the range of perspectives and experiences he captures. His subjects vary in age, nationality, religion, and other demographics, and their individual stories reflect on different facets of the human experience, from struggles to heartbreak to inspiration. Some of his subjects tell him about past experiences steeped in nostalgia, while others consider their present and future predicaments. A powerful four-page spread shares the story of a student from Mott Hall Bridges Academy who named the principal of his school as the biggest influence in his life, inspiring Stanton to visit the school, photograph the principal, and hear her story. Another photo shows the same student and principal with President Obama in the Oval Office, followed by a portrait of the president and the story of his own greatest influence. New readers and seasoned fans can’t help but become engrossed with the stories Stanton tells. Color photos. (Oct.)
As the quotes grew longer, and the interviews deeper, Stanton developed a signature storytelling styleone that blends the lure of urban voyeurism with an eye for the extraordinary detail in seemingly ordinary subjects. What makes these photographs compelling is their sincerity, their air of authenticity. All are taken on the spot of first contact. Some people are caught mid-sentence. Even those who pose are free of the sterile stiffness of staged portraits.” The Economist
“A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.” Kirkus Reviews, starred review
“Some street photographers hide behind phone booths like paparazzi so their subject won't be aware of their presence, but for Stanton it's precisely that awkward interaction, the tearing down of the wall between strangers, that he covets.” The Huffington Post
“There's no judgment, just observation and in many cases reverence, making for an inspiring reading and visual experience.” Publisher’s Weekly
Stanton, street photographer and creator of the blog humansofnewyork.com, again takes to the streets of Gotham in this follow-up to his best-selling 2013 book of the same name. This time, the author allows each subject to be examined in a raw state, putting the focus on their inspiring quotes and commandeering the heart of the reader. In this way, Stanton more than succeeds in bringing street life to light, establishing a message that no matter what borough, social, or economic background, and despite age differences, we all have a story—and his subjects are ready to tell theirs. What started in 2010 as a zealous project for the former day trader has resulted in more than 400 pages of sheer inspiration. This is a well-crafted work; each image and story is strategically placed. VERDICT For inspiration seekers and anyone with a pulse. [See Prepub Alert, 5/6/15.]—Tamikka Malloy, Camden Cty. Coll. Lib., Blackwood, NJ
Photographer and author Stanton returns with a companion volume to Humans of New York (2013), this one with similarly affecting photographs of New Yorkers but also with some tales from his subjects' mouths. Readers of the first volume—and followers of the related site on Facebook and elsewhere—will feel immediately at home. The author has continued to photograph the human zoo: folks out in the streets and in the parks, in moods ranging from parade-happy to deep despair. He includes one running feature—"Today in Microfashion," which shows images of little children dressed up in various arresting ways. He also provides some juxtapositions, images and/or stories that are related somehow. These range from surprising to forced to barely tolerable. One shows a man with a cat on his head and a woman with a large flowered headpiece, another a construction worker proud of his body and, on the facing page, a man in a wheelchair. The emotions course along the entire continuum of human passion: love, broken love, elation, depression, playfulness, argumentativeness, madness, arrogance, humility, pride, frustration, and confusion. We see varieties of the human costume, as well, from formalwear to homeless-wear. A few celebrities appear, President Barack Obama among them. The "stories" range from single-sentence comments and quips and complaints to more lengthy tales (none longer than a couple of pages). People talk about abusive parents, exes, struggles to succeed, addiction and recovery, dramatic failures, and lifelong happiness. Some deliver minirants (a neuroscientist is especially curmudgeonly), and the children often provide the most (often unintended) humor. One little boy with a fishing pole talks about a monster fish. Toward the end, the images seem to lead us toward hope. But then…a final photograph turns the light out once again. A wondrous mix of races, ages, genders, and social classes, and on virtually every page is a surprise.