Leica Meet is a group of ambitious Leica photographers, who take pictures together and present the results on the internet. It has now grown to 5000 members worldwide. LFI spoke with Olaf Willoughby, photographer, writer and one of the group’s founders.
Can you explain something about the concept of the Leica Meet photo group?
Well, the concept is straightforward. We meet, shoot and share. It’s both a social and photographic occasion. Our growth shows we’re tapping into a real desire amongst Leica owners which we think is due to three factors: 1) The web – We certainly didn’t invent the idea but we have exploited the power of the web to gain international traction; 2) The good relationships with Leica Stores in London, New York and Paris and 3) The environment: we say that at Leica Meet there are no teachers and no students. However the reality is that if you are open-minded there is always something to be learned in such a creative group.
How do you become a member of your group?
Anyone can join Leica Meet, but to post images they must be taken with a Leica S, M, X or T. We’ve had understandable criticism for this policy. Nevertheless, look at our website www.theleicameet.com or our Facebook fanpage. The quality is outstanding.
And what happens with the photos that result from your meetings?
Beyond the Meets, we’ve introduced three website initiatives to honour the highest quality work. Now we’re about to launch, TheLeicaMeet.ASelectionofExcellence2014, a hard cover fine art style book, printed on Blurb’s highest quality paper, 100 pages and featuring images by 90 of our members. It's an outstanding example of contemporary Leica photography curated from the thousands of images submitted during our first 12 months. We are lucky to have some extremely talented artists posting in The Leica Meet group and this book celebrates their vision and versatility across many photographic genres. It was a pleasure for us to select the images and create this book. We’re also pleased to announce that Leica UK is sponsoring a book launch party on Dec 2nd in London.
You can check out a full Preview of the book and buy it here: www.blur.by
Thank you and all the best for the project’s on-going success.