‘Courtship: It all lies before us’ Directive by writer and Guardian Family columnist Analisa Barbieri “Share a picture that describes your courtship with your partner, whether a kiss, dinner date or special moment” ©

Fred Alma (Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery)

A site of cultural exchange

London is a city of continuous cultural exchange, home to institutions that connect diverse audiences both within the capital and beyond. Pioneering this cause is The Photographers Gallery in Soho, founded in 1971 as the first organisation in the world devoted purely to the photographic medium. While hosting an eclectic programme of temporary exhibitions, the institution also runs a series of collaborative projects that reach far beyond its walls, inviting international contributions to a variety of photographic themes.

Family Photography Now

One such project is Family Photography Now, which seeks to explore and reimagine notions of 'family' through individual photographs submitted from across the globe via an Instagram feed. The project comprises numerous directives linked to the theme. Below, from top to bottom are: Caroline Irby’s photograph of Somali refugee Maria Abdullahi with her daughter and niece, in response to the theme of 'blended family'; Misa Hamasaki’s three children on a beach for 'becoming a parent'; and a glimpse into Shannon Smith’s loving relationship with her dog for the theme 'dogs being part of your family', a directive set out by the UK’s Kennel Club. Click on the link towards the bottom of the page to find out more about the project and how to get involved.

Directive by photographer Ali Smith “Share a photo of your blended family - the ins and outs of daily life, the rituals and routines” ©

Caroline Irby (Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery)

Directive by photographer Jenny Lewis “Show me an image of the moment you felt like you became a parent” ©

Misa Hamasaki (Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery)

‘Japan. On holiday with the kids, sometimes you have to stop and drop wherever you are to have a little drink and a little snack. Cannot wait to go back.’ Directive by photographer Julie Blackmon “Share a moment from your family holiday that tells me about the chaos, the stress and the sunburn” ©

Chi Smith (Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery)

Shannon Smith, “In the A.M.”, Directive by The Kennel Club, “Share a photograph of your dog(s) being part of your family” ©

Courtesy of The Photographers’ Gallery

Anonymity Isn’t For Everyone, 2010. Photograph on display in The Photographers' Gallery's Touchstone Display, 13 October 2016 - 15 January 2017 ©

Haley Morris-Cafiero (Courtesy of TJ Boulting image)


To inspire a discourse around its diverse and thought-provoking content, The Photographers Gallery has initiated Touchstone, a regular display of a single photograph on its Eranda Studio Floor. Visitors are encouraged to respond to an image with drawings and writing within the studio space, and in doing so engage in a debate that highlights individual experiences produced by looking at photographs. Beneath is the latest entry, Haley Morris-Cafiero’s self-portrait Anonymity Isn’t For Everyone, with a link to further visitor responses in the External links section below.

Club des Femmes

Furthering The Photographers Gallery’s incentive to question societal norms, it is also working in collaboration with queer feminist collective Club des Femmes on Instructions for an Unmade Film. The project asks for individuals to contribute one shot to a film script, responding to the questions: 'How are women imagined by other women at the beginning of the second century of cinema? What does a modern heroine look like? What does she do? [And] how are we encouraging audiences to engage with her?'. This is an international initiative, and a link with instructions on how to join in can be found further down this page.

World in London

The Photographers Gallery’s place as a visual hub for celebrating London’s diversity has a long history, and in 2012 this was showcased in its The World in London project. Coinciding with the 2012 Olympics held in the capital, this unique project was made up of 204 portraits of Londoners from 204 nations from around the world. The portraits captured the rich individuality of the city's residents and the eclectic power of photography. A link to the project can be found at the bottom of the page.

See also

External links