Happy International Photo Day! In honour of photographers everywhere, we’ve studied up on the art’s history and featured a dozen of our team’s favourite Zealous photographers.

The 21st century isn’t always easy on artists. Standing out in the crowd is becoming more and more difficult, especially in a world of instant gratification and digitised everything. Not only do we suffer image over-saturation (60 million photos are uploaded to Instagram every day), but we’ve lost an appreciation for the art of a practised, attentive eye (yes, anyone can be an artist, but grandma’s 1,600 photos of the garden out back may not be quite on par with the likes of Annie Leibovitz, Jerry Uelsmann, Ilse Bing, etc.).

After reading up (admittedly only a little bit) on the history of photography, our appreciation for photographers has never been greater. Here’s why:

Behold! A lightning-fast, probably exaggerated and probably (definitely) reductionist brief on the history of photography:

Before 1800
Aristotle discovers a principle. Da Vinci scribbles down a few ideas. (Before that, as far as we know, were cave drawings and crude charcoal sketches. Who can really say? We rang BBC History but they’re ducking our calls.)

1800
A guy from Stoke-on-Trent (cheers!) creates the first known camera obscura image (no, not the band) by treating white leather with silver nitrate (toxic).

1888
Kodak introduces their first camera ft. 20-foot rolls of paper (enough for 100 images), then makes a quick switch to film instead (good call, Kodak).

1963
First instant colour film developed (long live Polaroid!).

1975
First digital camera invented. It weighs 3.6kg and takes 23 seconds to record images onto a cassette tape.

1997-2004
Lauren spends her formative years running around with a disposable camera, blindly snapping images of blurry trees and the inside of adults’ noses (she was a child and not very tall). She hoards quarters and dimes until she’s saved enough to develop the film at Walgreens, which takes over a week and makes her very anxious. Film is often lost.

2005
Canon releases the first consumer-priced full-frame SLR (EOS 5D). Bloggers swarm like locusts. Food Photography courses spring up all over major cities.

So all of that lands us here, in 2016, where you can buy a digital camera for less than a pair of jeans and 500 million Instagrammers document everything but last night’s burnt toast online for all to see (ok, they actually post that, too).

What we’re trying to say is, photographers work hard. They are patient, quick-thinking artists. They offer us perspectives of the magical and mundane in ways we never expected. We want to honour the Zealous photographers who give art their all. Here they are, all in one place: our current favourites.

Happy International Photo Day!

Aurora Ira

Mickey Mouse Revisited
Photographer and designmaker.
@ia_london
Check out Aurora’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Judy Gelles

Fourth Grade Project
“Good photos should teach you something … a new way of seeing the world.” Hear hear, Judy. Feminist, mom, artist, social commentator. Love this work.
Check out Judy’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Chloe Alice Hayes

Primitive
Check out Chloe’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Sean Goldthorpe

Bodies In Space
@seans_foto
Check out  Sean’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Gina Soden

Palace

Makes you question what did it look like with the flooring and the interiors, how was this space used, where does the stairs lead to?

Check out Gina’s other work here.
@ginasodenartist

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Darmé

University
Asks what happened to all the students – why did they leave everything behind, were they in a rush to keep everything as it is? Why was is abandoned?
Check out Darmé’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Bastian Hoppe

Landscapes
Excellent, moody black and white photography that look like something out of an old film noir.

Check out Bastian’s other work here.
@bastian.hoppe

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Lee Thomas

Kino Amusements

This feels very “Britain in Summer”, slightly faded but the bright lights seem weirdly glamorous against the twilight.

Check out Lee’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Giuseppe Lo Schiavo

Ad Vivium

The fine line between photography and art is crossed, with stunning images of contemporary subjects in classic contexts.

Check out Giuseppe’s other work here.
@giuseppeloschiavo

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
LJ

Homeless

Every face, tells a story. These beautiful portrait images tell thousands, shedding a light on a topic which people would prefer to ignore.

Check out LJ’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Kim Keever

Waterhouse & Dodd Gallery

His pictures are so expressive, colourful and plastic. Each one is different, the match of colours is simply amazing and really inspiring and creative.

Check out Kim’s other work here.

Happy International Photo Day from the Zealous team!
Carola Ducoli

Vasilij Vasil’evič Kandinskij

Nice pictures and colours, that you can feel are trying to tell a story that is hidden. And a project inspired on Vasilij Kandinsky is always really interesting.


Check out Carola’s other work
here.
@carola_ducoli_photography


Zealous International Photography Opportunities Roundup

We love offering paid opportunities to artists of many skill levels, locations, and styles. Check out a few of these fantastic opportunities for photographers! Each is a global, paid opportunity. See each listing for more details and to submit your work!

The Hamdan bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum International Photography Award (HIPA) has recently opened for entries for the 2016-2017 cycle, themed “The Challenge“.

Closes 31 / 10 / 2016

Proify Annual International Photography Awards 2016
A major international photography competition focused on recognising the incredible talents of amateur and non-professional photographers across the globe.

Closes 31 /  10 / 2016

Sony World Photography Awards 2017
The Sony World Photography Awards has four competitions (Professional, Open, National, Youth, and Student Focus)
Closes 10 / 01 / 2017

RHS Photographic Competition 2017
Show how inspiring gardens and plants can be—open to amateur and professional photographers. Nine categories open including Young Photographer and Children’s Photographer. Also includes a Social Media category (with monthly winners)!

Closes 28 / 02 / 2017