CLEVELAND (WJW) – A rainy day in Cleveland isn’t going to stop photographer Maria Perme from taking pictures.

“For me it’s more of a spiritual perspective,” Perme said. “I’m so in it when I’m doing it, everything else goes away.”

Fifth grader Sabina Cha and her mom Laura D’Alessandro love spending time together – capturing the beauty they find each day – but the photos they’re taking aren’t just for fun, they have a purpose.

WJW photo

The Cleveland Photo Fest is presenting a special exhibition called One Million Photos: Unity Through Photography.

“The miracle of one million photos is that everyone is a photographer,” Cleveland Photographic Workshop Director Herb Ascherman said while pointing to his smartphone.

Jim Szudy, the Director of the Cleveland Photo Fest, and Ascherman have curated the exhibition that’s powered by submissions from the public.

“You can use your phone, you can use your tablet, you can use your actual camera,” Szudy said. 

People submitted their photos digitally at the One Million Photos website.

“You can upload as many times as many images that you want,” Szudy said. “Scroll down, upload, one, two, three – you’re in the show.”

The photos have been placed and printed on panels that have 17K photos on each one. Each photo on the panel is about the size of your thumbnail.

“Our submissions are open at the moment, we will probably close them down around the 10th or 12th of November because the opening – and you’re all invited to the opening – is November 18th,” Ascherman said.

Perme is excited to be a part of such a large project.

“It’s just a really cool way for people to get together and feel connected,” Perme said.

There is no limit on how many pictures each photographer could submit.

The exhibition will be located at the Bostwick Design Partnership and will be free to attend through Dec. 31.