New Website: PhotoStories

PhotoStories – what’s yours?

An image can tell us what a thousand words may never manage to portray. Photography is embedded in our everyday lives and continues to be one of the most powerful tools of communication. With photography at our finger tips, how and what do we want to say?

Launching in February 2017, PhotoStories is a new website bringing together the work of communities and professional photographers, exploring and sharing the world around them in a powerful and sometimes challenging way.  The website showcases PhotoStories created throughout Open Eye Gallery’s current Culture Shifts programme, as well as inviting the public to upload and share their own narratives.

Culture Shifts works with 10 national and international photographers embedded in communities across 7 areas of Liverpool City Region. It aims to support communities to explore their stories in a way that is meaningful to them. By co-authoring stories that reflect people’s identity, interests or lives, we hope to inspire, surprise or challenge a wider audience to participate through the new PhotoStories website.

“4 billion photographs per day are uploaded onto social media. Photography is now as important as text or verbal communication in the stories we tell about our own lives,” says Sarah Fisher, Executive Director, Open Eye Gallery.

Once users have registered to PhotoStories (it’s free!), they will be able to upload their own visual narrative of 3-15 images. The website is designed to host your own online portfolio of unique PhotoStories, with features to support you to think about the way you select and curate your own digital exhibition of images. Individual photo stories can be ‘liked’ and shared by other visitors to the website. A series of guest curators, photographers and communities will choose stories to be featured in the ‘Editors Choice’ section of the site.

As part of the overall Culture Shifts programme, Redeye, the Photography Network continue to work with local community champions to deliver training sessions on framing images, selecting and uploading photographs. Videos from the training sessions will be uploaded to PhotoStories to inspire a wider public to engage with photography and the new website.

When the website launches in February 2017, projects from across Culture Shifts will be available to view.

  • Liverpool based photographer Tadhg Devlin has been working in collaboration with the SURF Dementia network group to raise awareness of the disease, supported by Mersey Care NHS Foundation Trust.
  • A number of young people’s groups from across Sefton, including an LGBT group and Youth Parliament group, are working with photographer Colin McPherson to explore the identity of young people in the area.
  • Birmingham based photographer Andrew Jackson, in collaboration with practitioner Darryl Georgiou are working with the people behind the public face of the “Granby Four Streets” community in the Toxteth area of Liverpool.
  • Communities in Northwood, Kirkby have come together to work with photographer Tony Mallon to address what it means to live and be from the area.
  • Photographer Stephen King and the local community connected to St. Helens Pilkington Glass factory are re-imagining and reanimating this site of industrial significance.
  • Working with photographers Gary Bratchford and Robert Parkinson, communities across Halton CCG (Clinical Commissioning Group) explore barriers to health and wellbeing, and how photography can challenge pre-existing fears.
  • London based photographer Maria Kapajeva challenges perceptions of who exactly the women of Wirral are, bringing women from different backgrounds, ages and domestic circumstances together to celebrate what it means to be a woman from this area.

PhotoStories is currently being developed in partnership with Liverpool’s Red Ninja. All images are uploaded to PhotoStories under a creative commons license.

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