The first moment I knew that digital photography was here to stay was 1997. Kodak had just released the DSC 520 and 560 cameras which were the first digital bodies that could handle a six-column newspaper page or magazine cover. This was also the moment I knew I had to have a way to continually access the work I was doing. Digital placed our industry in the fast lane, and I knew I could no longer wait to get home to fulfill an image request. Today I use a service called Photoshelter which runs in the background of my photography life. I’m currently on the Blurb Roadshow, in Australia, and each day I upload my images to my online archive, send the link to the team back home, effectively giving high-res, downloadable access to the work.
Recently Photoshelter released something anyone with book dreams will be interested in. “The Photographer’s Guide to Publishing Photo Books.” There are several things I love about this. This is a real-world, practical guide. Nuts and bolts. Things like establishing goals, choosing the right path for your book, how to actually sell your publication and a list of ten things you might want to consider before moving forward. In addition you have case studies from several photographers who share their methodology and specific tactics, illuminating some of the shadowy areas in things like crowd funding, self-publishing and finding your niche.
One of the case studies details my experience with with Ron Haviv on The Lost Rolls. Other contributors include photographers Will Steacy, Emily Shur, Brad Mangin and Evan Joseph. What you need to know is that these are working photographers with a vested interest in the industry, publishing and the tradition of utilizing print at the highest level. Regardless of advances in digital technology, print is still cherished.
I’ve been around photography for twenty-five years and I’ve never seen more focus on photography books then I see today. The story of publishing has been rewritten. The power is in the hands of the creator of the work and the audience is global. As you can imagine I get daily questions in regard to publishing. This guide covers many of the things I’m routinely asked.