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Influx interview- laura brunow miner- pictory

July 29, 2010

Laura Brunow Miner knows photography and photographers, she’s spent the last few months building a truly unique site, Pictory.  This is a site that showcases the best in photography and is organized around creatively interesting themes. It’s the perfect site to be viewed on large displays and on the iPad.


I caught up with Laura recently to learn more about Pictory.

1. Tell us a little about your background?

Before starting Pictory, I was editor-in-chief of JPG Magazine, an internationally distributed photography magazine. JPG’s content was submitted by members of their online community and polished and edited into a magazine by the staff. Before JPG I was a print designer and actually started there designing the layouts.

2. What is Pictory?

Pictory is inspired by the Big Picture blog and This American Life. I founded it after JPG went under and try to incorporate some of the best things about print publications- custom typography, careful design and thorough editing- in a web format. I put up themes, for example “Overseas and Overwhelmed” and Pictory members respond with captioned photos. Some of my most popular ones are “The One Who Got Away” and New York City showcase ( a collaboration with Josh Haner of the new York Times)

3. Why do you think now is the time for photography on the web?

I have watched the web move very quickly to much larger images. It used to be that the standard was 500 pixel wide images on 800 pixel wide design. That seems really small now. For reference, the images on Pictory are 1000 pixel wide in a 1000 pixel wide design. So in that sense, yes, it’s a better time than ever to enjoy photography on the web.

4. How do you feel the iPad is going to change that?

The iPad encourages you to curl up with content, so it creates a habitat for work that requires a longer attention span. Plus the care put into the details of the browser and the many apps makes using the iPad a visual treat in every way.(Check out Pictory on there!) And I’ve seen many professional photographers use it as a portable portfolio. I can’t wait to see what’s next in how people use this versatile tool. 

5. You are about to run another camp for photographers, what’s the purpose behind that?

I started Phoot Camp as a way to introduce some of the most talented photographers I knew through JPG. I figured the creative energy of getting 20 of them into the same place would be stunning. So people flew from all over the world to join me on a photo workshop of a woods of a state park. I’m running the invite-only event again this year, with Virb as an exclusive sponsor. Check out some of the images from last year.

6. Who inspires you in the photography and technology worlds?

I find Ze Frank’s work really interesting and I love Andrew Zuckerman. I would say though being totally immersed in the tech world, I’m most inspired by documentarians like Studs Terkel, Michael Apted, Ira Glass, etc. i try to learn from their storytelling techniques and ability to reflect culture and common humanity.

Posted by Ed Cotton

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