100-50-1 is an upcoming photo exhibition, which will showcase 100 portraits by 50 gifted photographers, all of who have used a mobile device to capture their imagery. Opening at The New Black gallery in San Francisco on November 8th, 100-50-1 is the first show of its kind, presenting a group of top tier mobile photographers under one roof. We will be attending this event, and we would love to see you there as well! 

100-50-1 is the brainchild of Michael O’Neal, Daniel Cohen, and Dan Rubin. Being avid photographers, as well as being deeply involved in the Instagram community, the three friends began discussing the desire to show that smartphones are capable of producing world-class-work. “We’re all photographers and fans of photography and very passionate about the medium and the community. Doing something serious about the art of portrait photography on mobile devices seemed like a way to bring a lot of great people together and change people’s opinions about smartphones as legitimate tools for photography.”   

What has resulted is a gorgeous and diverse array of portraits, and instead of viewing them online, you’ll be able to see them in person, displayed as high quality prints. A show catalog, featuring the curated images, will be available for sale at the event. All money raised from the proceeds will be donated to the non-profit organization 100cameras, which empowers communities around the world by teaching photography to children. 

Below is a sneak preview of some of the wonderful portraiture that will be displayed in the show. The following images, processed using VSCO Cam, were photographed by Paul Octavious, Laura Pritchett, Hiroaki Fukuda, John Keatley, Emily Blincoe, James Lacoix, Daniel Dent, Cubby Graham, Chris Schoonover, 13th Witness, Brenton Little, Amanda Jasnowski, and Joshua Allen Harris.  

Read on to learn more about Michael O’Neal, Dan Cohen, Kyle Steed and Dan Rubin’s experience and vision in putting this project together. 


When:  Friday, November 8th, 2013

Time:  6:30 PM to 10:30 PM 

Where:  THE NWBLK 199 Bryant Street San Francisco, CA 94110

RSVP:  100-50-1 Event


What was the thought process behind deciding to focus on portraiture? What about portraits, unique from other genres of photography, do you find compelling?

We love the intimacy and story behind each portrait, the way the images draw the viewer in, making them want to complete the story of each subject. Shooting a great portrait is different from shooting a landscape or still life, and we don’t see nearly as much portraiture on mobile platforms like Instagram. So, we felt it was the perfect genre to focus on in order to elevate the reputation of mobile photography as a respectable photographic endeavour.

In an age where there is disagreement as to whether mobile photography should be viewed a legitimate art form, what are your thoughts on this matter?

We believe that mobile photography is a legitimate art form — the smartphone is just the latest iteration of the pocket-sized camera. All the elements that make a great image — storytelling, subject matter, lighting, and composition — transcend the type of equipment used. A memorable image can be created with any type of camera, even the one that’s in your pocket.We love how far people push those little cameras in their smartphones, and we wanted to celebrate that. It’s a very accessible medium, and it levels the playing field, which means there is a lot of content out there. The smartphone has also been the catalyst for many professional photography careers, both commercial and fine art.

What should people expect to experience through this gallery showing? Anything specific you hope people take away from this photo exhibition?

We love it when people ask, “Was this really shot on a smartphone?” It’s quite incredible seeing the quality of these images, it forces the audience to do a double take. We hope people leaving the gallery will have a new respect for mobile photography and view it as a credible tool for image making. We also believe the work will inspire people to push the limits of the amazing cameras we all have in our pockets these days, and hopefully shoot more portraits too.

We’d love to hear more about your partnership with 100cameras & why you chose to raise donations for this organization through sales of the show catalog.

100cameras is the perfect partner for this exhibition; we love their commitment to empower children and support local communities. The show is so much about sharing ideas, telling stories, and educating the public; it aligns very closely to 100camera’s mission. Having the ability to give the gift of photography to a child, to help them see the world differently and find a new passion, was too irresistible. We had to get involved!