I have mentioned before that I was doing a book of my photographs through Blurb, a self-publishing website. This project has been dominating my thoughts since I began getting serious about it a month or so ago. If I’m honest, it’s been kind of a drag. It is like trying to put together a puzzle without knowing what the final picture should look like. Or without really knowing how many pieces the puzzle should contain. Or even how the pieces fit together.
To use a better analogy, creating this book is like making the ultimate mix tape.
I have spent a month or more working the layout, deciphering the themes, figuring out a title, getting all the content to make sense, getting all the content to look right. I have been re-working old shots and trying to place newer ones. I have tried to put time and effort into this book every single day.
There is progress, though.
I have just received a copy of my first draft. I have good news and bad news.
The good news is that there is a lot of potential here. What I mean is, I really think I’m on to something here. Without giving too many spoilers, I have decided to narrow the content to focus mainly on Las Vegas. Originally, it was going to be about some larger, more nebulous themes; life in suburbia, evocative expressions of how creativity is stifled within our shallow, myopic, consumerist culture. Man’s inhumanity against man. Really swinging for the metaphysical bleachers.
It was all bullshit. If I have learned anything about art, it is that a simple answer usually works better. So, the book is about Vegas. But, I am trying to show a much different Vegas than most people see. There won’t be any pictures of the Bellagio Fountains, I promise.
And, obviously, there are many deeper themes that will still be underlying most of the content. Hopefully, it is a book that will reward multiple viewings.
The bad news is that it looks like there is still a lot of work to do.
When all you do is see images on a computer screen, you forget how different they look printed out in the real world. If you are going to print out your work, here’s a Pro Tip: Lighten ’em up. Your photographs are too dark. In fact, look at any magazine and you’ll see images that are just too dark. It’s everywhere. So, back to the drawing board for a lot of the book.
As part of this project I have also sent out a copy of the book in .pdf form to a lot of people I respect, and whose work I admire, asking for their feedback.
I have said before, and I will continue to say it again and again: “Your work will never improve if all people do is kiss your ass.” That’s 100% hardcore truth. And I just want to say Thank You to everyone who helped me with their feedback. They continue to challenge me, and I’m grateful they do not let me settle. Everyone has been giving me great suggestions; crop suggestions, content improvements, layout hints and tips. That feedback has been used to move this from being an underwhelming effort to something that might actually be pretty amazing.
Anyway, it’s back to work, and hopefully we will have an official launch in another few weeks, maybe a month? Maybe longer.
But, good stuff is coming, I guarantee it!