The Emphas.is team is so grateful to the photographers we’ve collaborated with and the 750+ backers who have pledged more than $60,000 to their projects. Many people have taken a leap of faith on this new funding model for visual journalism — now it’s our responsibility to return the favor.
In this post, and more to come, we hope to contribute to the growing discourse on innovative journalism funding models and to help develop success strategies for Emphas.is and other crowdfunded projects.
We’re excited to kick off with Tomas van Houtryve, one of the first photographers to have his project fully funded on Emphas.is, despite the fact that he was forced to fundraise and update backers while simultaneously making the photos he was fundraising for. Luckily for all of us, he succeeded despite the obstacles (something photojournalists are known for, after all) and has returned from Laos with important insights and advice.
COMPETITION VS. COMMUNITY
From reading Tomas’ posts from Laos, I was excited to learn that his backers were already impacting the quality of his work, and not simply by supplying him with financing.
One of his backers has worked and photographed in Laos for 12 years and gladly shared his thoughts and contacts. “It was really really helpful,” Tomas says, and convinced him to stay longer in a few places he was initially planning to just pass through.
I wondered if Tomas had ever experienced anything like this before? He hadn’t. Mostly because, in the past, he never would have publicly broadcast online what story he was planning on doing for fear that another photographer might try scoop him.
“This turned the tables completely, turning people from potential competitors to supporters,” he says. “It turns out, at least on this story, any worries of competition were unwarranted, and I had a lot more supporters out there than I would have imagined.”
We received the sad news yesterday that renowned photojournalists Tim Hetherington and Chris Hondros had been killed while covering the conflict in Libya, following an attack in which Guy Martin and Michael Christopher Brown were also wounded.
We feel our community has suffered a tremendous loss. We want to share our deepest condolences with Chris’ and Tim’s families. They were friends, colleagues, and a constant source of inspiration.
So many beautiful pieces have already been written in their memory; we simply want to encourage everyone to remember and share the important work they dedicated their lives to.
- Remembering Tim Hetherington, by Amy Yenkin, director of the Documentary Photography Project for Open Society Foundations.
- The News We Don’t Want To Report, by Jon Levy, the founder and director of Foto8.
- A longer list of posts about Tim and Chris has also been compiled on dvafoto.
Tim Hetherington ©Matt Stuart Chris Hondros ©Alan Chin
Hi everyone. We’ve had a couple questions about the process of signing up for an account on Emphas.is, which allows to start supporting photographers’ projects. We’ve tried to make it as easy as possible — please click on the link below to see a short tutorial.
To recap the video: Please visit the “Login” page and scroll down to the section marked “PLEASE SIGN UP to become part of the community.” Enter information in all the spaces and click “sign up.” When you do this, a notification should appear at the top of the page telling you that a confirmation email has been sent to your email address. Please find the email in your inbox and follow its instructions.
We hope that helps, and, again, thank you for your support. If you have any further questions, feel free to leave them in the comments below and we’ll respond as soon as possible!
We’re excited to announce that since Emphas.is launched in early March, more than $50,000 has been pledged to its nine photographic projects. Thank you for your help! This never could have been accomplished without you: pledging funds, spreading the word, and taking time out of your day to explore the stories these photographers are working to tell.
If you are one of the nearly 650 current Emphas.is backers, please fill out your profile page and upload a photo. We want to know exactly who to thank!
NEW SHEPARD FAIREY PRINT AVAILABLE
Aaron Huey’s Pine Ridge Billboard project has just passed the $10,000 mark, getting one large step closer to reaching its funding goal. Aaron’s collaboration with Shepard Fairey, who designed the iconic Obama HOPE campaign poster, has yielded a beautiful new print, now available with a donation of $150.
TWO PROJECTS FULLY FUNDED
Additionally, two projects have already been fully funded thanks to their 215 backers: Carolyn Drake’s story on the Uyghurs of northwest China and Tomas van Houtryve’s exploration of communist vestiges in Laos.
SHEPARD FAIREY (the most famous/prolific street artist in America) has completed his collaboration with me for for the Pine Ridge Billboard Project! This original screen print and 2 screen prints by artist/activist Ernesto Yerena are for sale through the project HERE.
I REPEAT: THESE PRINTS ARE FOR SALE.
THEY ARE VALUABLE. BUY THEM.
The Emphas.is website will be temporarily unavailable due to scheduled maintenance on April 9, 2011 beginning at 8:00 a.m. CET.
We count to have the site back up by 10:00 a.m. at the latest. We apologize for the inconvenience and thank you for you patience!
The System Administrator.