YouPic, the Swedish based photography site, has brought a new and welcome dimension to the photo-sharing arena that seems to have too many ‘me-toos’ and not enough innovation. We’ll look here at what the site brings, focusing in on their fascinating photographer interviews; short 10 minute clips where some of the world’s finest talk about their process and their craft. Concentrating on education and inspiration, the site offers cool tools and features that help photographers of any experience learn more and up their game.
They take this to an extra.. ahem.. ‘level’ by gamifying aspects of the site where you earn the now ubiquitous currency of ‘XP’ (for heavens sake there are even sites like Level Up Life that takes it out of the gaming world and into real life but that’s an entirely different blog!). On YouPic you level-up based on your uploads and your engagement with things like ‘repics’, the YouPic version of a retweet. They also have critiques where you can ask for and give feedback, getting first hand reviews from your peers and those you aspire to emulate.
It’s all housed in a cool design with great stats and progress bars to encourage you to improve. Overall a refreshing change from the plethora of marketing psychobabble riddled sites with generic features and lip service to ‘community’ paid in spades through the same old same old ‘likes’ and ‘followers’.
Flickr and Google photos are great for storing and organising photographer’s work but if you want to immerse yourself in inspiration and consequently, motivation, you could do worse than use YouPic.
The outstanding feature has to be the Photographer interviews. YouPic have been pushing these out over the last few weeks with a really intelligent mixture of genres and styles and, above all else, they’ve gone for a selection of real ‘A list’ shooters. With these great photographers giving us a brief glimpse into their lives and work, it truly gets to the heart of what this site is all about, the photography.
Interviews published so far include:
- Adam Hinton – the thought-provoking and revealing world of riots, conflict and gangs.
- Julia Fullerton-Batten – stunning and ethereal fine art with lighting and style at the core.
- Harry Gruyaert – the engaging Magnum genius on serendipity you have to work at and the use of colour in photojournalism.
- Philip Lee Harvey – Learn what it takes to become Travel Photographer of the Year.
They are all worth a look, here’s three for starters:
Martin Hartley works in the far reaches of our planet, overcoming extraordinary physical and technical hurdles along the way.
Ali Bin Thalith’s too close for comfort, encounters of the marine kind.
My personal favourite is probably the David Yarrow interview Pt1, I’m a sucker for a black and white wildlife shot, but it’s great to understand in a simple 11 minute clip exactly how he approaches his work and the fundamentals that drive him. Knowing the right location to shoot a specific beast, not using a long lens, getting down to ground level with a remote and using elephant manure as and when necessary!
Take a look for yourself. Truly inspiring.