52Frames isn’t just a place to improve your photography; we’re a community. As a community, we have some core values to remind us why we’re here, and how we should interact.
At our core, we’re about more than photography; we’re about creativity. The reason hundreds of Framers are so passionate about this project is because it carves out a space of time in their busy lives each week, to simply engage in personal creativity. Gift yourselves this space each week by taking the time to think about each challenge, to think outside your comfort zone, and do something you wouldn’t otherwise ordinarily do. Your “life balance” will thank you!
A Safe Place for Risk
Creativity is about taking risks. We encourage our community to dig deep to find their own unique voice. Often this means taking risks with your creative work. Embrace the notion of imperfection. Really, it doesn’t need to be perfect. We don’t judge here. Allow yourself to be vulnerable to the process. Try something even if it sucks. This is what creative learning is all about.
We understand that life is complicated; obligations arise, as do vacations and emergencies. Creative inspiration comes and goes and sometimes once a week sounds way more challenging than when you had started. The trick to real creative growth, however, is by staying consistent, even if it means submitting a non-stellar shot. 52Frames is not about submitting your best photo each week. 52Frames is about submitting a photo each week.
Our stats show that photographers who miss a single week are 500% more likely to miss another than those that keep their streak. Stay committed and your photography will reach whole new levels of photomastery.
Support and (Give) Feedback
What makes our community so special is the culture of constructive, yet respectful, critique. You can’t improve your skills – any skill – all by yourself. Here, you have hundreds of other photographers at your side – offering you feedback, suggestions, motivation and kudos. We ask that you respond in kind, and offer your feedback, suggestions, or critiques on 3 photos each week. You don’t have to be an expert to share your thoughts. In fact, you’ll find your own eye getting sharper as you begin sharing feedback on others.
Don’t know what to say? Try leaving a “star rating” for our 3 categories instead.
Critiques: Why and How
Community critiques and comments are a big part of the “secret sauce” of 52Frames.
One of the surest ways to sharpen your eye for great photography is to really look at a photograph, and process what works for you and what doesn’t. By taking the time to really articulate what you appreciate [or don’t] about a photo, you’ll force yourself to really examine the work and learn from it. At the same time, you will gain the same keen insight from the critiques of others!
What’s the best way?
Yosef advocates the “sandwich method” in which a critique is “sandwiched” between two compliments. This also helps in real life, btw.
We’re all artists here, and we’re all vulnerable in some way. Be nice about it. It goes a long way.
Don’t feel like you’re “professional” enough to leave a critique? Just speak your mind. Do you like the colors? The lighting? How does it make you feel? Any feedback is good feedback, and you will get better at it over time.
Whatever critique methodology you subscribe to, just make sure it comes from a place of wanting to help the photographer, in a kind and supportive way.
We really hate to get all rulesy, but we have a few guidelines in place to make sure our weekly challenges are fair, fun, and frickin’ fantastic. (Heads up: we absolutely adore alliteration).
Photos Must Be Taken That Week
The goal of the project is to create a framework for you to take out your camera every single week. As such, you may only submit photos you took the week of the challenge (that’s Sunday to Sunday at the deadline time – noon, eastern U.S.). Besides cheating yourself by submitting older photos you have on your hard drive, it’s also unfair to other participants who created something entirely new for the challenge. Everyone has the same 7-day challenge; this is what makes this project work. Photographs found to be taken outside the week will be removed, and we’ll send the submitter a reminder of our guidelines (insert dramatic gong noise here!).
Only Submit Your Own Work
This should go without saying, but we’ll say it anyway: your submissions must be your own photography. We have a zero-tolerance policy for copyright infringement and the theft of other people’s work. Members found to submit other’s work will be removed from the project and forfeit any chance for prizes. They will also be solely responsible for any legal ramifications from their actions. We’re not even going to write something cute here to soften the mood, because we’re so serious about this.
Photographs, Only! And No Pictures of Pictures…
We’re a photography community, so please only submit photographs. We love that you’re exploring other media, but this community is for photographs only.
Similarly, please do not submit pictures of pictures. This is one of those “we know it when we see it situations” but some things to avoid include: a photograph of a painting (whether yours or someone elses), a computer screenshot, a photo of a TV picture or computer screen, a photo of an advertisement without any other subject or interaction in the scene. One way to think about this: if your photo isn’t copyright-able, it isn’t submit-able.
Keep it Classy, Folks
Since the camera’s invention, photographers have been depicting the beauty of the human form. Our site allows for artful nudity, and also offers a filter for users who prefer not to view it. However, images that can reasonably be considered offensive, obscene, or pornographic may not be submitted. We understand there is sometimes a fine line between the nude and the erotic, and we will trust our moderators to use their judgement in making the distinction on a case-by-case basis.
We participate in some great community discussion over at our 52Frames Discussion Facebook Group, and we encourage free expression, especially through photography and creativity, but please keep in mind that this group is for sharing and learning. Both in this group, and in your comments on this site, please use discretion if you are citing a complaint or being negative. We are glad to hear everyone out, but if a member is being inflammatory, disrespectful to other members, or just generally disruptive, we will not hesitate to remove this member from the project.