On 1st October 2003, photodebut launched itself with an
impromptu exhibition in London, at a beautiful gallery in
Shoreditch. Even before we knew how our idea might
evolve in the coming years, we decided to go full speed
ahead with it, whatever it might entail. During the two
weeks prior to the launch, we gathered artwork from
more than forty young photographers, bought plenty
of booze, and sent out hundreds of invitations.
On opening night, the space was filled with friends and
photography lovers. photodebut was born!
Six years later, we realise that we’ve had a great run
and can be proud of what we achieved during this time,
both collectively and as individuals. We’ve gathered invaluable experiences; we’ve collaborated
with great institutions;we’ve built lasting relationships with clients; we’ve produced innovative
exhibitions; and we’ve made lifelong friends. The majority of our members have found their
place somewhere within the photography world, and are happily channelling all of their energy
into exciting careers. The photodebut project worked … and now it’s time to let go. This book
represents a evaluative look back at the entire lifespan of photodebut, and engages critically with
a number of important issues related to the project, such as what worked and what didn’t,
what was particularly special about photodebut, how did the collective grow and mature over
the years, and what made the venture worthwhile. We’ve compiled together a comprehensive
survey of our projects, ideas, images and memories, in the hopes that it may be of interest
young and emerging photographers, and perhaps serve as inspiration to future photography
collectives. Whatever the case, we very much hope that it’s of use to you in some small way.
We sincerely thank everyone who played a part in photodebut over the years – for their trust,
enthusiasm, energy, and creative spirit – and send our utmost gratitude to the photographic
industry, as well as to all of the people who joined us, enjoyed us and supported us throughout our journey.
Jan von Holleben and Esther Teichmann