In the summer of 2010, a young man named Brandon Stanton, freshly fired for taking too many risks at a trading job in Chicago, hit the streets of New York to capture strangers on the streets with his self-taught photography skills.
Stanton thought it would be “cool to create an exhaustive catalogue of NYC’s inhabitants and plot 10,000 of their photos on a map.”
A man of risks, he had no idea that his hobby would create ripples in the world of the Internet.
We tend to feel that our generation is disconnected more than ever before due to our screens from laptops to iPhones to whatever the next big thing is. On the other hand, Stanton believes that it is the platform to unite people from around the world.
His blog, Humans of New York, has over eight million followers on social media and is telling a story worth listening to.
Starting an initiative such as the one Brandon Stanton did in a small school may seem dull, but to break through the certain unsaid assumptions we all have about high school ranging from topics from college to figuring out what to do with our lives, it is beneficial to hear stories from people going through what we are.
Reading self-help books and watching profound movies raises our positivity, but hearing our peers talk about things that excite, terrify, and uplift them creates a sense of unseen unity.
In November 2012, Stanton gave a speech at TEDxColumbiaCollege titled, “The Good Story.” He stressed on the fact that photographers tend to fight for the most extreme and interesting individuals because they are desperate to tell an interesting story.
Images displaying emotion or violence or crime or puppies tend to engross us, but there are untold stories that aren’t interesting enough, but deserve to be told.
The world isn’t the way it is portrayed in media, it is the way we fail to see it. Seemingly regular people tell the most interesting, real stories that, at times, display a universal message. These messages can be found in a city of thousands or in a school of hundreds.
Teaming up with student photographers of Rutgers Prep, the Argo will depart on a journey to document individuals, from students to teachers of our community, and the stories they have to tell.
The process in which the photographers undergo will proceed like this:
(1) Photographers pick an individual that normally wouldn’t go up to
(2) They ask that individual a question on their mind
(3) They take a picture
(4) Record the conversation.
If you’re interested in joining this initiative, please reach out. Through the Humans of Rutgers Prep, we can uncover good stories throughout our community and bring them to the general public.