Advancing Your Photography with Marc Silber….and me.

Hey Kids,

Was able to stop by Silber Studios in San Jose and spend some time with Marc Silber and the Advancing your Photography team. Not my first rodeo with Marc and the interview, but I ALWAYS like to spend time with people like Marc because within seconds of meeting you clearly understand that photography is part of their nerve center and not just the flavor of the month. Many thanks to Marc and the team for making it so easy. I cringe when I see myself, or hear myself, but the questions are good and we focus on things like film and they key ingredients of great photography. Check out his other films. I just watched the Jeff Johnson clip and am insanely jealous.

Trade and Trade Again

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For anyone who is not aware of my book fetish this post is for you. I make a lot of books. Not all of them are good, and not all of them see the light of day. I’m in love with our trade books. Easy, simple, cool, sketches if you will. These books are the perfect intro to bookmaking. You have 400 images and don’t know how to edit? Perfect, page limit for trade books is 400+. Don’t have a lot of cashish to spend? Great, books start at $2.49. In fact, all of the books you see are $2.49 pubs. My next play is to find a group of like-minded souls, scattered around the globe, and actually TRADE the trade books. Are you in? Whoever you are….

Speaking at ICA, San Jose

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Hey Team,

I’m speaking at the Institute of Contemporary Art in San Jose on May 14th. This is rare for me. Turn me loose talking about artists and technology. Will probably mention the old Blurb sidekick, but it’s really more about using the existing tools to tell the story you want to tell while keying on the creation of original works, which in my opinion is the only reason to use any of the technology. So, if you are around hit me up and stop by.

Why I Love Magazine

Not that you were asking but I’m going to share my magazine thoughts with you…again. Why? First, I’m amazed at how many people don’t know we make a magazine. Second, this format is SO unique in how it looks, how it can be designed and what it means to those who receive it. And third, there are SO MANY people who have the drive and talent to be publishing their own. How do I know? Because I did it. On a small scale mind you. I shot, edited, sequenced and designed a short run magazine, back in like 2009, and sold my allotted number.(100) And I’m pretty sure I could have sold a lot more.

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Now, am I going to support myself on magazine sales? Probably not, but I will tell you within a week of “announcing” I was going to do this I was getting calls from people who wanted to advertise. I ended up not doing any advertising, didn’t really need it, but had I chosen to go down that route I think I could have managed it. The magazine has ALWAYS been one of the Holy Grails to documentary style photographers, going back to the days of Look and Life. HOWEVER, all of this died back in the mid 1990’s, and yet many of us are still pretending like these magazines are the keys to “getting work out.” Please. They aren’t, and they haven’t been for a long, long while, but the magazine is still very alluring because of what it means.
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First, it’s designed to be discarded, in most cases that is. We all have friends who have every copy of National Geographic or Rolling Stone or Off-Road Buckshot Mudder….come on people I grew up country. To some the magazine is SACRED ground. Most people get a magazine, read it, leave it around until they look at it and ask “Why am I keeping these?” then toss them out. But why? BECAUSE THEY KNOW ANOTHER ISSUE IS ON THE WAY. People this is so fantastic. Ever thought about a subscription list? A simple email database of those who want in? How easy is that to compile? Wait for it….I’m doing this precise thing. Stay tuned for a subsequent post.

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Also, magazines are informal in comparison to books. They are treated differently, taken poolside, used to mop up the puke of sick kids and probably still read, but I would need independent verification from you parents out there. Magazines travel. They are given away. My wife gives her’s away on airplanes. “Hey, wanna read this?” she asks and they are ALWAYS taken. Try giving a book away on a plane. It might work but people might think you are creepy too. And for all I know you ARE creepy. You’re here aren’t you?
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These last two spreads are from a new project, Whistleblower, which is a look at the modern surveillance culture and the changing terminology of modern warfare. The images were made in various places around the world.

In a way this was a trial run. Just another test in a long, long line of tests. I made mistakes, even after proofing so many times I almost threw up. It happens. To everyone. Don’t sweat it. Correct and move on. Live and learn. Enjoy. When I see this magazine I think to myself, “What are the limits here, the possibilities?” and what comes back at me is…..there aren’t any. What are we waiting for? Permission? An editor to assign something then embargo the work after running ONE image? If you are a wedding photographer why not run a quarterly run of your best images which then goes out to your top vendors, planners and former clients, via print or “E?” If you are a editorial photographer why not run an issue on what didn’t run via mainstream channels? If you are an amateur who shoots for fun why not do a run for your family to keep them up on what is turning you on in the visual world?

We all need to get hip and get hip NOW. This isn’t 1975, or 1985 or 1995 or even 2005. This is a blank slate. A playing field where everyone gets in the game.