Hard work got me here and only . . .

Hard work got me here and only hard work will keep me here.  —   Brandon Stanton, photographer and author of Humans of New York.  Brandon is the amazing young man who founded the Humans of New York Project.

Q & A with Brandon and Lee Shearer:

Why did you start Humans of New York?

The idea for HONY came very organically from a love of photography. It wasn’t really modeled on anything. It emerged from many small evolutions rather than coming from a fully formed idea. For my first year or so of doing HONY full time, there weren’t even captions or interviews. It was just a photography blog.

What kept you going in the first months of HONY?

Obsession, really. I just truly loved doing it, and I thought the work was unique and important. Even early on, I had a lot of confidence that if I kept working, an audience would eventually develop. I didn’t expect it to be easy. I knew that I was going to have to put a ton of work into HONY before it would be fair to ask anyone to pay attention to it. I feel like one mistake new artists make is that they expect people to care about their work before they’ve really demonstrated that they care about it themselves.

How is your new fame affecting your life and work?

Obviously it’s very nice to have your work appreciated on such a large stage. I try my best not to change as HONY gets bigger. I think I’m doing a pretty good job of it. Main thing is just to remember that hard work got me here and only hard work will keep me here.

Click here for more about Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York Project


Humans of New York on a little table in my writing room.

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