Contextual Research | Photo Books

As the subject matter of my project begins to emerge I have begun to consider how I would disseminate my work. In response to this aspect of the project I am required to think about who the audience would be and how they would consume the project. In a previous post I have briefly considered the idea of an exhibition at the local football club. However the purpose of this post is to consider in further depth, the merit of producing photobook. And if so, begin to consider who the type of audience I am attepting to engage with in addition to considering the type of potobook that I would like to produce. Colberg, J (2017) makes some important distinction between these types of objects defining them into three different categories: Albums, catalogues and monographs. On first thought, each catogary described by Colberg has merits and potential regarding my project. The idea of an album style photo-book may lend itself well to my project in relation to a project which is about archiving fan images that are acquired. 

(2017: p2)  ‘Conceptually, a photography album is a very specific photo-book. It usually is made over time reflecting, say, person’s or family history. Its producer edits it by selecting some photographs over others. In all likelihood, an album mostly contains happier, noteworthy moments in life. in this sense, albums are items of personal propaganda.’ 

Colberg’s comments lend themselves well to the idea of creating a nostalgic football album. The book would conform to the idea of a type of ‘personal propaganda’ about the football club, fan images of groups of people, Christmas presents of new football kits being opened with the photographer storing scanned fan photographs on a website before selecting the most appropriate photographs to feature in a book.

Similarly, a catalogue may encompass the collecting and storing of images, however the presentation of this type of book may conform to a summary of the work produced throughout the project with less of an emphasis on an emotive theme such as happy memories or a narrative. 

On the subject of a monograph, a photobook of this nature would be heavily relient on the vision of the photographer using the mediums as a form of visual comminucaiton in order to convey a message with supporting text being subordinate to the photographs Colberg (2017). In engaging with this type of photobook, the work I produce would become central to the project with little or no participatory input. This would change the appeal to a potential audience moving it away from the ideas suggested above. 

Colberg, J (2017) Understanding Photo Books, tHE form and Content of the Photographic Book. London, Routledge. 

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