Shutterbugs, Unite! A New Photography Community is Growing Online


Click-Click-Click. It's National Photo Month, a time to celebrate the work of shutterbugs across the U.S. -- a growing number of whom are promoting their craft on websites that clearly identify their passion, whether it be a profession or hobby.

This Pinterest page features a handful of those pioneering 'dot-photography' (.photography), 'dot-camera' (.camera) and 'dot-photos' (.photos) domains.

These photographers are getting in on the ground floor of a much bigger Internet roll-out: More than 500 new "not-com" options have been released for general use, and by 2016 there will be more than 1,300 choices. It's the biggest shift in domain naming since, well, the release of 'dot-com' (.com) -- and that was more than 30 years ago.

As a result, a growing community has formed around these photography-specific domains. Nearly 17,000 domain registrations have taken place between these three options alone -- 'dot-photography,' 'dot-camera' and 'dot-photos' -- since they were released in February 2014.

Below is a snapshot (pun intended) of a few early adopters. Owner: Melissa Griffith (Orlando, Fla.)

"My old domain was 'kungfumelissa. com.' I came up with it on the fly because I thought it was cute. I don't practice kung fu, and in the years that I promoted the site, I had a lot of people asking me if I did. Then I had one really awkward job interview for a photo editing position, where the hiring manager told me he scheduled the interview based on my website URL, thinking I was of Asian descent and a kung fu practitioner. He was disappointed and I didn't land the job.

"I've had other quirky domain names, and I always felt like I was tricking people with them -- as they’re not descriptive of a photographer’s website. So when I went to register a new domain, I was looking for something more professional and direct. The 'dot-photography' domain fit the bill." Owner: John Brown (Nashville, Tenn.)

"For me the 'dot-photography' [.photography] extension was a no brainer. My name is John Brown, and any 'dot-com' [.com] or simple web address with that name has been taken for a decade at least. A friend shared that new extensions had been released, and I jumped on it as soon as he told me. It's ridiculously easy to find me on Google if you just know my name"

"At the moment get more business from Instagram than anything else. But my website allows me a way to really showcase my work, and share stories about people or stories in my life. Having a real website site has put me into the professional arena."

KatyLengacherIcarusPhotography Owner: Katy Lengacher (Bloomington, Ind.)

"When I first went into business and I picked my business name, what I wanted was ‘icarusphotography. com,’ but that was not available. I landed on ‘icarusphoto. net’ because it seemed to be the other domain that actually applied to me. I’ve never really liked ‘dot-net’ [.net]. It just reminds me of something that I didn’t get. So when it came time this year to launch my new website,  ‘’ was there – and I grabbed it. Having a unique domain that describes what I’m thinking about, doing and breathing all day was a no-brainer. It’s the perfect new branding identity tool."

Inspired? Click here to explore all of the domain options currently available.