Snap Shot City
At DS4 – the fourth Digital Storytelling Conference in Aberystwyth – I heard Bonnie Shaw talk about Snap Shot City – the “worldwide photographic treasure hunt” that she started in 2006. She said the project came out of her wish to replicate a brilliant night out when she and a group of friends had cycled around Melbourne to a series of different parties, taking pictures as they went. This pleasurable starting point has resulted in a terrific project where once each year an expanding number of teams around the world (500 people in ’06, 5000 in ’08) have taken photos on the same day based on playful, evocative themes – Bird’s Eye View, Man’s Best Friend, Odd One Out – provided by Bonnie and her team. The players then upload their images to the web site and get to see their own pictures alongside everybody elses at linked global parties later the same day. The resulting photo galleries offer a kind of co-created version of Benetton’s Colors magazine – which counterposes images on a theme from around the world. But Bonnie’s interest is in the city and urban design and her themes are deliberately chosen – they’re fun but they also encourage people taking part to see and snap their own locality through fresh eyes, and notice ‘the treasure’ in the everyday. Bonnie describes the production process as having three key stages: 1. Community – Register Teams 2. Game – 2pm, themes announced. 3. Connect & Compare – linked global parties. The next date’s not yet been announced but Bonnie promises there’ll be another event later this year.