An open window with beautiful carvings
I recently caught up with the busy photographer Patrick Cline, who has been hard at work since leaving Lonny, the game-changing digital magazine which he co-founded with Michelle Adams. He recently unveiled UPLO, an e-commerce site and creative hub for photographers and anyone with a creative eye to share and sell their photos, which can come framed and ready to hang.
What is UPLO?
UPLO promotes itself as a hub to connect photographers with buyers. It is about art, it’s about quality printing, getting great work into peoples homes, and on the wall. Digital may have changed the “canvas” upon which we record photography, but it doesn't change the fact that people still want prints and framed pieces on their walls, be it home, or the workplace, and UPLO is just a great way to purchase it quickly.
With your editorial past and being a Lonny founder, what do you hope to accomplish from this new creative outlet?
Lonny was without a doubt one of my greatest achievements, and of course made possible by the partnership with Michelle Adams (now the Editor in Chief of relaunched Domino). It has definitely changed my life as far as my interest in interior design. I still shoot homes, but I think what I want to accomplish now, is to create a community that is so very organic for me, I have now been in the photo industry for 20 years, and getting that message out there, that UPLO is backed by a photographer, retoucher, printer and entrepreneur will be essential to its growth, and standard. And then I’m pretty much in my element, I love to see people decorate with photography, and I love to see a photographer do well from their efforts as an artist. I feel lucky to be so heavily involved in two such creative industries.
For you, what is the best part of having the site, your passion project, live?
Hard to describe, so proud to have brought a brand, a service to market, so it’s a little surreal, but at the same time, it’s such a natural company for me to be behind. I would say one of the best parts is that all the people that have known about it for so long can finally stop asking me when, "when!!".
What are people gravitating towards, as far as photos to buy, and what they are uploading to sell?
I wanted to go to my photo community first, some of the photographers that I built great relationships with when I had my retouching and print house in NYC, the likes of Gigi Stoll, Wolfgang Wesener and more. These are people that trust me with their work and reputations, and it was important for me to have quality imagery up from the start. I see a huge potential for files that photographers have of old archives. Then I went to some of the great iPhoneographers, like Matt French, for example. He shoots everything on his phone, his work is amazing, and this has set a high standard for that crowd, too. As for the purchasing, this can be answered in a couple of different ways. I have noticed that the more people get the word out to their already existing social networks, the more they sell. Basically the work that is selling the most, is the most promoted, and its UPLO’s mission to make the self-promoting as easy as possible, every time a gallery is updated. Jack Hollingsworth, who sells his amazing India portrait series, all shot on an iPhone 4s, is a social media master. I also made a point of allowing rectangular imagery, and any jpg file, from desktop and phone too. Essentially, I wanted to create a hub, a community of like minded creative people, and help them gain a large audience.
Who are some big names on the platform and who are some surprise discoveries?
I really like having talent like Douglas Friedman, Gigi Stoll and Wolfgang Wesener. Then there are some great IG finds, like Matt French, Ian Dennis (Densf) and Tony Cruz. I’ve also had some fun doing some collaborations with different bloggers. I did a cool series called Trespass with Nicole Cohen of Sketch42. I’d always been a fan of her blog but then she started showing me some of her photography and it was a real surprise.
Does this format make everyone with an iPhone an artist?
Definitely not. There is a distinct difference between the Instagram or Facebook user that is basically using those apps to document and share their lives. Although UPLO enables everyone to create Private Galleries for personal use, that they can share with friends and order prints, the core fundamentals still stand. I believe that people are either talented photographers, or they are not, regardless of the equipment used. Talent is talent.
Some of my favorite shots found around Uplo: