Picture Black Friday

Ever notice how weird masses of people can be? Well, nothing is weirder than Black Friday shopping. I totally get the reasoning and we all know sales make us nuts, but the amount of nuts on Black Friday seems to go way beyond the norm.

If you’re in the mood to document the phenomenon, check out Picture Black Friday. I think it’s a great idea. See info below!

Every year, Black Friday rings in the yearly holiday shopping season, with hundreds of thousands of people getting up before sunrise to queue for bargains and deals; when the doors are unlocked, the stores being besieged by their own customers. During Black Friday last year, security guard Jdimytai Damour, was trampled to death by crazed shoppers as he tried to hold back bargain seekers at a Walmart in Long Island. Unfortunately, the uproar in the media was mostly over by the end of the weekend.

Picture Black Friday is a photojournalism project that aims to revisit and analyze a combination of forces-a worsening economy, financial desperation, excitement, fear, and a distinctly American cultural tradition-that culminate the morning after Thanksgiving.

More specifically, Picture Black Friday is an open call for photographers throughout the U.S. to go out and produce images that document Black Friday-how you see it, on your terms. Imagine this project as an open assignment: you have freedom to approach this event from any angle you wish, returning with single images or even a mini-project that documents Black Friday like no other media outlet will. A selection of these images will be exhibited on this site.

This project is the brainchild of New York City photographer John Saponara. John has partnered with Jake Stangel, founder of the photo resource site ‘too much chocolate‘ and Joerg Colberg, creator of the photoblog, Conscientious, to launch Picture Black Friday. The Picture Black Friday project will be accepting submissions for one week, beginning on Sunday, November 29th through December 6th. Photographers can submit up to 5 of their best images of and about Black Friday. Up to 400 characters of supporting text may accompany your images.

After the initial submission period ends, the Picture Black Friday judges will make a concise selection of work to be featured in a gallery on this site. Our jurors will then choose from that selection the best image(s) and the chosen photographer(s) will be featured on ‘too much chocolate’ as well as Conscientious.


  1. I just wanted to thank you very much for this illuminating article. I have already bookmarked your site, when I have more free time I am going to have to do some further research. Well back to my dreaming of Panama or back to the books – I wonder which one is going to win out. 🙂


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