Photo For Life is an innovative web and TV format. It produced for ARTE, a French-German TV channel, by BBC Worldwide France (TV) and Delasource (Web). I was the online community manager for the show. Photo For Life combines a TV Masterclass for talented photographers with an eMasterclass for young photographers on the web. The mentor and the teacher of the Masterclass is Italian photographer Oliviero Toscani. Toscani is best-known worldwide for designing controversial advertising campaigns with shocking, realistic images for Benetton in the 1980s and 1990s. Photo For Life was inspired by BBC’s former experience with a series called “Design for Life” led by French designer Philipp Starck.
Photo For Life: Behind the scenes
I managed Photo For Life’s online community and supervised the online-casting process to find 6 talents for the TV Masterclass. That was done through a Facebook page with some 8000+ fans where people could upload a photo and a short video. At the beginning ARTE’s first “reality TV and casting show” was quite controversially discussed by the online community. German internet users complained that they had to apply via Facebook, although they might not have and do not intend to create a profile on this social network. After receiving this feedback we discussed other options and finally opened up an alternative channel via Wetransfer. So people could apply without a Facebook profile.
When the show was finally broadcasted on TV and the web it was considered a big success. ARTE proved that on TV you can actually learn something. People especially liked the fact that there was no “winner” but a lot of learning opportunities that were discussed. A big plus for most commenters was the fact that the show focused on people’s work and the creative process. This was considered a refreshing alternative to the emotional overflow in other casting formats. The TV show was accompanied by an eMasterclass. The daily challenges were produce by Delasource and were jointly presented by iGNANT.de‘s Clemens Poloczek and Lense.fr‘s Lâm Hua and Oliviero Toscani.
I really liked the Photo For Life experience. I got in touch with a lot of interesting people. I learned how to build and moderate a bilingual online community. And personally I learned a lot about photography and taking better photos.