Came across a neat site a few weeks ago that puts a beautiful, new spin on the idea of online, user submitted photo galleries. Called “Pictory”, the site encourages users, both current and new, to submit their favourite photos in a given topic and to tell a story that goes along with the shot they took.
Developed by Laura Brunow Miner, an editor, blogger, designer, photography lover and, given the popularity and uniqueness of the Pictory site, a bit of a visionary.
In her own words, the Pictory website was born out of the desire to create a, “showcase for people around the world to document their lives and cultures.”
Anyone can submit one large, captioned image to each of Pictory’s editorial themes. I’m editor, designer, and founder Laura Brunow Miner, and I will select a few dozen of the best items from each theme to appear in each showcase.
Why just one photo? I want you to pick your best image — and, it’s really interesting to compare work from different contributors on the same topic. Other sites offer photo essays and bodies of work from one photographer, but I want to help a diverse group of people put together collaborative photo essays.
As well as featuring a number of completed ‘essays’ such as:
- San Francisco – 29 Portraits, 1 City
- Life Before Your Eyes
- Overseas and Overwhelmed – 25 Stories of Culture Shock
there are currently a number of showcases open for submissions including “The One Who Got Away”, “Local Delicacy” and the one that peaked my interest “Portrait of a Place: London”.
Diving into my own personal collection of images, I looked for one that I could throw a solid couple of sentences behind, and one where my words would really shine through in the photo itself. Rather than simply post the image I finally settled on, I thought I’d walk you through the process I took to submit my photo and story – my ‘Pictory’.
STEP ONE: Register
Registering was pretty simple. Select a username and password, and provide a few simple details.
STEP TWO: Submit your image and story
Sounds easy enough. And it is. Upload an image that’s 1,000 pixels wide and less than 10MB in size, give your image a title, and write 2 or more sentences about the topic that is supported by your submitted image. Add a few more details about yourself (that’s where you get to give your website etc a bit of a plug), and you’re all set to go.
STEP THREE: Preview your submission
Like all good submission engines of this nature, you get the opportunity to have a gander at the final product before you commit to hitting the “Submit” button. That way, you can go back and make changes if necessary.
STEP FOUR: Submit your submission
Once you’re happy with your image and story, there’s only one thing left to do. Hit the “Submit” button. In doing so, you’re presented with both a “successful submission” message and an email notifying you of the receipt of your material.
STEP FIVE: Cross your fingers and sit tight
The email you receive suggests that it may be a couple of weeks before you hear if your “Pictory” has been chosen to appear in the relevant showcase. My fingers are crossed in the hope that my submitted image gets a run in the upcoming “London” showcase. In the meantime, I’m going to soak in with interest, all that my fellow photographers have to offer on this great site that I’m really glad to have found!
Laura, who clearly has a real gift when it comes to clean, attractive online design and layout, has created a beautiful creative environment for any photographer out there looking for something different from the likes of Flickr and the hoards of online photographic communities available nowadays.
If you’re interested in getting involved on ‘Pictory’, here’s the list of upcoming submission deadlines: