Yesterday was a very exciting day at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) in Hollywood. During its Open House Weekend, March 17 emphasized photobooks.
The day started with a fascinating presentation by our own Douglas Stockdale. In covering the topic “Photobook Pre-Visualization,” he took the audience on a tour of his own book-publishing history, and shared some of the thoughts, trials, and tribulations behind each of several projects. Contrasting his commercially published volume Ciociaria with several projects in the self-publishing category (Bluewater Shore, Middle Ground), it was an apt demonstration how projects move from the conceptual stage to the finished product, and what all can happen in between. Doug especially emphasized the importance of the necessary haptic and visceral experience with physical “dummies” (maquettes), since you can change the format and sequence around as much as necessary until a satisfactory sample is arrived at. For his latest project, Middle Ground, he showed four stages of dummy preparation.
Dan Milnor, Creative Evangelist for Blurb, was next, with his presentation “Self-Publishing for Photographers: Blurb Books.” Here too the emphasis was on creativity and experimentation. Blurb provides a variety of tools and printing sizes and formats to fit any idea a photographer might have. Dan emphasized that potential photobook artists should dare to break out of the constraints of predictability and sameness. He encouraged each photographer to be “an interesting original human being” and to collaborate, especially with excellent designers. He then presented a range of photobooks, published by himself over time, as well as by others, showing multiple format ideas, and discussed some cost issues as well.
The third major event was a panel discussion on “How to Get Your Book Published.” With Douglas Stockdale as moderator, experiences were shared by Stephen Schafer (we will be reviewing his book here shortly), Cat Gwynn, Sarah Hadley, Dan Milnor, and Mark Edward Harris. Projects covered included, among others, photography in exotic locales, publishing offbeat projects, and the role of photography as a therapeutic experience.
In the vendor area, it was possible to check out products and services presented by ASMP-Los Angeles, Blurb, Canon, Dual Graphics, Fabrik Projects, Freestyle, Hahnemühle, and The Artist Corner. A portfolio and book walk by LACP members and presenters (shown above), as well as raffle prize drawings, rounded out the afternoon. The day was also enhanced by food and refreshments facilitated by the one and only Julia Dean (Executive Director), Brandon Gannon, and other dedicated staff members and assistants. Thank you to all — it was a lovely and productive day!
Douglas Stockdale, explaining one of the dummy stages of Middle Ground
Dan Milnor, Blurb Creative Evangelist
Panel Discussion: D. Stockdale with Stephen Schafer, Cat Gwynn discussing Ten-Mile Radius, and Sarah Hadley
Sarah Hadley discussing her project about Venice, with Dan Milnor
Dan Milnor listening to Mark Edward Harris
Photography is about sharing!