The photography site for sore eyes. With extra writing because I'm also a writer.
Smoking is brash, dirty and fast. And so is my book. I went A4-ish portrait size to make the most of my portraits (at full bleed). I used only one photograph per page (sometimes one photograph with no picture on the opposite page). And I used a bright red cover with a no smoking and a camera symbol to echo the book’s title Flashes to Ashes.
A photo book can be a beautiful object, and indeed there were some beautiful, huge books produced by some of the students on my course. You can sit down with a treasured book and slowly take in every photograph and read every piece of text. But this is not what my documentary subject matter was about.
The photographs themselves were fast, mostly with flash and in-our-face. That’s how I’ve tried to design the book too.
I see this book as something you would flick through and toss away, so the text is minimal. In fact, I’ve done everything I can to make it a fast flick The photo captions are very brief and, on some pages, I have used a huge headline-style font to tell the story and help push the viewer to turn the page as fast as possible.
It makes for a quick, flowing book. But I do believe the viewer will look at every photograph, which is not true if your book has hundreds of photos crammed onto loads of pages.
I think I might even re-print it on a smaller scale on comic boo paper. It’s lighter and more trashy, like a cigarette.