At the beginning of this month, I, along with a ton of others, had an opportunity to actually meet in person, catch up on stuff we have been doing during the pandemic, see actual artwork, networking and of course maybe a little bit of art/photo gossip. Along with two others, Wayne Swanson and Debe Arlook from PhotoBook Journal (PBJ), we published an article about the Medium Photo Festival 2022 event that has a decidedly bookish viewpoint. Duh.
Btw, while ‘working’ on the PBJ article, it reaffirmed that I would not have made a great photo-journalist, as after a discussion or observing some of the events, I realized that I did not take any documentary-style photographs to illustrate our article. So I would then need to return and request that we take some photographs. At least I remembered while still at the event and not after returning home. Nevertheless, I have been an event photographer for the local O.C. museum, but then I had my ‘event photographer’ hat on, apparently not that was not the case at Medium. funny.
But I still remember how to stage events. While thinking about an overview photograph of where the Medium Festival was occurring in San Diego as a lead-in photo, above, the temporary Medium event sign was right on the street curb. Even when I was standing in the middle of the street, I was having issues with the composition and framing to include this sign. Duh. That Medium sign was not nailed down, so I temporarily moved it next to the hotel sign to make the composition I wanted. Then after taking a few frames, I moved the sign back to the street curb. Presto! A wonderful introductory photograph that establishes a broader location for this event. In retrospect, I am missing some photographer walking into the building with their big black portfolio cases. Next time, eh?
It really was a nice opportunity to see friends in person and not on Zoom, especially some photographers who I only met from my Zoom book workshops. Besides networking and trying to illustrate our event article, as I wrote about earlier, I was also looking for opportunities to show my book-dummy and pre-sell some of the artist books for The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow. Okay, maybe I was also looking at books to acquire for review on PBJ, which I successfully accomplished.
I did take some pre-publishing artist book orders, which is really nice, but perhaps even more beneficial for me was showing my book-dummy around. What I had not anticipated was how beneficial that would turn out to be, as the following Monday I was told by the printer for the publisher that they were going to add eight more pages to the litho portion of the book for no additional cost. Nice! Thus, I could add four more photographs with my particular book layout, but which ones and where in the sequence? That’s where the time in San Diego at the Medium Photo event really paid some big dividends for me. In more ways than one.
When I ask my friends to look at my book-dummy, I listen to what they say, while as important I also watch to see how they move through the image sequence of the book. Such as which photographs do they linger and pause for longer periods than other photographs, perhaps not saying anything. The non-verbal clues are equally, if not as important, as what they think about the book’s narrative. Thus on the following Monday when I could add four more photographs in this artist book, I had a really good idea of which types of photographs were resonating and which, such as the night landscapes, I already had sufficient quantity to tell my story. My various self-portraits were the photographs that held the longest attention span for the book-dummy readers and those are the types of images I realized that I needed to add.
The second thing to occur in San Diego was that something triggered my underlying anxiety, which fortunately I was able to recognize before I bailed out entirely on this mid-event. Not that I have this aspect entirely figured out, but I suspect I know some elements that could have been part of this emotional trigger. A victory for me to manage it, not allow it to manage me. Nevertheless, this anxiety episode also made it very clear as to one, if not two, of the additional photographs I needed to include in this artist book, one of which is below.
The photograph below represents feeling alone, looking in towards a <group> while not feeling like being part of that group, all the while wanting to be part of that group. I will let the Psychology work that one out, I just know it’s part of the feeling that flared up my anxiety. And why I needed to add specific images to my narrative. Just to say, my anxiety knee-jerk reaction was to run (drive back home) when I gave myself a short time-out to obtain my bearings, realized what might be happening and then returned to the Medium event inside the hotel.
Hopefully for Mental Health Awareness Month you will consider one of the two discounted pre-publication artist book options below. Thank you.
Happy Earth Day. Every day.
New artist book: The Flow of Light Brushes the Shadow
Pre-publication Sale: Artist book $50.00 USD & Artist Special Edition (book + print) $100 USD, plus CA taxes for US sales and shipping. Message me (email@example.com) or singularimagespress@gmail for shipping details and PayPal invoice. Your name will be listed in the book as one of the supporters! Thank you.
List price after publication is $60.00 USD and for the Artist Special Edition, $125.00 USD.
An artist book made in the USA.