Paul Melcher's selection
Forests, seen from afar, seem to be composed of all the same trees. They are tall, green, have branches and stand, righteous, and stand next to one another. It is only when we step inside that we discover that not one tree is a look. The same can be said of humanity. As a whole, we know who we are. We know, for example, how many people speak english on the planet( 322 Million), what type of food is the most eaten( bread ), what country we most like to visit (France) or even how we prefer to spend our time online ( Facebook ). However, the more numerous we become, the less we know about each individual.
And we all know that we are much more than the sum of our trends. Even if we might have a lot in common, we have even more that just belongs to us, personally.
That is what makes us humans, real humans : our individuality. We thrive in our ability to be completely different than our fellow humans, yet be a wholesome part of the same species. We relish to be so different than each other and yet so accessible. We might not agree on a lot of things most of the time, fashion, food, literature, yet we love to be in each other's company. In fact, most of us seek this difference.
That is the core of the work Brandon Stanton has engaged himself to do. Like a cartographer, he has chosen to map humans' individuality. For years now, armed with only his camera, he wanders the streets in order to capture what makes us individuals. For now, he has set is aim on New York city, but that is just a starts. Ultimately, he would like to have co-photographers do the same with him all over the world, because individuality does not live in one place.
In his walks, he approaches people who he finds attractive and photographs them. Not attractive in the sense that they look like supermodel. Rather, they are attractive because they emit a strong aura of individuality. Thus his subjects are not particularly stunning in the fashion model sense. They are , however, beautiful inside.
It is a fantastic project that Brandon has started and if his success on Facebook is any indication, one that is extremely well likes. He has thousands upon thousands of followers ( 98,000) who religiously comment and share every of his posted images. He also has a website where he more extensively explains his process and maps his progress. As of today, he has posted 3773 portraits and 50 stories and shows no signs of slowing down.