A little while ago, on a grey and gloomy Sunday afternoon, I was passing some time by assembling a collection of work by British photographers, for a Treasury list (a curated selection of items from among the thousands of shops and creative talents on Etsy). While looking at a series of quite superb images, of every conceivable subject and in every possible style, an idea began to take shape.
Since I got serious with my own Etsy shop last Autumn, and began to participate also in the community of sellers, I'd noticed a few things. First, that there are huge numbers of very skillful and talented photographers out there...second, that a number of them are right here in the UK...and third, that the existing photography groups and discussions tend to be (quite naturally) somewhat US-centric.
By Helen Iles
It struck me that similar discussions might be useful to us over here too, but that they wouldn't naturally fit into the POE (Photographers of Etsy) group if they were specific to the UK, or into the general British sellers boards of they were specific to photography...and that there were probably other things specific to our work and location also, as well as potential value in various team-type activities with a focus on our artform. Then I started thinking about more possibilities, further down the line, such as a website, or group show.
So, lots of UK talent, with UK-specific ideas and information to share perhaps, but no UK group...hmm. Maybe nobody would be interested in such a thing? Well, being a man for whom actions always speak louder than words, I sent out a few emails and floated the idea of creating a UK-based photography team...and received universally positive responses, including several who said they'd had similar thoughts.
Once I had a dozen potential members, and a kind offer of assistance from Donnah of Whittaker Photography, it seemed like a viable idea...so the UK Photo Team was born February 24th. One week in, we already have 36 members, an active discussion board, and hopefully a bright future.
Amazing what can come out of a gloomy Sunday afternoon.