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Start-ups With A Social Conscience

Taking a look at Photocircle: an innovative photography platform that gives back

Anne Parsons
Start-ups With A Social Conscience © 2018 Eric Lafforgue

Writing about tech, you hear about plenty of interesting, innovative start-ups hell-bent on creating change and making things more efficient, but not necessarily ones with a social conscience. 

Photocircle is a Berlin-based start-up that has created an online platform to allow photographers to sell their fine art photography. The interesting part is that up to 50% of the profit goes to supporting social projects in the region the photo has been taken.

                                                                                                                        Winter Horseland, Kevin Russ © 2014

The platform is unlike any other out there. Thomas Heinrich, the founder of the company got the idea for Photocircle after a trip to Thailand a few years ago. “I had a collection of photographs that I was pretty happy with and my friends had suggested for me to sell them online. I was looking through all the photography platforms that are available and there was nothing like Photocircle available.”

                                                                                                         Shibuya (Tokyo) in Winter by Jörg Faißt © 2014

At the core of Photocircle’s mission statement is giving back. Often you see backpackers exploiting the exoticism of the people and landscape in countries they are travelling in, by taking photos of people and places without asking for the person’s permission. This community of photographers want to do things differently. They want their appreciation of culture and community to come full circle, as it were, by investing back into the community that has provided the photographs.

                                                                                            Sunrise Rialto Bridge Venice by Dennis Wehrmann © 2014

Photocircle makes collaborations with charities and develops social project specifically, which no other fine art photography platform does. This is, in some way, an attempt to bridge the gap, and have a human response to what has been observed and recorded by the camera. This type of social entrepreneurship should be encouraged.

Heinrich says that they have had "some extremely positive feedback so far." He says that getting more people on board "means we can have a greater scale of development campaigns running on our website at the same time, which is our goal." 

Check out Photocircle at www.photocircle.net.

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