The Human Side of Photography

Over a year ago I wrote a very short blog post for Popular Photography about a bond trader who lost his job, moved to New York City and decided to get really really into street photography. Having written about hundreds of photographers over the years, it takes a lot for me to continue to follow someone’s work after the story was over.

But there was something compelling about Brandon Stanton’s work — I started following his project Humans of New York (aka. HONY) on facebook, and so did several of my friends. His street photography and accompanying stories really capture the drudgery and joy of the human condition and turn it into something beautiful that often borders on poetic. Plus there are a lot of really cute pictures of dogs and babies.

(Btw, Tumblr founder David Karp also said that HONY’s tumblr page is his favorite)

Stanton recently posted a story of how DKNY asked to use his 300 of photos in their store windows, paying him what equaled about $50 per photo, he said the rate was too low, they said they wouldn’t pay more.

A fan sent him a photo from a DKNY store in Bangkok. The window was full of my photos. The photos were used without his consent and without compensation. He posted about it on his site and facebook, a few blogs picked up the story. DNKY claimed it was a mistake, that the photos were used in a mockup and accidentally made it to the store window.

He could have sued. Instead he asked DKNY to make a $100,000 donation to the Bedford-Stuyvesant YMCA, so that deserving kids in my neighborhood could go to summer camp. They ended up donating $25,000. Now he’s trying to raise the remaining $75,000 (the full amount will is enough to send 300 kids to summer camp for two weeks).

I’ve written before about what great work the YMCA does, when I did my fundraiser last summer. I don’t have the reach that Stanton does (my yoga classes in the Park only raised about $150). But, I thought I’d post about this anyway. Consider giving if you can. He seems like a genuinely cool guy (he also did a massive fundraiser for Sandy relief back in October). And giving kids the chance to go to camp is a decent use of any extra money you can spare.

Here’s the link to the fundraising page.

And here is one of his cute dog photos:



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