A photographer I follow who posts online, Frank Solle, offered to send me a copy of his latest book, Travels in Utah. It’s a booklet you might say, it’s only 32 pages, and I said yes, of course. I’m always interested in what other photographers are doing.
His book came in the mail and I immediately lit up. Frank is touring around southern Utah and making square photos with either his YashicaMat 124G TLR or his Bronica SQ camera, and making books. I thanked him for sending me the book and told him I was so excited by it. And I asked how he does it.
He replied he creates them in Photoshop off a template provided by Mixam.com, an online publisher. He said he typically makes a 32-page book, orders about 30 copies and they cost him around $100 delivered. He then puts a few at a local art gallery for sale, has a few at home, gives some away, and keeps a handful with him so if he runs into a new photographer and strikes up a conversation, he can offer them one. Or if someone is getting testy, he has a gift for them as well.
It’s a $3 business card that’s way more impressive than a business card. As the British say, “Bloody brilliant.” He’s making documentary art photos in his travels, he has a plan for the work he’s creating, and he’s not beholden to a publisher, yet he gets his work in print. He has actual photographs in a printed book that’s not easily thrown away or lost like a business card. I bet the people he meets remember him and know how to reach him if they choose to.
There are many online publishers. This one happens to be one someone has used and has spoken about it from experience. You can order more or less, though the rates go up and down proportionate to the order size. And ordering very few is not economical at all, from what I see in their pricing.
But what a great idea for a project. A group of photos of a series. A documentary on a subject we’re working on.