It was the year 2003 heading into 2004 and South Africans were ready for their own online photographic community – a platform where we could talk with fellow photographers about South African things, South African destinations, and South African stories. We wanted to learn, share, explore, and get personal.
So, in 2004, the Outdoorphoto Community was born. It was the online place to be and everybody wanted the bumper stickers to prove it. In true community style, we met up with like-minded people, organised workshops and outings, and even the odd braai.
The Community enjoyed it tremendously and so, among its members, partnerships were formed and businesses were born. Engagements and weddings (happened – followed) and we became more involved in each other’s lives – not just photography. We lost loved ones; we met new ones. We fought, we cried and we shared.
During these years, Outdoorphoto was a start-up business, which my wife and I ran – everything from the accounts, marketing and sales to everything else that goes into building a business. In-between all of those tasks, we continued to manage, moderate and contribute the Community Forum. We wanted a community site where people could share their love of photography, teach and help others and soon, a few more members came to the forefront to moderate and answer questions. The Outdoorphoto Community really came into its own.
“We wanted a community site where people could share their love of photography, teach and help others…”
But as the Community grew, so did Outdoorphoto and my time spent online became less and less. Soon, other social platforms like Facebook and Instagram made their mark, and the Outdoorphoto Community became a quieter place. At one point we considered pulling the plug, but a few members objected and so we made the decision to carry on.
Over the years, unfortunately, the Community was plagued with quite a few problems. The biggest was that the software we used became more and more outdated – the platform we used for our photo galleries closed down; we could not get further support. Even worse, none of the platforms was mobile friendly. So what was I to do? We left it, but like anything in life, a problem only gets bigger the longer it’s left.
We considered rebuilding the site but knew that this would not be an easy task: Migrating the huge amount of data on the Community site would be a tremendous challenge, and with new business developments, our resources were tied up.
But, the time has come to rekindle and rebuild the Community. The very same social media platforms that threatened its existence before, has kept the fire alive and made a full circle back to the Community. Photographers are yearning for a place to share, learn and love. The Community is ready to reform.
“…the Outdoorpoto.community has finally been updated and moving to a modern, sleek new platform.”
So, without further ado, I’m proud to announce that the Outdoorphoto.community has finally been updated and moving to a modern, sleek new platform. And with a dedicated Web Team to manage, it will provide a better user experience, and we can start introducing new and better features.
We do hope you take the time to look at the exciting new Outdoorphoto Community platform. Participate, post new and migrate your old images, give positive feedback on others’ photos and, together, we can walk alongside each other on our photographic journey.
Share the love and keep photography alive.