Burn My Eye is a street photography collective comprised of 22 photographers from around the world. Each photographer brings a unique style to the collective, ensuring the imagery is fresh, engaging and an imaginative representation of the world's most vibrant streets. Created in 2011 with 10 founding members, the group's main aim is to: 'provide thoughtful and informed photographic consideration of our circumstances, a way to see past superficiality and pretension, to burn through society's veneer and truly see.'
We speak to one of Burn My Eye's founders Zisis Kardianos to discover more about the collective. A curated selection of pictures from the group can be found on our Instagram feed, starting from September 1 to 8, 2019.
What common vision ties you together as a collective?
We do not impose rules on each other or ourselves but we do practice within a candid aesthetic; we will not stage a shot to create a photograph. Other than that, we encourage ourselves to be as creative as possible.
There are a lot of street photography collectives, why do you think this genre benefits from collective thinking?
We formed Burn My Eye and have seen it grow because it doesn't depend on the stale street photography conventions. We recognize and applaud groups that have a shared style or location as to where they're based, but we deliberately prefer our looser vision as it interrogates what street photography is.
How do people become members of your collective?
It is by invitation. We've certainly had a number of people approach us and while we're always flattered when that happens we normally know when someone should join us and hope that by inviting them they accept.
How do you support each other, do you try and meet up?
With 22 photographers in all different time zones, physical meet-ups are not feasible for all of us. We frequently attend and present work at street photography festivals or do workshops, and some of us will meet and talk at these events. Mostly we communication via online.
Do you critique each other’s work?
Not in the traditional sense. Sometimes one of us will seek an opinion on an unfinished project. We think what we do is more interesting, which is frequently compose group edits around a central idea to give us an opportunity to see what each other is doing and learn from our many different ways of seeing.
What three words would you use to describe Burn My Eye?
Contemporary. Candid. Photography.
Do you have any advice for a budding street photographer?
Shoot a lot, throw out 99% of what you shoot. and never show it to anyone.