Blogger Portrait by Gabriela Herman

From the Bloggers series. Photo © Gabriela Herman

Look, Listen, Learn — Join the Flak Photo Network.

One of the best parts about producing FlakPhoto is connecting with photographers, curators and bookmakers I admire — and helping them get their work seen by a wider audience online. The FlakPhoto project is just a small part of a vast, interconnected and global photographic community that's growing larger every day. In addition to publishing our respective blogs and websites, many of us have flocked to Facebook to connect with each other, ask questions, and discover photography every day.

So in March 2011, I launched the Flak Photo Network.

Something really special is evolving there. Since then, the group has grown to more than 8,000 members, each of them helping to make the space a vibrant community hub brimming with ideas about the current state of photography. The FPN functions best when we ask questions and share links that encourage thoughtful, extended conversations about contemporary photographic practice and I do my best to maintain that dynamic with minimal moderation.

My hope is that by hosting online photo conversations in a single place the FPN will make it easier to share ideas and meet photography colleagues using Facebook. As your host, it's my duty to keep the space intellectually compelling and I follow our photo conversations on a daily basis. There are plenty of opportunities for personal promotion elsewhere on Facebook and I'd prefer to avoid that kind of repetition in the FPN. Thanks in advance for your cooperation.

If you'd like to participate in our Flak Photo Network discussions, click the "Join Group" button in the upper right of the page or browse the members' directory and ask one of your friends to add you to the group.The FPN is a work-in-progress and all of our members play a part in making it thrive. If you decide to join us, please read our community guidelines below before posting. Thank you! — Andy Adams

 

Make Thoughtful Contributions

I'm thrilled with the time and attention that each of you has been willing to commit to being part of the group — attention you could be putting toward many other parts of your online/offline lives. For that to stay the case, the Network must be consistently useful and interesting for everyone involved. For the FPN to thrive as a healthy discussion space it's crucial that we work together to keep the network focused on photography so the 8,000+ people who are willing to make time to visit and share their expertise every day continue to find value in doing so. Thanks in advance for keeping your contributions focused, respectful and intelligent.

 

Ask Questions

If you've ever visited FlakPhoto's Facebook page, you know that I love hosting discussions about photography — and the best part about the FPN is that everyone has the ability to spark conversation. There's certainly a place for sharing personal projects, and the network gets really interesting when we ask and answer specific questions about the many aspects of contemporary image-making.

 

Recommend Photography Links

The FPN is a great place to share recommended reading (blog posts, reviews, articles, slideshows, etc.) that we stumble upon in the course of our time online each week. By posting links, you may generate discussion with colleagues from all corners of the globe — people who aren't already your Facebook friends. (You may even make some new friends from outside your local photo community.) I collect the most interesting links and share them on @FlakPhoto Digest.

 

Share Your Work

Do feel welcome to share your projects, but find interesting ways to talk about your photography. Rather than overtly promoting your self or an event that most FPN members won't be able to attend, present your work to the group with context: Are you trying to learn something? Is there an idea you're working on? Are you looking for feedback? Let's work together to make our posts different from the promotion that's happening elsewhere on Facebook.

 

Spread the Word

Naturally, invite Facebook friends + photo colleagues who would enjoy contributing to the group. While I'd love to see the Flak Photo Network expand, I also want to make sure it stays valuable to everyone who's part of it. My one request is for everyone to add quality, trusted contributors moving forward so we can keep the space vibrant and interesting. My aim isn't to make the FPN as big as possible. Rather, I'd like us to work together to help the space grow while keeping it interesting and fun for everyone involved.

 

Customize Your FPN Settings

Finally, you should customize your FPN settings so they fit your personal Facebook preferences. After you've joined the group, the first thing you should do is click the "Edit Settings" button on the top right corner of the page — you probably want to un-check the email notifications button, for example.

Thanks for being a part of the FPN! And if you're interested in photography books — you may enjoy FlakPhoto Books.

Best,

Andy Adams
Editor • Producer • Publisher
FlakPhoto.com

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Flak Photo is an online photography channel that presents the work of artists, curators, bookmakers and photo organizations to a global audience of people who are passionate about visual culture. Interested in contributing? Click here to learn more »

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