What is Phoot Camp?

Phoot Camp is a invite-only creative retreat for the best and brightest emerging photographers. In the five years since its inception, it has gained a major following of millions on Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter, and been featured in Good Magazine, American Photo Magazine, Design Sponge, Photojojo, Etsy, Dwell, San Francisco Magazine, 7x7 Magazine, Laughing Squid. We try to keep our heads down and our feet on the ground though, and focus on the joy of photography and friendship.


What does it cost to attend?

For the time being, Phoot Camp is free to attend for those who are selected. (This includes housing and usually food, but not travel costs or incidentals.) While it may not always be possible to maintain this, we think it contributes to the generosity of attendees and benefits the overall experience of everyone involved.


How is it possible for people to attend for free?

Phoot 2014 is exclusively sponsored by Squarespace, the leading all-in-one website publishing platform. Squarespace's mission is to provide creative tools that power the future of the web.


Why do you charge an application fee?

After the first few years I started charging an application fee because I was receiving an unmanageable number of entries. The application fee helps limit the applicants to those who are serious and committed, while also offsetting the costs of going through the entries.


Who gets to go?

We look for a combination of talent, drive, and crucially, a "plays well with others" spirit in young photo professionals. Also, this is a 21+ event, so kids, you'll just have to wait your turn.


When did it start?

It started at a state park in the bay area in 2009 and there have been four official events total. The fifth is planned for September 2014. (See The Story of Phoot Camp for more info.)


Why wasn't there a 2013 event?

Until 2014 Phoot Camp was always a solo project of Laura Brunow Miner (with countless contributions from Phoot Campers that made it what it is today). Laura had her first child in 2013 and her second in May 2014, and accepted a full time job in December 2013. As a result of these life changes, she's moved into an advisor role for Phoot Camp. Matthew Mahon will be hosting/organizing the 2014 event, with help from Garrett Cornelison and Chad Nicholson.


How do I increase my chances of getting to go?

We love to see people who have taken initiative. That could mean shooting a particularly inventive photo series, coding a photo app, founding an artist collective, or something else. But generally we find it fun to be around people who start things and make things. 

We also love to keep drama to a minimum, so if it's tough to ruffle your feathers, you're probably a good fit for Phoot Camp.


How do you pick your locations?

We've had a lot of luck with summer camps in terms of the amenities they provide, though we also love to be close to a local town/community with which we can interact. Natural beauty counts for a lot too. If you've got an idea for a future Phoot Camp location, we'd love to hear from you.