Where photojournalism lives
(festivities in Honduras Street June 2007 at opening for Stephan Vanfleteren exhibition)
Jon Levy started foto8 in 1998 as a quarterly web journal so that photographers could publish their projects online. In 2002 he and Gordon Miller began publishing ei8ht magazine in print . The first issue was 47 pages, bound by two staples and crammed full of photography. There was one page of ads for four agencies: VII, Panos, Network, and Growbag which has since closed. The photographers with these agencies represent much of what Foto8 continues to be about: serious, committed authored photography that is good because it is in some important sense beautiful and in some important sense true. At that time, those photographers were both the contributors and the audience.
8 magazine has expanded since then, in size, scope, and in its audience. There have been more picture stories that focus on the experiences of individuals, and autobiographical stories; there has been a lot more writing including fiction and book reviews. The website has grown to complement it, featuring material supplemental to stories running in the print publication.
The most significant change over the last few years has been the development of projects in different areas: new sections in the magazine; the online book shop (in addition to our own stock, we are also the official online seller for Chris Boot Books ); and the HOST Gallery off Old Street in London which has seen some great shows, great talks, and great parties. (The party to beat must surely be the one held in honor of the Flandrien show , Stefan Vanfleteren’s pictures of cycling in Belgium. The Belgian Ministry of Culture brought the beer, the cyclists, and the band.)
This year there will be the new 200 page biannual 8 magazine coming out in April , and the new summer show at HOST. Agnes b will be showing work from 8 magazine cover stories.
This new website now features a story of the week and a book of the month; documentary shorts and multimedia pictures stories; our blog report; news and listings; much more. As a registered user you can submit listings and links and comment on features; you can also create a profile with a small gallery and hopefully meet new people and catch up with friends. We are asking you to send us your projects on Israel/ Palestine that we will show in the gallery in conjunction with Judah Passow’s exhibit , and with an ongoing archive of contemporary photojournalism on Israel and Palestine.
All of these new projects make for a lot of excitement and activity but what the people upstairs at 1 Honduras Street have been doing over the last year is to bring all of these activities together as part of larger project, and this is what Foto8 is now. It’s not just a magazine, a website and a gallery; it’s a way of engaging with photography and with the world, that is about being thoughtful, following instincts, looking and seeing, and making and doing.
With this new website we want to invite you to join us in focusing our attentions and energies, and to create stronger connections in the communities that already exist around photojournalism and documentary photography. There will be a lot more material on the site, and it will continue to be in dialogue with the content of 8 magazine and the shows and activities at HOST Gallery, but we will also be presenting much more material than could ever be published in the magazine or put up on the walls of HOST. We invite you to explore the site, and read, look, and listen. Then we invite you to send us work, to tell us about what you like and why, and to help us continue to make this the place “where photojournalism lives”. Register for the site; it’s easy and free and it will allow you to post comments, see previews, and send messages to other users in the directory; it will also allow us to communicate with you.
Foto8 is 8, HOST, and foto8.com, but it is also all of us together making sense of the world through photography and making sense of the world of photography.
If you’d like to send pictures: Your best work is most likely the work that you produce for yourself, for your own reasons, for who you are. It could be the project that made you famous, and it could be the project that you’ve been working on for years, that you’re still working on, that you keep under your bed. This is the work that we want to see, and that we think you should share; this is the work for which Foto8 can be a home.
How we got there: the original ideas for this site -mapped out.