SoCal PhotoExchange

Douglas Stockdale – Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo books, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on November 3, 2017

00-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

Author and Principal Photographer:  Douglas Stockdale (born Butler, PA; resides Rancho Santa Margarita, CA)

Publisher: Self-published; first edition, first printing of 400; copyright © 2017

Text: English

Stiff-cover saddle-stitched book of 40 numbered pages with 14 images on several types of paper; 7.5×9 inches; full-color digital lithography, printed by Dual Graphics, Brea, California; $19.95 plus shipping ($4.50 in US & $15.00 USD other countries)

Book Design: Douglas Stockdale and Craig Evans – Text Editor: Gerhard Clausing – Cover Photograph: Scott Mathews

 

Notes:

This book had its debut at the Medium Festival of Photography on October 26, 2017, and was received with great enthusiasm. It is a detailed guide to help the artist through all the steps and considerations to keep in mind when thinking about and executing an independently published artist book.

Douglas Stockdale, editorial founder of and prolific contributor to The PhotoBook Journal and our SoCal PhotoExchange, who has been our guide through many artistic and publishing intricacies which he has discussed in hundreds of book reviews and articles, really gets to the point in this publication. Fortunately, his collaborator and sponsor in this venture is the renowned printing and communications company Dual Graphics in Brea, California, which already assisted Ansel Adams in artfully transferring his photography to print many years ago.

Doug certainly practices what he preaches. As a successful mentor and leader of workshops dealing with planning, producing, and marketing photo books, and as an author of a number of them himself (In Passing, Ciociaria, Pine Lake, Bluewater Shore), he is able to lay out logical and creative patterns for planning and doing artist books that are designed to help artists avoid many possible pitfalls that he has observed over time. The discussion is divided into five stages, which also constitute the chapters of this book:

  1. Book Pre-Visualization
  2. Marketing (including funding and fundraising)
  3. Book Development (including editing, sequencing the images, and making a book “dummy”)
  4. Book Design (and options)
  5. Book Production

Just to name one very important consideration, this Guide introduces marketing issues early in the process, rather than at the end, as others have done, since marketing information and decisions are integral to all other considerations that follow. Doug also devotes important space to the topics of selecting and sequencing the images to be included in an artist book, a topic that is sketchy in other guides on publishing your own artist book. There are many other planning considerations that he discusses to help the reader untangle potential difficulties.

Another fascinating feature of this book, extremely useful and exclusive, is the addition of sample pages of several different types of paper on which the same color and monochrome images are printed, so that the effect of printing on papers with different surfaces and characteristics can be seen. While the images below are no substitute for getting the actual book and studying the printing on the actual paper, they allow you to begin to see some differences. This feature alone is worth more than the cost of the book, as it is the best demonstration for working closely with a top-notch printing company, and to alert the potential maker of an artist book to all the details that can make a huge difference. There are also detailed descriptions of the papers included, as well as definitions of many terms that make the artist more knowledgeable when dealing with the printing and binding options. Needless to say, the author’s style is to the point, easy to read, and not filled with unnecessary technical jargon.

This book is highly recommended, especially if you are not sure about doing an artist book. The overview and the details provided here will help you understand and appreciate the process and will serve as a checklist to guide you through the entire process when you have made the decision to go through with it.

Gerhard Clausing

01-guide douglas stockdale.jpg02-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

03-guide douglas stockdale

04-guide douglas stockdale

05-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

06-guide douglas stockdale.jpg

 

 

Advertisements

Report on the 2017 Medium Festival of Photography

Posted in Art Museums, Photo Art Business, Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on October 31, 2017

Last Sunday marked the conclusion of the sixth annual Medium Festival of Photography. This time (in contrast to the brief visit last year) I decided to participate in all four days of activities (October 26-29), and I am very pleased I did. This way I am also able to report on the range of activities that are offered, and would encourage you to participate next year. It gives me pleasure to note that we, the SoCal Photo Exchange, are a media sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography.

The first two days were spent doing portfolio reviews. This process allows the participating photographers to show their work to leaders in the art world, be they artists, collectors, publishers, or museum staff. The feedback one can obtain is priceless, and the process teaches you to be concise and focused in editing, describing, and presenting your photographs. You are also able to make contacts this way and have the experts remember your work if there are future opportunities where your work may be exhibited and/or published. I got at least seven or eight excellent suggestions for presenting my work more effectively and for creating new series. You also get a sense of the range of preferences for various purposes. There was also a “portfolio walk” on Thursday night, where the public and fellow artists can view your work. I found the interactions refreshing, and the talks were just as straight-forward and personal as the reviews.

Friday night and Saturday were devoted to lecture/presentations. The keynote lecture by John Gossage was inspiring, as he discussed his long career and publishing history in detail, and is a great model for finding opportunities and using everyday subjects to generate profound contemplation via narrative landscape/photographic fiction. The presentation of 3D images and films by Claudia Kunin was also impressive, as she has a way to make the animated stills stir one’s memories and emotions. The lectures by Justyna Badach (selected from last year’s portfolio review participants) and Christina Seely were interesting to me as well, since they dealt with political and environmental issues that should be a concern for all of us.

Sunday a group of us went on one of the Medium Festival bus tours to visit major museums and galleries. This too was a fabulous experience. In a very compact amount of time we were able to visit a number of venues as well as to talk with a number of artists that had specifically come to the venues to make themselves available for discussion. Without having to drive, we could appreciate the Museum of Photographic Art, the San Diego Museum of Art, the San Diego Central Library Gallery, and the San Diego State University Downtown Gallery in a very compact amount of time. The images below give you some glimpses and further descriptions of what I saw. I hope it will encourage you to make use of these resources and this festival in the future.

My special thanks to Scott B. Davis, Sarah Koenig Wagner, and all the other workers of magic for creating this wonderful experience!

Gerhard Clausing

01-IMG_3306.JPG

Photographers shared their work and exchanged ideas throughout the two days of portfolio reviews at the Lafayette Hotel in San Diego.

 

02-IMG_3337a.jpg

The Executive Director of the Medium Festival of Photography, Scott B. Davis. The interpersonal skills and dedicated energy of Scott, Sarah, and the rest of the team were huge factors contributing to the festival’s success, already in its sixth year.

 

03-10-26-17_Stockdale_161559_Medium_Photo_Festival_Portfolio_Preparation.jpg

Prep time between reviews. Here photographers J.K. Lavin, Wendi Schneider, Lori Pond, and Gerhard Clausing are sorting their images.

 

04-IMG_3316a.jpg

An open slot! Off to be reviewed, facilitated by Sarah Koenig Wagner, Program Manager.

 

05-IMG_3415a.jpg

The keynote speaker, John Gossage, who talked about his impressive career creating several dozen books.

 

06-IMG_3413a.jpg

At the Dual Graphics table, Craig Evans and author Douglas Stockdale (who introduced his very useful Guide to Self-Publishing an Indie Artist Book, soon to be reviewed here) are conversing with artist and reviewer Andrew Burgess (second from left) and photographer Todd Bradley (right).

 

07-IMG_3442.JPG

Maggie Downing, Manager of Collections and Exhibitions, explains the installation behind her and is about to start a behind-the-scenes tour of the Museum of Photographic Arts (MOPA) in Balboa Park.

 

08-IMG_3476a.jpg

A viewer’s approach to the exhibit “Play,” featuring the work of Brenda Biondo (former portfolio review participant) at The San Diego Museum of Art.

 

09-IMG_3501.JPG

Philipp Scholz Rittermann explains his work, part of the San Diego Central Library Gallery exhibit “Dream of the Nineties.”

 

10-IMG_3643a.jpg

Members of our group at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí.” We had a chance to discuss work with photographers Tom Kiefer, Ingrid Hernández, and Stefan Falke. It was fascinating to see and hear about the artists’ personal involvement and to hear about the difficulties experienced around the US/Mexico border.

 

11-IMG_3641a.jpg

The Mexican photographer Ingrid Hernández at the exhibit “We are here/Estamos aquí” at SDSU Downtown Gallery.

 

12-MG_3611a.jpg

Stefan Falke and Chantel Paul, Director of the SDSU Downtown Gallery, discussing Stefan’s work photographing artists in Mexico.

Image #3 © Douglas Stockdale; all others © Gerhard Clausing

 

The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photo techniques, Photo Workshops, Photography by douglaspstockdale on October 18, 2017

The_Photographers_Guide_to_Marketing_cover

Maria Piscopo – The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion

Publisher: Allworth Press (NY), Fifth Edition, copyright 2016

While developing my Marketing Your Photo Book workshop for LACP (Note: this one-day workshop has space available, Oct 29th, at LACP) I came across Maria Piscopo’s The Photographer’s Guide to Marketing and Self-Promotion. Since this title was in its fifth edition I figured that this book has stood the test of time and photographer have kept buying it and thus might be worth checking out. What I anticipated was this is a generalist guide for a broad spectrum of photographers, not specific to the needs of artist and photographers who were marketing a small niche product like a self-published book.

My background includes graduate level marketing classes that was part of my focus while I was getting my M.B.A.  Since that course work was even more general maybe Piscopo’s book might help with some photographic market specifics that I might not be aware of. Last, this might make an interesting reference book for those attending my workshop.

Well it turns out that Maria Piscopo’s book is intended entirely for professional photographers while the fine art market is treated as a side-line and provided a short chapter in the back of the book. I had expected a little better organization of the content, but at least many of the parts for a Marketing program appear to be present.

Much of this book is about the very business basics (and I do mean basics) of professional photography; business licenses, business ethics, getting organized, using a computer (e.g. bookkeeping), and an introduction to how to use the internet for event, wedding, and commercial. Writing a Marketing plan does not occur until almost the end of the book, something I might think would be the first thing to consider for a Marketing book. Which is to say, this book is not a very good guide for Marketing and you might be better off with a college basic Marketing text book.

If on the other hand you are very new to having your own business and have not done this before,  yet you think you might want to be a professional photographer, this book might be of some help to make sure you have most of your business bases covered. This will not be a reference book for my Book Marketing workshop and not to say that occasionally there are some little gems buried in the book, just finding these can be more frustrating that what it is worth to me. It might be ideal for you.

Best regards,

Douglas Stockdale

Creating “Contact Sheets” Using Adobe Bridge and Photoshop

Posted in Photo techniques, Photography, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on September 13, 2017

If you have wanted to create sheets that show sets of images in your folders or  series, in order to print them like the “contact sheets” from analog times, this is fairly easy to do. Reasons for doing so might be that you want to keep a printed visual record of what’s in your project folders or project collections, or you might want to document possible sequences for presentations or for photo books, to name just some reasons for using this process.

Here’s an example that goes through six easy steps. You need to have both Bridge and Photoshop running on your computer. I am currently using Bridge CC 2017 and Photoshop CC 2017 on the PC, but this works similarly on the Mac and with older versions of the two programs as well.

Step 1: Open Bridge and open the folder that contains the files that you want to print on a sheet, in the right order. Here I am using a folder with twelve “Bodyscapes” files of mine as an example.

2017-09-13 16_28_50-bodyscapes 12 samples.jpg

Step 2:  From the menu, select Tools > Photoshop > Contact Sheet II.

Step 3:  The “Contact Sheet II” window will be activated in Photoshop automatically:

2017-09-13 16_29_49-Adobe Photoshop CC 2017.jpg

Step 4:  Select the size you want the pages to be. For instance, I usually use 8×10” for printing properly on 8.5×11” sheets.

Step 5:  Select the number of columns and rows you want – 4×4 is a good place to start. Do not use filenames as captions unless you want them to be appearing.

Step 6:  Hit the “OK” button, and BINGO! The contact sheets will appear in Photoshop as if by magic, in sequence, and can then be saved and/or printed.

And there’s my contact sheet for this folder!

Enjoy!

Gerry

 

ContactSheet-001.jpg:ContactSheet-001.jpg

We are now an official sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography!

Posted in Photo Workshops, Photograph Exhibits, Photography, Uncategorized by Gerhard Clausing on September 6, 2017

Thanks to the fine work of Douglas Stockdale (Publisher and Founder) and Gerhard Clausing (Editor), our

2017-09-06 16_41_44-SoCal PhotoExchange _ Photographers & Photography in Southern Californina

is now an official media sponsor of the Medium Festival of Photography!

2017-09-06 16_45_08-Sponsors.jpg

More coverage will follow, stay tuned!

Current Internet Photo Marketing Terms

Posted in Photo Art Business, Photography by Gerhard Clausing on August 19, 2017

Artsy.net is a third-party artist information organization that serves as an informational link between artists, galleries, and collectors. Their business model is to facilitate art sales and in the process, get a referral fee for this service.

For instance, here is a portion of the “Photography for sale” page:

2017-08-15 13_59_55-Collect _ Artsy.jpg

Artsy.net also provides educational functions, such as the ability to study the works of many photographers, painters, and other artists.

Recently Artsy.net provided some updated art buying definitions that reflects the move to virtual galleries, such as these:

Online Art Market The online art market includes all art objects available to buy and sell online, whether from galleries, auction houses, e-commerce companies, or online art platforms.

Brick-and-Click A gallery with both a physical location and an online presence.

Online Art Platforms Connect buyers and sellers around the world, enabling galleries, dealers, and auction houses to list their inventory online and connect with interested collectors, such as Artsy.com.

Online Buyer  A collector or prospective buyer who purchases art online, either through a third party platform like Artsy or directly from a gallery or auction house’s website.

SaaS An abbreviation that stands for “Software as a Service”. Artsy’s SaaS products, the Content Management System (CMS) and Folio, function as a comprehensive suite of digital tools that increase access to a gallery’s online platform.

Click-and-Buy Refers to a method that allows collectors to buy art directly through a website. On a third-party platform like Artsy, users can “click-and-buy” by pressing a single button from an artwork page that then sends a message to the gallery through CMS. In discussing the success of galleries online, Artsy.com discusses the difference between click-and-buy and pay-per-click which, alternatively, involves rerouting collectors interested in a work to auction houses and galleries.

Metadata Is data (information) that describes other data (information). In the context of the art-world, Metadata is information about artworks, artists, designers, and architects that serves to identify and classify them. For example, artwork dimensions, exhibition history, and an artist’s birthday all fall under the category of metadata.

Online Sale An online sale is “a sale where any part of the art sales process has an online element” (TEFAF Art Market Report: Online Focus). Similar to the means by which someone assess Art Fair sales, if the user discovers an art work on an online platform like Artsy and then purchases the work offline with the gallery, the sale is still considered an ‘online sale’ because the online platform facilitates the initial connection between user and gallery.

SEO An abbreviation that stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or page in organic search results. SEO includes anything you can do to get your website content to show up higher in an internet search, and more frequently, on search engines like Google.

Confirmed Buyer Once a sale on has been verified by the gallery or collector, such as with Artsy.com the user receives Artsy Confirmed Buyer (ACB) status. Identifying ACBs could increases the quality of a gallery’s experience on Artsy and is a reciprocal process for all partners, ensuring that all future galleries can proceed confidently when they receive a new inquiry.

Each of the definitions is followed by further explanation and context. Very useful; check it out here!

Tagged with:

Medium Festival of Photography Discounted Early Registration Starts Friday, Aug. 18

2017-08-15 16_43_05-Document1 - Microsoft Word non-commercial use.jpg

Festival registration opens Friday Aug 18; discounts through Aug. 31.

Medium’s 2017 Festival registration opens Friday, August 18. We offer Early Bird discounts on all VIP and Festival Passes purchased before midnight Aug. 31—take advantage of the deepest discounts we offer!

This year’s Festival brings artist lectures with John Gossage, Christina Seely, John Chiara, and many other provocative artists. We’re also introducing collection tours, exhibitions, a film screening, pop-up events, and book signings at the 2017 Festival.

Medium is more than an annual event for contemporary photography, it’s a place to make new discoveries and connect with fans of contemporary art from across North America, Europe, and beyond!

Medium is an artist-run 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Support our mission to foster awareness and understanding of innovative photography by donating today!

­Copyright © 2017 Medium Festival of Photography, All rights reserved.

2017-08-15 16_42_46-Document1 - Microsoft Word non-commercial use.jpg

Three PX Members Featured in IFAC’s All Media 2017 Exhibition, Aug. 26 – Oct. 28

Posted in Photo Galleries, Photograph Exhibits, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by Gerhard Clausing on August 10, 2017

thumbnail_All Media 2017_digital flier.jpg

In my first contribution as Editor, I am extremely pleased to report that three of our members made it into the “All Media 2017” Show at the Irvine Fine Arts Center: Paul Anderson, Gerhard Clausing, and Janos Lanyi – congratulations! Curated by the interdisciplinary artist Kim Abeles, the exhibition features painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, printmaking, ceramics, video, installation, and more. The Reception will be Saturday, August 26, from 4-6 p.m., with an Awards Ceremony at 4:45. The exhibition will run through October 28, Mo-Th 10 a.m.-9 p.m., Fr 10-5, Sa 9-5, closed Sundays. Opening reception, admission, and parking are free. Kim Abeles will also give an Artist Talk about her work on Saturday, September 23, 3:30 to 4:30. For all friends and relatives: Heritage Community Park, 14321 Yale Avenue, Irvine, CA. See you at IFAC!­

Paul Anderson’s photograph, entitled “Yellow-1,” is from his 2016 portfolio, “Floral Impressions.” He has shown us similarly intriguing images at our meetings:

PaulAnderson-Yellow-1©2016.jpg© Paul Anderson

My photograph is from the series “Selfscapes” that features my body in all its heights and depths, and is entitled “Nevertheless” to highlight the importance of keeping going as one observes one’s process of aging:

GerhardClausing-Nevertheless@2014.jpg© Gerhard Clausing

Janos Lanyi presents an abstract acrylic painting on canvas entitled “The Red House.” It is based on one of his trips to Spain, where he also photographed extensively, as you know from the enjoyable art that he shares from his many travels:

JanosLanyi-TheRedHouse©.jpg© Janos Lanyi

 

 

Portfolio Reviewer for LACP

Posted in Juried opportunities, Photo Art Business, Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on August 5, 2017

07-15-17_dawn_watson_094640_dnj_gallery_lacp_portfolio_review-a.jpg

Dawn Watson, dnj Gallery, Santa Monica, CA copyright 2017 Douglas Stockdale

This last month I was a guest portfolio reviewer for the LACP (Los Angeles Center of Photography) EXPOSURE 2017 portfolio reviews at the dnj Gallery in Santa Monica’s Bergamont (Arts) Station.

Overall it was a great experience as a portfolio reviewer as I was introduced to some very intriguing and well thought out photographic projects. It should probably come as no surprise that many of the photographers and artists were interested in spending time with me regarding my assessment about these projects being published.

One of the most frequent questions I am asked before one of these events; how does one prepare for a portfolio review? Since the review is scheduled for only 20 minutes, everyone is always surprised in how quickly this time slips by. First just about everyone brings too many photographs and supporting materials probably in the hopes that a reviewer will be able to see it all and still have time to provide some wise advice. Nope that usually does NOT happen.

Second, as a portfolio reviewer I start each discussion with three requests: tell me about yourself, tell me about the portfolio we are going to review and what is it you would like to obtain feedback from me about your project that might help you to move it forward?

Reviewers would like to know a little bit about who they are talking to; not your life story, but a quick 2 minute bio, which I call an elevator speech. Same for the portfolio (maybe a photographic project), for the photographer/artist to provide some context as to what is going to be reviewed, again perhaps 1-2 minutes, another elevator speech. Last, what is it you need from the review? Some examples: feedback on the editing of the photographs, are the images technically acceptable, could this sequence or series work in a book layout, are the photographs consistent with the artistic statement, etc.

Third, plan on reviewing only one portfolio with each reviewer, you can bring more portfolios, but you will only have real quality time to spend on one with each reviewer. In most portfolio reviews the artist/photographer might be meeting with a series of different portfolio reviewers and it is appropriate to select a portfolio that is relevant to a specific reviewer. In my case, most wanted me to review their book dummy’s or portfolios that they were thinking about having published.

Fourth, plan on having less than 15 prints in the portfolio to have reviewed. In many cases we did not get through all 15 prints during our 20 minute session. You should want quality time/discussion for each image and how these images relate to each other. This exchange takes time when it results in a give and take discussion.

Bring something to take notes and one photographer recorded our review session. Each portfolio reviewer is an individual with a point of view, which may be very different from yours, so don’t become defensive if the reviewer does not see or understand what you are trying to communicate with your photographic prints. One key purpose of coming to a portfolio review is to get a broader exposure to your work and have others talk about what they see. If you are doing more talking than listening, then you are not going to obtain the full benefit of this occasion.

Last, leave something behind, perhaps as simple as a business card (yes, one person left me with one of their books) to help the reviewer remember who you are (I did 12 portfolio reviews on Saturday and names and projects began to blur at the end of the day) and then follow up with a nice email note a couple of days after the event.

Reviewers are there to help you and if they can point you in a direction or make an follow on introduction, they usually will. I had a short list of introductions and follow-up items that I had promised and these are just about completed, as it takes a few days to get organized. Also realized that these are good events to network with the other photographers and artist who are participating in the reviews as you never can tell what might come up during a side discussion.

Note: I had not realized at the time I took the photograph of Dawn Watson, above, that the large red photograph behind me was going to reflect so much pink color on Watson’s self-published book. Below is a better representation of her book “Trees” ( & thanks to Watson for providing a better photograph) and a nice follow-up email regarding our review time together. well done.

Cheers!

Douglas Stockdale, Publisher

dawn_watson_wild-things-live-here-3a.jpg

 

Gerhard Clausing takes over as Editor of The SoCal Photo Exchange

Posted in Photographers, Photography, tPE members by douglaspstockdale on August 3, 2017

01-Gerhard_Clausing-As_Neptune

Gerhard Clausing, Bodyscapes, copyright 2016

I am very excited to announce that Gerhard “Gerry” Clausing is the new Editor of The SoCal Photo Exchange. This is an on-line journal which covers photographic events, exhibitions and other news in Southern California. Previously Clausing was a Contributing Writer while recently functioning as the acting-Editor for this photo-blog in conjunction with being the Associate Editor of the The PhotoBook Journal.

I am looking forward to his leadership of this photographic venue as a site to capture the diversity of the Southern California photographic community. I have enjoyed collaborating with him as we have participated in photographic workshops, and covered the LA Art Book Fair, Photo Independent and now anticipating the Medium Festival in San Diego.

Please join me in welcoming Gerry to this well-deserved position.

Cheers!

Douglas Stockdale

Publisher & Founder (2008), The SoCal Photo Exchange

About Gerhard Clausing; with a Ph.D. in linguistics and literature from UC Berkeley and a career as tenured USC professor with numerous publications behind him, he is now happy to concentrate on his visual adventures. He studied at Otis, Brooks, and the Los Angeles Center of Photography (LACP) and has been featured on Lenscratch, Blur Magazine, Black&White Magazine, Le Journal de la Photographie, Black and White Spider Awards, Houghton Mifflin. He has exhibited at LACP, dnj Gallery (Santa Monica, CA), PhotoPlace Gallery (Vermont), Kiernan Gallery, Julia Dean Gallery (Venice and Hollywood), Perfect Exposure Gallery (Los Angeles), Irvine Fine Arts Center (Irvine, CA), and Art Basel Miami, among others.​ He is the Associate Editor of the The PhotoBook Journal.

About The Photographers Exchange; an informal organization of creative photographers who meet at the Irvine Fine Arts Center (Irvine, CA) on the third Thursday of each month at 6:30 pm. Participants can bring up to five pieces of work for presentation and evaluation by the group. The organization is open to all photographers and artist who would like to participate.

Bodyscapes, copyright 2016

Unself Selfie