PHOTO: Help Wanted and Welcome at Photoville NYC


Day-dreaming about where to go for the summer without breaking the bank? Plan to spend at least a full day sightseeing in the village of Photoville if you’re in New York from June 22 to July 1, 2012. Photoville is shaping up to be THE summer photo destination, spanning more than 60,000 sq. feet on the uplands of Pier 3 at Brooklyn Bridge Park. And, organizers are still seeking volunteers to help create a large-scale photographic-themed community along the Brooklyn Waterfront between DUMBO and Atlantic Avenue.

We can thank the creative minds at United Photo Industries, in partnership with Brooklyn Bridge Park, Photo District News and other sponsors, for this ambitious (and free!) endeavor. UPI’s Creative Director Sam Barzilay says excitement is building in the following Q&A with Tania Fuentez Media. Among Photoville’s unique features: transforming shipping containers into photo galleries and temporary exhibition spaces. United Photo Industries also has commissioned Brazilian artist André Feliciano to create an interactive installation featuring more than 3,000 colorful “camera flower” sculptures blooming out of tulips, sunflowers, lilies and other floral variations throughout a custom-built greenhouse. It will be the first public installation of his artwork in the U.S.

NOTE: To volunteer, e-mail organizers at:

TFM: What exactly is Photoville and what purpose does it serve the surrounding community?

Sam: Photoville ( is a new Brooklyn-based photo destination – a veritable village of freight containers transformed into temporary exhibition spaces, taking place this summer from June 22 to July 1, 2012. Photoville will feature a feisty mix of exhibitions, lectures, hands-on workshops, nighttime projections, a photo dog run, a camera greenhouse, and a summer beer-garden with food trucks that will create a photography destination like no other. Our aim is to create a unique, fun destination, dedicated to photography that is open to all, so making it FREE lies at the very heart of this endeavor.







TFM: How many participants are expected this year? Who does it generally attract?

Sam: We are expecting approximately 100,000 visitors to pass through Photoville in Brooklyn Bridge Park over the course of the event. It will appeal, obviously, to the many creative people in the New York area but there is something for everyone at Photoville. A visit to Photoville makes the perfect New York day, visitors can easily spend one or more days there enjoying the park, seeing artwork and socializing.

TFM: Ever-changing trends and technological developments keep professional photographers on their toes. Any survival tips for staying ahead in the game?

Sam: It’s very important to stay connected to your peers, whether in person and/or through social media. Like most fields, photography is competitive, but you can only improve your chances of being hired, getting a show, etc. by meeting people in the arts and exposing yourself to what other photographers are doing. While social media is essential, there is no replacement for live interaction and the open exchange of tips, contacts and techniques that result.

TFM: Instagram, Pinterest … what else is hot right now in photography? How does this translate into viable business for photographers and any words of caution?

Sam: Most, or all, of the work that was submitted to Photoville used some type of online portfolio. It could be a dedicated website or something free like Flickr, but having an online portfolio is essential. Businesses and galleries want to be able to see your work quickly and easily, so help them to help you by having it readily available. If they have to “google” you to find your images, chances are they won’t take the time to seek you out.

TFM: What can visitors expect during their visit to Photoville?

Sam: Visitors are going to see a real example of a community coming together to produce a top quality art exhibition. It’s an event by the community and for the community because we believe that art, and in particular photography, has a significant place in the social discourse. And it’s fun! Outdoor art, a beer garden, DJ’s, what’s not to love? This is a large-scale production so we are also looking for volunteers to take an active role in helping to make it happen.

NOTE: To volunteer at Photoville 2012, e-mail organizers at:


Photoville 2012:

Photoville 2012 Kickstarter Campaign:

United Photo Industries:

Photo District News:

NYT Lens blog on Photoville:

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