University: Nottingham Trent University
Statement: My photobook Work in Progress focuses on Lenton Industrial Estate and the surrounding area as it enters a period of transformation, with the Horizon factory closing in 2016 and a question mark hanging over the future of the site, as well as other units closing and converting to leisure facilities. The project considers the fact that in the past 30 years, the UK manufacturing industry has shrunk by two-thirds, the greatest de-industrialisation of any major nation. What next for Britain’s workforce?
What university did you attend and when did you graduate? I attended Nottingham Trent University and graduated with a first class honours degree in Photography in July 2016. I am currently studying Photography at postgraduate level at the same university.
What is your favourite photobook by another photographer? My favourite photobook by another photographer is On this Site by Joel Sternfeld. The layout and design of the book has inspired my own work, including the captions and other not photographic elements. Sternfeld’s form of documentary story telling informed my own version of walking across the land and taking snapshots of the various areas.
Direction: During my second year of university we were assigned a project to make a photobook and I really enjoyed the process of sequencing, designing and arranging a layout for a book. I prefer to work in series rather than individual images so the book format suited. I print my books through a local printer as the topic of my photobooks has been related to my home town of Nottingham. I self-publish my books through issuu.com to extend their reach, making minor edits so they’re better suited to online reading.
Considerations: As I mentioned, I prefer to work in series rather than individual images, so a book allows me to sequence and keep all the images together as opposed to prints. I use silk paper, heavy enough for quality prints yet not so heavy that the pages fall out of the book. I shoot everything in full colour, and for Work in Progress I used a wraparound image on the cover with white inset text. The book has a hard cover with a gloss finish the spine has my name and the project name so can be easily identified when on a bookcase.
Interior: The book opens with a title page, with a subheading, and goes onto a page of writing introducing the topic. Thereafter the books divided into chapters with each introductory page featuring a technical drawing and a small piece of information relating to the chapter topic e.g. Industry. Leisure, Business.
Within each chapter, each image was presented right justified on the right hand page of each spread,. As square images there was a lot of negative space around the image to isolate the image itself.
Inspiration: Inspiration and influences for this book came from a range of places. Joel Sternfeld’s series Walking the High Line and the process of walking through a landscape, the changing nature of a man made area, and the methodical documentation of said area. The inclusion of technical drawings within the publication came from my mother, who was a former draughtswoman. When exhibiting the book during the degree show festival and at Free Range London, the book was accompanied by my mother’s own drawings from buildings in the local area.
Advice and Future Goals: My main piece of advice would be to keep as much control in the process of bookmaking as you can. I designed my book myself in InDesign and by using a local printer, I was able to sit down with them and discuss every single detail, and was able to go and check on the books production at every stage to make sure there were no errors. Use services like issuu.com to reach a larger audience. Keep looking at other photobooks and find key elements that you like or think work really well. Don’t forget what your main intention is with the book and always keep that in mind when making it and deciding on how to present it.
Currently I’m studying for a masters degree in Commercial Photography whilst I work on a freelance basis. Work in Progress has helped me to get some paid work as a property photographer.