'Humans Of New York' Creator Explains How He Gets Strangers To Open Up

If you're not yet familiar with "Humans of New York," you're missing out. You're also in the minority.

The wildly popular blog, a collage of New York's inhabitants, has amassed millions upon millions of followers on social media and sparked a bestselling book late last year.

The concept is quite simple: Brandon Stanton, the creator of HONY and currently its sole operator, approaches people on the streets of the Big Apple for a photograph and a chat. Miraculously, the results are nothing short of profound, life-changing quotes.

But how does Stanton, a common man of 30 from Marietta, Georgia, manage to get all these thousands of complete strangers to open up to him in what is commonly referred to as the coldest city in the world?

We're talking personal struggles, fears, great loves, greater losses, all the heartwarming and gut wrenching stories people usually save for their best friends, their therapists or their journals.

Stanton recently gave a talk at University College Dublin, where he explained -- with usual charm -- how he approaches his subjects, what he's learned from numerous rejections, and why you'll often find him lying on the ground (it's got something to do with his 6'4" frame and wanting to appear nonthreatening).

If you've ever wondered how he does it, or have pondered how to replicate his success, the video above is for you.



  • Timothy Allen/
  • Timothy Allen/
  • Timothy Allen/
  • David Lazar/
  • Ed Hetherington/
  • JasperDoest/
  • JasperDoest/
  • Timothy Allen/
  • Timothy Allen/
  • Timothy Allen/
  • Justin Mott/
  • Nicolas Lotsos/
  • Sahil Lodha/
  • Roberto Nistri/
  • Peter Downing/
  • Tom Pepper/