Laurence Vecten – a conversation

Laurence Vecten apartment, Paris copyright Douglas Stockdale 2010

When I found out that I was not going to be in Paris for the PIY (Publish it Yourself) exhibition ealier this month, I had let Laurence Vecten know what I was sending my regrets for not arriving in Paris in time. She in turn responded with an offer to meet at her apartment, as all of the photobooks had not been returned yet. nice!

I had thought that over the years that I had started a number of photographic blogs and venues, but Laurence I belive has me beat, with her own blog (, Lozen up (, the PIY web site (, the One Year ofB ooks ( and Photo Book Swap ( On top of this she has her day job at Paris Glamour. wow!

While we were coordinating our meeting, she also extended an offer to Mark Feustel to join us, which I was very glad he could. This made for a very delightful and wide running conversation about all things related to photobooks and not neccessarily related only to the PIY photobooks. There were appoximately 80 books on exhibition earlier and we realized that it would be impossible to review them all, so she curated a smaller selection for Marc and I to consider. It was very interesting to see the breath in printing styles, papers, covers, binding, layout and designs. This just confirms for me that DIY/PIY is here to stay and getting better and stronger. I came away with a strong feeling that there will be another PIY exhibition sometime in the future.

We had a great conversation and I have to add that Laurence also makes a wonderful fruit cake with just a hint of something alcholic, such that I needed a couple of extra slices for my enjoyment later in the evening back at my hotel. Thank you again Laurence!

Afterwards, Marc walked with me to La Bal, the brand new documentary exhibition space that just opened near by. While at La Bal, I also purchased the current copy of Foam, in which Marc conducted the majority of the interviews for this edition. A nice exhibition of Lewis Balz’s work among others was hanging, so I went to Paris to see photographs of Irvine, which is about 20 minutes from my home in Orange County, CA. Go figure, but remember this is his photographs from the 1970’s and became part of the New Topographics exhibition.

by Douglas Stockdale

BTW in the past, I have been creating informal portraits in conjunction with these conversations, but Laurence’s son was not feeling well and somethings were out of sorts. Instead I created this indirect environmental portrait of her which provides for me the same warm and comfortable feeling that I experienced in her presence.

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