Photo Collectives On The Rise

- - Photographers

I like this trend where photographers form groups and publish their work on a website or print something for sale. It certainly gives those looking to hire another resource to check out and like some agencies there’s often a thread between all the work so if you’re looking for a specific style you can spend some time exploring. Seems like a good way to build a fan base too.

The Collectors Guide To Emerging Photography– is an invite only, unique 180–page source book distributed to collectors, art dealers, gallery directors, photo editors, museum professionals, and independent curators. Published biennially, The Collector’s Guide aims to further Humble’s mission by bridging the gap between ambitious early-career photographers and often-unapproachable photography professionals and art institutions.

Lay Flat— a new print publication devoted to promoting the best in contemporary fine art photography and writing on the medium. Each issue is assembled by Shane Lavalette in close collaboration with a co-curator

Expiration Notice— will serve as an online gallery for those who’ve already lived a life, continue to do so, and have the quality goods long denied the glory of the the glossy magazines or gleaming white gallery walls.

Fjord— is a project that showcases the photography of young, up-and-coming photographers. The drastic shift in the way work is being presented today has become especially noticeable in the more technologically adept generation. Fjord’s goal is to bring together a collection of notable photographers from the internet and showcase their work in book form.

The Exposure Project— is a collection of emerging photographers taking an active approach in exposing and promoting new talent through exhibition, publication and online exposure. Formed in the fall of 2005, the goal of the project is to provide support, inspiration and community-based collaboration to emerging talent. Since its inception, The Exposure Project has hosted numerous exhibitions, has had online showcases, and has self-published 3 photo books.

Luceo Images— is a collection of photographers creating a space for fresh visual narratives. Luceo offers documentary, portraiture, and commercial photography as well as new media production on an assignment basis.

Aveum — Life, Time, Age.

The Society of Photographers — serves as a forum where members share photography as an art form. Select members are invited to submit work for review by all members of the Society on a monthly basis.

Piece of Cake — European network for contemporary images.

Image Works –Founded in 1998 by a group of large format photographers in the greater Phoenix area with a common interest in making the highest quality fine art photographic images, Imageworks is an organization committed to excellence in this art form.

Iris Photo Collective — Documenting people of color and their relationship to the world.

MJR — represents the next wave of great image makers. We are staking our claim in the future and will do our best to make this a cornerstone for everyone who finds themselves waiting to take the next big step towards becoming the next big thing.

Camera 80 — online photography gallery showcasing the work of young Romanian photographers

Photo Drifting — is a New York City based collective of creative professionals who document and share their lives via photographs. These photographs don’t relate nor do they have any concurrent theme or style. Instead, Photo Drifting represents different views of life in NYC.

This Is A Photoblog — We are a group of photographers who take turns giving each other creative assignments and have fun doing it.

Slate Grey Media — It is our mission to incubate, generate and deliver creative imagery for a global array of discerning clients in a friendly, fair and professional manner. We encourage and support each other’s creativity, inventively market ourselves and share resources in a spirit of cooperation and collaboration.

GAIA Photos — Your global team of local photojournalists. Follow the flow of new documentary photo features from a selected group of the world’s leading freelance photojournalists.

tendancefloue.net

Alphabet Project — It involves 26 photographers from around the world. Each photographer has a first name that begins with an unique letter of the alphabet. Every two weeks the person whose letter of the alphabet it is sets a photographic task for both themselves and the other 25 photographers. The task that the photographer sets can be an adjective, a noun, a specific instruction, a verb etc but it must start with the same letter as the first letter in their name.

Burn Magazine — is an evolving journal for emerging photographers.

International League of Conservation Photographers — Our mission is to translate conservation science into compelling visual messages targeted to specific audiences

Unseen Photography — is a collective of contemporary photographers based in the UK

Remain In Light — This small group of select Bay Area photographers was originally formed to provide an agency which presents simple, reliable and artistic documentary images.

Shado Collective — is a group of photographers based in Tokyo.

The Range — is a New York based Non-Profit Organization of artists united by a common goal: We aim to pair the accomplished artist with their current subversive counterpart in the hopes of establishing a diverse networking outlet.

Statement Images — is a collective of photographers with a curiosity for the world which they wish to explore through imagery, whether still or moving. The collective started in late 2008 as members became disillusioned at the quality, style, impact and the direction photography in the mainstream press was heading.

I know there are many more, so add any you know about in the comments and I’ll get them listed.

There Are 71 Comments On This Article.

  1. Reasons Love

    There is a lot of focus (pun intended) on young photographers and their work.

    Maturity in life and vision takes a backseat to what is created by a new shooter.

    Why is that?

    Not saying that showcasing a good young photographer is bad, I applaud the effort. I wonder why long-term personal work or projects are not given as much emphasis as photographers just starting out?

    Often it takes photographers years of hard work and deep thinking about their vision plus the effort required to make it right.

    I wonder how many of the thirty under thirty are still thriving versus being burned out because they were hailed as the best of the best.

    A triple dog dare to PDN to have the guts to show forty over forty of sixty over sixty who could still knock the breath out of young and old.

    • @Reasons Love, I agree. I am way tired of the uninspired work coming out of, say, 30 under 30, Jen B’s Hey Hot Shot, and SVA’s photo program. Not that there isn’t talent there, its just mostly underdeveloped. Give it 10 years, and move out of Brooklyn. The Expiration Notice site had some fantastic work. Refreshingly honest for a bunch of “old” guys.

  2. Old & In The Way

    @ Allen & Reason:
    Props to maturity and all but when will you figure out that your minute is over? It’s not that maturity and wisdom don’t count for anything. It’s more like what do you want to buy? A tired new release from Mick & Company or the newest sounds from Animal Collective? Are photo editors out searching the web for photographers with maturity of vision? If I hear about 40 over 40 one more time.. It’s not about hard, it’s about new.

    • @Old & In The Way, I agree its about “new” but what’s new about Ryan Pfluger? Most of what is coming out from “emerging” 20 somethings is new only to them. This isn’t everybody, of course. I really like Ryan McGinley and a few others. I really think it takes some time and dues paying to produce something that has legs.

    • Reasons Love

      @Old & In The Way,

      Do you really think it is all about NEW?

      I could have sworn it was about COMMUNICATING and IDEA.

      You have to know how to think first before you grow. Do you really think Bill Allard’s work when was a twenty-something is as good as what he is producing now?

      Photography is far more than some photoshop technique or what you consider new vision. It has nothing to do with “when a minute is up.” This isn’t about being famous or generating a huge audience.

      It takes a long time to create a consistent body of work that will stand the test of time.

      If you want to create work that hits it big with the PDN folks, have at it.

      If you want a career that lasts more than five minutes of being Mr. or Ms. Hot this minute, than you reconsider what you said. If not, have fun. Proof is in the pudding DUDE!

      • Old & In The Way

        @Reasons Love,
        Ask Mr Photo Editor here how many times he begins a search looking for someone with a mature vision. He’s looking for someone with a “new” vision. He’s looking to see something he hasn’t seen before. I’m not trying to fuck with you – I’m only saying enough with the complaints about “new!” Get over it.

        • Reasons Love

          @Old & In The Way,

          example:(older shooters) Dan Winter, David Burnett, Mark Tucker, Nadav Kander, James Nachtwey

          NEW: Peter Wang, Chris Anderson

          It is about the work. It takes a while to define a vision.

    • @Old & In The Way,

      As a an associate creative director, I never hired young talent. They were always trying to rip-off the masters. I always went for experience and those who set the path. New doesn’t always come from the young.

      • Old & In The Way

        @Steven Rood,
        Agreed. New doesn’t always come from the young. I wasn’t really suggesting that. I was suggesting that the PDN 30 under 30 is about new. Rob is out looking for great new photographers. I go to the record store looking for great new music. Johnny Cash and Rick Rubin reinvented Johnny Cash and it was new and people ate it up. It’s the whining from the mature of vision that I’m railing against. Everyone of the photographers that Reasons Love mentions above continues to show us something new – well, maybe not Nadav. I had a British friend who showed me who Nadav ripped off and continues to rip off and I can’t remember the name right now.

        Let’s quit the whining already.

        • @Old & In The Way,

          I never read that “Reasons Love” was complaining about young shooters. Most likely, he or she was a young photographer themselves at one point in their life. :-)

          Maybe they were passing on some “reason” and you read it as complaining. Which I did not see as a complaint.

          But I am neither young nor old, but a very good photographer who understands the business and I agree with this persons reasons.

          I do not believe that photo editors are looking for new. I believe they are looking for people who first and foremost can deliver the goods in a consistent manner and also have a unique approach that helps tell the story. If it also happens to be a new approach or technique that is believable, well ok, but that will still take the back seat to being able to deliver the story or keep the subject in a comfortable place.

          What is new to an under thirty shooter may be old hat to an editor who sees everything and has seen the trends come and go several times.

        • @Old & In The Way,

          I don’t really give a shit about what PDN or Rob are looking for. New, old, indifferent, rebellious, ripped-off, re-hashed, avant-garde, punk or just plain stupid. It has has to be good. It has to be kick-ass. It has to be fresh. And it has to have something to say. If that comes from someone who’s 20 or 70, I don’t care. But it better fucking make me believe in photography. Because if I see one more portfolio full of vapid, strung-out, loser ass-fucks with no future or graffiti-ridden desolate landscapes or HDR portraits riddled with Photoshop trickery, I will personally come to your house, eat all your food, drink your beer kick your dog and shit on your lawn.

            • @Old & In The Way,

              Ha. I was just being a smart ass. But I think we can all relate to the over abundance of common themes and looks in a lot of the books floating around these days. Most of which look like they came from the discard pile of a Photomat. I know there is some stunning , break-out work to be seen. And I would like to see more of it. My hope is that the young shooters of today break away from what’s currently being offered and create some new and more positive looks at the world.

  3. Feature Shoot is a good one too.
    http://www.featureshoot.com/
    They mix some up and coming folks, like me a couple of weeks ago, as well as some established people, like Michael Lavine. A mix of types of work as well, and they feature people for individual works, portraits for instance, as well as long term documentary projects.
    Not a group, per se, but a place to look at up and comers and just some good photography in general.

  4. I belong to a group called Imageworks, here in Phoenix.

    Founded in 1998 by a group of large format photographers in the greater Phoenix area with a common interest in making the highest quality fine art photographic images, Imageworks is an organization committed to excellence in this art form.

    Imageworks is a forum for the collective expression of its members, limited to 25 individuals. Each member is challenged to produce the finest works possible and then to go farther. Individually and collectively, the members have seen their work achieve standards that were previously unimaginable.

    Imageworks is about large format photography. While members pursue other photographic techniques, it is the large format camera – its absolute perspective control, print quality and overall capabilities – that captures the scene and records it, allowing the photographer to produce an image in his or her own unique style.

    Several Imageworks members photograph in the style of the great classic photographers of the twentieth century. Others produce images by extensive hand manipulation and antique processing methods. Still others are exploring the latest advances in chemistry and print production. Collectively, their work is a magnificent representation of the landscape, contemporary and classic portraiture, architecture, and still life compositions.

    Imageworks exhibitions include works in all sizes and manner of presentation. While no member is a working professional photographer, all share a passion for their art form that is evident in the images presented.

    Imageworks offers group exhibits and speakers, contact us to help you arrange an exhibit of our groups’ work.

    http://www.imageworks.org

  5. HERA IS A GREAT SITE THAT AS TARTED IN THE SUMMER OF 2008 AND HAS BEEN DOING AMAZING EVER SINCE-

    GIVE US A LITTLE LOVE, THIS SITE REPRESENTS PHOTOGRAPHER WHO SHOOT WHAT THEY SEE ON A DAILY BASIS NOTHING SET UP NO PROPS USED… JUST REAL SIGHTS FROM REAL PEOPLE..
    THANK YOU- FOSTER ZEH

    PHOTODRIFTING.COM

  6. Founded in 2007 in Brooklyn, NY, MJR is an American collective composed of Mustafah Abdulaziz, Rob August, Matthew Craig, Julius Metoyer, and Sean Flanigan. Our photographers specialize in photojournalism, editorial, fashion, lifestyle, and weddings, based out of Los Angeles, Seattle, Philadelphia, and New York City.

    The MJR blog, http://blog.wearemjr.com, features new work by members, photo essays and features on other emerging talent.

  7. I like collectives as a way to share between photographers – to inspire and keep mutual friends in the industry updated. In a way, we do this already without having to necessarily make it public, by hanging out and emailing images around to each other, etc… As a promotion tool I think it’s just another place to get lost on the internet.

    • @Peter Dawson,

      and it’s easy to get lost when 99% of the images look the same; makes me dizzy with a headache.

      what’s so new and fresh about copying trends?

  8. Just have to reference your previous post about the FPOS – ‘Sony’, should be applied to most of the ‘new and emerging’ snapshooters who profess to be photographic artists. Images of your best friend eating an apple, or swimming bareassed in a lake cannot in any way appeal to anyone but those who take these types of photos. If ever a seasoned/professional editor would be of use, it would be in many of the sites you list as promoting new talent.

  9. Just after 13 years trying to realize real collective act in a photocollectiv I would say that the word collectiv is a kind of great utopia… What is the real meaning of this word when people just speak about sharing website, tool and audience?

    Here is our last words:

    “Tangophoto has been a great photographic experience since 1995. As an experimental and creative lab, we focused on long term projects and we early experimented international networking through the web, online showcasing and mix-media international exhibitions.
    Now its time for a change. We decided Tangophoto will move from a membership based collective to a an open platform. A new way to gather energies on creative projects.”

    http://www.tangophoto.net

    In photocollectiv you have first this word that make it interressant, so if nothing creativ and collective is behind…I think it’s only the natural answer to the Big AGENCIES….and young people just creat “small agency” and certainly not “photocollectiv”

    the first, unique and oldest photocollectiv I think…not so good and revolutionnar photographicly speaking but really collectiv and acting in the photo scene:
    http://www.tendancefloue.net

    Flickr is becomming something like that, groups, groups, groups, leader and followers, apparently independant…that are owned by invisible “creativ commons” copyright that fuck all user from behind, one by one….even it is driven behind by such agency like Getty….oooopsss

    So it’s sound like capitalism is trying to adopt a real communist word: Collectiv…

  10. Wow…mostly repetitive…especially Fjord (All film/square, or meant to look like it). I bet they even used tripods and everything!

    Even most of the collectives were either a WordPress, or the “plain white + text” look. For all the crowing about “Internet Photogs”, I see more original stuff on flickr’s explorer most days.

    Aevum seemed ok, Matt Mallams stood out.

    I like, or at least “get” most of the linked works/sites from aphotoeditor, but this collection seemed pretty dull. Not that I can shoot half (or even a quarter) as good as these people, but I as a collection it did not really inspire me to shoot better.

    Of course, I turn off as soon as I read (or even smell) the words “Artist’s Statement”. I think the term should be banned. Even just putting the word INFO in block capps would be better. And bodies of work. Are these not really limbs of work, with your total lifetime output being the body?

    Correction. I have been inspired to shoot better, if only to allow me to re-do my website with more original text to accompany the images. I can not, however, promise anything about the originality of the images. Or the layout.

    One step at a time they say.

  11. The Alphabet Project, an international collection of photographers responding to tasks set by each photographer and following the alphabet:

  12. The Aveum Collective has some of the most compelling, thought provoking and beautiful photos i’ve seen in a long time. The projects they tackle are incredibly deep and insightful. What an amazingly talented group. thanks for the link.

  13. I actually think these collectives, or anything of a similar nature – such as viewer generated content / news, the ILCP (International League of Conservation Photographers – http://www.ilcp.com), TED, etc. has extraordinary and unlimited potential to change the world for the better. This form of immediate communication of ideas on a worldwide level…it truly is limitless. I am always amazed at the amount of great ideas that come out of some sort gathering of intelligent and creative people. this is the same principal. it just takes one amazing idea and usually this idea has a selfless goal.

  14. I’m part of a UK based photography collective called Unseen.

    We all make different work but it’s great to have a group dialogue, sharing skills and opinions etc.

    If you find yourself in Derby, England next month we’re showing as part of the Format Festival. Come and say hello!

    Luke

    http://www.unseenphotography.co.uk

  15. Check out The Range, we’re a small Non-Profit artists Organization based out of Brooklyn, NY. Our goal is to create a networking outlet for the Emerging Creator and the Established Innovator. We utilize local space to expose these artists to the surrounding community. Our mission is to break down the barriers between young blood and seasoned professionals. We’re artists for artists. Dedicated to displaying exceptional art and creating that perfect networking outlet for the Up & Coming with the Established.

  16. Junezandona@gmail.co

    I have a question…

    When collective’s are invite only…as is the case with the humble arts foundation and others…where do they find their talent. Are these mostly photographers who have gained a fair amount of press or are they discovered in a more unexpected way…or a mixture of both?

    Just a thought. As a photographer I’m always interested in where (what venues and publications) photographers get “noticed” the most.

    • Humble Arts Foundation is not invite only, but the Collector’s Guide was invite only–photographers were invited based on heavy research and extensive knowledge of the emerging art photo arena to keep it highly curated not simply another photo competition. Submissions for all other Humble projects are rolling and open to all. Please feel free to visit us at http://www.hafny.org for more info. Also, we’re not exactly a collective–more of a non-profit foundation, but we’re honored to be included!

  17. I started a photo agency called Remain In Light last year: http://www.remaininlight.com

    Because there is no professional certification for being a photographer, I felt that I needed to show clients that we are hand selected professionals that can be counted on to provide quality work.

    We are based mainly in the San Francisco Bay Area, but travel all over the world for shoots.

    This way, when a client needs advertising photography, or needs a reliable, quality photojournalist to shoot their project, they come to us knowing we provide the best.

    It has been a huge success so far, and Remain In Light has been a very successful partnership for us. Our clients keep coming back to us, so I guess that says a lot!

    James Martin
    ______________________________
    http://www.remaininlight.com

    • @James Martin, seriously: wtf? Compare your words to the photos and come back when you’ve actually done something which is better than mediocre. Don’t worry, it’s not only you who sucks here, same goes for most of the posters here. Lots of talking but nothing to back it up.

  18. ZuperQuirk is an international collective founded in April 2008. It is a global online experiment begun by the six charter members. Between them, they enjoy a supportive network of camaraderie. These six photographers all have a similar mindset yet employ different styles and approaches to producing their images.

    The photographers share personal favorite photographs on a weekly basis and collaborate on larger projects that are featured as pdf zines. There are additional extra slideshows as well.

  19. Worth adding to this list is Los Angeles photo collective From Here To There (www.heretotherela.com). Alot of the members come out of Calarts and the collective have been producing projects in public areas of LA for about a year.

  20. I have organised a Collectives Encounter with my organisation Photo-Festivals during the last edition of Format International Photofestival in the UK. We invited 4 uk-based collectives and a special guest from Brazil, Cia de Foto mentioned above. We also organised a panel discussion at The Photographers’ Gallery in London about the benefits of forming a photo collectives. You can check out our website to know more about this event whcih will take place again during Format festival in 2011: http://www.photo-festivals.com/new/pages/en/collectives-encounter.html.