Dylan Nardini found inspiration for his work on Twitter, so he started ShareMondays – a social community where photographers of all levels and genres can get involved. Five years later and it continues to grow The magic of Mondays
PN: You say there are no judges involved. What was the thinking behind this? DN: It’s one of the main things separating ShareMondays from other weeklies. I would often see comments about who won different competitions each week, and the disbelief could lead to some entrants being upset at the results. My feeling was, and still is, that judging is 100% subjective. Rarely would two people choose the same winning image; this is the same for national competitions, too. It can come down to who is judging, what mood they are in at the time, and what they are looking for from an image on that occasion. I figured I’d like everyone to get a chance to judge, experience the to and fro in picking a winner, and also negate any suggestion of agenda from those selecting. So, the idea was born to make each winner choose the following week’s champion. This allowed the competition to run itself, as I didn’t
PHOTOGRAPHY NEWS: What is ShareMondays and how long has it been going? DYLAN NARDINI: ShareMondays is a weekly photography competition that has been running since 2017 on Twitter, made for the photography community to share its newest work. It culminates in an annual book of all 52 winning images from each year, #ShareMondays2021 being the fifth instalment in the series. The books are non-profit (only the publishers get anything from it), my time and effort are 100% free. In fact, it’s a huge pleasure and honour to work with stunning images from these wonderful photographers. PN: What was the inspiration behind it? DN: From seeing how much a strong Twitter community helped me find – and be inspired by – photographers from every level. By creating a fun place for image makers from all genres to share their latest work, bonding with
like-minded people from around the world, I hoped it would benefit others as it has myself. Having a certain day to post an image allowed individuals to make a point of looking through those hashtags and interacting with other photographers. Being inspired by your peers and seeing what they have been producing that week keeps us all together. Those images may have gone unnoticed otherwise, as most drift in and out of social media at different times. Images are mainly at the mercy of complicated algorithms, which dictate what will be seen on a person’s timeline. PN: How many photographers got involved in 2021 compared with its first year? DN: At the beginning, it was around 40 entering per week. Now, it can range from 80 to 200 entries, meaning the book is made up from a selection of 52 images from at least 4000 entries – but it is more than likely double that.
A BIT OF EVERYTHING Catch all sorts of genres under the ShareMondays hashtag
published and distributed to those that may not see it otherwise. PN: What pictures are eligible for ShareMondays? DN: All genres are acceptable. The only criteria are that it was shot in the previous seven days, with only one entry per image maker.
want to be tied down to making things work every week. The concept of having a book printed featuring the 52 weekly winners started after I was blown away by the variety and talent on show. A huge factor in producing it was to help some lesser-known photographers get their work
BEHIND CLOSED DOORS This stunning image from Iain Tall, entitled Elf Storage, won week four
30 Photography News | Issue 100
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