Photocrowd – Brand New Approach to Photo Challenges
Photocrowd is a new online community for photographers founded in Oxford, UK. The community is focused on providing their worldwide audience with a fresh and rewarding approach to photo contests, or ‘challenges’ as they call them.
The Photocrowd community already spans 126 countries and they have had over 100,000 images submitted to their challenges, which cover all genres of photography. They have partnered with photography brands such as Lowepro, Peak Design, ThinkTank Photo, BlackRapid, Alamy and many more to provide a wide range of prizes for each contests’ winners. Not only this, but winners’ images have appeared in some of the most renowned online publications including The Huffington Post, The Guardian and Daily Mail Online, giving Photocrowd’s members a prize that money can’t always buy – exposure.
The idea behind Photocrowd was inspired by co-founders Mike Betts’ and Liam Bailey’s previous photography teaching careers, more specifically what motivated their students to shoot and learn – photo assignments. On setting these assignments, Mike and Liam would not only critique their students’ work, but also encourage classes to give group feedback. Soon discovering that there weren’t really any online platforms that offered this valuable and multifaceted learning experience for photographers, they set about creating Photocrowd.
“We saw that most photo contests simply don’t give any feedback to probably about 99% of the photographers who enter them. Not only that but you never find out where you were placed in the overall standings, how you could improve your skills and end results, or why it was that the winning images were chosen” – Mike Betts, co-founder.
Photocrowd’s challenges puts the power and opinion firmly in the hands of the ‘crowd’ who are allowed to rate each of the photos entered into a challenge to decide its overall results. Once you have entered your photo to a contest, you can watch how well (or badly!) it is received from fellow members… and the level of engagement is impressive, with over 15 million crowd ratings from the Photocrowd community recorded so far.
But not only do Photocrowd’s challenges produce this set of results decided by the crowd. Most of the challenges also include the input of an expert judge. Photocrowd’s ever-growing judging panel has now over 100 professional photographers, amongst them some of the most recognized names in the world of online photography such as Jack Hollingsworth and Matt Kloskowski. The expert judges will choose their own winning selections and write a number of educational image reviews – a very popular feature amongst users who thrive off the praise, advice and overall opinions of these established pros.
There are now roughly 2,500 image reviews on Photocrowd written by Photocrowd’s expert judges. One of them is Sophie Gamand, a Sony World Photo Awards winner…
“Photocrowd fills a space that needed more attention: a platform for serious amateurs, semi- professionals, and even professionals who all have in common great skills and a passion for their craft. Photography can be such a lonely path, it is important to join communities.
Photocrowd is definitely one I would recommend.”
Photocrowd has many new site features and upgrades being launched regularly, with some of the forthcoming ones including new user profiles and a highly-anticipated groups feature.
“We have set out to really refresh photo challenges in a way that motivates photographers, at whatever level they may be at, to go out and shoot more, which is really the only way to improve as a photographer. We want to provide a platform for our users to benchmark themselves against some of the world’s best photographers” – MB
Photocrowd is free to register to and participate on. There is a large variety of photo challenges to enter and prizes to win at any one time, with current challenges including ‘Autumn colours’, ‘Push the limits’, ‘In the rain’, ‘Theatre and dance’ plus many more…. www.photocrowd.com/challenges/.