A few months back, my colleagues Karim Ben Khelifa and Tina Ahrens shared with me one of the smartest concepts for alternative funding that I have seen yet. If it works, it has the potential to shape the future of photojournalism. They are calling their new platform Emphas.is, and it is based on crowd funding, but with a few twists that make it different from anything else currently available. Emphas.is is working with a board of reviewers composed of top level photo industry professionals to select proposals before they go public. They are also offering unique incentives to people that choose to back photographers. Emphas.is is expected to launch at the beginning of 2011, but the preview website went live today with an impressive list of endorsements from the directors of VII, Magnum, Visa pour l’Image, photo editors at TIME and Newsweek and many photographers (including yours truly).
*UPDATE – Sept. 13, 2010: Harvard University’s Neiman Journalism Lab just posted an article with more details about how Emphas.is will work. The founders have also added an Emphas.is Facebook page where you can keep track of developments.