Blurb Photography Book Now 2011

July 6th, 2011


The deadline for this year’s Blurb Photography Book Now is July 14, 2011 and I am looking forward to meeting in New York at the end of the summer with this year’s panel of judges to spend the day looking at books for the competition.

I’d like to thank Darius Himes and Blurb for inviting me to be a judge this year. And I would like to thank Rebecca Drobis, a Washington, D.C. photographer and recently chosen as one of PDN’s 30 2011, for my professional headshot.

The Photography Book Now competition celebrates self-publishing and awards a $25,000 cash prize for the winning book. Many people wrongly assume that the competition is limited to only Blurb books. The competition is open to ALL self-published books. I encourage you to submit your handmade books. Darius Himes discusses the competition here.

As one of the jurors Lori Reddy asked me a few questions for the Blurb blog. I’d like to post the whole interview here:

1. Please describe what makes a great successful photobook to you.
LL: Aesthetically speaking, a successful photobook is one in which all of the pieces make sense together. It should be more than just a book of photographs. And for me these books are objects in and of themselves and I see them as collectible works of art.
2. Do you have any advice for photographers working on book projects?
LL: Make it a creative expression of the photographic project and yourself. Be realistic about the print run for your book. Think about the life of the book once it is created. Make sure a copy exists in at least one public collection.
3. What is a favorite photobook that you own or have seen from the last few years?
LL: That is a difficult question. I have trouble narrowing down my favorites every year to under twenty. Two books that immediately come to mind though are – for creativity and use of materials: Kitintale by Yann Gross which I nominated for the 4th International Photobook Award 2011 – and for content and form: Fifty-One Years by David Goldblatt (Actar). The Goldblatt photobook is a small reference book that provides an indepth overview of Goldblatt’s work and includes his early “On the Mines” series.
4. What is the most exciting aspect of the photography scene right now?
LL: Obviously I am excited about the self-published and indie published photobook scene right now. Whether you use Blurb or not to make your photobook, they have revolutionized our way of thinking in regards to traditional book publishing, and I look forward to seeing this germinate in photo communities that have yet to really explore the platform of the photobook.
5. You have a wonderful blog post listing your favorite self-published photography books for 2010. We know it’s still early but do you have any that you think will make your list for 2011?
LL: Thank you. It is still early for me yet and at the moment my thoughts are on my list of photobooks for the Indie Photobook Library’s first feature-length exhibition at the Photographic Resource Center in Boston which opens in September. I will mention, however, the book Svalbard by Greg White and Firework Studies by Pierre Le Hors (Hassla) – two books from 2010 but ones that I just saw this year.
6. What do the most compelling/most memorable photography books have in common?
LL: The most memorable books are the ones in which I forget about myself for a moment, lose track of my surroundings, and enter into the reality in the photographs. And from that response, it may seem that the book form is of no importance, but it is. The form and materials should aid in experiencing the work.
7. What photography blogs do you like/follow?
LL: I get all my news through facebook and twitter and follow hundreds of different people and organizations that way.
8. Is there anything we didn’t ask you that you think would be helpful or informative to anyone entered in or thinking of entering Photography Book Now 2011?
LL: If you are making a Blurb book, don’t forget about the spine.
Good luck to everyone entering PBN 2011!

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