Curator Spotlight №6: Three Photo Editors on @EverydayEverywhere

Andrea Wise, Haley Hamblin and Maggie Soladay share their approach, beliefs and tips on selecting images with impact.

With nearly 800,000 photos hash-tagged #EverydayEverywhere on Instagram, selecting one image a day for a week can be a daunting task.

Maggie Soladay approached her time as curator by looking for a common pattern, keeping in mind The Everyday Projects’ mission to dispel stereotypes through daily life images from around the world.

“I thought I could simply pick my favorite photos using the same gut-reaction I often use when I edit a photo shoot. That tactic quickly showed itself to be a terrible approach for me. I am way too type-A,” she said.

Not surprisingly, she says, she went with the theme of “yellow,” her favorite color, after noticing that there was a splash of it in her first selection.

From top left: 1. “A curious visitor at my hotel room window in Nasik, Maharashtra.” Photo by Ritesh Uttamchandani @riteshuttamchandani from @everydayindia 2. “Women chatting through a window while preparing a feast after the wine harvest in Kardenakhi village, Kakheti region of Georgia.” Photo by Daro Sulakauri @darosulakauri 3. “A chain of children in Zhong Shan Park, Shanghai.” Photo by Daniele Mattioli @danielemattioli 4. “School headmasters working to recover what few school materials survived Hurricane Matthew. The disaster widened the gulf in the already weak Haitian education system.” Photo by Haitian photographer Edine Celestine @edine_celestin who is a member of @kolektif2d collective 5. “Peak golden-yellow fall foliage a few days ago in Poznań, Poland.” Photo by Łukasz Gdak @lukaszgdak 6. “Crowd control after the horse races.” Photo by Pierfrancesco Celada @fotografante as part of his “Hong Kong, Everyone is an Anonymous Hero” project 7. “Shopping carts in Novi Sad, Serbia.” Photo by Milos Cubrilo @m.c.ns from @everydayserbia. Photos selected by Maggie Soladay during her curation of @EverydayEverywhere

Though she had a parameter set, Maggie says that curating @EverydayEverywhere is more freeing because at her job as editor for Open Society Foundations, she has to choose images to accompany specific articles and report on human rights issues. “Due to this, I was perhaps a little overzealous when I got to do my own takeover! I am clearly not alone, since it is evident that guest curators put 100% effort into the privilege of curating the feed, all the while making it look so easy.”

Independent editor and educator Andrea Wise would likely agree with Maggie about effort, given that she started her curation in the way she always approaches photography: with research.

“Even though I researched and found images in advance, inevitably each day I’d end up finding a new image that would catch my eye and the plan would go out the window, but that’s pretty consistent with how I like to work — I like formulating a plan to set things in motion but then staying open to moving in whatever direction the work moves me,” she says.

While looking for images that “speak to something universal,” Andrea aimed to post images that had not already gathered a lot of “likes” or attention. “Seeing the range of work from literally every corner of the world — and not just by professional photographers — is really a testament to how visual our culture has become.”

From left: 1. “Rabindra Barhti University student during Basanta Utsav at Jorasanko Thakurbari in North Kolkata, India.” Photo by Subham Dutta @indianexpress 2. “Swimming in Zabol, Iran.” Photo by @lalehkhajooei 3. “A fighter trains for an upcoming bout in the SLFC (Snow Leopard Fighting Championship); Afghanistan’s answer to the UFC in Kabul.” Photo by @kernhendricks. Photos selected by Andrea Wise during her curation of @EverydayEverywhere

Haley Hamblin, a photo editor at Mashable, says one of the most intriguing aspects of images hash-tagged #EverydayEverywhere is that they are shot by anyone, for anything — but that’s also “what makes finding standout images hard.”

While she is usually working with several images shot by the same photographer to tell “different pieces of one story,” Haley says when curating the feed, she looked for “one image to tell the whole story.”

Photographed by a professional or not, Haley believes the strength in @EverydayEverywhere images is their ability to open up our eyes to different cultures. “Whether it’s kids tubing on a hill in Iran or people commuting to work in Brazil, at the end of the day we have a lot more in common than we think.”

From left: 1. “Rio de Janeiro. Brasil 2017.” Photo by @melogabriel89 2. “Winter & car tube 🍩🍩.” Photo by @Behdad.Rahimi. Photos selected by Haley Hamblin during her curation of @EverydayEverywhere

Although Maggie agrees that Everyday images “bust stereotypes,” “pick up where the global media leaves off,” and even “repair some of the harm caused by stereotypes people form from the breaking news focus of media coverage,” she stresses the importance of providing an added layer of context to an image through captions.

“Context is critical, caption information informs us. Captions can bring us together or polarize us. Either way, everyone is responsible for what they post, and they should be especially conscious of not causing harm or inspiring emotions that are not accurate to the situation,” she says.

Not providing captions compelled Maggie to reach out to some photographers, which led to “lovely interactions with photographers, learning a little about them [and] their work. The result was solid hashtags, effective geotagging and positive exposure for people dedicated to the ‘everyday’,” she says.

From left: 1. “Amal Eid had Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) surgery when she was young. In 2012 she started a group to raise awareness against FGM in her own village in Minya, Egypt.” Photo by @rogeranis, Selected by Andrea Wise 2. “Afghan youth play snooker in a club in their free time. The interest in snooker among youth in Mazar-I-Sharif is at its high average and it’s used as an entertainment. The clubs are mostly found in downtown’s crowded parts.” Photo by @farshadusyan, Selected by Haley Hamblin

This dedication has collectively created what Andrea loves about @EverydayEverywhere: a space for quiet moments that don’t directly fit into the news cycle. “Sometimes it’s nice to see a familiar scene take place in an unfamiliar place or to just relish in the thrill of being alive. Photographs don’t always have to have global news value to be relevant and worth sharing.”


@EverydayEverywhere invites guest curators to select their favorite images on Instagram hash-tagged #EverydayEverywhere. If you’re interested in curating, please get in touch: contact@everydayprojects.org.

“Curator Spotlight” is an installment | Written by Danielle Villasana