6-1-15 I just met Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York at BookCon!
My awesome girlfriend took me to BookCon today as an early birthday present! At the end of the day, we were able to get into the panel that I was most looking forward to: a discussion with Brandon Stanton of Humans of New York moderated by WNYC’s Manoush Zomorodi.
Amazingly, I was able to get Brandon’s advice about a fundamental street photography issue that’s been bothering me for years!
BookCon Panel: A conversation with Brandon Stanton, creator of Humans of New York
During the panel, Brandon went into detail about his career from the day he began Humans of New York (HONY) to now. He talked about his artistic process, in particular, how he approaches his subjects. He said it isn’t so much about what words he uses to ask questions, but it’s about the energy he presents when he asks those questions. It sounds like he makes sure to be calm and collected. I found this to be super instructive!
However, the most major thing he emphasized was work ethic. When he was just starting out, he always went out shooting every single day because he knew that perseverance and industry was the one thing over which he had control. That made me want to work even harder!
My Street Photo Question to Brandon Stanton
When I had my opportunity to ask Brandon a question, I mentioned that when I do any street photography, I’m always vexed by the issue of model releases. He replied that he doesn’t use written consent forms because as long as a photo is taken in a public location, a photographer is legally protected. However, Brandon makes sure to emphasize to each of his subjects what he’ll do with their photos and makes sure to get their verbal agreement.
I was so grateful to hear this from a professional portrait photographer like him! And he capped his answer by telling me to “shoot away!” What a relief to hear! I don’t need any more encouragement than that, how inspiring!
Brandon’s new book, Humans of New York Stories is on preorder now.
Thanks to my incredible girlfriend Kaye for this amazing birthday present and the photos in this post. You rock, thank you so much!
PS If you’d like to know more about what Brandon said, shoot me an email. I took pretty good notes!