The idea seems simple: Take someone's picture, ask them a few questions, then post the photo and the interview online.
That's how bond trader turned photographer Brandon Stanton's "Humans of New York" blog became a social media sensation around the world.
"I was at an end of a two-year period where I thought about nothing but money and I had nothing to show for it," he said in an interview with CNBC.
After being laid off during the onset of the 2008 global financial crisis, the Georgia native changed his mind about his career path. He ignored money for a while in order to build a life that was focused on something he loved.
With no formal training in photography, his newfound professional pursuit and passion led him to a place he had never been to before—New York City.
"I was very poor for about two years," Stanton said. "I collected about $16,000 from unemployment. I slept on an air mattress and didn't eat well."