Tag Archives: Photobook

POYi Best Photography Book – FINALIST

POYi TMoSIt was a total surprise and a huge honour to have my book The Middle of Somewhere selected as a finalist at the prestigious Pictures Of the Year International 73. POYi has been around for quite some time and firmly established as one of the worlds leading photographic awards. POYi also run seminars and workshops and are increasingly becoming a center for research, discussion and education.

 

AUSTRALIAN PHOTOBOOK OF THE YEAR

Aus Photobook of the Year Awards

spread from 'The Middle of Somewhere'

spread from ‘The Middle of Somewhere’

I’m feeling blessed and most grateful. The Middle of Somewhere has won ‘Australian Photobook of the Year – Peoples Choice Award2015, so special to receive this. Thanks to everyone who voted and to Momento Pro & PHOTOBOOK MELBOURNE – it’s wonderful to know that the public enjoyed my book.

 

INTERVIEW ON MAKING PHOTOBOOKS

the momentum 1To coincide with winning Australian Photobook of the Year 2015 – The People’s Choice Award, i spoke with the award sponsors Momento Pro about making photobooks; We discussed editing, design and layout, the differences between trade publishing and self-publishing, distribution, promotion, the importance of making dummies and photo festivals around the world.

You can watch it here.

the momentum 2

 

 

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!

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!!