NEWSPRINT: How Shutter Hub Democratised Photography

© Jayne Lloyd/Shutter Hub

We’re really pleased to have been working with our partners Newspaper Club on some very exciting projects since 2018. We’ve recently shared how hard they work to print with the environment in mind, but we thought you might also like to know how our newsprint exhibitions came to be. Newspaper Club recently shared our story on their blog and newsletter and we’d like to share it with you here, too.  Back in the summer of 2018 Shutter Hub creative director, Karen Harvey, had an innovative idea about printing on newspaper…

Shutter Hub has been holding exhibitions since 2014 and for a long time these consisted of framed works supplied by the photographers taking part. This type of exhibition involves all sorts of considerations and complications: The photographer has to get the work printed and framed, and framing choices are often limited by the resources of the photographer. The organiser has to be at the venue on a set day ready to collect the work, then attach the work to the wall. Some venues have fixings in place for this, others charge you for every nail you put in the wall. There may be insurance costs and at the end of the exhibition, the photographer has to arrange to collect or courier their work back to them. Proximity to the venue often limited which photographers could take part.

We knew there had to be a better way.

What if everyone submitted their images online and Shutter Hub organised the printing? What if we used a print format that could be attached to the walls without damaging them – and once the exhibition was finished, the prints could easily be recycled so there was as little waste as possible? We’d only have to charge a small entry fee to cover the costs, so there’d be no further expense to the photographers and they could enter from anywhere in the world.

Newsprint seemed to tick all the boxes. We were big fans of Newspaper Club and wondered if they could produce single sheet posters that we could exhibit. Shutter Hub founder Karen Harvey met with their wonderful team to discuss whether it might be possible. They were up for the challenge so we set up the call for entries for our OPEN 2018 taking this approach to see what happened.


“When we were approached by Shutter Hub to print their exhibition posters it wasn’t something we’d considered before. We loved the idea and wanted to get behind them with their democratic ethos and fun approach, so we worked closely with them to develop a product that would work for everyone. It was a huge success and since then our relationship with Shutter Hub and the photographers they support, has grown and strengthened into something really special. Aside from our awesome newspapers we now offer poster prints to organisations around the world, and the newspaper print exhibition movement that started with Shutter Hub has really taken hold. It’s our mission to make newspaper printing more accessible to everyone.” – Sarah Belfort, Newspaper Club


© Jayne Lloyd/Shutter Hub

The Shutter Hub OPEN 2018 was held at the Old Truman Brewery in Brick Lane, London – we brought all the prints on the train in a suitcase and with a laser level and electrical tape set about plastering the walls with 220 images by 150 photographers.

It was a corker, and we’ve never looked back! Over 500 people came to see the private view, with many more visitors over the course of the exhibition at London Photomonth and many wonderful connections made. The feedback was amazing and we were invited to take the show for an encore at 5&33 Gallery in Amsterdam.


Since then we have used newsprint for Everything I Ever Learnt at Cambridge University,  STREET/FORM at POW! WOW! Rotterdam, EVERYDAY DELIGHT at Freespace Project at the Kentish Town Health Centre, London and EVERYDAY DELIGHT (Windows Edition) across the UK.


It’s not for everyone and not for all situations, but at Shutter Hub our aim is to give high quality exhibition opportunities to as many photographers as possible, and punchy, democratic newspaper does that beautifully!


© Jayne Lloyd/Shutter Hub

© Jayne Lloyd/Shutter Hub

© Jayne Lloyd/Shutter Hub

Current and upcoming projects in Newsprint:

We’re bringing the Shutter Hub OPEN back for a 20/21 edition back at 5&33 Gallery in Amsterdam. We will bring together international photographers in a selected exhibition and promote the future of photography through diverse and creative imagery.

In response to all of the cancelled degree shows we wanted to help photographers who are missing the opportunities those shows lead to. We came up with a plan and launched YEARBOOK – a degree show for all photographers, not just graduates. Over 200 photographers entered and each of them had at least one image included in a beautiful online exhibition, 100 images were selected to be published in a print edition of YEARBOOK 2020, which we are of course printing as a newspaper with the fantastic Newspaper Club. We’ll be sending copies to industry experts and making it available to buy in September.


It has been an absolute pleasure to partner with Newspaper Club on these projects, and we’re delighted that they have come on board as a Shutter Hub sponsor too, supporting many more exciting exhibitions as we go forward.




Not a Shutter Hub member yet? Join here  for opportunities to promote your work online and in exhibitions, access selected opportunities, events, seminars and workshops, meet up and share photographic experiences, and become part of our growing community…

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