Producing For an International Audience

Susan Chachati - Humans of New York
Jake Macfarlane's picture Jake Macfarlane 2 years 7 months ago

Humans of New York (HONY) is an American photo blog that started in 2010

by a man named Brandon Stanton. This blog now has over twenty million followers on

social media and has sparked the creation of two books that both were on The New

York Best Sellers list: Humans of New York and Humans of New York: Stories. What

makes this blog so unique is that it captures real life and emotion simply with a

photograph and caption of a person. Stanton originally took photos of people within

New York City but then traveled and expanded his work to Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Greece,

Brazil etc (Humans of New York About). He shows that wherever you are, people are

just people. There is humility and sadness, heartache and joy, love and despair, all

shown through the lens of a single person, a single photograph. And anyone viewing

the photograph and caption, wherever they're from, can all relate, relate to the

humanity. He asks questions to his subjects and you can be surprised by how small of

a statement can have such a big impact.

One example is "This is the first time I've ever been in love. My mother put me

in an orphanage when I was one year old. I went from bonding with her every day to

lying in a room with a hundred other cribs. It's been seventy-three years since then,

and I'm finally allowing myself to be dependent on the love of another person."

By: Susan Chachati

It's amazing to think that just by speaking to a person for a few moments, you can see

a bit of their life, their hardship, and empathize with a complete stranger. I think that

this is an incredible blog. Stanton took something so simple, such as taking

photographs of people on the street of New York City and turned it into something so

beautiful. I love viewing the photos that always accurately fit the captions, about

something good in someone's life. I've read some about lost love coming back

together or parents overcoming hardships in their child's life or strong individuals that

put themselves first, and it gives me hope. If these people, strangers from around the

globe, are able to overcome their obstacles, it just shows how far humanity can go

and makes me strive to do anything. And even when some photos and descriptions

are not as heartwarming, I found that it's amazing that I can sympathize or even

empathize with a person I haven't even met! It seems like I'm not the only one who

feels this way either because there are thousands of comments on Facebook

supporting the people in the photos. The blog is interactive: people comment,

sympathize, and share their own experiences too.


I view these photos everyday on Facebook and I own Humans of New York

because I find it fascinating to see glimpses into peoples' lives. If the numbers don't

lie, then twenty million people from all around the world, including Canada like this

blog, so it must be special. What I also find is interesting is that this international focus

isn't entirely in-your-face obvious. It's not like other media that cater to an

international audience where they specifically reach out to different countries and talk

about politics, or culture, or lifestyle. HONY is able to reach a worldwide audience by

expressing and sharing the commonalities of human emotion through the

experiences mentioned from everyday people photographed on the street. So I think

that anyone, whether they are from Canada or from any other country in world, would

appreciate and find this way of connecting to an international audience unique.


Work Cited

"Humans of New York About." Humans of New York. N.p., n.d. Web. 24 Feb. 2017.