Having a big idea is pretty cool but having someone sharing about your big idea is another experience all together. What an incredible privilige it has been to share a little about the little project I started in 2009. Here’s the full article by Stephen Easton.
Author: Stephen Easton
Date: August 7, 2013
Original: PDF (1.9 MB)
ONE could be forgiven for thinking World Photography Day is a longstanding event, given there are special days for much more obscure things such as International Pi Day, which has celebrated the ratio of a circle’s circumference to its diameter since 1988.
In fact, World Photography Day was thought up in 2009, in a suburban home in Gowrie, by a 21-year-old who dreamed of one day making his living as a landscape photographer.
“It was Boxing Day 2009, I was sitting in my bedroom at home and looking for something to do; I was bored,” says Korske Ara, over the phone from Moree in northern NSW.
For one reason or another he searched the web for World Photography Day, and when nothing came up, decided to start it himself. “It was a bit of a wild idea back then,” he admits.
“Everyone looked at me like I was just a crazy man – how are you going to create a worldwide day? I said: ‘I dunno, I’ll give it a go and see what happens,’ and that’s exactly what I did.”
World Photography Day is still mainly online, but has inspired a few real-world activities and interest from newspapers including “The Guardian” in the UK, despite Korske’s confessed neglect of media relations.
“We got some interest in 2010 but in 2011, it really took off,” he says. “Yahoo Flickr shared it on their blog and it got a lot of attention, and in 2012 we ended up getting a few big businesses like Adobe to donate a few prizes, which was really encouraging.”
His reason for doing it, he says, is not at all commercial and he’s wary of it being seen as an attempt to promote his own work, too.
“I’d love for people to be able to grasp it and run with it as an idea to grow their business, or photography clubs to unite their communities, that type of thing,” says Korske.
Now 25, Korske’s portfolio of landscapes has grown and his World Photography Day project has had some success as well, but the first step to follow these dreams was to leave everything behind.
“I just put my finger on a map and it landed on Moree, so that’s where I headed,” he says, of his decision to up and leave town in 2010, one year after ditching his job at an IT company to work in a camera shop.
“I got into the cycle of ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ – driving a nice car, renting a nice house – and I lost focus on what was important in life, which is your relationships with your friends, your family, and that type of thing. I realised that I had to get out of the drive towards financial success, which isn’t what life is about.”
That and he had $80,000 of debt, which he says he’s paid down to around $15,000 in two and a half years, working on farms and living frugally, and hopes to have cleared it by year’s end.
The reason he’s back in Moree when “CityNews” calls is that he hit a cow with his four-wheel-drive last year, and he’s got friends in the little country town. Fixing it himself to save cash, he hopes to be back on the road in September, but in the meantime, he’s headed for Toowoomba in southern Queensland, where he knows they have the fast mobile internet he needs to run World Photography Day 2013 on Monday, August 19.
For information on World Photography Day go to worldphotoday.org. Korske Ara’s photographs are at redbubble.com/people/korske