I know that, like many photographers, I struggle to talk about my process without meandering into dangerous territory. I know that this is vanity-publishing, but sometimes you just have to make a book. This is my third and it covers a period in my practice where I believe I’ve moved from one stage to another in my photographic journey.
Consisting of personal work from the last six years (the period since my last anthology) it includes nearly 200 images that mark a transition between that of technically proficient, to that of practitioner. While I have always strived to make ‘good’ work, during this period my understanding of ‘good’ has evolved.
From the preface:
The ‘lesser works’ referred to by the title are those pictures in a series that were overshadowed by others taken at the same time. When one image becomes emblematic of an event, the others become bit players. Some of these emblems have lost their meaning or had it altered by their transformation into ‘big-hitters’. (The greatest hits that are here are here because I love them, and because they have managed to retain their original pathos). Some of these images aren’t strong enough to stand alone, but they gain strength when viewed as part of a collection. They are bolstered by the camaraderie of a mutual presentation and are here to (hopefully) create a sense of a uniting eye.
In the past when I’ve constructed a portfolio I’ve printed my ‘best’ photographs in the largest photobooks that I can. I use the poshest paper I can afford. If this were a hand-stitched collection of C-type prints, the tonal relationships, the depth of the blacks, the feel and finish of the paper would all add to the experience; but probably for an audience of one. Lesser Works is my divorce from the dream of creating a Steidl Monograph.
It has been nice to engage with my archive, and I’m proud of the body work that I’ve started to build. Now that the book is finished I find myself ready to move on. I’m reminded of a friend of mine who, upon completing an album, announced his intention never to listen to it, and his disinclination to play the music contained within it live ever again. In his words “it Is done”.
I don’t expect to sell many (if any) but it is available to order through blurb.co.uk, should you be so inclined.
It is important to mark one’s progress and to use past work as the meter. This is after all a journey of many stages, and this is where I am.