A new weekly online series, The Observers, showcases photobook favorites from photography's most prominent (and thoughtful) figures.
For the past few years, #photobooks have been one of the biggest subjects of conversation in the art photography community and beyond. Where a few major publishers once dominated, the democratization of self-publishing has helped many photographers and aspiring publishers take things into their own hands.
And at the end of each year – Humble included – nearly every blog, online magazine, or click-hungry content marketing super-engine predicably saddles up to produce a best-of list. But what happens during the rest of the year? Do photobooks of years past float in digital purgatory?
Building on the traditions of platforms like 10x10 Photobooks, The Indie Photobook Library, and Aperture's quarterly in-print Photobook Review enters The Observers, a weekly digest of photobook recommendations from luminaries like Alec Soth, Lauren Greenfield, and Martin Parr. Launched earlier this year, it's led by Paul Jun, CreativeMornings' wizardly head of content who only recently came to photography, but has absorbed it like a sponge, photographer and curator Wesley Verhoeve, and illustrator Jeffrey Phillips who's responsible for all the images in this feature. Together, they channel a unique angle on the photobook, breaking up the annual listicles into quick, yet engrossing weekly highlights, and give a longer shelf life to recommended reading.
Midway through "season one," I spoke with Paul to get insights on his new journey in the photo world, and what inspired it all.
Jon Feinstein in conversation with Paul Jun