Wanted to create a followup in regard to the last post about Generation Human Rights. Like many high-end projects that aim to be around for a while, this group made a book. For those of you who might have spent the bulk of your photography life in the online space just know there is nothing wrong with that. In many ways, it’s only natural. However, just know that lurking in the physical photography industry is the very vibrant idea of print. Case in point, the Millenium Villages Project Book.
As you will see, this book is a joint venture between numerous groups, numerous photographers and numerous writers. All high-end. These include the Blue Chip Foundation, VII Agency (which you should certainly know if you are walking the photography world) and even people like Bono.
This book is BEAUTIFUL. Just look at the tooling, the photographs, the quality of ingredients, the overall design and the edit which is taking a hugely complex issue and sharpening the idea, reality, solutions, and participants down to a fine, digestible edge. This, my friends, is what a good book does.
There is no running from an object like this. This lives on its own, in silence, until that first crack of the spine. When someone consumes a book it is often the ONLY thing they are doing, which makes this a very different experience than viewing something online. I have two browsers open right now. I have sixteen tabs open. No, I’m not joking. That is a typical day for me, and perhaps for you too, so do you understand why books and physical objects are so critical for attention?
I also want to bring something else to your attention, something you see in the design. This is a SUBJECT driven book not an ARTIST driven book. This is not a book about the photographers and writers saying “Hey, look how great I am.” This is about the writers and photographers saying “Hey, this is a story you need to know about.” Hence, the cover of the book is about MVP, and a very tiny inclusion of “VII Association,” but it’s so small you really have to look for it. The BACK of the book is where the contributors are listed. Their work speaks for itself on the insides pages.
Historically, these subject driven books do far better than artist-driven books. Do we need another book showing off the skills of a certain photographer? Sure, but not often. Do we need to use the power of photography to tell stories, promote understanding and allow people to see the world in new ways? Yes, clearly.
Thanks for sharing, Dan. Just ordered the book. Our organization is, perhaps, doing something similar in that we are focusing on “those who we serve.” Our organization focuses on issues of inequality, both in the US and in LMICs. Thanks again for sharing.
It’s a gorgeous book. Good to hear about your project, a commendable idea.
Those images and the book look fantastic.
They are. It’s professional in every way. And the story is the most important part.