AC’s Big Book of Photos: Planning Extravaganza!

Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
edited January 2010 in Artist's Corner
What
A book. With photos in it. Which we take, specifically for this project. The theme of the book will be "Aging."

Why
The book will be produced and sold at a mild markup. The profits will be donated towards Child’s Play. Also, so we can all boast about being published photographers to our loved ones and/or prospective mates.

Who
Registration within this thread (unless you're on the list below) is mandatory for inclusion within the project. All the photographers in the AC are welcome to submit images. Administrator(s) are TBA. Jake! has generously agreed to create some work for himself while relaxing at home and will be doing the layout.

Current interested parties:
anable
bombardier
Cokebotle
CommunistCow
Cycophant
Dark Moon
erisian pope
Flay
Flyingman
goggles
Jake!
JAmp5
mts
Muncie
muninn
Penpal
Pinch-a-Loaf
Prospicience
Sonic
Uncle Long

How
Through careful planning and strict adherence to The Timeline.
A theme will be decided upon and set. All the photos within the book should in some way relate to the theme, to give the final product a wonderful sense of consistency that can be lost when a whole group of folks just submit a ton of otherwise cool photos.


When or "The Timeline"

12/07/09 - Target audience identified. Theme finalized. (Completed 12/07/09)

12/14/09 - Formatting established. Publisher decided upon.

01/05/10 - Initial submissions due.

01/18/10 - Final selection of photographs.

01/25/10 - Design and content of book finalized. Pricing finalized.

01/26/10 - Release to the clamourous masses.

01/30/10 - Dark Moon retires to fabulous mountain villa from proceeds.

xx/yy/10 - Send profits to Child’s Play.

Where
The planning and submissions to the project will be contained entirely within this thread.


Immediate concerns:
Preliminary consultations indicate the deadlines are currently a bit tight. Jake! What would be a more reasonable deadline!?

What administrative roles are necessary and who will fill them?

What is our target audience? Extending from that, what will our theme be?
It seems unlikely that our target audience will extend beyond "friends and family," but perhaps I'm just a pessimist (I am). If our theme is general enough to allow all the photographers involved to shoot within their niche, the target audience seems like it will drive our marketing more than the actual photographic selection.

How will final photographs be selected?
I propose a flickr group be created solely for submissions (this should be limited per photographer to the maximum number of photographs a single photographer can have published within the book). Based on the number of photographs allowed by the final design, each person who submitted images be allowed a certain number of votes on other people's photographs. These will be sent to one individual in the project, who will tally them and release the results. This will produce a downright democratic selection, semi-anonymous voting process.

All credit goes to muninn for the idea and the rough timeline.

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Dark Moon on
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Posts

  • ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Well done good sir! And so it begins.

    Prospicience on
  • mullymully Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    one question
    who is 'bombadier'?

    regardless, this is awesome, can't wait to purchase a book!

    mully on
  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Thanks Dark Moon! Was planning on making the thread after I came home later tonight from the Turkey Day Bacchanalia, but you did a great job on it already. Will be posting some more nitty and gritty stuff after I have access to a regular sized keyboard.

    Oh, and please include me in the list of people interested in submitting content/photos for the book. :)

    muninn on
  • Uncle LongUncle Long Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Awesome.

    So...uh...what do we do now?

    Uncle Long on
  • MetalbourneMetalbourne Inside a cluster b personalityRegistered User regular
    edited November 2009
    mully wrote: »
    one question
    who is 'bombadier'

    Some guy who is stupid

    Metalbourne on
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Uncle Long wrote:
    Awesome.

    So...uh...what do we do now?

    Theme suggestions seem like a good thing to discuss first, since they are vital for the photography (content creation) to begin. Also, deciding on one is the next thing due.

    We've had "water" suggested so far. It's nice and general, but given how many of the current volunteers are locked in a land of snow and ice, this might lead to an alarming number of snow photographs. As this book will go for sale well after the holiday season is over, I don't know how well a collection of snow photos will sell to the winter-weary.

    It also doesn't tie into Child's Play at all. Now, while direct tie ins are out (unless we want "video games", "sick children" or "hospitals" to be our theme), something you could theoretically tie into the charity in some way would be nice. Even something as simple as "Joy" is still outrageously general but can be brought back to the charity (children+video games=joy). It's also a theme with very positive connotations - appropriate for a project whose goal is to give to a charity.

    Dark Moon on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    And I am at a real keyboard.
    Here is some stuff that needs to get done this week. We need to discuss and square away following points by 12/07/09.

    We need to identify and define the audience our book. This will set the boundaries of our project, and may limit some of the content we are willing to put in the book, and the way the marketing is done.
    It all boils down to three ways we could do about :

    1) Screw everyone else, we are doing it for ourselves and our own enjoyment. Target audience is "us" and the PA forums AC community. Everything goes.

    2) Use the book as a display for the work the AC community generates, aimed at people not familiar with our corner of the web. Slick, professional, and void of self-refferential content.

    3) Have the book tightly associated with Child's Play charity, with target audience being anyone with an interest in photography and supporting sick children. It would be slick, professional, and backed by lot of grunt work concerning marketing.

    Here is a more rambling rant concerning the subject matter:

    First of all, I see three different ways we could go about pushing this book out.

    First is the vanity press / closed circle type of method. We would be publishing this thing just for ourselves, and any poor souls acquainted with us. We wouldn't bother with any organized marketing push, and there would be no content restrictions (bar the theme of the book), as we will be trying only to please ourselves. Self referential humor, indecent content, and copious mentions of Wang will be permitted. Its the "no one is going to see it, so lets have fun with it" approach. Target audience is the AC community.

    Second, would be a formal effort to do a portfolio style book, where we attempt to produce best work for the world to see. The "world" being any poor sap who stumbles upon it. We would be linking to the book on other community sites we happen to frequent, our facebooks, and other places and people we visit often. This type of marketing would be decentralized, voluntary, and unregulated. Target audience would be "the internet art community and whoever else we happen to know". Self referential content would probably not be appropriate.

    Third way of doing it would be a a book tightly associated with Child's Play. There would be some sort of centralized marketing push using already existing PA channels, if Mike and Jerry approve of the project. If that is not available, we would still need people dedicated to spreading the word out in an organized and efficient manner. Content of the book would probably limited to things not offensive, overly dark, or niche. If this is a path we choose to pursue, we will have to establish contact with the Charity pretty early on in the project, and get publishing and money-flow details squared away. Target audience, to quote Gary Oldman, would be "eeeverryooooone!" The main objective of the project would be to make money for Child's Play.

    Yes, this might be over-thinking it a bit, and isnt all inclusive. But having an idea of what we want to do with this book could help a lot. So any ideas on what we want to do and for what audience?

    So we need to decide basically who are we making this book for, and how much work we are willing to put into it.

    Second thing that needs to be decided by 12/07/09 is the theme of the book:

    It has been suggested that photo books are usually more interesting when all the content adheres to a pre-established conceptual theme. Since photographers participating in this project are of disparate skill and focus on different types of photography, it would be best to come up with a vague and accommodating theme, that could encompass all the skills and niches of our group.

    I believe that the theme of water was suggested in the Photo thread.

    I think we could go one step further, and set the theme to something conceptualizing conflict, contrast or nature of opposite elements. Photos would be by nature of this subject matter very active, and hopefully compelling. And this theme could be shown by single frames or diptychs, with all possible subject matter: architecture, landscapes, portraits, macros, event photography etc, if one is willing to get creative enough.

    Anyways, please suggest themes you think would work best for our diverse group, and if you have no suggestions, please declare which theme you would be most interested in working with.

    So in conclusion:

    SHIT THAT NEEDS TO BE DONE BY 12/07/09:

    1) decide who we are making the book for and why

    2) decide on the conceptual theme of the book

    muninn on
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I don't think 3) is a viable option given how late into the annual toy drive we conceived of the project.

    2) seems like a nice compromise between supporting the charity, have fun while shooting for it and ending up with a useful product. It allows for the selection of themes entirely unrelated to the charity and makes for much less work when marketing the thing.

    1) doesn't sound like it would produce much interest for anyone who isn't shooting for the book.

    Dark Moon on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    3) Child's Play is accepting donations throughout the year, I think (I could be wrong). But getting the book out before the main drive is done is pretty much impossible.

    2) This is my favorite option.

    1) Indeed, but I am not sure how serious the contributors want to be and what their aspirations are. It could be that we just want to celebrate our community, and satisfy our vanity at the same time.

    Also, I have been thinking that if everything goes well and without too much drama, and we actually get a book out, we could do this on an annual basis. It would be a nice way to see the progress we make. But its definitely not something we need to think about right now.

    muninn on
  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    They accept contributions throughout the year, but the only sensible time to sell a book supporting it would be during the main toy drive when there's lots of media coverage. People would lose interest if the timeline is stretched over an entire year and keeping the current timeline but delaying release for almost a full year would suck. This might also make the book a bit more of a chore than we want - volunteers will only accept minor inconveniences before quitting a project (especially since the original pitch for this project had the "donate profits to Child Play" as an afterthought).

    Dark Moon on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    They accept contributions throughout the year, but the only sensible time to sell a book supporting it would be during the main toy drive when there's lots of media coverage. People would lose interest if the timeline is stretched over an entire year and keeping the current timeline but delaying release for almost a full year would suck. This might also make the book a bit more of a chore than we want - volunteers will only accept minor inconveniences before quitting a project (especially since the original pitch for this project had the "donate profits to Child Play" as an afterthought).

    You have a good point.
    Also trying to gain support of the juggernaut known as Child's Play without having any previous experience in putting out a book, might not be the best idea.

    muninn on
  • CycophantCycophant Registered User
    edited November 2009
    First of all, I'd like to throw my hat into the project. I may be inexperienced, but I'm itching to try out my new camera and get back into taking photos.

    My vote is for Option #2. I agree that #3 would be nice if we'd started this earlier, but it seems a bit late in the Child's Play fundraiser to try and tag along with it. #1 is always an option, but I'd be a lot happier if we went with a slightly broader appeal.

    As for themes...well, I'm not much for suggestions on that front. Though I agree with DarkMoon; something like water somewhat screws over those of us locked up in snow and ice. But I like the idea of picking a purposefully-vague subject matter that gives every photographer a chance to show their "take" on the idea.

    Cycophant on
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  • Dark MoonDark Moon Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    My proposal for a theme is "Aging". It:
    -Leads to inherently polarized content, depending on whether a photographer explores youth or seniority or the process itself (change over time).
    -Can be interpreted universally and is easily applied to any photographic niche (landscapers: old growth forest or canyons created by millions of years of erosion, portrait people can simply shoot subjects while highlighting their age, macro people living vs dead flowers)
    -Not terribly topical. "Our changing world" showcases an important topic but has been done to death and back.

    My inspiration: WNYC Radiolab segment on how a family deals with watching their grandfather die slowly and painfully using photography. About 10 minutes long and totally worth your time (as is the entire Radiolab series).

    Unrelated to that, but I think the book should be either entirely B&W or entirely colour photographs. B&W has the advantage of being cheaper to print (assumed, perhaps I'm wrong) and making the content far more homogenous - colour treatments and level of saturation can vary hugely from photographer to photographer and make it exceptionally clear that this is a compilation rather than the work of a single shooter. On the other hand, some scenes do look much better in colour. Thoughts?

    Dark Moon on
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  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    My proposal for a theme is "Aging". It:
    -Leads to inherently polarized content, depending on whether a photographer explores youth or seniority or the process itself (change over time).
    -Can be interpreted universally and is easily applied to any photographic niche (landscapers: old growth forest or canyons created by millions of years of erosion, portrait people can simply shoot subjects while highlighting their age, macro people living vs dead flowers)
    -Not terribly topical. "Our changing world" showcases an important topic but has been done to death and back.

    Unrelated to that, but I think the book should be either entirely B&W or entirely colour photographs. B&W has the advantage of being cheaper to print (assumed, perhaps I'm wrong) and making the content far more homogenous - colour treatments and level of saturation can vary hugely from photographer to photographer and make it exceptionally clear that this is a compilation rather than the work of a single shooter. On the other hand, some scenes do look much better in colour. Thoughts?

    Concerning costs of color vs. B&W photography, for the most there is no difference when it comes to POD. I have been scouting around for a publisher suitable for our needs (topic scheduled for next week's discussion), and it seems that printing processes for photography dont differentiate between color and black and white.
    As for the thematic cohesion a single type of photograph could bring to the book, I dont think it is worth the inconvenience. Certain things look better in color than monochrome, and vice versa, and not all contributors could be equally proficient in both mediums.
    Also, I did not think that we would be trying to disguise the fact that the book is a collaboration of different photographers. It is something we should celebrate, in my mind, rather than hide away. We are a bunch of strangers scattered around the US (the world) that are making something cool together.

    But on the other hand I have been fascinated by a semi-regular japanese photo magazine/book by the name of Orinokimi, which is produced under the fictional name of a single made-up photographer. The names of the actual photographers are listed at the end of each issue, but no individual photo is specified to any particular creator. This kind of homogeneity through anonymity and brand creation has been on my mind a lot lately.

    muninn on
  • SublimusSublimus Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Oh boy! This sounds pretty cool!

    God speed, sirs! (and any potential ladies involved.)

    Sublimus on
  • FlayFlay Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I'm not sure I qualify to be included in this, but I'm greatly interested nonetheless.

    I haven't read everything in this thread (will do so sometime soon), but as for a theme... I'm thinking it might be a good idea to consider what defines the AC community; why we're here, what we have in common etc... This is similar to muninn's suggestion, I know, but we can use this as a source for themes. 'Community' would be the obvious one, but perhaps a bit trite. We could go further, 'connections' (the internet), 'creativity', 'improvement' and so on.

    Otherwise, I think an abstract concept or description might suggest more varied and creative interpretations than a definite thing. For example, instead of 'water' it could be 'flow'.

    Flay on
  • FlyingmanFlyingman Registered User
    edited November 2009
    Tickle me interested, I'd love to submit some work for this.

    Ageing sounds like a good theme, I mean it's broad enough that there should be some variety in it's portrayl.

    Flyingman on
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  • CokebotleCokebotle 穴掘りの Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I'd be interested in helping out, if I could. I know I still need a lot of work, though. >.<

    Cokebotle on
    工事中
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited November 2009
    I am interested in potentially submitting picture(s) for this book idea. Please mark me down as a possible/probable contributor.

    erisian pope on
  • JAmp5JAmp5 Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Good stuff Dark :D:^:

    Just going to post some quick opinions and ideas before I leave the house, I'll look through some work and collaborative books later on and write something more concise.

    First of all I think the idea of ageing is a great one. It ties in with Child's Play perfectly, if we are able to support them given the time constraints. There are a myriad of different approaches we could take with the topic even so far as to make a project about children in hospital but using another subject as a metaphor (using landscape photography or whatever nothing too literal) or something completely unrelated using only the theme as inspiration.

    Another benefit of this and similar themes is that it is an ethereal enough concept to give us space to work in and plenty of freedom. Photographs that are too literal and quick to read are too easily skipped over, we need this book to be concise enough to be understood by the majority of our target audience but deep enough, to give those of us that want to, some complexity in our images (also giving a certain credibility to the book among more specialist audiences).

    We are going to have a pretty varied audience whatever way we choose to market the book so I think it's great that we have many different photographers shooting for many different reasons in a variety of genres.

    JAmp5 on
  • anableanable Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I'm down to contribute and have no strong feelings on any specific theme. One thing I do want to mention though is that with all the talk of selling this book, I hope no one is getting their hopes up too high. If we sell even 10 copies to someone that isn't a forumer or our mom, it will be pretty amazing. POD books have an incredibly low sell rate. I think it's more realistic to see this as a test round for something we could more seriously tie into Child's Play next year.


    Also:
    Dark Moon wrote: »
    My inspiration: WNYC Radiolab segment on how a family deals with watching their grandfather die slowly and painfully using photography. About 10 minutes long and totally worth your time (as is the entire Radiolab series).

    A man after my heart. Radiolab is probably the best syndicated show in existence currently.

    anable on
  • gogglesgoggles Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    Thinking about theme ideas technology immediately comes to mind. We're all on this forum because our interests are wrought with technology.
    Buy it, use it, break it, fix it,
    Trash it, change it, mail - upgrade it,
    Charge it, pawn it, zoom it, press it,
    Snap it, work it, quick - erase it,
    Write it, cut it, paste it, save it,
    Load it, check it, quick - rewrite it,
    Plug it, play it, burn it, rip it,
    Drag and drop it, zip - unzip it,
    Lock it, fill it, call it, find it,
    View it, code it, jam - unlock it,
    Surf it, scroll it, pause it, click it,
    Cross it, crack it, switch - update it,
    Name it, rate it, tune it, print it,
    Scan it, send it, fax - rename it,
    Touch it, bring it, Pay it, watch it,
    Turn it, leave it, start - format it.

    goggles on
  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    could the theme be 'childsplay' ? That's vastly open to interpretation.

    Jake! on
  • gogglesgoggles Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I actually like the sound of that.

    Anything ranging from actual shots of kids, to images of playthings, or even just capturing the idea of "play."

    Heck, why not just "play?"

    goggles on
  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited November 2009
    I feel that the idea of just "play" would be much more accommodating, than "childsplay".

    muninn on
  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I think the opposite.

    Play is simultaneously too simple, in that its a nothing theme, whilst also being too singular.

    Childsplay can literally encompasses play, while also allowing for more abstract themes, and encompass the photographic process (both in easy shots - 'taking this was childsplay', and effortless ones - 'made it look like childsplay'). Obviously it also neatly ties in with the charity without restricting us to kids and videogames.

    Jake! on
  • MuncieMuncie Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Oooh ooh I wanna be a WHO.

    Muncie on
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Man, guys, this is a great idea

    :^:

    Sheri on
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited December 2009
    You gonna do it, Sheri? (and good to see ya - now post some photos in the appropriate thread... stat!)

    erisian pope on
  • SonicSonic Absentee Landlord Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Say, this is cool idea. I'd like to go ahead and throw my hat in the registration ring if you'll have me.

    Sonic on
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I have a hard time seeing how "childsplay" as a theme could work for landscapes or nature photos in general unless we accept pretty esoteric and tenuous connections between picture and theme. I like the theme idea of "aging" better for this reason. Jake, your examples are the kind of thing I mean. While those sentences could be used to explain how the picture relates to the theme, I cannot envision how a picture could convey those ideas if the photographer was not standing there to state the sentence directly. I think the idea of a theme works better if the pictures can illustrate the theme to the audience without explanation. I don't think it necessarily has to be so explicit that the audience sees the theme as being spelled out in the image, but I cold describe a photo to you from most any genre you choose that encompasses "aging" in such a way that a book filled with the disparate styles still has some amount of an underlying connective thread, and I don't think I can do so with "childsplay."

    Still, this is just my $0.02 and maybe nature photogs (like me) need to stretch ourselves more than we are used to to try to fit the more abstract theme.

    erisian pope on
  • bombardierbombardier Moderator mod
    edited December 2009
    "Aging" theme :^:
    "Childsplay" theme :v:

    bombardier on
  • ProspicienceProspicience The Raven King DenvemoloradoRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    bombardier wrote: »
    "Aging" theme :^:
    "Childsplay" theme :v:

    Prospicience on
  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    bombardier wrote: »
    "Aging" theme :^:
    "Childsplay" theme :v:

    muninn on
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    You gonna do it, Sheri? (and good to see ya - now post some photos in the appropriate thread... stat!)

    I'm not sure I'm eligible, I haven't exactly been around much lately. :P

    Also I always thought a first book should be a generic compilation. 'A Few Of Our Favorite Things,' so to speak. Then you get specific.

    But what do I know!

    Sheri on
  • Jake!Jake! Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    I'm not saying it has to be childsplay, but I think no theme is better than something as generic as play or ageing.

    Jake! on
  • muninnmuninn Registered User regular
    edited December 2009
    Sheri wrote: »
    You gonna do it, Sheri? (and good to see ya - now post some photos in the appropriate thread... stat!)


    Also I always thought a first book should be a generic compilation. 'A Few Of Our Favorite Things,' so to speak. Then you get specific.

    But what do I know!

    Initially I thought of doing this book as a general showcase. Each participant would get a number of pages they could fill any way they wanted, as long as their "chapter" had internal consistency. But then you guys got all ambitious with themes and stuff :P

    muninn on
  • SheriSheri Resident Fluffer My Living RoomRegistered User regular
    edited December 2009
    muninn wrote: »
    Sheri wrote: »
    You gonna do it, Sheri? (and good to see ya - now post some photos in the appropriate thread... stat!)


    Also I always thought a first book should be a generic compilation. 'A Few Of Our Favorite Things,' so to speak. Then you get specific.

    But what do I know!

    Initially I thought of doing this book as a general showcase. Each participant would get a number of pages they could fill any way they wanted, as long as their "chapter" had internal consistency. But then you guys got all ambitious with themes and stuff :P

    Oh

    See I am not ambitious

    And I think a showcase is a rad idea

    Sheri on
  • erisian popeerisian pope Registered User
    edited December 2009
    I like the showcase idea, too.

    erisian pope on
  • CycophantCycophant Registered User
    edited December 2009
    Showcase doesn't seem like a bad idea actually. I'd say it fits better for our first attempt at a photo book; going with a theme is something we could try once we've achieved our first success, maybe as a tie-in to Child's Play next year.

    The other advantage of going with a showcase is that it would really illustrate the different styles and techniques of our userbase. Right away you'd be able to tell who's photos were Jakes, or CC's, or Uncle Longs, without even looking at the photographer info.

    One technical detail I just thought of; should we be limiting people to one particular orientation? As much as I'd hate to limit folks, I worry that having to randomly tip and rotate the book to whichever orientation the specific photo was shot at might get a bit annoying.

    Cycophant on
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