14&15 Mobile Photographers – #1415IRAN

Photo by @ayda_rasulii

Photo by @ayda_rasulii

14&15 Mobile Photographers


A photographic book and a permanent observatory on today’s Iran, made by Iranian photographers. Using their smartphones, they tell the story of the daily life of a country caught between modernity and tradition; the richness of a collective memory in continuous growing Iran, which is one of those countries that we know very little about. It possesses incredible photographic talent that has found a way of expressing itself with smartphones and shares its vision with hundreds of thousands of people on Instagram. The audience is mostly young adults, college students, some of them are photographers or want to be, and others are involved in social issues. A lot of these people have organized themselves in photographic groups, worked on projects for Instagram that have later being exhibited on photographic gallery. We aim to show the face of a different Iran. Not the one shown by outside media experts, giving their own iconographic interpretation of the country. Not the one shown by a single photographer hand-picked by media as the professional “witness” to tell a story that does not belong to him, published in a magazine and cleverly packaged to meet its editorial policy. We aim to show Iran in the same way as seen by Iranians, through their photographic talent.

Inviting the large number of Iranian followers of our Instagram page, we launched the hashtag, #1415IRAN, for six months, and collected over 16,000 images from more than 300 Instagramers. This reflected an incredible visual richness and provided eyewitness accounts of life, tastes, habits, entertainment, traditions, healthcare, women, family life, modernity, country life, religion, and street life from the people of Iran.

Even after the deadline closed in August 2016, new images are still coming in every day. This is a sign of the productivity of Iranian mobile photographers and their desire to establish real, as well as virtual relationships with the outside world. They seek professional opportunities, as a way of belonging to a wider world.

The publication of a book involves a drastic selection of images, reducing the number of 16,000 to 80-100 photographs. A mass of precious material will be lost in the Instagram sea. Somehow this is a waste, dissipating richness and a knowledge available for everyone. For this reason, we want to open a permanent observatory, a website as an open window on the imagery produced daily in Iran. It will be the second step. At the moment we are concentrating only on the book, as it can be the first place to preserve part of this collection of images. It can also contribute to a better understanding of Iran and in doing so, eliminate a series of clichés.

To support the printing costs, we have recently launched a crowdfunding on Kisskissbankbank platform, to let people be more involved in project, as they can share the contents of #1415IRAN project and support the printing, buying one or more copy of the book in pre-sale.




14&15 Mobile Photographers is a web platform dedicated to the discovery and the promotion of photographic talents, through a series of activities such as book publishing, collective projects, exhibitions, prints sales and more; we focus on photographers using the new tool for producing their stories-features-pictures: the smartphone. The platform has been founded in 2015 by photographers Giorgio Cosulich de Pecine and Giulio Napolitano, with over twenty years of experience in international photo-journalism, working for clients such as United Nations, Getty Images, Agence France Presse, Nike, Qantas, Newsweek, Time, Stern, NY Times, Vanity Fair and many more.


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1415 Mobile Photographers

17 Responses to “14&15 Mobile Photographers – #1415IRAN”

  • I wonder if these guys pay the photographers…….. I can’t see any monies being offered on their site other than asking for money

  • Wonderful work. Good luck with the book. Be nice to see credits with these pics.

  • I love the photographs, they show a country that is in many ways closed to the West. I too would love to see credits, and captions. Imants makes a fair point about who makes a profit from the book. It may well be a non-profit undertaking, but it would be good to know.


  • There are some magnificent images included here. I agree about the credits. I too would like captions. And I would like to see the answer to Imants’ question. It is just becoming too, too, commonplace not to pay photographers. Even seasoned pros must face this. Now, if in this case the photographers are not paid AND not credited…?

  • I doubt that the promoters of this project will make money by crowdfunding and publishing a book with a run of 1,000 copies but, as stated several times above, the idea of not giving the photographers credit is inexcusable, and undermines the implicit self-importance of this project. Also, I don’t think the following premise is at all true, and leaves a sour taste as far as I am concerned:

    >>>Increasingly, we have become critical of the photography market, which has taken over the art and transformed it into a limited set of rules dictated by the laws of the market on how to show the world around us. In order to get noticed today, a photographer must follow those rules and show, for example, the suffering of others. We don’t believe in this…We wanted to get out of this big marketplace of suffering and tell a different story…<<<

    Iran is not an undiscovered country as far as cultural life is concerned; it has a lot of photographers and also has a dynamic and important cinema presence as well. In any case, if you do a web search for "Iranian photographers" you'll find quite a lot…

  • 1415Mobilephotographers

    Missing credit issue: we apologize with photographers for the absence of credit to their pictures. We already contacted Burn to kindly tell them to add the credit to each picture; each picture we sent them has, as filename, the photographer’s name that should be indicated.

    Regarding the allegations about the payment to photographers:
    1. We invite you to raise doubts only if you are sure what you say.
    2. We invite you to consider that we are not a multinational company drilling oil but photographers/editors who love the job they do respecting the rights of other photographers.
    3. We do not accept to be insulted by people who write without having knowledge of the way we work.

    We are very happy for the results we are getting and for the relationship we are building with photographers but we are spending a lot of money and time to make this thing real. It is very sad and leaves us with a very sour taste to see the level of the discussion made with raw tones.
    We thank again Burn for the highlight.

  • With the complete abandonment of editorial comment here from burn and the very limited responses from the photographers themselves, any meaningful dialogue around here has effectively been killed. Which with posts such as this that are ripe for discussion and debate is a shame.

  • Agreed, John, where did everyone go?

  • Regarding the credits issue, I realize it was hard to see, thank you for pointing it out. Each photo had the name of the photographer as part of the metadata and it was only appearing on each picture while scrolling. I fixed the issue and put each Instagram name as caption for each picture, hopefully that will help.

    As usual, thank you for your comments and contribute to keep Burn alive.

  • Wow, what an ugly response from 1415Mobilephotographers. What did anyone say to insult them? Unless I missed it, a few people just asked a question. A valid question.

    We invite you to raise doubts, only if you have none? We do not accept being insulted by people who don’t know how saintly we are? What the fuck is that shit about? That level of defensiveness is gonna strike most people as suspect. Doth they protest too much? Still, I’m inclined to trust their motives and kind of admire the work, especially in that it gets so many to participate in something, and no doubt adds a bit of happiness to many people’s lives. They just need to stay out of comment sections if they can’t handle questions about the work. Asking politely if the photographers got paid is about as easy as it gets on the interwebs.

    As for lack of discussion, I humbly suggest you all discuss something rather than complain about the lack of discussion.

    My first thought on this was about the infinite monkey theorem. Of course I’m not calling anyone a monkey, but the photographic analogue, demonstrated by this work, is that 16,000 photographers photographing infinitely will eventually reproduce the complete works of Sebastao Salgado.

    In that context, I think what it really shows is the need for authorship. IMO, all those very nice photos don’t add up to anything that tells us much about the daily life in Iran.

  • First and most important what a great thing to make a book like this. I can’t imagine that anyone is going to make any money from this. Not more than a basic wage. Very strange and defensive response but I imagine that’s just a culture thing. I love Instagram but think that book like this will give the pictures a life that they wouldn’t otherwise have. Imant’s question is a fair question but a shame it’s the first reposnse up. There are lots of scamming competitions and the like and it’s hard to get by for a photographer so the questions are more than fair. Good Luke with the book.

  • Number one it is their responsibility to credit the photographers’ images that are used not burns though burn should have asked whose images are being used.

    No it is not a cultural thing they know what they are doing …….hharry don’t make out that the Italian culture is ignorant of protocol as they are not

    Anyway all that the organisers do is state how greatthey are and give the Iranian photographers second rate status, Will they atleast give them a book!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • My first response on seeing the photographs was that it was great to see photos of Iran taken by Iranians. Second thought was how Instagram and phone technology allowed this to happen. The debate about how photographers get paid didn’t register.

    When people post on the Internet, do they expect to get paid? I know that many Magnum photographers, DAH included, use Instagram to garner an audience and to promote their work, books, lectures etc. They don’t expect payment for what they show on Instagram but know that it is a free platform for advertising their work. DAH, Christopher Anderson and Matt Stuart discuss their use of Instagram on the Magnum website: well worth a read. Of course for many Instagram is just a way to show photographs, nothing more and nothing wrong with that.

    When someone makes a book of the photographs, do things change (credits aside)? As Hharry says, no-one is going to get rich here, although all questions raised here are valid. Can the book be seen as a hardcopy of Instagram – i.e. a free platform to promote a photographer’s wares?

    The traditional publishing routes meant that the few were allowed to publish (if the publishers thought they could make money) and the many were turned away. Social media and self-publishing has broken down this barrier to some extent. The question for many is o.k. – I can publish – but how do I make a living from my photography? Perhaps using social media such as Instagram to gain an audience is the answer?

    More questions than answers here, I know.

  • Mike in this case it is about people using other photographers photographs not their own

  • I have been happy for burn to show my photos etc but then I am not a photographer so I value images very differently than those who are trying to eke out a career

  • Imants, I agree. As soon as someone uses other people’s photographs the situation changes.

    I remember the arguments about the Rick Smolan’s ‘A day in the Life’ series of books, where a group of photographers would photograph e.g. Australia for one day and produce a book, sponsored by Kodak, Quantas etc. Many P.J.s at the time were against the idea, saying it was to commercialised, not pure photojournalism etc. but the books were very successful. It was thinking outside the box to get past the traditional gatekeepers of book publishing, as I remember.

    The traditional newspaper / magazine method of photojournalists being paid for work has (as you know) collapsed and a new model of making a living from P.J. photography is being sought. Using social media such as Instagram to build a following and a potential market seems like a good idea to me. It does allow a body of work to be produced while an audience is being cultivated, and if the idea doesn’t work out the photographer is not financially the worse for trying. For the individual photographer trying to get noticed or crowdsourced, I think this is an excellent method.

    This essay is different, as you say. Who gets the money (if any)?

  • I like the pictures, wherever they came from.

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