One > One Trillion


Essay by Zack McDonald, co-founder of One Shot

“People take pictures of the summer, just in case someone thought they had missed it, just to prove it really existed.” 
— The Kinks


Ray Davies wrote this ironic lyric in the summer of ’68.

His “People Take Pictures Of Each Other” captures our urge to capture the moment.

But, back then, who could’ve predicted the photographic overload we’re currently living through?

This year, the people of Earth are projected to take over 1.3 trillion photos.

That’s trillion with a T.

350 million of those will be uploaded to Facebook.


This insane image overload gives us so many photographs to look at that it becomes almost impossible for us to see any of them.

If Richard Avedon had posted his “hair selfie” today, instead of 1980, would we remember it tomorrow?

If John & Yoko appeared on next week’s Rolling Stone, would we save it?

If Dali’s “floating in the studio with cats” portrait landed in 2017 would it become more than a #catsofinstagram meme?

Of course — of course — we know the correct answers to these questions.

We want to believe the answer to these questions is “yes, of course.”

But these are crazy times we live in.

One Shot is our humble response to the current state of photography.

It harkens back to a time when film flourished —

Split-second decisions were the norm —

And every shot mattered.

Are we, perhaps, viewing the past through rose-colored glasses?


But we’ll take those over SnapChat Spectacles any day.

Who ever said innovation couldn’t be analog?

Every One Shot Edition consists of photos that capture moments.

The prints — like the moments themselves — are one-of-a-kind and will never come again.

We began this project to celebrate the beauty, mystery and surprise of photography.

Our hope is that — if nothing else — it will make you ponder your relationship with the images in your life.

To reconsider the process of taking pictures and consuming them.

To not just look at a photograph — but to really see it.


Zachary McDonald