WHAT is Crossing Bridges ?
Crossing Bridges Project is an annual photography gathering of Asian Photography Forums and Photography Societies for a week of networking, friend-making, bridge-building and photography. The primary aim is to network and find out about what is happening in other countries on the photography and imaging fronts. Friend-making amongst photographers from different countries also opens up new destinations and well-kept secret gems of locations and events that are seldom visited by regular tourists

WHAT type of people participate in Crossing Bridges?
Photographers with …first… a passion in photography. Most participants are also very active socially and contributing within their respective photography societies. We have had full-time professional photographers who shoot for their respective national newspapers and publications. We’ve Photographers who shoot for lifestyle publications, sports shooters, photographers who shoot for competition entries, photo editors of national newspapers ….. AND We have had passionate pure hobbyists and newbies join Crossing Bridges .

WHAT is a typical day during Crossing Bridges week ?
– waking up several hours before the break of dawn and sleeping on buses is a favorite past time while we are on the way for a sunrise shoot on a mountain top or God-forsaken sand dunes

– continuous relentless photo-hunting until a late breakfast

– the weak will usually catch up on sleep late morning under a tree or other shelter while the ones with a sprung spring continue shooting indoors

– lunches are usually more comfortable with discussions on what happened that morning and what to expect for the rest of the day …. while the ones with a loose spring continue shooting restaurant staff n the kitchen and storerooms . Usually visitors from the local photography clubs will drop by to join us for lunch and getting to know the local photogs

– after lunch, its back to catching sleep on the bus while it brings us to the next location ….shooting begins again in ernest after 3pm through sundown and dark

– Dinner is usually after the sun is well and truly down

– We’ll check into the hotel for that night , catch a shower and by 9-10pm be all refreshed … not for bed… this is when almost everyone will be going through the day’s images, doing ‘homework’ , posting on social medias and sharing of images and jokes amongst one another. The ones with a loose nut continue shooting nearby along the streets and alleys poking their curiosity into coffee stalls , parking their backsides next to street vendors and seeking out nocturnal subjects and stories

– Others will just chill over a beer or 5 and talk camera …. this is when little known photography gadgets and custom built gear start popping their heads out

– Yes we do mostly hit the sack by 1 or 2am

– To maximize on sleep time between 1-2am and 4am , we usually do not unpack. The only things usually out of the bags are batteries, chargers and the next day’s change of clothes

– Waking up the next morning is usually done Army style …. ungodly door banging and shouting often waking up regular innocent other guests of the establishment … yeah, we left a couple of guys behind in the Philippines and they spent half the morning in a rented local cab catching back up

– One rule of Moving Out …. WE MOVE OUT WHEN ITS TIME no waiting for late or laggy participants (not fair to other participants and not worth the entire group missing a sunrise because of one or 2 late wakers)

WHAT are the most memorable moments during Crossing Bridges ?

– Crossing Bridges 6, 2009 when we were caught in the Padang earthquake. Our hotel was destroyed, witnessing (within hours) the destructive power of Nature and literally surviving on little for the next 2 days before our evacuation out. It was tough but it was bonding of brothers and sisters at its peak…. drawing water out of a well for a shower… brushing teeth by the side of the road… sleeping on cold hard concrete floors… helping a Vietnamese comarade nurse his broken arm , giving each other moral support while the phone networks were all down, Respected Men were born that day through their actions and kindness
Suhaimi Abdullah finalist of the inagural The Big Shot reality tv show brushing teeth by the roadside the morning after the Padang earthquake

breakfast provided by kind souls the morning after earthquake

– Crossing Bridges 7, 2010 when Bananaman put aside his camera and spent quality time chatting with a local kid (below)

– Crossing Bridges 4 , 2007…when participants brought school supplies to island kids off Semporna , shot and distributed prints for the kids ….AND providing watercolors, papers and conducting a painting class for kids

– Crossing Bridges 5, 2006 … when a Singapore participant quietly and discreetly brought along exercise books, pencils and pens and other stationary to donate to a local temple school while other participants were busy shooting at Angkor Wat

– The romance and eventual marriage between Ben (Nokkieg) from ClubSNAP.com and Linda Danker from PhotoMalaysia.com after they met during Crossing Bridges

the friendships made and kept throughout all these years have been the best thing that a participant can bring out of this event

the Nikon group of brothers and sisters

its not always noisy during Crossing Bridges…. we catch plenty of quiet moments for self-reflection

I have been getting a few PMs since last night. One asked “ALL this work for a group of less than 200 people ? Why ?”

Reply and Clarification:
Yes, Crossing Bridges is not a regular mass outing of photographers. Participants are usually by invite and through a selection process
Each year, we call out for participants who posses the 4 following qualities and requirements:

a. Be passionate about photography and imaging
b. have a ready smile, easy-going and friendly disposition
c. a love for people and networking
d. be POSITIVE and ACTIVE contributors within their respective communities
(and unofficially, an ability to go with little or no sleep for a week)

Notice that “Must Be a good/accomplished photographer” is NOT a requirement

Participants represent their respective countries and photography communities and through various social media, blogs and dedicated threads, Crossing Bridges will be followed by tens of thousands in these countries throughout the week

The combined community size of all 7 countries below is an estimated 940,000 registered photographers

Next year, with a couple of new countries participating, the reach will expect to surpass a million photographers

So yes, we’re catering to a small group …. but its a pretty POWERFUL and INFLUENTIAL group of photographers each with a pretty strong following and most of them with the ability to influence action and opinions within their respective circles regionally

01. Indonesia PT Fotografer.Net 475,000 registered members www.fotografer.net

02. Singapore ClubSNAP Photography Community 188,000 registered members www.clubsnap.com

3. Vietnam www.vnphoto.net 192,000 registered members
www.photo.vn 15,000 registered members

04. Malaysia www.photomalaysia.com 73,000 registered members

05. Philippines Federation of Philippines Photography Foundation
52 regional Photography Clubs are affiliated to the foundation. www.photoworldmanila.com

06. *Sri Lanka Photography Society of Sri Lanka (PSSL)
Joined 2012

07. *South Korea Professional Photographers of Korea Association (PPK)
Joined 2012