Photographer’s Self-Publishing: Contexts for Collecting Contemporary Photobooks!

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Ker-Pow! The ICP’s Photobook Explosion — Deirdre Donohue, Stephanie Shuman Librarian, ICP Library, International Center of Photography

The Photobook in Flux — Tony White, Director, Decker Library, Maryland Institute College of Art

Photobooks From a photo-eye Perspective — Melanie McWhorter, Manager of photo-eye’s Book Division, photo-eye

The Photobook Industry From a Photographer’s Perspective — Keliy Anderson-Staley, Assistant Professor of Photography and Digital Media, University of Houston

Heather Gendron, Head, Sloane Art Library / Coordinator of Assessment, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Jon Evans, Chief Librarian, Hirsch Library, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston

Digital publishing allows photographers, from the self-taught to the well-established, new avenues for the promotion of their work and for creative exploration. Once considered by some as a type of “vanity” publishing, self-publishing today is widely accepted as a key part of artists’ portfolio-building and marketing strategy. Book publishing has become wildly popular for photographers, many of whom publish in multiple formats, from zines, apps, and print-on-demand books, to open editions, e-books, and “traditional” print books. They often self-fund publishing endeavors, selling books on their websites or through other means outside the librarian’s “normal” collecting stream. Needless to say, collecting photobooks in this environment is a challenge. Speakers will discuss the opportunities and economics of contemporary photobook publishing and will offer advice on keeping up with, collecting, and curating collections of contemporary photobooks.

Deirdre Donohue will talk about the transformative effects of digital publishing on artists at the International Center for Photography and the resulting impact on the ICP’s library. The ICP has embraced print-on-demand technology with MFA theses and Board presentations produced by Lulu and a new imprint called launched in Fall of 2014.

Tony White will present a discussion and survey of photobooks, photozines, and related self-published materials by artists, designers, and photographers. In addition, he will address collection development and preservation opportunities, resources, and challenges, as well as touch on terms and terminology.

As both photographer and manager of photo-eye’s Book Division, Melanie McWhorter will present her perspectives on recent trends in photobook publishing and collecting. Using highlights from some of the incredible photobooks published in recent years, she will also outline the changes she has witnessed and the reasons why investing in photobooks is important.

Having made single-edition artist books, self-published through Blurb, and published with a publisher who required no financial contribution, Keliy Anderson-Staley has seen how the industry works at multiple points along the spectrum. She will discuss strategies photographers use to publish their work in the current environment and why they choose to self-publish.

Monday March 23, 2015 9:00am – 10:30am

“Street Photography” Photo Submissions to National Geographic!

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Assignment Ends on Feb 24, 2015!

Editor’s Note: Only photos taken during the assignment (Feb 4-Feb 25) will be selected for the final story.

Street photography. It sounds dirty. It sounds urban.

Behind every syllable is a honking horn, a toothless grin, a siren wailing in the background. Chewing gum under your shoe, the smells of the street wafting up to hit you in the nose.

Street photography is a harsh name for a beautiful pursuit. To tame the chaos. To frame the cacophony of modern life. To capture what it means to be alive.

Street photography is more than a phrase; it is a way of seeing, a way of experiencing life. Sports photography can be street photography on the field. Fashion photography can be street photography backstage. At its very essence street photography is capturing life without interrupting it. Witnessing and capturing a once-in-a-lifetime moment as it unfolds in front of you. A pursuit that intrinsically means photography without permission.

So street photography can be scary.

There are three important elements that make up a successful street photographer—probably more, actually—but for this assignment we will concentrate on three:
• Controlling composition in a fluid environment
• Controlling fear
• Controlling the visual narrative

On the street, you don’t have a backdrop, no seamless, no directing of light. The world is your backdrop and you have to figure out how to frame your subjects within the space they and you inhabit. This means paying attention to the light, to buildings, to walls, to negative space.

Street photography terrifies me. That’s why I practice it every day. Push yourself outside the boundaries of comfort. Photograph on the subway. Shoot that man sitting at the bus stop, or in Starbucks as the setting sun hits his coffee cup. Don’t listen to that inner voice that says stop. Go beyond it.

Once you have the images, figuring out how to say something is the hard part. Are all your images random snapshots or a collection that speaks to your heart? How do you start seeing and shooting something cohesive?

Read the assignment guidelines below.

Reposting! Photographer Captures 100 Female Artists In Their Homes And Studios

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A great portrait is more than just a frozen reflection of the subject’s appearance. It’s a chance moment, blanketed in natural light, in which the subject’s authentic self is visible in her expression, her stance, her aura. A great portrait blurs the line between a subject and her surroundings, all contributing equally to the overall impression of a singular human being.

Photographer Barbara Yoshida captured not one great portrait, but 100. And to make it all the more glorious, her subjects are all female artists, groundbreaking in their own right.