From its inception the site has aimed to be a photography learning community, in which more experienced photographers, both avid amateurs and professional, provide mutual support, as well as being a resource for those interested in learning about photography. The most prominent sections of the site are forums and galleries featuring member-contributed photos and writing.
Philip Greenspun founded photo.net in the early 90's as a showcase for his own travel writing and photography. It has since developed into one of the largest general photography community on the web. Philip still helps guide the site as a member of its Board of Directors, although he is no longer involved in day-to-day operations.