eyeQ Press - The First Book!


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.


Photo Comics...err, Graphic Novels

Twenty or so years ago, about the time Grant Morrison's Arkham Asylum was first published, I envisioned creating a highbred photography/comic book of a presidential campaign. The text would consist entirely of quotes from the politicians and others inside "the bubble", held together with the expected graphic elements one finds in comic books, and of course my photography.

Well, that never happened. I've never been quite organized enough to put together a long term project like this.

Still, Its a great idea that somebody should do at some point.

I bring this up, because it appears Brenda Ann Kenneally is doing something similar.

There's a wonderful piece about her and her work in the Lens today, which states, one of the many ways she's publishing this work is going to be in a graphic novel form. Which is very smart. The more ways to get the stuff out there, the better.

Here's some of the work we're talking about, although I must say, for me it is presented much better in the Lens, and the audio is... well just turn the sound off.

Upstate Girls - What Became of Collar City from The Raw File on Vimeo.

While on the subject of graphic novel, photojournalistic mash-ups, one really has to mention The Photographer by, Didier Lefevre (the photographer), and artist/comic book creator Emmanuel Guibert (Frederic Lemercier designed the book).

The graphic novel tells the first person account of Lefevre's journey (who passed away in 2007 without seeing it published) into 1980's Afghanistan with MSF. Really, it's one of the most amazing books I've seen this year. So telling and so informative. It somehow demystifies the process of creating lasting photographs, while at the same time revealing how magical the end results can be.

Didier, quoted from The Photographer

"But of course being able to produce a technically good picture doesn't mean you'll make great pictures. For great pictures you really have to tear your eyes out. I want to pour all my energy into improving my photography. I want to take good pictures."

His friend asks, "And what is a good picture?"

He responds,

"I don't know. You have to search for it, search all the time, all the time. And not necessarily in war zones or spectacular places."

If at some point if you'd like to be a good photographer, you should really get your hands on this book.

Here's a review in the New York Times.