By Melanie Chapman and Douglas Stockdale •
The Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) 2019 Exposure Weekend, held at the Hotel Mdr in Marina del Rey, California, incorporated a number of photobook events; an exhibition of the first LACP Photographic Book Competition, a one-day book workshop led by Elizabeth Avedon, and Book Panel discussion.
Elizabeth Avedon one-day book class
The morning was an intensive event spent on a review of published photographic books and lessons that could be learned from these examples including typography, book design & layout, and image sequencing. Each participant had the opportunity to provide a series of photographs related to an on-going project for a group critique let by Avedon as to potential sequencing. It was interesting to see the breath and diversity of the various projects and how each photographer was developing their personal narrative as a potential photobook.
LACP Photographic Book Competition
The Photographic Book exhibition opening on Friday night was concurrent with the Portfolio Walk, thus a large crowd who participated in the two overlapping events. The juried photo books remained on display through out the remaining weekend and has now transitioned to an exhibition until Oct 15th at the LACP gallery in Hollywood California. A number of the book authors joined the Friday night opening and stayed on through the weekend, which for me (Douglas) provided a lot of great opportunities to discuss books and current photographic projects.
A distinguished panel of speakers were assembled on Saturday to discuss all things Photobooks, moderated by Dan Shepard, 1/1 Gallery. The panelists included David Carol and Ashly Stohl of Peanut Press, Caleb Cain Marcus of LuminosityLab, Kris Graves of Kris Graves Projects, and Douglas Stockdale of Photobook Journal.
Each panelist is a photographer as well as being involved in the ever-growing world of Photobooks, and provided a bit of background of how they initially became involved, be it in publishing, design or review. During the one hour session, they answered questions from the moderator and audience about the scale of their work, the importance of good working relationships during the production of a new book, how many books they publish each year, their degree of involvement with varied aspects of the creation, publication and promotion of new books, and whether or not they accept unsolicited submissions. In addition, the panelists offered opinions about the risks and benefits of self-publishing, anticipated costs, the pros and cons of entities such as Amazon and Kickstarter and certain unnamed and unscrupulous publishers, as well as the overall advantages of sharing photographic work through the book medium.
It was a lively and often humorous conversation, yet provided much appreciated specifics for photographers in the audience who may be interested in seeking out opportunities to have their own work published.
The inclusion of this informative and inspiring panel on the topic of Photographic books, as well as the inaugural Photographic book contest, was a welcome addition to Los Angeles Center of Photography’s Exposure Weekend/Portfolio Review and we hope should certainly become part of the annual tradition.
Photographs copyright 2019 either Melanie Chapman or Douglas Stockdale