Judging the LACP Photographic Book Competition

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­­By Gerhard Clausing •

On Saturday, August 24, Douglas Stockdale and I spent a delightful day at LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) in Hollywood as jurors for the first LACP photographic book competition. Right from the start, we were pleased not only with the number of entries (well over 50), but especially with the general level of quality and the range of topics and presentation techniques that were submitted.

How do you judge such a diverse group of creative submissions?

Well, first, there were two book categories: those that had been self-published and those from an established publisher. Each photobook was scored independently by each juror in four categories: photography, concept, editing/sequencing, and production. The scores were then tallied and computed.

What are the jurors looking for? The idea or concept and the photography are considered first. How innovative is the project and how well does the photography implement the idea? Then, how well is the body of work sequenced in the book – does the editing do justice to supporting the concept? Last, but not least, how well do the production details (cover and paper stock, binding, physical appearance of the images on the pages) dovetail with and support the project? At the end of the day, the books we determined were the most excellent projects emerged in the process.

As you will see when the results are announced, we selected a winner and two honorable mentions in each of the two categories. As we were especially impressed by the quality of many entries, we also designated four book entries for juror awards. These and more than 20 other entries will be shown during the Portfolio Walk on Friday, September 13th and throughout LACP EXPOSURE Weekend at the Hotel MdR in Marina del Rey and will be on exhibition at the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) in Hollywood from September 16-October 16th. All entries will become part of the LACP Library afterwards. We will review the two category winners as well as some of the other books in the PhotoBook Journal.

As editors of the PhotoBook Journal, the contemporary photobook magazine, we are pleased to support LACP’s first photographic book competition, and especially appreciate the superb assistance given to us by Sarah Hadley and Jason Woolfolk during the judging.

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Assessing one of the more elaborate leporello presentations for evaluation: Jason Woolfolk and Sarah Hadley facilitating the setup, with Douglas Stockdale, on the right, assisting. (Photo by Gerhard Clausing)

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At the end of the day, the jurors, Gerhard Clausing and Douglas Stockdale, were pleased with the quality and diversity of the books submitted. (Photo by Sarah Hadley)

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