Grants:Conference/Commons Photographers User Group/Commons Conference 2020

Commons Photographers User Group/Commons Conference 2020
This is grant proposal for the Wikimedia Commons Conference, the annual meeting of all Wikimedia commons users , as well as other committees to discuss the future of the Wikimedia commons.
targetWikimedia Commons
strategic priorityImproving quality
event dates06 februray 2020 – 09 februray 2020
amount-local$41 860
amount$41 860
contact• touzrimounir(_AT_)
organization• Commons Photographers User Group

Event overview


Purpose and vision

The purpose of this event is to bring Wikimedia Commons users together for their first official Conference. We expect the event to improve the quality of photos uploaded by user group members, as well as a to improve the sense of community and the way we interact with each other online. The event will also offer the opportunity for sharing and donating photo gear which will improve the ability of those community members living in less affluent parts of the world to contribute freely licensed high quality content to Wikimedia projects.

The event will focus on four areas:

  • Practice: We'll organize excursions to different locations that will allow members of our user group practice their photography and videography skills. Experienced photographers will take the lead in teaching others on how to choose and frame a subject, use the full potential of their gear, and how to achieve the highest quality of shots in-camera.
  • Teaching and Learning: During the times of the day where the lighting is less suitable for being shooting outdoors, we'll hold presentations and workshops that cover advanced photo processing and editing techniques.
  • Discussion: In the evenings, we'll gather for discussing topics that are relevant in the context of our user group and for our daily work on Wikimedia Commons.
  • Gear & Infrastructure: We'll offer participants of the meeting the opportunity to share and donate photography gear to other members of the user group who might not be able to afford this type of gear otherwise. We'll also teach each other how to use specific types of photography equipment in order to improve people's capability of using gear they are unfamiliar with.

We chose Tunisia as the destination of this conference as the country is accessible from both America and Europe and flight costs are relatively low.

Important details

Please add key information to the table below. The dates, location and number of participants can be estimates and do not need to be finalized at this time.

Proposed date(s) 06 February 2020 – 09 Februray 2020
Proposed location Tunisia, Yasmine Hammamet
Number of participants 60
Event page
Primary contact person Mounir Touzri, Tunisia
Hamed Gamaoun, Tunisia



Community input


Use the results from the community engagement survey to fill in the table below. Since you cannot cover all topics or meet all needs at one event, prioritisation is important. Please rank the priority of each topic, skill, project or problem as high, medium or low. Finally, please answer the questions below the table.

Description Priority
Strategic discussions:

What are the top issues affecting your community that need to be discussed in person?

  • How to increase content quality
  • How to share our skills / knowledge with each other
  • How to attract and retain new high-quality contributors
  • How to strengthen our sense of community (also: having a conversation about shared values)
Capacity development:

Are there important skills that many people in your community need to learn?

Note: One respondent highlighted that "photographing for an encyclopedia" is a field of its own and differs from what you can learn from books and photography courses.

  • Different photographic techniques (studio photography, video, how to shoot landscapes, etc.)
    • Mastering your camera
    • Post processing
    • How to do outreach / organize small events with the local community
  • GLAM and Commons
  • Wikidata and Commons
  • Wiki Loves Events
Working groups:

Are there joint projects that need to be planned in person?

One of the outcomes of the meeting will be to form working groups (depending on the needs analysis that we're going to undertake). As this is our first meeting, we haven't formed working groups yet. n/a
Community building:

Are there other in-person activities are important for community building?

  • Exchanging of ideas and skills (which will help us form stronger bonds)
  • Talking about the values we share as photographers
  • Setting up internal structures and processes for our user group
  • Simply spending time with each other (some of us have never met in person before)

Survey analysis:

1. How many people did you send the survey to? How many people responded to the survey?
We sent the survey to all current members of our user group. Of those 76 people, 11 responded to our survey (representing 14% of your members).
2. Did you see consensus around shared goals that this community wants to focus on in the next 12 months? What were the top 2 goals?
A majority of those who filled out the survey would like to focus on content quality: how to attract and retain photographers that are able to deliver high-quality content; having a more diverse pool of photographers (especially geographically); improving our own skills by learning from each other
3. Based on survey responses, what are the most important things your community should do at the conference to achieve those goals?
We should (a) think about how we can set up a system to share skills among our members and others on Commons, (b) discuss what we can do to attract and retain high-quality content contributors, and (c) find a solution to how we can encourage more photo contributions from geographically less represented areas



It is helpful to get an understanding of why this event is important to your community, and what experiences you have had in the past. Please answer the applicable questions below.

1. What inspired your community to begin planning this event?
Members of the Commons Photographers User Group met during Wikimania 2017
Members of the Commons Photographers User Group met during Wikimania 2017 in Montréal. Participants agreed that the community of photographers would benefit greatly from having an event that specifically focuses on photography skills, post-processing techniques, gear exchange, and community building. Given the fact that the international group of top photo contributors on Wikimedia Commons never had the opportunity to gather for a dedicated event, it was decided to organize such a meeting in order to improve the quality of photo and video contributions and to strengthen our sense of community.
2. How does this event relate to other activities that your community is working on?
n/a (this would be our first official in-person meeting as a group)
3. Please list the priorities identified in the report from the last conference organized by this community. What progress have you made in those areas?
n/a (see above)
4. If your community has hosted a similar conference in the past, what key lessons were learned, and what would you like to improve on?
n/a (see above)



Venue and Logistics

1. If the venue is more than 1 hour away from a major airport or transportation hub, how will participants travel to the event venue?
We will take rental cars at the airport and drive from there to the first hotel. There is no central venue, we will travel with the cars across the island and take photos and workshops at various locations.
2. Is the event venue within walking distance from the hotel? If not, how will people travel between the two locations?
We use rental cars. The infrastructure on the island does not allow to use public transport.
3. Is the event venue and hotel accessible for people with physical disabilities?
If a participant is physically restricted, opportunities are provided to take this into account. One of the organizers (Ralf Roletschek) is handicapped.
4. Do you anticipate any challenges with using the space for the event you are planning?
We will use hotel lobby or similar rooms, we expect no special requirements.

Friendly space policy


Please link to the friendly space policy that your community will be using for this event.

WM-AT Event guidelines are valid for this event.



It is crucial that most participants have a minimum level of Wikimedia experience so that they can engage actively in workshops and discussions. Please answer all applicable questions below.

1. Please describe the target audience for this conference or event.
Photographers on Wikimedia Commons
2. If your conference has an outreach component, how will you ensure engagement with these participants after the conference, and what impact do you see them having on the projects?
3. Are you thinking about inviting WMF staff to attend or participate in the event? If yes, please list individuals or teams who you may want to invite, or describe how you would like WMF staff to be involved in the event.


1. How many scholarships would you like to offer?
2. What expenses will the scholarship cover?
Flight, accommodation, simple meals, transportation, Visa
3. How will scholarship recipients be selected?
All applicants will be able to request a scholarship. Those requesting a scholarship will be asked to state why they want to attend the conference, what they’ll get out of their attendance and what their presence will bring to the conference such as skills or knowledge sharing. Applicants must also demonstrate they are an existing photographer contributor on Wikimedia Commons in good standing, and agree if attending to contribute a lump sum of $300 towards the cost of the event (see budget below, including possible alternatives for those who cannot afford this).

Resources and risks


Describe the resource potential for successfully executing this project and the key risks/threats.


Organizing team
Team User Names
WMF Liaison   Frank Schulenburg, United States
Logistics   Ralf Roletschek, Austria
Conference Program   Habib M’henni, Tunisia
Scholarships   Katie Chan, United Kingdom
Communications   Saskia Ehlers, Germany
Volunteer Coordinators   Satdeep Gill, India
Other team members   Ra Boe, Germany, "for everything neeeded"
  Olaf Kosinsky, Germany
  Reykholt, Iceland insider tips from the island


  1. Commons Photographers User Group will experience difficulties in finding an appropriate fiscal sponsor: As of today, the Commons Photographers User Group doesn't have its own bank account. As a result, the financials for this grant will have to be handled by a fiscal sponsor. However, we've already received a verbal commitment from Wikimedia Austria to support this event and act as a fiscal sponsor. Wikimedia Austria has an excellent track record in organizing events and handling financials responsibly and accurately. That's why we're confident that we've cleared this hurdle.
  2. Commons Photographers User Group has never organized an event before: This is our first official meeting and also the first time we're embarking on organizing an event of this kind. However, several members of our user group have organized large events i the past. E.g. Ralf Roletschek, our project lead for this conference, has organized 15 photo workshops in Germany and Sweden over the past 10 years (with up to 45 participants). He has also co-organized projects that have been successful in photographing members of different parliaments (in Germany, Austria, Latvia, and France). We are confident that we've sufficiently addressed this risk by putting together a strong organizing team.



Please provide a detailed breakdown of project expenses according to the instructions here. See Budget Guidelines.

Event budget table
Nr. Item description Unit Quantity Cost in TND Total TND Cost in USD Comments
1. Travel costs & visas 22 820
1.1 International travel costs participant 40 1 500 60 000 21 000 Estimated average price for return flight: 1500TND.
1.2 Domestic travel costs participant 10 100 1 000 350 Transportation of local participants from other cities of Tunisia to Yassmine . Average of 100 TND return trip.
1.3 Visas participant 8 150 1 200 420 Cost of a single Tunisia visa is 200 TND
1.4 Traveling Agency - 1 3 000 3 000 1 050 Fixed cost.
2. Accommodation & catering 8 750
2.1 Accommodation double rooms * nights 50 400 20 000 7 000 Accommodation in double rooms. Participants will travel in the night of third day depending on the flight tickets availability.
2.2 Catering - 50 100 5 000 1 750 Fixed cost (breakfast, lunch, dinner, and coffee breaks.)
3. Venue costs 1365
3.1 2 Room rent days 3 300 900 315
3.2 Technical support - - 3000 3000 1050 Filming of sessions, Wi-Fi
4. Additionnal expenses 8 925
4.1 project management Month 5 1500 7500 2625
4.2 Pack and documentation participants participant 60 150 9000 3150 Pens, notebooks, t-shirt, bags (150TND/participant)
4.3 Social event - 2 2000 4000 1400
Emergency & contingencies - - 5 000 5 000 1750
TOTAL 41 860

Total cost of event
$41 860
Total amount requested from the Conference and Event Grants program
$41 860
Additional sources of revenue that may fund part of this event, and amounts funded
Each participant will be asked contribute a lump sum of $300 towards the costs of the event. If individuals cannot afford to contribute that amount, others will have the opportunity to "adopt" those individuals and pay the lump sum on their behalf. We expect a total of $8,700 to be covered by the participants.
Please confirm that you are aware that changes to the approved budget beyond 10% in any category must be approved in advance.





Do you think this project should be selected for a Conference Grant? Please add your name and rationale for endorsing this project in the list below. Other feedback, questions or concerns from community members are also highly valued, but please post them on the talk page of this proposal.

  1.   Support Nice idea and interesting topic ,Esteban (talk) 23:17, 12 February 2018 (UTC)
  2.   Support Finally a conference for photographers, we really need such an event to discuss, learn and share things about free photographs. Big support. Dyolf77 (talk) 23:49, 13 February 2018 (UTC)
  3.   Support Good idea. Nice, to meet other photographers and shear ideas. I'll help also with tips etc. as far as possible.Reykholt (talk) 19:16, 14 February 2018 (UTC)
  4.   Support I think it would be great to be able to meet with other photographers. As most cameras today allow to take videos, the subject of making videos for Commons could be added to the proposal. Lionel Allorge (talk) 11:04, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  5.   Support I fully join Dyolf77's point. I would definitely join if it happens! — 0x010C ~talk~ 11:28, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  6.   Support Great ! It's really a good initiative to organize a conference for photographers and commonists. Sami Mlouhi (talk) 15:39, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  7.   Support I strongly support the conference Mounir Touzri (talk) 17:05, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  8.   Support --Alaa :)..! 18:37, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  9.   Support I support the conference Hamed Gamaoun (talk) 21:42, 15 February 2018 (UTC)
  10.   Support Good project for photographers. B20180 (talk) 11:38, 17 February 2018 (UTC)
  11.   Support Very good idea. Charlesjsharp (talk)
  12.   Support Nice idea. This conference is a good initiative.--Jamie Tubers (talk) 17:26, 22 February 2018 (UTC)
  13.   Support Good idea.Atudu (talk) 14:23, 1 March 2018 (UTC)
  14.   Support at last we are thinking about conference for commons contributors. Big Support. - Afifa Afrin (talk) 01:33, 5 March 2018 (UTC)
  15.   Support Photogenic location for a conference for Commons photographers. -- Colin (talk) 11:53, 7 March 2018 (UTC)
  16.   Support- Bodhisattwa (talk) 15:21, 10 March 2018 (UTC)
  17.   Support media is a significant component of all projects we should be more to improve that and providing learn for copyright type issue Gnangarra (talk) 08:22, 4 April 2018 (UTC)
  18.   Support -Xabier Cañas (talk) 11:21, 23 March 2018 (UTC)
  19.   Support Great idea and a great place for a meeting of photography enthusiasts. Code (talk) 19:11, 9 April 2018 (UTC)
  20.   Comment. I support the idea in general (as Dyolf77 says). At the same time, I also think maybe it would make more sense to merge this with a broader event such as Commons Conference 2018. Just my thoughts. All the best, Rehman 12:02, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  21.   Support I made a series of requests on the talk page to which I would expect the organizers to respond as this grant request develops. I like the idea here and want to show my support even while I want to hear more about the commitments of the participants. Blue Rasberry (talk) 13:46, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  22.   Support August would be unrealistic for me to attend personally, but as I've said elsewhere (update: date changed, so no need for this first comment now) I think this is a great idea. — Rhododendrites talk \\ 14:09, 11 April 2018 (UTC)
  23.   Support IndrajitDas 16:24, 13 April 2018 (UTC)
  24.   Support Zeetendra ») 07:59, 19 April 2018 (UTC)
  25.   Support Seems like a solid idea. I agree with Lionel Allorge that it would be good to add video to the conference agenda as well. Kaldari (talk) 20:25, 30 April 2018 (UTC)
  1.   Support Commoner's conference is a brilliant idea. --Filipinayzd (talk) 13:47, 25 May 2019 (UTC)