Welcome to one of the most popular and - certainly - the most friendly, approachable and highest ranked (first on Google) internet photography forum in the world. The Photography Forum is now nearly 7 years old and its membership has traditionally doubled every 12 months or so. Currently standing at nearly 15,000 members, the Forum receives about 1500 unique human (as opposed to bots) visitors every single day. Membership is free and provides access to all areas of the Forum (see below for free access to the Pros area). Non-obligatory Premium Membership costs just £10 a year and provides, amongst other privileges, private messaging.
It’s worth starting with our aim: The Forum exists to provide a safe and friendly place for photographers to learn, share and socialize. This aim guides the Forum content and the manner in which it is moderated. We are very proud of the high degree of moderation (all volunteers) that takes place - spam, flaming and non-helpful conduct is simply non-existent. This is quite an achievement considering there are typically over 1200 posts every single day. The moderation team, whilst mostly UK based, extends from Canada to Australia, which helps to ensure a near 24 hour a day staff presence. Our ethos is reflected in the adage that there are no stupid questions (only stupid answers!).
The Forum is very learning orientated and has many forums dedicated to general photography and image manipulation software. Moreover, there is a broad range of forums dedicated to image critique. Members can elect to describe their experience levels in both photography and photoshop as beginner, intermediate or advanced; although there are no strict guidelines on what you should select, it guides others in making appropriate advice and comments. Whilst the Forum is primarily orientated around amateur photography, there is a hidden Pros Section covering Business, Supplier and Imaging topics. Access to the Pros Section is free, but requires some proof of professional status - typically business PI/PL insurance.
One of our Admins (Paul) runs a range of very popular and active competitions, which include Image of Week (judged by staff), Image of the Month (judged by members) and the Moderators’ Challenge, which involves members responding to a theme set by the staff. The annual Bluebell Challenge is currently underway and closes at the beginning of June. The competition season culminates each year with the highly popular Annual Photography Forum awards. This year they take place on Friday 4th May at 8pm in the Forum video chat room. The event is hosted by Stemmy, who usually makes an effort to look the part by wearing a DJ. Each year the quality of photographs on the forum increases exponentially to such an extent that I (Chris) have to keep reminding myself to downgrade my experience status from Advanced to Beginner!
There are frequent meet-ups arranged by Forum members (dedicated forum for this) and every one I’ve attended has been a great fun and learning experience. As an aside, one nearly cost me my life, but - as ever - it was worth it for the shot!
We have a great Forum, generous and friendly members and a world-beating moderation team. The Forum now has over 800,000 posts and I hope you will find the time to join us and contribute towards the magic 1,000,000 figure!
Hoping to see you soon - you will be made to feel most welcome.
Martin (Stemmy) and Chris (Chris Hawkins) (Forum Super Admins) and the rest of the Staff.