DISPOSE is an online publication of photographs shot with single use cameras. We distribute the cameras to selected individuals around the world and ask them to convey their personal narrative through a 24 hour photo assignment. Every other week we publish four photo essays, which we have curated, on Dispose.co.
How did you come up with the idea?
As people who habitually create and collect images, we were all interested in the idea of starting a magazine. However, the process of creating even a small amount of high quality original content is labor intensive, time consuming, and above all expensive. We wanted to have a global perspective, so instead we worked with an alternative paradigm for content creation, wherein the subjects of our stories also act as the authors.
What criteria do you use to select your contributors/photographers?
We look for interesting professions, unique locations, and honest yet compelling stories from individual perspectives. These things, combined with an eye for photography, create strong spreads because they are engaging on multiple levels.
Describe a typical day at the DISPOSE headquarters.
Lots of multitasking – searching online for contact emails, looking at new submissions, taking turns on the elliptical trainer in the corner.
Which of the daily documentaries you have received so far have you found the most unexpected and why?
We recently received a camera from a hair- dresser in Paris. His pictures were stunning in that he was able to find beauty in his daily routine and familiar surroundings of the salon. It is always a pleasant surprise when amateur photographers are able to construct such compelling visual narratives using only their ordinary surroundings / professions.
How is DISPOSE funded? Was it hard to start this project up?
At this time, the project is still self-funded. Since the project is online, our start-up costs were fairly minimal – cameras, postage, and film development. What was much more difficult was getting people involved – inspiring them to care about the assignment, shoot their camera, and send it back to us within a few weeks’ time. Also getting people outside of NYC, and ideally a global reach, is not an easy thing to tap into, but was really important to us, not to mention the added complication of international postage. Additionally, spreading the word about a new project proved to be difficult in the very beginning.
What makes a photo interesting in your opinion?
Quality is about the way that beauty and aesthetics – comprised of the formal qualities of a photograph (like color, lighting, framing) – are used to convey a particular subject matter. They must be in agreement, the aesthetic qualities of the image and the content, in order to have a high quality image.
Any other projects/activities DISPOSE is involved into?
We are currently working on collaborative issues with Cool Hunting (www.coolhunting.com) and Warner Brothers Records. Hopefully there will be some interesting events coming up in the near future as we release the issues.
For more information enter http://dispose.co/
Interview: Yorgos Kelefis Φωτογραφιές: Γιώργος Μαυρόπουλος Photography: Yiorgos Mavropoulos