In the late 90s, I managed to acquire the domain name streetphotography.co.uk having just missed the .com variant. I used the UK version for my own personal website and continue to do so. Yet, I was curious about the .com and desperately wanted to acquire it too. I eventually found out who owned the site and we exchanged a few emails. After this, I continued to keep an eye on the domain. The man who owned it was not even a photographer but a graphic designer! He never even really used the domain, and certainly not as a photography platform.
One day, about seven years ago, I noticed that the holding page for the domain had disappeared. I emailed the owner and asked if he would sell the domain. He never replied. I emailed, phoned, sent letters – no reply for several years. Recently, when I did my usual check up and search on the domain I noticed that it had expired. I saw that it was scheduled for international online auction. I was determined, I was going to get this domain, finally. 192 people registered to participate in the auction, which was scheduled to commence at 2AM my time. I readied myself and was at my computer at 2AM. There was no definite end time for the auction. Rather, as the highest bidder you needed to retain your spot for five minutes. Put another way, five minutes had to elapse without any additional, higher, bids before the auction could conclude. The bidding was down to just three people after only forty minutes. I remained determined. I won. That night, while trying to fall into sleep, I realized that I’d won something not for myself but for the street photography community as a whole. That’s how this all began – a domain name quest, an auction, an amateur photographer – me – and a late-night bidding frenzy.
Bringing the site to fruition, as it is currently, was a long and trying process. Building a website is not, as one may assume at first blush, a long-weekend affair. In order to have a site that is capable of significant growth, one must first build a significant foundation. In this way, the early stages are highly complex, not to mention expensive and time consuming. Yet, here we are. StreetPhotography.com sits atop a solid foundation and is poised to expand and grow and prosper alongside the genre itself.
Street photography has been a buzz for a couple of decades now. Much of its popularity, as with photography more generally, can be traced back to the early days of consumer-based digital photography. Indeed, the iPhone 3G – a landmark device – enabled millions and millions of people to claim the title of photographer. No longer do we buy mobile phones, we buy cameras – cameras that can, incidentally, place calls! All of this converged to give birth to millions of new “street photographers”. In fact, it sometimes seems as though there are more street photographers than there are stars in the sky! Ironically, all this “activity” and “interest” has not, necessarily, been a good thing for photography. Photography has become “diluted” and “polluted”, even if democratic and accessible.
That’s why we’re here, at StreetPhotograpy.com, to uncover standards, to educate, to inspire, and to encourage our peers to strive for the very, very best. Indeed, that is our mission – to showcase the very best in street photography. Period. We will celebrate the masters, the young, the old, the newbie, the experienced, emerging, retired – everyone! Everyone is welcome and we believe everyone has something valuable to contribute. We just insist on good work. Best of all, we’re not here to make money. This is not a commercial venture. No sixty dollar portfolio submission fees on StreetPhotography.com! Publishing your photos, photo essays, editorials, articles etc., is all free, so long as you meet our demanding quality standards.
Over time, I hope, the community at StreetPhotography.com will grow, prosper, expand, and fraternize in a way that forms a definitive online location for the street photography genre. It is not my aim, or desire, to impose my will, exert undue influence, or to make a profit. I want the site to assume a life of its own. I want YOU to get involved and participate, contribute, and lead. YOU, the members of our community, will be the ones to give life and shape to the site. Hopefully, as we add contributors and editors, the site will begin to expand and offer additional benefits to the community such as a wealth of the very best photographs, educational and inspirational videos, editorials, and essays, as well as awards, competitions and so on. The sky’s the limit.
So, if this all sounds like something that excites you, that makes you want to be involved than great! Write me a note and we can discuss how best to incorporate you into our future. We need and are actively seeking contributing photographers, writers, editors, judges and so on. Come, be a part of our future here at StreetPhotography.com.
Johnny Mobasher, Founder