NEW YORK (WCBS 880) – One New Yorker has spent the past year capturing the city through the faces of its people.

WCBS 880’s Alex Silverman On The Story

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Walking along West Fourth Street, Brandon Stanton flagged down a woman on a bike.

“Really quick,” he told her.

“I’m very unphotogenic,” she protested.

But she eventually agreed to have her photo taken, as Stanton says most people do.

“I started out really nervous and I think that made other people nervous,” Stanton told WCBS 880 reporter Alex Silverman.

He notices something.

“It could be just where the person’s standing. It could be what they’re wearing. It could be anything,” he said.

More than a year into it, he says, “I probably stopped about 10,000 people on the streets of New York so far.”

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He’s got it down.

These pictures will be part of a map on Stanton’s website – a photo census, he calls it.

LINK: Brandon Stanton’s Humans of New York

“So, that you can view the neighborhoods of New York through the faces of the people that live here,” he said. “You can walk 10 miles north in Manhattan and just walk through 15 or 20 different worlds almost. There’s no better example of diversity than people themselves and that’s what I focus on.”

He’s passing along a lesson he’s learned about a city and its people.

“I’ll have people tell me, when I ask them, ‘Do you know what neighborhood you’re in? You can’t go around asking people for their photos.’ And I’m like, ‘Well, I’ve been doing it for two weeks now and have asked 200 people and haven’t had a problem.’ So, a lot of times it’s people’s perceptions that are off,” he said. “People were generally much nicer and much more open than people realize.”

That’s what every one of his more than 3,000 photos has in common.

“They represent interaction between two complete strangers on the streets of a city that’s, you know, widely known for not being very friendly,” he said.

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What do you think of the project? Sound off in the comments section below!