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Judges Spotlight March 26, 2018

5 Things You Should Know About Brandon Stanton

Since 2010, Brandon Stanton has been sharing the story of our collective humanity, one photograph at a time, with his popular blog Humans of New York. He's also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS).

Brandon Stanton uses his camera to inspire empathy and improve the world, photo by photo. As the creator of Humans of New York, he’s spent the last several years capturing the complex and beautiful stories of strangers in New York City and across the globe. (And if you’re reading this, there’s a good chance you’ve wept over at least one of his photo stories. Don’t lie.)

Here are five things you probably didn’t know about this camera-wielding Webby Judge.

5 Things You Didn't Know About Brandon Stanton

Since 2010, Brandon Stanton has been sharing the story of our collective humanity, one photograph at a time, with his popular blog Humans of New York. He's also a member of the International Academy of Digital Arts & Sciences (IADAS).

He's a Former Bond Trader

Before becoming one of the Internet’s favorite photographers, Brandon was a bond trader in Chicago. After leaving the finance industry, he followed his dream of becoming a photographer—right to New Orleans, Pittsburg, Philadelphia, and eventually, New York. While traveling, he created Facebook albums for his photos, titling them with his first impressions of each city.

Brandon clearly felt drawn to the city that never sleeps and its insomniac inhabitants, so he decided to stay and called his next album “Humans of New York.”

The rest is… you get the picture.

He Uses His Photos for Good

After starting HONY, Brandon realized the power of strangers sharing their stories, and he’s used that power to turn strangers into friends, partner with the United Nations to tell untold stories from across the globe, and raise millions for those in need.

His latest humanitarian effort: raising over $1 million for Rohingya refugees in Bangladesh.

He Values Quality Over Quantity

Brandon revealed that when starting out, he would seek out true New York iconoclasts—the most vibrant and eccentric (not a tough find here, tbh). Nowadays, he selects 10 people who are alone, and talks with them each at length to truly capture their story.

His Photo Landed Him at the White House

One photograph he snapped in January 2015 landed Brandon (and his subject) at the White House.

When he asked a 13-year old from Brooklyn who he was most influenced by in his life, his heartfelt answer about his middle school principal resonated so much across the Internet that Brandon, his interviewee Vidal, and Principal Nadia Lopez got invited to meet President Obama.

He Launched Humans of New York: The Series

In case you missed it, HONY is now a video series on Facebook Watch. Visit Humans of New York: The Series to view 12 themed episodes—filmed over four years, and taken from 1,200 interviews—of New York’s most wonderfully weird and insightful strangers telling their stories.

Don’t forget your tissue box.

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