The best city photography project

There’s a man in New York. He takes photographs. But he doesn’t take photographs of the many buildings, monuments or scenery in New York, he focuses on what really matters, the people.

Brandon has been taking portraits of the eclectic New York population for a while now and he calls his collection Humans of New York. It’s become a bit of a big deal and he’s now got a glossy book full of photos of interesting people.

Humans of new york

But he doesn’t just photograph the person and leave it there, he gets them to divulge a fact about themselves. To show a bit of their humanity. To make the picture come alive. And this is where it’s charm lies.

I was given this book for my last birthday and it’s great to put on a coffee table or have a leaf through when you’ve got some spare time. It challenges your preconceptions and highlights just how weird some people are.

As I’ve looked through it all, one phrase stood out to me:


If you can’t read the text from my high quality phone picture then it says:

“New York has the highest washout rate of any city in the country. You can make it, but don’t come unless you have a reason to be here.”

It’s a strange message. It’s one that’s slightly sad but also one of hope. I think what I love most about it is the last line: don’t come unless you have a reason to be here. It’s there to kick you into shape, to remind you that you have something to give.


So often we can forget about the contribution we can make to society, we get bogged down in mediocrity, assuming we’ve reached the peak of our abilities. As the man says, you can make it, but you’ve got to put in the effort, you’ve got to show everyone what you’re worth.

Because you’re worth a lot. You can do so much.

Just let us all know it.


Hopefully you could stomach how cheesy that post very quickly became. I just liked it. I thought it was cool.