Finally managed to get my hands on the issue of British Journal of
Photography. . .the one with my work in it. They arrive on these
shores about 4 weeks after they appear in the U.K.
I’ve never really had a close look at that publication, always going
for the N. American default: PDN.
Well, let me tell you that, while the BJP is more expensive, it’s way
more interesting. Might be just because this particular issue was
about portraits, which is my primary area of foto-interest.
But something tells me that the BJP just has more substance than
For instance: a 6 page interview with Malerie Marder (who has just
about the worst website in the world). To find out more about her
and her work you can bop over the Conscientious, where Joerg
just published a glowing review of her new book: Carnal Know-
Plus there are pages and pages more of articles on other fotografers
and approaches. It all seems pretty sophisticated (in a good way) and
And if you need an occasional geek fix, not to worry. BJP also has
a section or two devoted to gear and stuff.
Anyhow, like I said, I would never have picked one up and studied
it if it hadn’t been for the swell article Colin Pantall wrote about
collaborative portraiture (which included some of my work). Goes
to show you that there are still plenty of stones left to turn over,
when it comes to any-and-all things foto. And it’s usually self
interest that makes stuff and discovery happen.
I suggest tracking one down and having a look-see for yourself.
Related, I think, to the past two week’s posts about whether
fotos are of or about something. . . .
You will often bump into fotografers who will tell you,
in no uncertain terms, just what exactly it is their work
is about. They attribute so much to their fotos.
Spare me the details.
First of all, I think I can make up my own mind, thank
you very much. And, secondly, by having such a clear
cut idea of what it is they are actually showing you, I
believe they are really just fooling themselves and trying
to fool you while they’re at it.
Of course, if you are careering, trying to establish your
credentials as an artist, it never hurts to take this tack,
to position yourself as an artist. All too often the public
will be led and persuaded by what you say, not by what
If you have all the pretensions of being an Artist, if that’s
what you sell yourself as (to yourself as well as your clients)
you can turn your palatable, beautiful clichés into money.
But doing it that way, attributing so much to the fotos you
take will, in the end. just hold you back. It will lock you in
to just doing what is safe, what you know. There will be no
discovery, no real progression.
The problem is you end up believing your own hype. And
once that happens you loose your perspective, and it’s
perspective that makes you an artist.
Best, if you ask me, to just go out and do your thing, try to
think just enough, not too much, see what happens, see how
you react to your chosen subject and let the people who look
at what you’ve done make up their own minds just what it is
that you have actually done.
ADVENTURES IN PUBLISHING
I figured I’d get some BLURB books printed, so as to be able
to send hard copies to potential publishers. Got them in the
mail this week and have to say. . .they’re quite nice.
The reproduction is more than swell and the look and feel
pretty much works, too.
LIVE THROUGH THIS (148 pages, softcover)
I like them so much that a part of me thinks I should forget
spending the time and energy looking for an “actual” publisher,
that I should self-publish and that’ll be that.
Of course, there are certain things a publisher would bring to
the table: better printing and paper; an editor; nicer binding;
distribution and, finally, some kind of ego gratification.
page spread (from BLURB version of LTT, which contains many never before seen fotos from the project)
I also have to tell you that I’ve been thinking about printing it on
newsprint, in a large tabloid format, and issuing it like that, for
something like $12 a copy, cheap.
I’m still turning this over in my brain and am just now beginning
to seek out other’s help and opinion. These days there are so many
options for hard copy production of things like this.
As usual, if any of you droolers have thoughts on this, I’d be happy
to hear them, either as comments here or you can PM me.
page spread (from BLURB version of LTT)
detail of the note from Stephanie, seen above