My introduction to photography is no different than millions of others. I started out taking holiday and party pictures and are slowly grooming my passion and skills. The following is the story of how Photopi came to be mixed with my expericene with a variaty of online platforms.

Picasa & Panaramio

Like many others I was enthusiastic about the introduction of digital cameras and online photo sharing and started out with a cheap camera.  The introduction of Google Picasa with Panoramio was a revolution in the ability to publish pictures to a large online audience. I don’t remember when I started using Picasa? But it might have been around 2008. I began uploading my travel pictures to Panoramio and got a positive feedback.


in early 2015 Picasa & Panoramio was dying. The only option, was to move to Flickr. Initially I was enthusiastic about the social aspect of Flickr. I began to upload all of my star photos from Picasa and signed up for a pro account to get acces to advanced stats and more space. I felt a great deal of accomplishment, when my daily views started to climb and was happy to se it exeed a 1000. I began to explore groups and other people’s stuff and felt good about being a pro member on the most popular photo sharing site in the world. But after a while I found myself spending a lot of time online joining groups, liking other peoples stuff, making mandatory comments in groups to avoid getting kicked. I felt that online focus drove me away from my primary interest of photography. I came to the following conclusion:

Flickr is attention! It has very little to do with photography.

  • You join meaningless groups
  • You post meaningless stuff
  • You like meaningless stuff

with the purpose of seeking views, comments and likes of your own. Attention is the main motivation for uploading. The problem with attention is that it seems to work like a drug being highly addictive. This makes people do stupid things to satisfy their addiction, like gaming the system. It also kills creativity. People are looking for popular stuff with the intention of copying it, so their copy stuff can become popular as well. There are exceptions of course, but they are few and far between. As from 28-05-2018 Photopi is no longer active on Flickr.


A friend introduced me to 500px. In the beginning I liked the feel of the site and I signed up for a pro account in autumn of 2015. I did not see my self as a photographer, but the prospect of selling a licence once in a while seemed promessing. Quicly I again found myself spending a lot of time online trying to keep a high pulse on my stuff. I found out that only a handfull of users had sold anything often only resulting in a few dollars of commission. I concluded that the pro account was a hoax and terminated it. I settled for a free account since the community on 500px was appealing enough to stay. The site had a lot of very inspiering photographers sharing their exeptional work. The social aspect of the site is the same as flickr with the same meaninglessness, gaming and stupidity. After the latest update of July 2019 500px lost its appeal. Furthermore the controversy of copyright on 500px is important. It remains unclear if the photographer or 500px owns the copyright? In February 2018 Visual China Group acquired 500px and in July 2018 Getty Images became partners with responsibilties for licencing outside China. I am not going to promote conspiracy theories about the company construction, but restrict myself to label the business strategy of both companies as uncertain? A process of gearing down activities has begun. The goal is to have 3 photos only on 500px and perhaps leave by the end of 2019.

My own domain

I realized that a dedicated domain owned by me was the most optimal online platform. Work began and at 24-12-2015 Photopi came online. Here I am able to store, present, care and sell prints while retaining the copyright of my photos. The name Photopi is an acronym for photo utopia. The idea behind the name is that it should project my utopia about online presentation of photography.


On 01-08-2019 I became active on YouPic. The site seems to be interested in photography. Online tutorials is a good approach to improve your photography skills. The ability to differentiate likes in four categories: composition, technical quality, creativity and content enhances the feel of site interest in photography. The abilty to create stories seems like a fun and creative concept. The game feel of the site where point and abilities are unlocked as you gain experience is not appealing. It feels like this functionality has been introduced to catch and lock the attention of the user. The overall feel of the site is positive and I look forward to investigate it further.

Morten Nissen
Founder of Photopi