by Sara Emma Cervo, photo editor and social media manager Yourpictureditor
I often use WeTransfer for my job. It is a fantastic cloud-based computer file transfer service. When I use it I can find some beautiful drawings or photos, but these discoveries aren’t by accident. Behind them is a team that works constantly to promote the arts, not only with WeTransfer but also with WePresent, a growth or an extension of the big cloud. Here we can run into interesting shooting projects, sought out and promoted by their company and especially by Lucy Pike, Photography Director of WePresent.
Since 2009 you have distributed more than a million images, using the connections you have to convey photography graphics or art. Which is the vision behind this choice?
A lot of people don’t know this, but we have been giving away 30 % of our ad inventory to support the arts since 2009 when WeTransfer started. This hasn’t changed. What has changed, is that WeTransfer now has more than 43 million users each month, so the 30 % now equates to over five billion impressions to support creatives. This means we’ve helped tons of illustrators and photographers be discovered or get some recognition that normally you’d have to pay for. We know that the vast majority of our users work within creative industries, so what I love about this approach is that it is a very simple ecosystem of showing new and interesting artists to people who could eventually commission them – while bringing art and inspiration to people all over the world.
Lately I see fewer photos on the wallpaper. Is that a choice due to the birth of WePresent?
No, we are still showing photography on our wallpapers. Photography is very important to us, and we know photographers make up a big proportion of our creatively-minded users. Over the last few years, we’ve worked with some of the best photographers and curators out there, and we will continue to show their work on the wallpapers and tell their stories on our content site WePresent.
On WePresent you publish stories and commissioned projects, an example is”Matric Ball Portraits” by Alice Mann. How do you choose photographers for your new stories? Who is responsible for this?
We have a team of about 5 people all working on content. This team looks for different artists that we are excited about, and stories that we want to tell. My background is within photography so I commission our photography work. Alice Mann pitched this idea and I love the story. We always try to combine unexpected stories with fantastic visuals, and Matric Ball Portraits is a great example of that.
What strikes us most is the visibility WePresent can offer. Which best practices are you implementing in your editorial strategy to use this amazing opportunity?
Diversity is at the center of what we do. We want to tell stories across different communities – whether that’s age, race, geography, gender or sexuality. More voices = better ideas. We have an editor who makes sure we stay diverse in the stories we tell, and it’s our goal to have an even gender split across the year and to feature at least one artist from each continent in the world every month. For photography, I make sure we cover different genres, and as someone with a preference for documentary photography, I focus on making sure we also include fashion or still life to the mix.
With “Union of Concerned Photographers” you invited five photographers to represent the climate changes that are destroying our planet. A cutting-edge project, how did it come about?
Through WeTransfer’s more than 43 million users, we have a unique platform to tell important environmental stories through photography to this community is a huge opportunity. In everything we do, we focus on creativity, and with the Union of Concerned Photographers, we showed the impact of climate change through a creative lens of some of the world’s best documentarists and visual storytellers, committed to inform and inspire audiences about the difficult times our environment is going through. All the photographers we worked with are all huge advocates for the problems we were highlighting which made this project a fantastic one to work on for all of us.
Since 2009, you have taken big steps to promote art. Which will be your next goal?
The company is still growing, but we will continue to give away 30 % of our ad inventory away to support the arts, meaning the number of impressions will go up even further. Over the last few years, we’ve worked with an incredible list of creatives such as Ryan McGinley,Ami Vitale, Akasha Rabut and Emilia Van Lynden, and organizations such as World Press Photo, Unseen, and Magnum. We’ve experimented with different formats to show photography online, brought some incredible projects to life that otherwise wouldn’t have existed, donated grants to under-recognized photographers, and always told the stories behind the creative work we curate and create on WePresent. I see WeTransfer.com as one of the world’s biggest online art galleries, and we will continue to demonstrate our commitment to photography through the work we do with creatives even further. And since WeTransfer is turning 10 this year, you can expect to see a whole lot more from us throughout the year.
What job did you dream do when you were a child?
Haha, as a child I always thought I was great at singing and dancing, but once I hit my teenage years I realized that I was actually pretty terrible. Now I strictly reserve that for Karaoke 🙂
Credit photo: Mandy Barker. In 2005 the plastic caps of Smarties tubes were replaced with a cardboard lid built into the packaging itself. Yet, 13 years later, these plastic caps continue to wash up on beaches around the UK and beyond.
Lucy Pike is the Content Lead for WeTransfer. She joined the company in 2016, after holding previous roles at both EyeEm in Berlin and The Times in London. Now based in London, Lucy oversees commissioning across WePresent, using her eclectic eye for talent, storytelling skills and attention to detail. In her previous role as WeTransfer’s first ever Head of Photography, she played a key role in establishing WeTransfer as a major player in the photography community.
Lucy has worked with the likes of Ryan McGinley, Ami Vitale, Nadia Lee Cohen, Rankin, Catherine Hyland, Akasha Rabut, Martin Parr, Emilia Van Lynden, Ziyah Gafic and Olivia Arthur. What’s more, her enthusiasm and talent has attracted a number of photography institutes – including World Press Photo, Unseen, Photo London and Magnum Photos – to partner with WeTransfer, opening the door for a wide range of creative collaborations.
She speaks frequently and passionately on the topic of photography and its role in digital media, content strategy and brand collaboration.
Yourpictureditor. We are an international network of photo editors and experts in visual communication. Our activities are photo & video research, copyrights management, portfolio editing, photo research and production for social media, support for photo-projects. Through this Blog we deepen the themes that are at the heart of the photographic scene, talking with the main players and participating in the dissemination of photographic culture. Need support for your photographic projects? Get in touch.