Digitalized Capstone: https://humansofsla.weebly.com
Mentor: Meenoo Rami
Summary: My capstone is a blog inspired by the famous Humans of New York. I took pictures of SLA students and asked them questions to gather different stories.
Abstract: I was inspired by the Humans of New York to do a Humans of SLA. Humans of New York is by Brandon Stanton. He walks around the streets of New York and has a conversation with strangers that catch his eye. I went around and asked students certain questions and then took their picture. I put all my pictures with their captions on a blog. I came up with some questions, and also took some questions from Brandon Stanton. By doing this, SLA's diversity and amazing community will be shown.
1. Stanton, Brandon. "Humans of New York." Humans of New York. Brandon Stanton, 2010. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.humansofnewyork.com/>.
This is probably the most helpful website for me overall. This is where I got my idea to do my capstone. I’m taking inspiration from the guy who shoots hundreds of people a day in New York. His pictures allow me to see interesting ways to take pictures of people, not everyone had to smile. To start my chat with people, I needed to decide what types of questions to ask them. From this blog, I could get an idea of what kinds of questions he gets. It really depends on the person. For mine, I decided to do some more school related questions.
2. Whitaker, Lenyon. "Brandon Stanton: Getting to Know the Man behind Humans of New York." Metro, 14 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.metro.us/newyork/entertainment/books/2013/10/14/getting-to-know-brandon-stanton-the-man-behind-humans-of-new-york/>.
This website is an interview on Brandon, and it’s really helpful to hear what he has to say about his big project. This was useful to me because I could see certain answers to questions that can guide me in the right direction. I question whether or not I’ll get good stories out of people, but he is almost a pro at it. Brandon approaches people in a comfortable matter. He talks about getting rejection from many people, and I don’t think I’ll have that problem as much because the people in my school aren’t that much of strangers.
Gibson, Andrew. "How To Take Photos of People Like a Professional." Envato. Tutsplus, 19 Nov. 2009. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://photography.tutsplus.com/articles/how-to-take-photos-of-people-like-a-professional--photo-860>.
Even though I understand the basics of photography, I really wanted to look farther into how to shoot portraits. This source was helpful to me because it gave me some tips on certain detail to pay attention to. I need to think about different angles, along with how close I should be to their face, and etc. I can’t just have everyone in the same position, or same camera setting. Everyone should have their own individual story along with a unique picture. I am going to keep these tips in mind so I think about different ways to take each portrait.
4.This Is The Human Behind 'Humans Of New York' Mashable. YouTube, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <https://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=Bcm6kwWv09o>.
This youtube video helped my visual understanding of what he does. The story doesn’t always have to be happy. The story can be from fear, or a tragedy. I like the way he explains how he doesn’t try to make a quote fit with a certain picture. It ends up being a conversation with the person. Throughout my whole picture taking process, it’s really going to be about having a genuine conversation with the student or teacher. A limitation to this source is that the video is pretty short, and it’s pretty interesting to listen to so I wish I could be longer and explain Branden’s full background. I also want to know how he approaches people, does he just say can I take your picture? I feel as though New Yorkers could get pretty upset.
5. Wendler, Daniel. "Invitation: The Art of Good Questions." Improve Your Social Skills. Daniel Wendler, 2014. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.improveyoursocialskills.com/conversation/invitation>.
Taking away from the actual Humans of New York, this website helped me with some tips on talking to people. I was never that shy of a person, but from the pictures I’ve taken so far, I feel as though I needed to research how to get people to share with you. There were a few times where I would talk to some people, and they didn’t give me much, it was mainly one word answers. Some people just don’t like to talk to people at all, but others can share with you if you talk to them in the correct manner. After reading this site, I got some more ideas on what to ask people, because some of my starter questions were yes or no, and that doesn’t take you very far in conversation.
6. Gammage, Jeff. "Blog Celebrates Humans of Philadelphia." Philly.com. Philadelphia Media Network, 30 Sept. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://articles.philly.com/2013-09-30/news/42505112_1_south-philadelphia-humans-hony>.
This source provides me with information about a guy in Philadelphia who does the same thing as the guy in New York. I think it’s interesting how different it is from the New York blog, even though they are the same concept. It has to do with each photographer and the kinds of people they choose to interview. His project is a imitation of Humans of New York. In the article, it tells me what Brandon Stanton does in New York in comparison to Chuck Putman. Chuck explains that it broadens the perspective and diversity of the city in ways that outsiders may not see at first.
Bosman, Julie. "A Fisherman in New York’s Sea of Faces." Business Day: Media and Advertising. New York Times, 6 Nov. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.nytimes.com/2013/11/07/business/media/humans-of-new-york-by-brandon-stanton.html?_r=1&>.
This source is helpful to me because it gives another perspective and detail on Humans of New York. I need as much information as possible about what Brandon does, so I can follow in his successful footsteps. He explains how he makes himself as nonthreatening as possible. I found it interesting that the first person he ever shot was a guy who caught Brandon’s eye. He allowed him to take the picture right off the bat, and I think that really sparked Brandon into wanting to take more pictures. There are many interesting people in SLA that will catch my eye and will make my project really amazing in the end.
8. Cauterucci, Christina. "How Photos Can Make Strangers A Little Less Strange." NPR. NPR, 1 Nov. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.npr.org/blogs/pictureshow/2013/11/01/241822706/how-photos-can-make-strangers-a-little-less-strange>.
I chose this source because NPR is very reliable, and I also found this article to be interesting. Each article I read about Humans of New York, or Brandon, it gives me new information. They’re all written differently so I am able to capture a different perspective and new facts from each. This written piece was helpful to me because it explained where Brandon goes to take his pictures. He explains that he tries to stay away from the busy places where people won’t stop and talk to him. If the parks are the best for him, kids sitting in the hallway will be good for me. Getting a glimpse of almost all of the students at SLA will leave a great memory for me when I leave the school.
Matarese, Jennifer. "Author Explains New Book 'Humans of New York'" Lifestyle & Fun. WABC-TV/DT, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://abclocal.go.com/wabc/story?section=news/lifestyle&id=9288389>.
I found this ABC website helpful because they provided a video with an interview with Brandon and he talks about how he tries to get a story out of people that is much different from his other ones, if he gets the same one, he needs to keep talking. His fans are really excited to see him walk around New York, and he has a certain voice that draws people in. I agree with him when he says that all New Yorkers aren’t rude, the crowds are rude. I don’t think anyone in SLA is rude, but there are many students who could be shy to talk to me and I hope I give off a good vibe so I can have a good project.
Ehrenfeld, Temma. "How to Grow Close By Asking the Right Questions." Open Gentley. Psychology Today, 15 Oct. 2013. Web. 27 Jan. 2014. <http://www.psychologytoday.com/blog/open-gently/201310/how-grow-close-asking-the-right-questions>.
This source provides me with information on how to talk to people in an effective and proper manner. I think overall I am a social person, but for this specific project I really need to be able to grasp people’s attention and make sure they understand they can share anything with me. In this article, it provides sample questions for conversation starters. They are formatted in a way where it builds “intimacy” and connection. The questions help the person answer comfortably, but also give a lot of detail. Each question I ask is very crucial because if I ask it the right way I could potentially get a really great quote from them.