Photo-sharing on the internet has taken many forms in the past: ranging from sharing your photos to your network on social media websites, to the platforms dedicated to photo-sharing such as Instagram to specialized/themed photo sharing platforms (within social media) such as the Humans of New York. Then there are the social media pages for event photographers which have grown in to an industry of their own.
With that background, Loop Pakistan is a website that aims to become a meeting place of all photographers in the country. They are providing photographers a photo-sharing service, forum for discussions and also a platform to get hired for professional work.
Professional Photography in Pakistan
Event photography has taken off around the world as people are spending more on capturing their weddings and other special events in the most artistic manner. In Pakistan, many entrepreneurial people have explored this opportunity, starting off with a high-end camera and a set of network. It is not surprising, these days, to encounter a whole team of photographers covering events, with one person just directing the team.
While this aspect of professional photography gets the most exposure these days, Loop Pakistan looks to be an all-round place where Events are just one possibility for photographers among many others.
In terms of serving as a directory of photographers in the country, Loop Pakistan is working on a system more than just a list. Each photographer has the following stats associated to their profile: number of photos, Artist’s street credit and Level (Novice, Expert etc).
Users can follow specific photographers the same way you follow people on other social media websites, and photographers can also use their profiles as their online portfolios. The latter aspect is helped by the fact that the profile has a web address on the format of: username.loop.pk.
The range of categories available shows that Loop Pakistan wants to be all-inclusive in terms of the type of photography that it hosts on its website. Categories include: Abstract & Surreal, Nature, Architecture, Commercial, Conceptual, Darkroom, Events, Fireworks, Horror & Macabre, Humorous, Macro, Other, Painting & Sketching, People & Portraits, Photojournalism, Still Life, Street, Transportation, Urban & Rural, Scraps and Food.
Many categories are empty, but this will change with time. The more popular ones or yet uncategorized photos will guide the Loop Pakistan team to adjust this list in the future.
This would be a useful feature of the website once it gains some traction. Photography is an art/science that can often benefit from the advice from a network of professionals that have a diverse range of experiences with equipment, events, customers etc.
The success of the forum would depend on how the website grows in terms of visitors and their profiles. In the meanwhile, it might be a good idea to develop some sort of knowledge base or content by working with professionals in the field. Suggesting new topics on the forum can start the conversation, but having information on the website that is consulted by photographers and photography enthusiasts will elevate the status of the website and sharing platform.
Path to Success
With social media giants as competition, the fate of Loop Pakistan looks uncertain. To be a local success, it needs to leverage aspects that the global platforms can’t have. This would include developing a knowledge base useful for locals, doing some on-ground work to get well-known photographers on the website and link up with local businesses if the platform for getting hired bit needs to take off.
The link meant for people looking for professional photographers currently leads to a dead end/empty list of photographers. Fixing the website of these little glitches and refocusing on the local market could do this website a whole lot of good. The site says it’s a beta version, so the room for improvement is built-in.