A Look into Humans of New York

You may be familiar with Humans of New York or HONY. If you aren’t, it’s a photoblog and book featuring pictures of people on the streets. Brandon Stranton started HONY by taking portraits of people and interviewing them. Used are their individual answers as captions. Their answers are about how they go about their lives and the stories they have to tell.

It’s an interesting look at how our community works through various individuals. It’s also a fascinating way to present the different cultures in New York.

As of late, HONY branched out from the Big Apple to the international community. Included recently are images of people from the Middle-East, Africa, and others.

Here, I’d like to show you a few photographs from HONY along with their respective captions. All material taken from the Humans of New York website.



“Before I entered seminary, I fell in love with God. A few months into seminary, I fell in love with philosophy. Two years into seminary, I fell in love with a girl.”
Image source

Traffic Cop

“I’m a traffic cop. It’s a job. Somebody’s got to do it. I don’t even represent myself when I’m working. If I was representing myself, I’d let everyone off with a warning. I represent a system. Did I design the system? No. I just enforce it. It’s not for me to decide the system. We elect the people who decide the system. When I write a ticket, everyone tells me a reason that they don’t deserve it. If I gave a warning to everyone with a reason, I wouldn’t give any tickets, and the system wouldn’t work. I don’t get any joy by giving a ticket. And I’m not upset if you beat it in court. It’s not personal. It’s my job.”
Image source

Mother died

“She was filled with regret before she died. She felt like she’d failed us as a mother tremendously.”
“Did she say something to you about it?”
“She never said anything, so I don’t have any tangible proof that she had regrets. But she had a very bad substance abuse problem. And I know she always wanted to be a good mother. So I separate my mom from her disease. I always imagine that my mom and an alcoholic were living in the same body. And I know that my mom loved us. And that she hated the alcoholic.”
Image source

Jordanian family

“I enjoy every bit of it. Every moment is precious. But, when you get older, if I’m being honest, every once in awhile, sometimes, you just need a bit of quiet.”
(Amman, Jordan)
Image source

Boy from congo

“I’m listening to music about God.”
(Kasangulu, Democratic Republic of Congo)
Image source

Remarkable stories, aren’t they? I think HONY gained popularity since many can relate to the stories of the individuals in the photos! We can learn a lot from reading their tales. The photos make us understand others and empathize with them. And honestly, they’ve inspired me to go out more and hear the stories of people on the streets.

Next time, I’ll show you some of the prominent HONY clones throughout the world. Yes, there are many offshoots inspired by Humans of New York. Stay tuned for next week’s post!


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