Video comes to Humans of NY

Maura Linehan

“Humans of New York” has taken a turn. It recently began publishing a video series that captures people from different walks of life on the streets of New York City. This is a major change for a site that was first launched in 2010 by photographer Brandon Stanton who posted pictures of his fellow New-Yorkers along with their answers to sometimes intimate questions. These pictures and interviews became the foundation for a new way of looking at and documenting the world using the power of the internet and Facebook.

“Humans of New York: The Series,” has apparently been in the works for some time. According to its Facebook page, the posted videos come from approximately 1200 interviews, and while the original was able to capture a singular moment in city life, the video format of these stories provides viewers with an even greater sense of the person being interviewed. Hearing their voices and watching their expressions makes this glimpse into someone else’s life even more powerful and meaningful than was previously possible.

There are two videos posted so far. One is titled: “Everyday Matters,” and the other is called: “I’m Here.” Even though there are only two videos up on the site, they have already created an overwhelming response with thousands of views, shares and likes for each.

In “Everyday Matters,” a woman with her young son is featured as she talks about how being a mother is hard. You can see in the seriousness of her expression how worried she is about being a good mother to her son—caring and providing for what he needs. We feel her doubt and her resolve when she says that: “The mom thing—I’m learning as I go.”

A man who wants to make his living as a musician discusses that struggle in the other video, “I’m here.” In his interview, he says that he’ll give himself five more years to make it in the business, and if he doesn’t do it by then, he will leave music to the younger generation. He feels like his “songs would sell like hot cakes” if he could just get his big break.

“Humans of New York” has always been about showcasing the diversity of its namesake city, and by extension, the diversity of mankind. What these new videos bring is an opportunity to take a closer look at its subjects. Whether these humans have different religions, come from different races or hold opinions the viewer might not agree with, it turns out that they have fears, doubts and dreams like the rest of mankind—showing that the humans of planet earth may not be so different from each other after all.

“Humans of New York: The Series” can be found online: