Dave Mullen Jr. always had a slight obsession with alignment and a penchant for neat and consistent design. So when he started using photography as a means to capture the architectural detail of his home city of Sheffield, he did so to gain a greater appreciation for the symmetry, patterns, and shapes that surrounded him.
Once he had a few photos in his camera roll, he noticed a common theme: a particular angle he kept coming back to, regardless of which building he shot.
He found that photographing a building’s corner from the ground in a symmetrical fashion was both aesthetically pleasing and beautiful.
It was then that he had the idea to start a series dedicated to the particular angle. So, he established a few internal “rules” — each photo would be a perfect square, the architectural apex would lie at the very center, the sides of the building would fall off symmetrically from highest point, and the image would be black and white, as he didn’t want color to distract from the structure itself.
After he shot practically all of the corners in Sheffield, Dave took a trip to New York City and continued his quest. Somewhere along his journey, he had a lightbulb moment — a realization that there’s incredible architecture all over the world that could be captured in the same honest and impartial way.
He had the idea and the formula, so he started an Instagram account focused on this photographic pursuit. He called it Geometry Club.
At first, Dave only posted photos from his personal collection, but after a while, he invited other Instagrammers to join the initiative and contribute to the feed as well. The response to his account was instantly positive, and words such as “relaxing,” “meditative,” and “zen-like” continually appeared in the comments. After all, those qualities were what drew Dave to architectural photography in the first place.
There was, however, a bit of confusion as to how other photographers could correctly match Dave’s criteria when taking photos, so Dave began publishing videos to better explain the guidelines. This eventually led to an entire website with a submission channel, and an app that uses a grid overlay to help contributors align their shots just right.
Slowly, a small community formed around Geometry Club, as photographers continued to help build the project from their remote corners of the world. Today, the project has 150 contributors in more than 30 countries, a feat that Dave attributes to the inclusivity of Instagram.
When commenting on how Geometry Club has progressed over the years, Dave simply says that he hopes this is just the beginning.