The mission of Average Joe Photo Show is to present the average person’s perspective of our everyday world through use of the camera app in a mobile device (such as a cell phone or tablet). Since the majority of the worlds’ population now possesses or has access to some sort of mobile cellular device, it is possible most anyone in any walk of life could participate. In the tradition of the 1955 Family of Man exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art, we look to explore intersections where personal, singular views on the local level contribute to a greater shared universal vocabulary. Unlike Family of Man, however, we are interested in celebrating the perspective of the average person through the democratic lens of the omnipresent mobile device camera app – as opposed to the viewpoint of the professional photographer using sophisticated camera equipment. We also look to level the technological playing field, so that each exhibited image will have equal production quality. Setting aside differences that borders, nations and political divides can underscore, this project endeavors to celebrate the individual – the Average Joe – and strives instead to focus on the ordinary (or extra-ordinary) experiences of our common shared lives across the globe. It is for this reason we require each image to reference as a component of its subject matter the human figure (whether the full form, a partial view or a detail).

The Average Joe Photo Show selected water.org as the philanthropic focus for both the 2013 and 2014 projects. Just as the greater part of the global population have now come to rely upon some type of mobile device in order to “survive” socially or professionally, in a more literal and immediate context so must all people have water to sustain a physical existence. It was in this regard that the criteria for each image for the 2013 & 2014 projects stipulated inclusion of an element of water in addition to referencing the human form – from a tear to an ocean, from a running faucet to a waterfall – allowing us to showcase the single most unifying natural component in our shared worldwide collectivity.

For the Average Joe Photo Show 2015, the project will focus on Doctors Without Borders/ Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) as our philanthropic component. With an eye toward humanitarianism and meaningful human connection, the Average Joe Photo Show 2015 celebrates the heroicism and extraordinary activism of Doctors Without Borders/ MSF in their efforts to give voice to communities disconnected from the world health system. In asking for each accepted photograph to share a gesture of kindness or outreach, an act of compassion, or an effort to help further the cause of humanitarian aid/action; we hope to illuminate the universality of a world without divisive boundaries or borders. Photo submissions for the Average Joe Photo Show 2015 must be taken over the course of the 2015 calendar year and are ongoing.

Since inspiration can emerge from any corner of the world and every Average Joe has a singularly unique perspective, we ask for your contribution toward illuminating extra-ordinary moments and simple realities in all walks of life and in any environment; from the mundane to the spectacular. While we often assume cultural, social or national differences to set us apart, the Average Joe Photo Show aspires to explore shared threads of dialogue that may unexpectedly emerge when potentially disparate images find themselves in pageant together. By underscoring such connections within our worldwide collectivity and in our universal aesthetic language, this project looks to infuse fresh currency into the quest for transforming perceptions of universal difference and inherent distance into a vast network of global awareness and convergence.