The WordPress Photos Directory has hit a significant milestone, boasting a collection of over 10,000 images. This growing resource is dedicated to providing free, publicly-contributed, CC0-licensed photographs, offering a treasure trove of visual inspiration for WordPress users. Moderated by a team of volunteers, this directory is not just a repository of images but a vibrant community celebrating creativity from contributors worldwide.
Excitement resonates among the moderators, who are not only enthusiasts but also photographers themselves. Michelle Frechette, a Photos team moderator, shares her enthusiasm, stating, “I’m super excited about this milestone. Most (if not all) of the moderators are also photographers, and we appreciate the photography skills and the time it takes for people to take, edit, and submit a photo.”
What makes the WordPress Photos Directory unique is its commitment to inclusivity. Unlike other image repositories, this directory welcomes submissions from anyone, irrespective of their photography expertise. Marcus Burnette, another moderator, acknowledges the diversity of contributors, stating, “What I love even more, though, is that there are 1400+ contributors that make up that number!”
The directory has not only become a rich resource for WordPress users but has also extended its presence beyond the digital realm. Selections from the WordPress Photos Directory were featured as hanging prints in the Open Source | Open Canvas art gallery at WordCamp US 2023, showcasing the reach and impact of this creative community.
Moderating the photos is a crucial task, ensuring that the directory maintains a high standard of quality. Approximately 85.5% of submitted photos have been approved, with rejections typically tied to guideline violations or image quality issues. The moderation process, managed by volunteers, ensures that the directory remains a curated collection of stunning visuals.
The journey from contributor to moderator is a common path for many participants, showcasing the collaborative and inclusive nature of the project. Frechette shares her experience, saying, “Some of my photos were the first to seed the directory for the announcement and launch, which was a huge honor. Becoming a moderator and helping others submit their photos is really fulfilling.”
The Photos Directory is more than just a collection of images; it’s an evolving project with aspirations for future enhancements. While currently lacking quantifiable data on traffic and usage, moderators envision a future where the directory is more prominently featured within WordPress core. The goal is to make it a go-to resource for CC0 images, accessible directly from the block editor.
However, challenges exist, including restrictions on images featuring human faces, a legal requirement that poses a significant hurdle. Nature remains the most popular category, with over 6,000 images, while athletics, hindered by the absence of faces in photos, is the least popular.
Looking ahead, moderators have exciting ideas for growth, including improved search capabilities and an AI-powered tool to enhance alt text. The Photos Directory isn’t just a collection; it’s a testament to the global creativity within the WordPress community.
As the directory continues to expand, it becomes a symbol of collaboration, inspiration, and the boundless possibilities that arise when a community comes together to celebrate the artistry found through the lens. The WordPress Photos Directory isn’t just about images; it’s about the stories, connections, and shared passion for visual storytelling that make it a unique and invaluable part of the WordPress ecosystem.