For our eighth anniversary series "8 Years, 8 Members, 8 Stories" we contacted Flickr members who joined Flickr in February 2004. We asked them what the best thing that’s happened to them since they became a Flickr member, what it is that they love about Flickr, and what their eight favorite photos from other Flickr members are. We will publish the eight installments throughout the day.
Meet our second story contributor, Bryan Boyer (a.k.a. bryanboyer), who spends most of his time in Helsinki. For Bryan, contacts and exploring new ideas are what matters most on Flickr. Connections to new friends, new ideas, new communities, new foods and new places.
Bryan tells us that the best thing about Flickr has always been the high quality photography paired with member’s willingness to not only upload, but also generously share details behind the photographs by tagging, adding descriptions and responding to comments.
"I started using the site because it was the best place online to share images and learn from others.
Eight years on and this still holds true."
As a student and later as a practicing designer, Flickr provided Bryan with a creative community to explore ideas. He recognizes the inspiration that comes from the steady stream of fresh uploads to the site, but for him, the most meaningful aspect of the site is when there’s a conversation. In particular, the design community seems to especially love the notes feature. Few other sites enable a visual conversation so effectively and with such precision.
Here are Bryan’s eight favorites:
"I like this photo because it reminds me of a nice time years ago, but makes an unexpected connection to the present day. This was taken by my friend Gregory while we were visiting the Villa Mairea, a house by the famous Finnish architect Alvar Aalto. I had always loved the project and it was a joy to see in person, at the peak of summer, when the forest was exploding with life. Little did I know that years later I would find myself living in Finland."
"One of the things I love about the community of architects that I am friends with on Flickr is that I occasionally get a glimpse into the secret life of icons, like the Farnsworth House pictured here, as they are really lived in. Not just the glossy, perfect pictures that you see on postcards and in history books."
"Existing architectural icons are one thing, but what I enjoy even more is using Flickr as a way to see the next round of interesting projects from architects around the world. This photo by the talented Belgian architects Ony One is a favorite because it shows the messy side of making buildings. Sometimes it involves crawling head first into unexpected places. After following Ony One’s work for about six years on Flickr we finally met up when I was in Brussels on business last year."
"As a graduate student I felt a strong connection to other students in schools near and far who were also posting their work online. This sketch by a good friend of mine is particularly meaningful because it marks an inflection point in Samba.‘s design work. From this point on things were different. Maybe the 16 favorites helped encourage Samba. to go off the deep end into fantastical architecture?"
"Recently Samba. and I had the pleasure to meet Sevensixfive in person. We had both followed Sevensixfive’s work since he was in graduate school at the same time as us. This is the proof… posted to Flickr, of course!"
"Besides this community of nerdy architects, the other thing I use Flickr for is to keep up with the lives of my friends who live far and wide. This self portrait of Spenceke is one of my favorites because she’s wearing an Optimus Prime helmet. And cooking. Protect humanity and cook dinner? Those Autobots sure do know how to be nice."
"Ivo, the darling son of close friends Rena and Derek, always makes me laugh. Moments of simple humor like this are one small way I enjoy keeping pace with the lives of my friends in other cities, on other continents."
"I don’t know how he does it, but Ti.mo can take a picture of two people opening the door and stuff it with anticipation and meaning. While I particularly like this image of Ti.mo’s, you could just as easily select one of the other 31,000 (!) in his photostream and you are equally likely to find a slice of the mundane suspended in a precise, crisp light."
Thank you Bryan for sharing your story with us! The next episode will be coming up in a bit.