© Samuel Markham
An open letter to our community and friends,
Like so many of you out there, the past year has brought about a lot of change and reflection. Despite the challenges we have all faced, our team has found light in learning how to work differently. This pause has given us an opportunity to realign our values with the way we work and we see this reflected back by you, our creative community.
We first conceived the idea of a photographic organisation back in 2014. The idea was and still remains to build community through photography and allow space for the emerging and underrepresented photographers to find voice. For us, the truth in photography is about finding meaning. It is about bringing people together, celebrating diversity and allowing for new and important conversations.
We went about this through two initiatives; Australian Photography Awards (APA) and The Fox Darkroom & Gallery. Through APA we focused on building community through award recognition. We felt this space needed a refresh and we set out to do things differently. Over the past six years we have grown APA to become one of the largest and most diverse competitions in Australia, continually pushing the boundaries of originality and discovery. This now includes our Stories campaign which we launched in 2020. Through Fox we established a creative educational space, community darkroom and photographic gallery where we hosted a program of workshops, exhibitions and public talks while working alongside community organisations and artists.
Over these past 7 years our organisation has grown far beyond our core team to include the people who learn and share with us. We are thrilled to announce the future direction of our organisation under the umbrella of Photo Collective.
“We feel our new name truly represents the collaborative work we are doing within our community. Photo Collective represents photographers, advocates, educators and curators working towards the collective goal of celebrating the changing ecology of Australian photography.”
What does this new name mean for our community?
Firstly, you will notice some changes to our social pages over the coming weeks. Please know this change of name won’t impact the Australian Photography Awards and Stories, both awards will continue to exist under the same branding, operated by Photo Collective.
You will also see a shift in the content we feature moving forward. This will include industry news beyond our organisation as we want to provide a central source for inspiration and opportunities. As part of our plan to represent a wider range of voices, we are engaging more writers and thinkers to engage in conversations and features.
Lastly, we are pleased to introduce you to The Collective. This part of our platform will function as a directory for Australian photographic artists and their projects. In time this will be user driven and navigated by locations, concepts and themes. We see this as another way to work alongside our community to represent a wider vision and voice within Australian photography.