Sunday, May 25, 2014

Photo Books and Photographs

The idea of self publishing my own coffee table book has been lying dormant in the recesses of my brain ever since I came back from my solo trip around the world in 2010. At the end of that journey, I designed and printed my first coffee table book using Blurb and the thrill of seeing something I created was always revived every time I turned the pages of that book.  Since then, I have created two more books and with my second photo exhibition fast approaching made a commitment to myself to realise that dream of self publishing.  The fact that Steven my partner also had a similar dream to self publish a nonfiction book makes this even more special. 

His book called Rethinking the City and my exhibition and book titled Fate or Destiny are wonderful complements to each other.  The fact we will be launching in August to celebrate his 50th birthday is especially meaningful. 

Photo from HeadOn Website
We had only just got home from our road trip to the conference when we heard there was a Photo Book Day as part of the HeadOn 2014 Festival events.  I believe that when you put ideas out to the Universe that align with your Destiny, the Universe conspires to help you realise those dreams.  You pick up a book or you meet a stranger who validates for you the thoughts you have been mulling over.  The chance to actually mingle with like-minded souls with similar passions was too good to be missed so we decided to head out to the city. 

A number of leading photo book editors and publishers have come to Sydney for this event.  Many of the people I speak to have come down from Melbourne.  I am pleased to see that the online coffee table book publishers such as Blurb and Momento are also here.

We learn a lot about the process from chatting to people but also from sitting in on the free seminar at the end of the day.  I had been grappling with the fact that printing a coffee table book is incredibly expensive and learn that this is the balancing act that all artists are struggling with.  The unit cost of offset printing becomes more cost effective, the more books you can afford to print. However, if you don’t have an audience to which you can market your book, then the exercise becomes meaningless as you are left with a large consignment of books which must be stored!

The idea of printing a coffee table book is to have a portfolio of work that you can show to people.   It can reach a much wider audience than an exhibition of your photos ever will.  It is also a chance for you to share deeper ideas if you chose to include more text and writing than is possible in an exhibition.  I come away feeling inspired, motivated and more determined to make this happen. 

I know there are many avenues out there today for people who are keen to give it a go.  Crowd Funding is one of these avenues and Pubslush another.  Pubslush ( is a new publishing company that uses crowdsourcing to select books for publication. Authors submit their manuscripts via the website and visitors vote on which ones they like the most. 

Most people have a desire to be heard.  I think this is a natural human condition.  When you discover the medium where you can express yourself the best, I think you come close to realising the reason for your existence.  I am lucky I have two.  Writing and Photography – they are both my babies and I love them equally. 

“Being heard is so close to being loved 
that for the average person, they are almost indistinguishable.”  ~ David Augsburger

No comments:

Post a Comment