Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Solo Photo Book Month

First there was National Novel Writing Month, where (as the title implies) you write an entire novel from start to finish in one month. For people who have a problem doing a project without a deadline, this is perfect. Now for photographers, there’s Solo Photo Book Month. The idea is the same: complete a photography project, do any writing that’s needed, and make a book out of it in one month’s time, or 31 days. So many photographers never get around to doing a book. We might have exhibits or portfolios, but there’s something different about a book of your own images.

The specifics are doable for most people. The month is actually kind of loose. It’s any 31 consecutive days during May or June, so you plan around your own schedule. So you must start on or after May 1st and the book must be completed by June 30th. You need at least 35 images—usually, the projects work better if they’re of a single subject and every image needs to be shot in this 31 day period. Of course, you can do the planning ahead of time. The nice thing about this is that you don’t have to produce a physical book of images, just a PDF version of it. You can read all the specifics about the event here.

This is a great way to focus your efforts and output. It might even be the beginning of a real printed book, even if you publish it yourself on Blurb or Lulu as print-on-demand. That’s what I plan to do. Or it could be an excellent way to jumpstart a new long term project. Give this some thought and give it a try. If nothing else, it’ll be a lot of fun. But remember, since we’re in May already, you better get started soon. Check out the Solo Photo Book Month website for all the info you need to get going and to see examples from last year’s participants. I'm planning to do this as well, so as I work on it, I'll give you updates on the project's progress.

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