And he's on his way. He currently has nearly 1,400 portraits on his website — Humans of New York.
Here's his mission statement:
Humans of New York is a multi-year project to construct a photographic census of the city of New York. The team consists of one man, who walks the streets several hours a day, looking for interesting people, and taking their photograph. Currently, the project is in the gathering phase. The goal is 10,000. Photos are uploaded as they are collected, and arranged by date. When a substantial body of portraits has been gathered, they will be grouped by neighborhood and displayed geographically. Upon completion, an interactive map will show every neighborhood in New York through the faces of its inhabitants.
So far, he has taken plenty of photos in the East Village, including:
The site also includes accompanying stories. Yesterday, he had photos of a traveler on St. Mark's Place named Rancid and her dog Riot. You can find her story here.
I asked Brandon about taking photos in the East Village compared to other parts of the city.
"Anywhere in the East Village is an easy day. The general rule is: 'Anyone who is out to be seen, is willing to be photographed.' Beautiful girls, fashionistas, artists — they love to be seen," he says. "The farther you get from the artistic and high-fashion crowd, the more resistance you run into. In the East Village, I probably get about 90 percent of the portraits I ask for. Somewhere like Bedford-Stuyvesant, that number drops below 50 percent.
"I do tend to value the portraits from rougher neighborhoods more, because they are harder to obtain, and rarer. But whenever I get rundown, its back to the East Village for a breather."
Find more at Humans of New York here.
[All photos by Brandon Stanton. Reprinted with permission]