Interview with publisher Ron Jude of A-Jump Books

© Danielle Mericle from Seneca Ghosts

Ithaca, NY publishers Ron Jude and Danielle Mericle founded A-Jump books in 2006 with the release of Jude's Alpine Star. Since then they have published another of Jude's work simply titled Postcards and Mericle's simple and elegant images of the white deer of upstate New York, Seneca Ghosts. Upcoming titles The Photograph Commands Indifference by Nick Muellner (Summer/Fall 2008), The History of Photography in Pen and Ink (Fall 2008) by Charles Woodard and Big Pictures by Michael Book (Spring 2009). Ron Jude discusses their imprint in the following interview. (Cover images below from Moscow Plastic Arts by Nick Muellner and The History of Photography in Pen and Ink by Charles Woodard)

© Ron Jude from Postcards

MM: What made you want to self-publish? Have you had any experiences with publishers in the past?

RJ: I had a single, very specific project (Alpine Star) I wanted to publish, and it really only made sense as an artist’s book. Artist’s books are typically self-published. Alpine Star, like other artist’s books, was a self-contained piece, sort of like a high-end multiple. That is, it wasn’t a book that made reference to some other form of the work like an exhibition, and it wasn’t a summary of a body of work or a career. With artist’s books the book is the work. I think that’s an important distinction to make here, because this idea would come to define what we’re trying to do with A-Jump Books. I had no experience with publishing at that point, except for exhibition catalogs, and I usually didn’t have much input on those in terms of design and layout. A-Jump Books, as an imprint, began very organically. When I was designing Alpine Star I figured it would be cool to invent a pseudo publisher for the book. Danielle Mericle (my partner) and I came up with “A-Jump Books” over dinner one night, and I spent the next couple of days designing the ski jumper logo. Once we published Alpine Star, we decided A-Jump should publish more than just one title, because we really loved the process. In a way, what we aim to do is similar to what Nexus Press did in Atlanta, but instead of operating an actual printing facility where artists come to physically produce their books, we’re simply acting as facilitators. We want to help people design and realize their concepts for projects that make sense in the book format, and we also handle details like choosing a printer and placing the book in appropriate outlets for purchase. The types of books that we want to publish are small-run, photo-based books. We’re trying to create an outlet for books that have good production values, yet don’t seem at home in the more typical artist’s monograph context. (Books that wouldn’t make sense for a publisher like, say, Nazraeli Press.) Because we see these publications as artist’s books, you will likely never see academic essays in our books. (This is not to say you will never see text.) We want to help people make books that rely solely on the enigmatic qualities of the images and invite multiple, equally valid interpretations.

MM: There seems to be a trend in photography now which I started to perceive a few years ago with J&L Books, your company A-Jump, and The Ice Plant and continued with others like Hassla, Farewell and Decode Books, among others, of establishing an imprint to self-publish and then start to publish the work of others. Why did you elect to start with your own work and then why did you choose the others including the upcoming titles?

RJ: I started with self-publishing for purely pragmatic reasons as I outlined in my previous answer. That is, I had a book I needed to print, so I did it. Before that, being a publisher was never really on my radar as an aspiration. Once I did it for the first time, however, I realized how much damn fun and satisfying it is and I wanted to keep doing it. As far as how that segued into books by other people, I think it also made sense for Danielle and I to start with our own books because we were (and are) still learning the process of what it takes to competently produce and distribute a book. I much prefer the idea of using ourselves as guinea pigs. If we screw something up on our own books, whether in the design or printing or distribution, we feel bad about it, but we don’t feel guilty. We’re at the point now where we feel confident enough in what we’ve learned so far that we can start testing the waters with other artist’s books. In the case of Nick Muellner’s book, The Photograph Commands Indifference, we’ve been very hands-off in the process of getting that one done. We’re willing to offer as little or as much help in the production of the book as the artist needs. Nick happens to know a great deal about designing books and going on press, so we’re really just providing a publisher’s identity and distribution. On the other hand, we’re involved in pretty much every aspect of Charles Woodard’s History of Photography in Pen and Ink, and Michael Book’s Big Pictures. We actively chose those particular projects. We knew of the work and we thought it would work well with A-Jump. We’re working very slowly, in concentric circles, in terms of broadening who and what we’re publishing.
I’m glad you mentioned J&L and The Ice Plant. These are two great publishers who really know what they’re doing. Jason Fulford was incredibly helpful to us and very generous with information about how to get started. (Information I’m sure he and Leanne Shapton figured out the hard way.) I see these smaller, independent presses almost like indie record labels. (Can you imagine, even now, Will Oldham getting a record deal with a major label?) They’ve democratized the world of quality photography books. It used to be that you had to hustle your way into the commercial gallery world and achieve a level of pre-validation before more established presses like Aperture would publish a monograph of your work. (I don’t fault Aperture for this—photography books are incredibly expensive to publish, and of course, a publisher typically wants to have some sense that they’ll at least make their money back on the initial investment.) In many cases, by the time the photographs finally got published it was more like a eulogy to the work and the artist than a celebration of fresh ideas! On the other end of the spectrum you had Xerox copied staple-bound artist’s books that, although sometimes very cool, weren’t a viable format for serious photographers who employ at least some small level of craft in their work. I think what J&L and The Ice Plant, and now Hassla, Farewell, and Decode are offering the photography world is an opportunity to see beautifully published, quality work in a variety of book formats, by artists whose work you haven’t necessarily seen in Chelsea or at MOMA. There are few reasons publishing this type of book is now possible, not the least of which are the advent of software like InDesign, and dramatically lower printing costs. The other, more important aspect of all this, I think, is a fundamental shift in attitude on the part of serious young photographers. As conceptual art practices became less and less distinct from the concerns of traditionally-minded photographers, you started to see self-published books in the spirit of Ed Ruscha’s photobooks being produced by artists who self-identify as photographers, and who are seeking a photography audience. (Unlike Ruscha, who never considered himself a photographer.) It seems like a natural next-step that these photographers would eventually formalize this process and start publishing other people’s work.

MM: There is a relationship between you and the aforementioned The Ice Plant who is publishing your next book. How did this relationship begin? Why publish with this imprint and not your own for your next book?

RJ: I’d been working on a body of work for about six or seven years that I knew would eventually become a book. Finally, last year, I spent several months working on a basic layout and design concept until I felt like I had something coherent. I originally thought that it would, in fact, be an A-Jump book. When I stepped back from it and looked at it objectively, however, I realized that it didn’t really feel like what we set out to do with A-Jump Books. It occupies a space that’s between what we’re doing and what a publisher like Nazraeli is doing.
I met Mike Slack and Tricia Gabriel in Los Angeles in early 2007 when I was out there shooting some of the final photographs for this book, and we seemed to share a similar sensibility—I immediately felt comfortable around them. I really liked Mike’s two books (OK, OK, OK and Scorpio), and Jason Fulford’s Selling Frogs for $$$, so I thought I’d show them the mock-up for what would eventually become Other Nature and see if they were interested in publishing it. It sounds a bit like nepotism, but I really didn’t know them very well at the time. In fact, I was pretty nervous about contacting them because I liked them and I didn’t want them to think I was some sort of sleazy opportunist! We ended up having several long phone conversations about the work and how it functioned as a book and eventually we all decided that it felt right and that we would collaborate on it. A month or two later I flew to Los Angeles and, after convincing Jacques Marlow that this was an appropriate project for The Ice Plant, we spent three days really hashing out the book. It was at that point I knew I was working with exactly the right people. I absolutely trust their instincts. Having never really collaborated on anything before, I was initially very nervous, but now I couldn’t be happier. They’ve helped me make Other Nature a better book. (The three of us are headed to Korea on August 8th to go on press for the printing of Other Nature and Charles Gute’s Revisions and Queries. Jacques rarely travels by air, so he’ll be holding down the fort in L.A. for the duration of our trip.)

MM: Who designed and printed the books? How many did you print?

RJ: I designed Alpine Star and Postcards. Mike Lehman at Cohber Press in Rochester, NY oversaw the printing. The funny thing about Alpine Star is that as low-end as the reproductions are supposed to look (they’re supposed to simulate the look and feel of newspaper reproductions), they were actually pretty difficult to print. I had to find a printer who knew his way around stochastic printing, which is a process that incorporates irregular half-tone dots, rather than a regular screen pattern. It was the only way to avoid the moiré pattern that occurs when you reproduce a previously half-toned image. An expensive printing process to produce results that look cheap! Moscow Plastic Arts was designed by Nick Muellner, and Printed by Eastwood Litho in Syracuse, NY. This is another case of a really difficult printing job for something that’s supposed to resemble faded industrial catalog reproductions from the Soviet Union. Eastwood did a fantastic job with this book. (To complicate matters, it was printed on cheap, manila card-stock.) Seneca Ghosts was sequenced and designed by Danielle Mericle, and I did the cover design. Eastwood Litho did the printing on this one as well. (We started working with Eastwood Litho because of the great work they do on Light Work’s publication, Contact Sheet.) Typically we want our books to have small runs— 500 copies of each book. Moscow Plastic Arts had a print run of 1250, primarily because it was also being used as an exhibition catalog for a show Nick did at Arcadia University in Philadelphia.

MM: How do you accept proposals? Or do you accept proposals?

RJ: As I mentioned earlier, at this point it’s pretty slow going, so we’re not really in the position to look at unsolicited book proposals. I know that sounds lame (I’m usually on the other end of inquiring about submissions), but due to time constraints (Danielle and I both have full-time jobs), and financial considerations, we don’t want to commit ourselves to worthy projects, only to have the process take way too long. We hope, however, that we’ll eventually be able to formalize a submission process and really be able to help photographers realize their projects in book form. For now, we’re seeking out the books that A-Jump will publish, and it usually involves most of the financing coming from the artist.

MM: How would you recommend a photographer get funding for his or her project aside from personal funds? Do limited edition prints help?

RJ: I don’t have any experience with the limited edition approach. I guess enough people do it that it must work to some degree. Traditional print sales and grants are my main source of funding so far. I’m pretty lazy about selling my work, but if I’ve got something specific that needs a funding boost, like a book or a shooting trip, I can usually rally and sell a few prints. Otherwise, I always recommend that people look into whatever sort of local, regional, or national grant opportunities are out there. I couldn’t have produced either of my first two artist’s books without grants.

MM: Who is your favorite photographer or one who has impacted your life and work?

RJ: There are a lot of people whose work I like to look at but there are a couple who, although they seem miles apart in some respects, have had a tremendous influence on my thinking about photography. William Eggleston (such an obvious answer, I know), whose photographs always surprise me and seem to absolutely fulfill the potential of the medium, and Richard Prince, whose incorporation of photography into a larger conceptual program has helped bridge the gap between “photographers” and “artists who use photography.” I should also mention John Gossage. His book, The Pond was incredibly important to me when I was just starting out. John, who I got to know personally years later, has also been a professional mentor and good friend.

MM: In your personal work, are you influenced by other mediums other than photography?

RJ: Anything that’s interesting, really. I try pretty hard not to be too photocentric in my tastes. (Although, admittedly, I tend to relate things I like in other media back to photography.) I love Gabriel Orozco’s sculptural work (especially the stuff that’s filtered through photography), and of course there’s David Lynch, Werner Herzog, Jean-Paul Sartre, and Larry David.

MM: What blogs do you read? magazines?

RJ: I have to admit, I’m not that tuned into the blogosphere. I read Shawn Records’ 40 Watt now and again, mainly because he’s a good friend, but also because he’s incredibly smart and incredibly funny. Good combination. Of course, the Melanie McWhorter photo blog is now on my reading list! As far as magazines go, I look at the usual suspects: ArtForum; Blind Spot; Backwoods Home, etc.

MM: What is your favorite book, photo or otherwise?

RJ: Photo: Los Angeles Spring, by Robert Adams (with William Eggleston’s Los Alamos as a close second).
Otherwise: Nausea, by Jean-Paul Sartre (with Charles Bukowski’s Ham on Rye as a distant second.)

MM: Do you have an odd or funny photography related story?

RJ: Here’s a good one—it’s not that funny or odd, but it’s good trivia: when I was in elementary school in the 70s, Barbara Morgan—the teacher-in-space—taught me how to build and use a pinhole camera. It was my first darkroom experience. Beyond that, nothing funny has ever happened to me due to my involvement with photography. There has been plenty of tragedy when it comes to my career, which some people might find funny, but I’ll save that for my therapist.

MM: What hobbies or interests do you have?

RJ: I grew up ski racing in Idaho, but I haven’t done much skiing since moving back east. (The “A-Jump” was a very large ski-jump at my hometown ski hill. It scared the crap out of me.) Otherwise, Danielle and I own a 140 year-old Italianate in downtown Ithaca. If you call home restoration a hobby, well then I have a really major hobby.

Dress show: Krista Elrick

Emerging © Krista Elrick

New Journal Archivo

Paul Kooiker's books, Hunting and Fishing, Showground, and Seminar

Photographer Paul Kookier and publisher Willem van Zoetendaal are co-curating a new bi-monthly journal called Archivo. Now in its third issue, the journal is dedicated to the personal archives of photographers with each issue showcasing two artists. It is designed to be read like a newspaper which annoyed me at first. When this last issue arrived, I found that the size and paper complimented the themes of the common, everyday and ordinary in Kooiker and Qui Yang's work . It is also works well with both photographers in the previous issue especially the documentary project by Daya Cahen on Putin's summer youth camps . It is designed for casual viewing not to be considered a precious object. The work of Daya Cahen and Paul Kooiker are show in the videos below and the covers of Kooiker's books, Hunting and Fishing, Showground, and Seminar are shown above.


Mary Virginia Swanson workshop in Tucson

Mary Virginia Swanson will be hosting an upcoming workshop in Tucson, AZ on November 6 through 9, 2008 with print viewing at The Center for Creative Photography on Friday, a presentation by Lisa Robinson and Ken Rosenthal on their respective careers as photographers and a visit to Etherton Gallery. All individuals involved are wonderful personalities and always willing to help. Swanson's website states suggestions for who should attend, how to prepare and other information about how to register and the portfolio sharing. For more information, you can visit her website.


Interview with publisher Mehdi Saghafi

All images this entry © Mehdi Saghafi

The third interview in the small publisher series is with Mehdi Saghafi. Saghafi published his limited edition book on Treasure Island this year. Here is what he had to say about the project.

MM: Why did you choose to photograph on Treasure Island?
MS: Treasure Inland was my first photography project in 10 years and my first medium/large format work. I was shooting social landscape/documentary images with a Leica rangefinder for most of photography career. I wanted to do test the water for doing photography again and wanted to do something using a panoramic camera. I rented a Linhof and on the way back to San Francisco to return it, I decided to check out Treasure Island. In my early days, I visited many of the military bases in the area as a visitor and took photographs in their museums of military displays, and thought it might be interesting to see Treasure Island after it had been decommissioned and given back to the City of San Francisco.

Unfortunately, I did not get any interesting images from the initial visit; they looked like generic photo-essay. About that time I had purchased a Koudelka book from photo-eye on Wales (titled Reconnaissance Wales). This book had about 16 plates and I thought here is an idea--do 20 images on Treasure Island. If I could complete an interesting project, then I would buy a Linhof and do photography again. So choosing Treasure Island was more like a class/work assignment than a personal choice.

MM: Can you give a brief history on this location?
MS: Here is what I wrote in the book about the location: “In 1935, the shoals north of Yerba Buena Island were chosen as the sight for the International Expo World Fair. To build the 403 acre island, 29 million cubic yards of sand and gravel were brought from the bay and Sacramento Delta area. Because the fill contained washed out dirt from the gold mining days of the Sierras, the island was named Treasure Island. Once construction was completed, Treasure Island hosted the fair in 1939 and 1940. But in 1941, the military rented it from the city of San Francisco to serve as a military base for the war. In 1993, it was closed and given back to the city.”

MM: How long did you work on the project before you decided to self-publish?
MS: I gave myself six months to do the project. It took about two months and three visits and something like 50 rolls of film to get a sense of the place and direction for the project. I had about four images by then and they are all in the first half of the book. By the time I stopped, I had visited it over ten times and had a box full of negatives. I edited down to 26 images.
I did not have my darkroom then, so I scanned the images and printed them on Epson using carbon pigment ink. Within two months after the project I finalized the order of images with help from my friend Alex Azam. I printed them on inkjet, folded and glued the final plates and took three sets to a local bookbindery. I had my book.
The decision to publish came a few years later. When I was aspiring young photographer, my dream was to have a book by the age of 40 (I did the project when I was 40). Soon after Treasure Island, I started on my best project yet on the Sacramento Delta. After 2 years on the delta project, I looked at the Treasure Island book and still liked it and thought it had substance, so I decided to get it published.

MM: What made you want to self-publish?
MS: Not being a good hustler and knowing how I wanted the book, I decided to self publish. I take care of my kids in the day and work in the evenings, so I do not have much time for photography let alone marketing, making connections and talking to publishers. I gave myself a budget of $10000 for 500 books and set out to do it. Between the time I decided to self-publish and finding the right printer for the price, it took over 7 months and my budget was not correct.

MM: Who designed and printed the catalogues? How many did you print? How about the limited edition?
MS: I did all the pre-press work myself. My friend Alex suggested the font. I bought an Epson 750 scanner, liquid mounted all the negatives and scanned them. I made the tritones in the Photoshop and used InDesign to do the layout. We ran the press for about a 1000 copies and I had them cut and fold for 500 books. The Paper, Mohawk egg shell, was almost as much as the press run price!! The rest of the cut plates were not folded and 26of them where used to make the limited edition. I saved about 100 of each plate unfolded to use as posters and promotional materials.

MM: Why did you decide to do 26 different prints with the limited edition?
MS: I had seen a copy of Black Triangle (by Josef Koudelka) as loose plates and I really liked it. To see plates unfolded was as close as looking at the real panoramic image, so that decided the format for the limited edition (LE). Then I needed to choose the print for the limited edition. I thought why not make each one unique and allow the collector to have what they like. I guess I could have let the print choice open and see which image was most popular with the viewers, but I decided to make them all unique.
MM: How would you recommend a photographer get funding for his or her project aside from personal funds? Do limited edition prints help?
MS: I used personal funds, so I would not know. The limited editions help unless you do all the work and make the boxes or keep the materials very simple. For me, it was important to make the limited edition presentation the best it could be. Now, if you are well-known your gallery may pay for it all and you can charge few thousands and actually pocket some money. But most self-published books that I have bought are labor of love, expensive to make and sell and have been very nice.

MM: Who is your favorite photographer or one who has impacted your life and work?
MS: It has changed with time. When I started, I fell asleep to a W. Eugene Smith catalog of his complete work from Center for Creative Photography, followed by books by Robert Frank and Walker Evans and later, Gilles Peress, Josef Sudek, and Josef Koudelka. I like Smith passion. Minamata is by far my favorite work by him. He summed up all his years in that book. Frank opened a window for me, teaching me not be bound to the “perfect print or composition”. I was inspired by Sudek for his love of beauty in the ordinary; Koudelka, the panorama; and Gilles Peress, love of humanity. Peress’s last two books are the hardest books for me to look at and they make me cry every time.

MM: In your personal work, are you influenced by other mediums other than photography?
MS: Yes. Literature and poetry are a big source of inspiration for me. Being from Iran, I am more attracted to the eastern poetry and darker literature. I believe there is always hope and as dark as some of my images maybe, they are not hopeless.

MM: What blogs do you read? Magazines?
MS: I have not been doing any of this in the past 5 years. I subscribed to Lenswork and Aperture for a short while, but they got stale. I liked Afterimage newsletters while Bruno was the editor but they were struggling and do not know if they are still around or not. I like photo-eye newsletter a lot. I get to see new photographers and books weekly and that takes care of my fix.

MM: What is your favorite book, photo or otherwise?
MS: If there was a fire and had to save 3 books, it would be my Treasure Island, Black Triangle, The Silence.

MM: Do you collect photo books? Did some of the books influence your decision to publish the book in the panoramic format without the gutter?
MS: Yes. I have descent collection. With the exception of self-published and panoramic books, I only buy what I really like. I buy self-published and panorama books because they are unique. Koudelka’s Reconnaissance Wales influenced me to print my books in this same format. I saw is first there, but instead of cardboard cover, I used cloth with the original silver print embossed in it.

MM: Do you have an odd or funny photography related story?
MS: The price of the binding of Treasure Island had jumped to $20 a book by the time I was ready and had it sorted. I could not afford to bind it all anymore, so I decided to bind only 200. So I had to produce 200 Images, so a friend and I worked for about 8 hours and when I went to hang them to dry, I had a photo installation.

After all is said and done, I think doing a book was a great thing. It was frustrating and tight due to money, but if you wanted your own book today it is much easier than ever before. If you are doing a more traditional book, it will be much cheaper for perfect binding. Since all pages in Treasure Island had to be glued together individually, it was labor intensive and expensive.

Mehdi Saghafi is happy to answer any questions. He can be contacted at


Collective Consciousness?

©Nina Korhonen, from Anna, Amerikan Mummu

© Melanie McWhorter, 2007

I am just starting to study this term Collective Consciousness as it applies to photography and how photographers choose subjects and the framing of the final photograph. So I am not sure if term can be applied to the two above pictures-- maybe Collective Intelligence applies here, but I am not sure of that one either. Anyway, you see the photos and get what I mean while I come back to you on definitions. I took the lower one a few weeks ago before seeing the photo by Nina Korhonen and was amazed to discover the likenesses. Granted the lighting, gesture and scene are subtly different, but it is at the least a little freaky.

Jonathan Hollingsworth's new work

People I Knew in LA, as I will informally call it, is a new series of polaroids by Jonathan Hollingsworth soon to be published in a book (title of which I can not recall). I hope to publish an interview with him soon about the process or publishing this book and the What We Think Now project. Now, if he would have jonathanhollingsworth.com, we could see all of his wonderful work in one place.


Books for all

From In Transition by Jens Olof Lasthein

From At Home by Jirka Ernest

A few years ago, I discovered a not-for-profit bookmaker that just publishes online PDF books called Democratic Books. Any photographer can apply for free and any viewer can download a PDF version of the book for free (they even include the instructions and recommendations on how to print). Each book reaches 4500 subscribers. Here are the photographers that they have published so far:

Steven Benson
Henk Braam
Andrew Buurman
John Darwell
Dirk Gebhardt
Marcus Haydock
David Klammer
Petra Paulina Kohl
Jörg Loeffke
Reiner Riedler
Mary Shaw
Rivka Young
Wolfgang Zurborn
Julian Thomas
Stuart Isett
Susana Paiva
Bela Doka
Dan Nelken
Daniele Mattioli
Jens Olof Lasthein
Sabine Wild
William Palmer
Jirka Ernst
Jacob Carter
Elisabeth Blanchet
Ono Ludwig

Prints for all

© Makato Oiwane

In January 2006, Adam Holtzman started Reproductions Gallery an online gallery dedicated to the idea of making fine art photography available in a way that is both benificial to both consumers and artists. Each print is available for $30 and printed on Fuji Crystal Archive photographic paper. Here is a selection from each of the artists on the site.


What is in a name?

Anagrams of my name:
Creamer Melon With
Cleaner Mime Throw
Chairwomen Remelt
Crenelate Whom Rim
Cartwheel Me Minor
Teacher Mower Limn
Mercantile Mew Rho
Creamier Whelm Ton
Latecomer Men Whir
Menace Homer Twirl
Cementa Mire Whorl
Check out yours here.
I have to look up most of the words. Thanks Tom Rand!


Interview with DECODE BOOKS publisher, John Jenkins

The second in the series of interviews with book publishers is with John Jenkins of DECODE in Seattle, WA. DECODE has published one book of illustrations and writings by Jeff Parker and William Powhida titled The Back of the Line and three photography monographs: Collective Memory by Doug Keyes, Intertidal by Jesse Burke (limited edition print shown right), and Peripheral Visions by John Jenkins (limited edition print shown above) .

MM: What made you want to self-publish?
JJ: My partner, Stephen Lyons, and I started our graphic design firm, DECODE, Inc., in the early 90s. We've worked primarily with educational publishers designing and producing middle- and high-school level textbooks. We're also both artists - I'm a photographer and Stephen works in a variety of media creating two- and three-dimensional work. Two years ago we decided to merge our interest in contemporary art and our knowledge of making books and published our first title, The Back of the Line. It's a series of four short stories and was a collaboration between the Brooklyn artist William Powhida and writer Jeff Parker. My passion has always been photography and so we decided to publish three photography books next.

MM: The aesthetic of the three artists you have published are very different. Why did you select the three artists whose work you have published so far?
JJ: Once we decided to do three books at once, I wanted to make sure to show a range of work. I first saw the Collective Memory body of work by Doug Keyes over ten years ago. I've always been impressed with how he uses multiple exposure and totally transforms the act of looking at a book into something completely new. And because of my design background I've been interested in how the design and content of each book determines the transformed image. Jesse Burke explores the complexity of masculine identity through his photographs. When I first saw his work I was struck that while I was drawn to individual photographs, as a whole they told a much larger story. A book seemed to be a good vehicle to help convey this story. My Peripheral Visions work deals with a different way of looking at the world and at photography itself. All of the work is shot completely out of focus and yet there is always a central vision to each image. I had completed this body of work several years ago and it seemed a good counterbalance to the other two bodies of work.

MM: Your books are hardcover and relatively standard in format, why did you choose to produce the books in this format?
JJ: I started with the idea that the books would be hardcover and for cost reasons that they would not be oversize books. While creating different prototypes for books, the work itself helped determine the final trim size and exact page count.

MM: Who designed and printed the books? How many did you print?
JJ: The design on the books was a collaboration between the artist and myself, although Doug Keyes - who is a designer as well - took over a lot of the design work for his book. We printed 2,000 copies of each book, all of which were printed at C&C Printing in Shenzhen, China. I went over for the press check and Shenzhen is pretty amazing. It has gone from a small city of under 50,000 people thirty years ago to a huge manufacturing center with a population now of over 12,000,000 people! It's just a hour north of Hong Kong, whose population is about 7,000,000. They are planning on one day merging the two into one gigantic metropolis.

MM: How do you accept proposals? Or do you accept proposals?
JJ: We are not accepting proposals at this time.

MM: How would you recommend a photographer get funding for his or her project aside from personal funds? Do limited edition prints help?
JJ: There are ways out there to help fund book projects. Here in Seattle there is an organization called Artist Trust that helps support all artists (visual artists, writers, filmmakers, performing artists, etc.) through grants and fellowships. Publishing a book is pretty expensive and it's probably impossible to fund it entirely through a grant or fellowship. That's where limited edition prints can help. We are using the sale of limited edition Collector's Prints for each book as one component to help recoup our publishing costs.

MM: Who is your favorite photographer or one who has impacted your life and work?
JJ: It's too hard to narrow it down to just one photographer, but here are several whose work I have admired over the years: Diane Arbus, Joel Peter Witkin, Jack Pierson, Uta Barth, Bill Jacobson.

MM: In your personal work, are you influenced by other mediums other than photography?
JJ: I have always been interested in architecture - with the purely visual aspect but also with the way it totally transforms a space. Architects start with a pretty blank canvas - empty space - and when done well create amazing three dimensional experiences. Many of my photographs are of buildings or spaces created by architecture.

MM: What blogs do you read? Magazines?
JJ: Here are a couple blogs and websites that are pretty interesting:
I read a lot of boring everyday popular culture magazines, but one photography magazine I didn't know about until late last year is Eyemazing (
http://www.eyemazing.com/). It introduces you to a lot of contemporary photographers you don't see anywhere else.

MM: What is your favorite book, photo or otherwise?
JJ: The book that I have gone back to time and time again is the first Diane Arbus monograph by Aperture. I've seen her images so many times that I almost feel I know the subjects in the photos (at least the way that Arbus wanted them to be known).

MM: Do you have an odd or funny photography related story?
JJ: Some of my Peripheral Vision work was selected to be in a group show at a retirement home here in Seattle a few years ago. It was placed in one of the hallways. Most of the time people make a joke about me not being able to focus or tell me my photographs look like what they see without their glasses on. At the opening one of the residents came up to me and said she had a hard time walking down the hallway looking at my photographs. They made her feel like she was about to fall over!


Call for Entry: Berenice Abbott Prize

Berenice Abbott Prize for an Emerging Photographer deadline is July 17th. All rules and eligibility can be found on the website.

New Orleans Photo Alliance Portfolio Reviews

Portfolio Reviews will take place Dec 6 & 7 at the International House Hotel. Registration will open on August 15, and be filled on a first come first served basis. Check the PhotoNOLA website in the next few weeks for more information.

David Bram, Fractionmag.com, Albuquerque, NM
Alejandro Castellanos, Director, Centro de la Imagen, Mexico City, Mexico
Jörg Colberg, Conscientious, Northampton, MA
Rose Courville, Curator, Acadiana Center for the Arts, Lafayette, LA
Crista Dix, Owner/Director, Wall Space Gallery, Seattle, WA
Roy Flukinger, Curator, Harry Ransom Research Center, Austin, TX
Pascale Giffard, Exhibitions Manager, Les Recontres d'Arles, FranceReuel Golden, Executive Editor, Photo District News (PDN), NY
MaryAnne Golon, TIME, New York, NY
David Houston, Curator, Ogden Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA
Russell Joslin, SHOTS Magazine, Minneapolis, MN
Stella Kramer, Photography Consultant, New York, NY
Melanie McWhorter, photo-eye, Santa Fe, NM
Charles Megnin, Owner, The Darkroom, New Orleans, LA
Ann Pallesen, Photographic Center NorthWest, Seattle, WA
Doug Parker, Times Picayune , New Orleans, LA
Kira Pollack, New York Times Magazine, New York, NY
George Slade, Minnesota Center for Photography, Minneapolis, MN
Susan Spiritus, Susan Spiritus Gallery, Newport Beach, CA
Mary Virginia Swanson, Marketing Consultant, Tucson, AZ/NYC
Hannah Watson, Trolley Books, London
Clint Willour, Executive Director & Curator, Galveston Arts Center, TX
Jack Woody, Twin Palms Publishers, Santa Fe, NM
Del Zogg, Museum of Fine Arts, Houston, Houston, TX


Dress Show: Nick Kline

Nick Kline © Untitled from the Undercover Series

Call for Entires: Center for Fine Art Photography 2008 International Show

2008 International Show
Deadline July 15, 2008
2008 International Exhibition of Fine Art Photography will spotlight images from around the world. All subjects are eligible. Additional awards include:
Juror's Selection award: $500
Director's Selection award: $200
Gallery Visitor's Choice Award: $100
Two Artists' ShowCase Online subscriptions - the Center's online image marketing website (preview at
All exhibitors are included in the Center's online gallery for two years
Inclusion in the Center's 2008 Exhibition Collection CD which is distributed to selected galleries, collectors, design houses and corporations world wide.The Deadline for submissions is July 15, 2008. For more information or a prospective about this and other call for entries please visit the Center's
website or Email cfe@c4fap.org _________________________________________________________
Online Portfolio Show
Deadline July 17
Fifteen photographers will be chosen to display their twelve-image portfolio in The Center for Fine Art Photography's special Online Portfolio Show and be included the Center's new publication Artists ShowCase, volume 1, issue 1. The show will be featured on the Center's web site at www.c4fap.org from September 1 - September 30, 2008 and will remain online for the next two years.


Interview with Hassla Books publisher, David Schoerner

I am delighted to present the first in my yet unnamed series of small publisher interviews with a discussion with David Schoerner, founder of Hassla Books. Schoerner started Hassla Books in January 2007 in Amherst, New Hampshire. The first publication, David Schoerner, was released in March 2007. He followed his first publication with a 20-page booklet titled Drawings 2007 by Dan McCarthy in April 2007 and three photographic publications-- The Beginning by Ola Rindal, Streets and Trails by Bernhard Fuchs and just released, Love and Before, Green and After by Marcelo Gomes. Hassla Books is now based in New York.

Images shown here from top center: ©Rindal, Gomes and Schoerner, respectively.

MM: What made you want to self-publish?
DS: I've been very interested in artist books for a while. I published my book of photographs simply for the reason of wanting to have a small book to show people my work. Also, I did it hoping that I could sell enough in order to print a book of another artist's work, which is how I started hassla.

MM: Your books are small and saddle-stitched, why did you choose to produce the books in this format?
DS: By keeping the books small it allows for a more intimate view of the artists work, it also allows me to keep the prices of the books lower which makes a small edition artist book affordable for more people... that doesn't mean though that eventually I wouldn't like to be able to publish larger, hardcover books. But for now I'm happy with publishing a smaller size and lower edition artist book.

MM: Why did you select the four artists whose work you have published so far?
DS: They're all artists whose work I admire and respect.

MM: Do you accept proposals? Is so, how do you like them presented?
DS: Right now I don't really accept proposals. People send them and I usually will take a look but for right now I prefer finding a artist whose work I've come to know and understand through exhibitions, books, magazines etc. that I can work with.

MM: Who designed and printed the catalogues? How many did you print?
DS: I've designed all the books, except for the new Marcelo Gomes book which was designed by DTEstudio. All the books are editions of 500.

MM: How would you recommend a photographer get funding for his or her project aside from personal funds?
DS: Grants are always good but most are very competitive. After talking to some friends of mine who studied business they recomended friends and family. If you can find a friend or family member who supports the work you do its a much better than borrowing money from a bank or using a credit card.

MM: Who is your favorite photographer or one who has impacted your life and/or work?
DS: I don't think there is just one... Alec Soth, Tom Sandberg, Takashi Homma, Rineke Dijkstra have all had an impact on my work.

MM: In your personal work, are you influenced by other mediums other than photography?
DS: Painting

MM: What blogs do you read? Magazines?
DS: Hobo, Monocle, Capricious

MM: What is your favorite book, photo or otherwise?
DS: Right now I've really been into the two books: Tom Sandberg, Photographs 1989-2006 and Roe Ethridge, Rockaway, NY

Call for entry: Open Shutter Gallery Polaroid Show

©Mike Slack
Open Shutter gallery in Durango, CO is calling for any and all works that include the polariod process with featured photographer Mike Slack. Works must be for sale with 50% commission to the gallery and be mounted or framed for hanging. Ther is a $15 fee that goes toward promotion of the show. Up to 3 pieces per artist. Artist Reception is August 22 and the show runs from August 22 through September 5. Works must be dropped off Wednesday, August 20 from 10 am to 6 pm. For more info, email director@artsperspective.com.


More about "zines"

This is a zine? Bread City by Jake Lemkowitz

What really is a zine? I could not totally relate to the appropriation of the term zine for some of the little books or catalogues in the Zine Fever entry, but I was willing to allow the word to change and be molded by modern society. One of my co-workers at photo-eye was not willing to allow the word to be used for the offset printing catalogues. I would like to get some other references from a friend of his, known only to me as Molly. She has done academic research on the topic so I will see if I can get some posting from her. Otherwise, I have found some links to listed here for to browse for a little more info.

Fraction Magazine publishes my new book recommendations

©Andy Mattern
Fraction Magazine just launched its second issue featuring work by Andy Mattern, Clay Harmon, Polly Chandler, Julia Sapir, and Tomas Richardson. This second issue also features a review of the festivities associated with the New York Photo Festival by Mary Goodwin and some of the best photo books of 2008 by yours truly.