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World Photo Day: celebrating the power of photography

Helena Game

Have you ever taken a throwaway photo on your phone and realised it actually turned out pretty well?

Perhaps you own the latest DSLR camera or dabble in photography on the side.

Whatever way you do it, World Photo Day celebrates all sorts of photography. From the professional to the amateur and everything in between, everybody is welcome to participate in a celebration of photography.

Marian Bendeth, Canada

Credit: Marian Bendeth, Canada

Founded by local photographer, adventurer and entrepreneur Korske Ara in 2009, World Photo Day is a way to “share your world, with the world”, through photography.

World Photo Day is about revisiting the roots of photography, in an era where everybody is just a click away from taking a photo.

Korske says the event asks us to think a little deeper about the photos we choose to share, and consume.

“Today, we often share our photos out of habit, we post what we’re looking at on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Snapchat,” he explains.

“Many of us remember the days of film based cameras, film was made accessible by Kodak just 116 years ago. The first consumer digital camera was released 22 years ago and the camera phone is just 17 years old.”

Tom Robins, United Kindom (Captured in Scotland)

Credit: Tom Robins, United Kindom (Captured in Scotland)

So how can you participate in World Photo Day?

“At World Photo Day, we are asking people around the world to share a series of their best photographs, representing their world in that year. In amongst those “disposable” photos, there are gems and we want to inspire our global community to pick them out, to share with the world,” he says.

The event is held on 19 August each year, a date that has historical significance. On that day in 1839, the French Academy of Sciences formally announced the daguerreotype process, after its invention by Joseph Nicèphore Nièpce and Louis Daguerre a couple of years earlier.

Now seven years young, World Photo Day has continued to grow and is gaining popularity worldwide. The inaugural celebration in 2010 attracted 250 photographic submissions, compared to last year’s event which received almost 3000, reaching an estimated 500 million people on social media via the #WorldPhotoDay hashtag.

Credit: Enrico Spetrino

Credit: Enrico Spetrino

This year, celebrations will take place in a variety of ways, including photography workshops and walks and the event’s first citywide photography contest, which asks contestants to enter their best photograph of Canberra or the surrounding region, along with the story behind the image. Submissions will be exhibited around the city and featured in a printed collection.

These events will be ticketed, and proceeds will go to The Cerebral Palsy Alliance. Those interested in participating further are also invited to register their own unique celebrations of the day.

Following these events will be a window during which the community can vote on their favourite photos. Local photographers Lori Ciccihini and Martin Ollman are also tipped to be on the judge’s panel.

Once the finalists have been established, there will be an awards evening for the winners, and a charity auction.

An avid photographer himself, Korse has recently completed a six-year adventure around Australia and was able to capture some powerful photographs on his way.

“On my journey, I captured many photos of my adventures and although the places are beautiful, it was the people who highlighted the experience,” he explains.

“From a 19-year-old backpacker I met in Alice Springs to a 65-year-old hitchhiker I picked up on the Federal Highway, the photographs I have with these people are such powerful memories that are now frozen in time.”

Korske says he hopes that World Photo Day becomes an established brand in the future.

“We’re a community focused organisation that wants to build a global publishing brand right here in our nation’s capital, a brand that connects people, tells their stories and inspires positive change in the world through photography.”

the essentials

What: World Photo Day
When: 19 August 2017
Where: Various locations around Canberra, and the world
More information: visit

Feature image: Dominic Stove, New Zealand. Images supplied.


Helena Game

Helena is a wannabe journalist studying Communications and Journalism at the University of Canberra. Canberra born and bred, she is hopelessly in love with writing, stories and travel. She recently wrote her way around Japan for a creative writing study tour, and spent another two weeks in the Middle East on a journalism exchange, both of which have left her with a proper case of the post-travel blues. While she plots her next adventure, Helena is hoping to gain as much industry experience as humanly possible, and somehow finish her degree at the same time. More about the Author