Slice of Life

Humans of New York superfans model project off Brandon Stanton’s work

Stacy Fernández | Asst. Feature Editor

Abigail Hamilton, a sophmore marketing, retail management and political science triple major, has been following Brandon Stanton's work since he first started his Humans of New York Facebook page.

Abigail Hamilton has followed Humans of New York since she was 12 years old, before she was technically allowed to create a Facebook account — the social network’s guidelines say users must be at least 13.

Eight years later, the sophomore marketing, retail management and political science triple major still checks Humans of New York’s Facebook page every day. When she was 12, he had about 200,000 followers, but now his numbers are climbing past 18 million.

Hamilton pulled these numbers off the top of her head.

She was one of many students attending Brandon Stanton’s lecture at a sold-out Goldstein Auditorium Monday night.

A self-described superfan and photographer, she pursued her own Humans of New York-style venture. Over the summer, Hamilton, who is the director for Camp Kesem — a weeklong summer program run by Syracuse University students for children of cancer patients — created “Why I Kesem.” Rather than taking standard photos of campers, she chose to feature snippets of interviews from every person she photographed. The series revolved around what Camp Kesem means to the campers and their counselors.

“Having that background of Humans of New York pushed me to go beyond my comfort zone and what I ever thought I could capture via photography,” she said.

Stacy Fernández | Asst. Feature Editor

On the other side of the globe in Spain, freshman magazine journalism major Marina Fernández De La Cuesta did her own project: Humans of the Academy.

For her high school senior project, Fernández De La Cuesta reproduced Stanton’s idea but within the community closest to her — her boarding school.

“It just makes you so happy,” Fernández De La Cuesta said. “It was such a good feeling at the end of the day knowing that you listened to what all these people had to say.”

She added that people love talking about themselves, and that all you have to do is ask the questions.

“It’s a good feeling when somebody has a story they want to tell and you’re the person who asked and they were happy to tell about it,” Fernández De La Cuesta said. “You learn so much about people you wouldn’t otherwise know anything about.”

Both Hamilton and Fernández De La Cuesta keep a look out for Stanton’s familiar face when they’re in New York, hoping that one day they’ll be the one he approaches for a picture and an interview.


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