New York Book Launch – Bronx Documentary Center

Sam Harris _ The Middle of Somewhere 007 (4)

I’m super excited, most honoured and grateful to be launching my new book The Middle of Somewhere in New York at the wonderful Bronx Documentary Center.

Some early copies have started leaving the nest, and we couldn’t be more happy about the first reactions. Susan Bright, the curator & writer had this to say “An absolute stunner! Best photo book of the year for me. Only 600 copies… they will go fast.”

I’ll be doing a talk & slideshow about my photographic and personal journey from London via living in India to settling in the Australian bush. Hope to see you there! Please join us, check out the book and have a celebratory drink!!

Signed books are available on Pre-Order here from Ceibafoto.com

 

BIRTH OF A PHOTOBOOK!!

Creating a Photobook (Part 2)

Well… after a very long and sometimes painful labour we are delighted, deliriously excited, most honoured and grateful to announce the birth of our 1 pound and 12 ounces baby… It’s a book!

book cover

The Middle of Somewhere, Numbered edition of 600. Essay by Alasdair Foster, two inserts; Travelogue & No Yesterdays (from Yael’s diary) , hand made notes. Cover art by Uma Harris

 The Middle of Somewhere has been a long journey, an on-going family diary that revolves around my two daughters growing up.

It’s been 12 years since we were first living in India and i begun to photograph my family life. I suppose i became enchanted with the magic of childhood and the playful, creative possibilities that open up. I wanted to forget so much that had become formulaic about the way i approached photography. After more than a decade working in London, shooting album covers and editorial portraits, one develops a way of working. I wanted to undo all that, to forget what i knew, reconnect with my true self and start all over. So… i suppose it’s fitting that i found myself connecting with my childhood through the prism of my daughters. That they became my muses and my work began to crystallise.

It’s been a personal and photographic journey into the unknown, a personal diary, watching my daughters’ childhood unfold, trying as best i can to catch the magic and all the while aware that time is slipping.

ONE IDEA LEADS TO ANOTHER…

Originally we had a very different idea for the cover of the book. Part of the magic of any creative process is its evolution. Being flexible and open minded helps the process grow. It was an exciting moment when we decided to ask Uma to do the art work for the cover, based on another piece of art she’d made for us. Below you can see a brief clip of Uma at work.

IT’S ALL PART OF THE PROCESS

I’ve been talking with Eva-Maria Kunz about making this book for a few years now. Making a photobook is not something to be rushed. Ideas need time to grow. Some grow nicely, others fail. It’s all part of the process. Bouncing ideas… In earnest we began work on the book in September 2014. We met up at The Photobook Museum, Cologne, to start planning a schedule as well as mapping out our ideas and dreams, the vision for the book. You can read more about that here.

Fast Forward to April 2015, it’s time to print the book! Another long flight to Italy, to EBS, (the master book printers that will help us ‘deliver’ this baby…) It’s a trip that can’t be avoided. The photographer has to check the proofs and work closely with the printers to ensure the images look just right. .

PICTURE THE SCENE, THE LABOUR’S BEEN GOING FOR MORE THAN 24 HOURS…

I’ve been pacing up and down the corridor, in and out of every chair in the waiting room. Anxiety turns to frustration to boredom as you wait for nurse Silvia to pop her head in the door and say ‘ok they want you down on press’ – meanwhile your fingers are chewed down to the bone as you wait …. Soon … Come on…. What’s taking them so long… The afternoon drifts towards the evening… How many coffees have I had today…. and so it goes…

Pre-Sales for The Middle of Somewhere have begun over at ceiba. This really is all about the love we have for photobooks. Making the book has been a real labour of love, a roller-coaster ride that’s not quite over yet!

BOOK PREVIEW COMING SOON!

SELECTED BY DUNCAN MILLER GALLERY – LA

I’m very proud to announce that ‘Uma, steamy window’ has been selected for YourDaillyPhotograph.com.

Uma, steamy window © Sam Harris

Uma, steamy window © Sam Harris (from the book The Middle of Somewhere)

Duncan Miller Gallery, curators have chosen my image for inclusion into YourDailyPhotograph.com. They select a very small percentage of photographs submitted, saying “You’re in good company — in the recent past images from Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andreas Gursky, Richard Misrach, Andre Kertesz, Edward Burtynsky and other photography legends have appeared in Your Daily Photograph”

Uma, steamy window is on sale at a very special price for the next 24 hours (May 9th). You can check it out here.

CREATING A PHOTOBOOK (Part 1)

family affair

It’s a Family Affair – everyone gets involved at some stage.           Photo © Sam Harris

The Middle of Somewhere – Creating a Photobook (Part 1)

Last year I was fortunate enough to start a collaboration with ceiba foto to publish my book The Middle of Somewhere, 12 years of family diary work. Little did I know of the roller-coaster ride that lay ahead: the making of a photobook!

To add to the challenge we are spread over three continents… and so we started by meeting in the middle, and what a better place to start than at the inspiring, Photobook Museum in Cologne, who kindly allowed us to use their studio space. We worked there for a week and dreamed and schemed, brewing up the initial concept.

Working at The Photobook Museum, Cologne. Photo © Reimar Ott

Dreaming and Scheming with Eva Maria Kunz at The Photobook Museum, Cologne  Photo © Reimar Ott

I’ve self-published a book before and even been lucky enough to win some awards with it, but nothing could prepare me for the intensity required to produce a photobook of such fine quality and nuance.

Printers Proofs: Whilst running a workshop in India i received proofs printed on various paper stock. Another important decision. Photo © Sam Harris

Printers Proofs: Whilst running a workshop in India i received proofs from our printers in Italy, printed on various paper stock of the finest quality . Another important decision. Paper weight, density and finish plays an important part… Not just with the look of the images but also the feel… Photobooks are a tactile experience as well as a visual one.  Photo © Sam Harris

Prints on the wall, prints on the floor, prints in my sleep... for 9 days i lived in the Ceiba studio, Italy. With so much material (12 years worth) breaking the book down into small sequences helps. Strings of images... hopefully come together like poems. Photo © Eva-Maria Kunz

Prints on the wall, prints on the floor, prints in my dreams… for 9 days i lived in the Ceiba studio, Italy. With 12 years worth of material, breaking the book down into small sequences helps. Strings of images…  come together like poems. Photo © Eva Maria Kunz

Eva Maria Kunz from Ceiba has been my partner in all this, leading the way, bouncing every idea and pushing and pulling us all to the limits. Long, intensive days, week after week, for the last 6 months… 

It’s been extreme. Often challenging and frustrating, but equally inspiring and exciting. Every now and then we catch a glimpse of the book to be, images and design in flux… and as we do, we know it’s all worthwhile.  

 

And born out of frustrating situations, last-minute inspiration can appear! and I can tell you it tastes all the sweeter for its serendipity. And so the book, slowly becomes…

 

The pre-dummy dummy: Once a sequence has been established it's important to stack the rough prints and check the flow, in a rough book form, turning pages, flipping back and forth. Only when we feel happy with the flow can we commit to making the dummy.

The pre-dummy dummy: Once a sequence has been established it’s important to stack the rough prints and check the flow in a crude book form. Turning pages, flipping back and forth. Only when we feel happy with the flow can we commit to making the dummy. © Photo Sam Harris

Eva working tirelessly, stitching our handmade dummy. Photo © Sam Harris

Eva working tirelessly, stitching our handmade dummy at the end of my time in italy. Photo © Sam Harris

IT’S A FAMILY AFFAIR

It’s not just Ceiba and myself riding this roller-coaster, it’s a family affair… This book is a diary, a family album about Uma and Yali growing up. I work at home most of the time, so everyone becomes involved. It’s not just the edit that takes over our small home, there are cover materials, art work, graphics, paper types, colour choices, texts and all sorts of ‘special’ things i can’t talk about yet :) All these things have at some stage engaged all the family in the process.

Stay tuned, we’ll be revealing some very special news soon!!

INSTAGRAM LOOKS BACK ON 2014… MY PHOTO SELECTED!

I’m most honoured and grateful to have this image selected by Instagram as one of eight photos as they look back on 2014…

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Truly a global community… I’m quite amazed that Instagram selected this photograph as part of their looking back at 2014 feature. It’s wonderful to know that i can take photos from my daily life here in Balingup, a remote part of Australia, a remote part of the world… and yet photo editors in New York and San Francisco see them and pay attention. Thank you Instagram!

If you’d like to see more of my on-going photo diary, you can follow me @samharrisphoto

Thanks and hope to see you there!!

GUERNSEY PHOTOGRAPHY FESTIVAL – REPORT

Guernsey Photo Festival Banner

Guernsey Photography Festival 2014 – Photo © Sam Harris

Firstly, let me say what a fantastic experience i had at the Guernsey Photography Festival. The GPF might be a relatively small photo fest but it’s certainly packs a punch. It’s always stimulating for me to meet other photographers, see their work and talk photography. In Guernsey there was no shortage of any of that and the caliber of the work selected was excellent. It was a real honour to be included, something for which i am most grateful.

There were about 15 photographers in attendance from across Europe. I was lucky to be able to join them all from Australia with thanks to a grant that i received from The Department of Culture and the Arts for Western Australia.

Most of the photographers in attendance were hosted in the homes of festival staff and volunteers. A nice touch that allowed us to better connect with the community and experience some wonderful Guernsey hospitality.  Thank you again Joanne and family for hosting myself and Londoner Jason Wilde. We had a great time and truly appreciate you opening your home to us.

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Jean-Christoph Godot opens the GPF 2014

Jean-Christophe Godet opens the GPF 2014

‘Faith, Family and Community’

GPF is a themed festival and the 2014 edition was Faith, Family & Community. Festival director Jean-Christophe Godet opened the GPF at the splendid St James Concert Hall. Legendary Magnum photographer Abbas  was the guest of honour and presented work spanning his career. Liz Hingley gave a fascinating presentation on her series ‘Under Gods’ and John Angerson was in conversation with J-C Godet. whilst showing his excellent body of work on the Jesus Army, ‘Love, Power, Sacrifice’.  There were also screenings of four slideshows (including my series ‘The Middle of Somewhere’) all with live piano, especially composed and performed by Angus McRae, with thanks to a collaboration with Victor Hugo Music Festival. Having Angus interpret my work was a great bonus and hearing his piano score played live with my images up on the big screen was a wonderful. You can watch it below (shot on my iPhone:) and please turn up the volume!!

Below are a few highlights from the many fantastic works exhibited at GPF 2014. It was so hard to select just a few… Everyone’s work was so inspiring, i enjoyed so much of it!

Please note, all copyright © belong with the respective photographer as credited. All names and titles are hyper-linked to take you to the photographer’s website.

David Moore – Picture From The Real World (1987-88)

David Moore’s  ‘Pictures from the Real World‘ was the fore runner of much activity that followed in British photographic history. It’s first showing was in 1988 in a special edition of Creative Camera selected by Martin Parr. I really loved seeing this work, raw and yet sensitive… Recently published as a book of the same title by Dewi Lewis. It sold out quickly and prices are on the up, so if you find a copy, grab it fast!

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Pictures from the Real World (1987-88) © David Moore

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Pictures from the Real World (1987-88) © David Moore

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Pictures from the Real World (1987-88) © David Moore

Elinor Carucci – Mother

New York based Israeli Elinor Carucci photographs her twin daughters for her series Mother. I found it fascinating to see the work of other photographers who also photograph their children.

an image from ©Elinor Carucci's series Mother waits to be hung...

an image from ©Elinor Carucci’s series Mother waits to be unwrapped and hung…

©Elinor Carucci's series Mother
©Elinor Carucci’s series Mother

John Angerson – Love, Power, Sacrifice

Photographed over 20 years, English photographer John Angerson’s portrait of The Jesus Army (a religious sect founded in Northampton, UK in 1969) is a profoundly sympathetic authorial style which does not judge, or even simply chronicle, but seems to penetrate the very skin of the religious sect… You can but John’s book ‘Love, Power, Sacrifice, published by Dewi Lewis here.

© John Angerson

© John Angerson

© John Angerson

© John Angerson

© John Angerson

© John Angerson

Liz Hingley – Under Gods: Stories from the Soho Road

UK photographer Liz Hingley presented her series Under Gods, an intimate look at the multifaceted colourful world of urban faith along the Soho Road in Birmingham, England. An area rich with cultural diversities and religious practices. Liz’s beautiful book ‘Under Gods’ is published by Dewi Lewis and well worth purchasing.

© Liz Hingley - Cannon Street Baptist's Baptism

© Liz Hingley – Cannon Street Baptist’s Baptism

© Liz Hingley - Temple maintenance by Thai monks

© Liz Hingley – Temple maintenance by Thai monks

© Liz Hingley - Polish Catholic carol singers

© Liz Hingley – Polish Catholic carol singers

Abbas – Faces of Christianity

Legendary Magnum photographer Abbas exhibited work from his extensive archive in a series titled Faces of Christianity

from the ©Abbas exhibition Faces of Christianity

from the ©Abbas exhibition Faces of Christianity

from the ©Abbas exhibition Faces of Christianity

from the ©Abbas exhibition Faces of Christianity

Arno Brignon – Josephine

Arno Brignon is a French photographer who has been photographing is daughter Josephine for several years now. I really enjoyed his work. Especially interesting for me as Arno is also a father photographing his daughter…

© Arno Brignon - from his series Josephine

© Arno Brignon – from his series Josephine

© Arno Brignon - from his series Josephine

© Arno Brignon – from his series Josephine

© Arno Brignon - from his series Josephine

© Arno Brignon – from his series Josephine

Jason Wilde – Silly Arse Broke It

Jason Wilde is a London photographer with a great sense of humor and irony. His talk at the Performing Arts Center was one of the most entertaining, at times hilarious talks i’ve seen.Jason lives on the ‘Clarence Way Estate’ in Camden, London, where he has witnessed over the years the rapid diversification of the cultural mix of his community. In an attempt to record this transformation Jason started collecting hand written notes that he found discarded on the estate.  Silly Arse Broke It is a collection of those found notes and messages placed against wallpaper backgrounds. So very revealing about much of the day-to-day life in his hood.

Jason Wilde next to his display panel in Market Square and during his excellent talk.

Jason Wilde next to his display panel in Market Square and during his excellent talk.

Jason Wilde.com

© Jason Wilde

Inaki Domingo – Ser Sangre

Spanish photographer Inaki Domingo had a very interesting exhibition Ser Sangre. A collaboration with his family whilst on holiday, over a period of weeks. He reexamined the concept of the family album. Inaki has a book Ser Sangre soon to be published. I was fortunate to see a preview of the final dummy. Defiantly one for the list!

Inaki Domingo

Inaki Domingo hanging his exhibition ‘San Sangre’

© Inaki Domingo

© Inaki Domingo from the series Ser Sangre

© Inaki Domingo

© Inaki Domingo  from the series Ser Sangre

Gemma Padley from The British Journal of Photography in conversation with (Left to Right_ Alfonso Amendros, Andrei Nacu and Inaki Domingo

Gemma Padley from The British Journal of Photography in conversation with Inaki Domingo, Alfonso Amendros and Andrei Nacu

Gemma Padley from The British Journal of Photography in conversation with (Left to Right_ Alfonso Amendros, Andrei Nacu and Inaki Domingo at the Performing Arts Center.

 

Scarlett Coten – Mectoub

Frenchwoman Scarlett Coten’s powerful yet sensitive and thought provoking Mectoub looks at Arab men, in a post Arab Spring environment and questions the notion of identity in societies in which the question of individual freedom, genre and sexuality are the origin of massive political, economic and social change.

Scarlett Coton.com

© Scarlett Coten

Scarlett Coton.com

© Scarlett Coten

Scarlett Coton

© Scarlett Coten

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MY NEW BOOK TO BE PUBLISHED BY CEIBA FOTO

© ¥ali HarrisPhoto © Yali Harris

 I’m super excited, most honored and grateful to announce that my new book The Middle of Somewhere will be published by the highly talented team at ceiba foto. This really is a dream come true!

‘Looking back i can see that you have to get lost sometimes if you want to find new land. And that’s what happened.’

Recently i  spoke with ceiba foto about inspiration, challenges, life in the Aussie bush and more… have a read over at ceiba foto.

Thank you to The Photobook Museum for allowing us to start the creative process within their space and to the Department of Culture and the Arts, Government of Western Australia for supporting my recent trip to Europe. Ideas are stirring, dummies are being made, and we plan to bring you this baby by June 2015.

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