Getting It on Paper

 

Here's a quick trailer for my new book.

Technically, it's a sports book. I photographed the last ten games of this football team's final season in a conference they'd been in for over 100 years. Lot's of history there, which is now gone forever.

Realistically, it's more of a documentary book.

When it was annouced that Nebraska would leave the Big 12, I went looking for historical images. Photographs that would show me what the stadium looked like, how the people dressed, something which would give me an idea of what it was like to witness or play the game back then.

Sadly, there wasn't much out there to find. Virtually nothing from before the 1960's, and not much from even twenty years ago.

So you could classify the book as a timecapsule too. That was my goal anyway. To capture this unique point in history that would become priceless to viewers in the future.

As a photographer, it wasn't an easy task. Still, I know how to make pictures (more or less), and I enjoyed every moment on the sidelines. That was the easy part.

Logistically, driving about 20,000 miles, flying, lodging, credentials, also plenty doable. As an agency photographer I learned early how to do this kind of stuff on my own, but more importantly do it cheaply.

Editing the 20,000 or so images (hmm... a picture for every mile), I enjoyed too. I think I did an OK job. I could have, and probably should have dropped this task on one of the great photoeditors I've worked with over the years, but that would have been a little much to ask.

The other seven or eight jobs, normally stuff a publisher would handle, were a tad tougher. I learned a lot, and got through it, though I'm nowhere near having mastered any of them.

Overall it's been a great learning experience and I think publishing the follow-up book on the Husker's first season in the Big Ten will teach me even more. Yeah, I shot the second book at the same time I was publishing the first one. Something I don't recommend to anyone!

It had to be a book, this body of work. The digital age hadn't helped my in my quest to find the images from twenty, fifty or a hundred years ago. I suppose the newspapers in Nebraska might get around to archiving their historical images on film, but that's a big and unlikely "might". So 5000 copies, printed on paper, in the hands of that many people, still seems like the best solution when it comes to documentary photography.

The book is available on Amazon here.

You can also get a copy directly from me.

Enjoy!


eyeQ Press - The First Book!

JAR_GameDayBook_cover_small

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.

Click here to purchase the book.

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.