the everyman photo contest originally began in 2001 as an amateur only affair. its true roots stem from a combination of beliefs i held about the nature of everyday photography that happened all around us. but what really got the effort off the ground was a severe need for art i had after moving from a small city apartment to a regular sized house with lots of empty and imperfect plaster walls.
as for this professional version of the contest, it is a reaction to a trend that began several years ago in the amateur contest. what started happening was documented and established professional photographers began entering the contest with greater and greater frequency. some entries were quite obviously taken by a professional from the start. others were not so obvious but a few minutes of research exposed them. when the overall entries began reaching the thousands there were too many to research beforehand and photographers were vetted only if they ranked in a top position. one year i disqualified a woman from spain who had a museum named after her for her artistic achievements. this is where the notions of this off-shoot contest took form.
a lot of thought has gone into how to structure this event. decisions had to be made about how this contest needed to differ from its amateur counterpart. i think i've got it pretty well worked out. that said i'm sure it will evolve as the other has and needed to. regardless my hope is that this new version of the everyman will serve as a connecting point between amateur and professional photographers and one that will stimulate better ideas, awareness and availability in what is an enormous shared pool of interest.