Let me be the first to introduce you to eyeQ Press, the publishing house I launched yesterday. Well, it's been in the works for over a year, but now it's official.
The first book, something I've wanted to do for a longtime, documents the Nebraska football team, more specifically their last season in the Big 12 conference (the next book, which I start shooting in about a week will document their first season in the Big Ten).
A hardcover at 256 pages, the book is big too.
It's interesting to you, the photographer, editor or serious fan of photojournalism because I hope to prove that there's a way for photographers to continue creating their own work, while at the same time earning a living.
Basically we've removed a lot of the middlemen. I think the future agency model, one that I know a lot of people are working towards, will continue to do all the things they're great at... selling, marketing, finding venues for shows and exhibitions, while at the same time expanding their operations with a few people with design and publishing skills.
Resulting in photographers becoming the end-users of their own work by delivering it directly to their customers.
OK, there's something like 1.9 million people in Nebraska, most of whom are Husker fans, so this book has a huge potential market, which isn't always the case with photojournalism. Still, it was also very expensive to produce... I drove something like 20,000 miles to cover these games, motels, gas... all that stuff adds up. Most projects won't be this costly.
I know photographers, you've seen them too, who are producing great work as we speak. Most of their projects don't need a huge budget.
Using the old agency model where you find the cheapest flight and rental car, sleep on couchs...whatever it takes to keep your budget low (because back then people often worked on flat rate guarantees, meaning the less you spend the more you keep), I think there's a way to continue being a PFJ.
It will take a little bit of everything, book and print sales, speaking fees, perhaps something published now and then, and digital distribution for this model to be successful.
But I think if you work hard, more importantly work smart, band together with like minded people of different skills, there's a way to succeed by reaching your fans directly.
At least that's what I hope to prove with Husker Game Day 2010 - Farewell Big 12.