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December 21st, 2009

12 Hot Thoughts on the Future of Photobooks

Posted by liveBooks

Since FlakPhoto’s Andy Adams and I put out our call for posts on the Future of Photobooks a few weeks ago, more than 40 bloggers have shared their insights. You can find them all, plus lots of additional comments and two new posts, about DIY book printers and the Future of Photobooks Twitter chat, on our resource page.

Having received such a positive response, Andy and I are developing a more organized and collaborative discussion style for the next stage of this project (look for details just after the holidays). Plus, we want to give everyone extra time to check out the great stuff our collaborating bloggers have shared. So for the next two weeks, we’ll be sharing our favorite links from all the Future of Photobooks posts.

Not surprisingly, we’ve collected long lists of interesting small publishers and publications. But we thought we’d start with some innovative ideas that didn’t fit easily into categories. Check below for interesting projects, publishing revolutionaries, and books that are way outside the box.

What Is A Book, Anyway?

1. This is a physical book that you read by taking a photo of it with your cameraphone, which converts an abstract digital image into words, which update automatically every week from a keyword search on Twitter. Get it? Just watch the video. We promise, it’s cool. (via Jonathan Worth)

2. A country road. A tree. Evening is a “film in progress” art project installed on a digital tablet and sold through a gallery. Is it a book? Is it art? Is it even physical or digital? We love anything without easy answers to those kinds of questions. (via Harlan Erskine)

3. J Sandifer pointed to Rick Smolan’s Obama Timecapsule as an interesting trend: “So a pro will publish a book with their works and allow the consumer to add their take on the subject and print the book with the combined photos included.”

Who Says Traditional Books Are Boring?

4. Check out this great video of Kathleen Walkup, head of the book art program at Mills College, showing revolutionary designs from famous bookmaking artists.

5. One of the books Kathleen shares was made by Claire Van Vliet, a fine artist, illustrator, and typographer who founded Janus Press, which produces original, handmade book artworks.

6. She also highlights Julie Chen, who established Flying Fish Press, which creates books that “combine the quality and craftsmanship of traditional letterpress printing with the innovation and visual excitement of contemporary non-traditional book structures.” (all three via Amy Stein)

7. Japan’s influence on photography and photo books is undeniable, and to understand it you have to know Shōji Yamagishi, the editor of the influential Japanese photography magazine Camera Mainichi from 1963 until 1978.  (via Marc Feustel)

New Ways To See Art/Books

8. ABC Artists’ Books Cooperative, an online network that distributes individuals’ Print-On-Demand art books. (via Nathalie Belayche)

9. Dr. Karanka’s Print Stravaganza, a roaming guerilla photography show. (via Bryan Formhals)

10. Japan Exposures, “a personal introduction to Japanese photography” in the form of a blog and online store. (via Stacy Oborn)

11. The International Foto Book Festival, taking place in Kassel in May 2010 for the third year, and PhotoBook Days 2010 in Hamburg, which will open in June 2010 for the first time. (via Nathalie Belayche)

Lots More Links

12. And finally, a link post within a link post? We know…how meta. But coming from Alec Soth and detailing book sellers, publishers, and great DIY books, we just couldn’t help it.

Please add your thoughts and cool links in the comments. And check back soon for more Future of Photobooks posts!


  1. December 21st, 2009 at 11:44 am

    uberVU - social comments

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by liveBooks: 12 Top Links from our Future of Photobooks project. – Fascinating videos and a massive book resource from Alec Soth…

  2. December 21st, 2009 at 12:59 pm

    12 Hot Thoughts on the Future of Photobooks | RESOLVE | The Click

    […] Since FlakPhoto’s Andy Adams and I put out our call for posts on the Future of Photobooks a few weeks ago, more than 40 bloggers have shared their insights. You can find them all in our original post, plus lots of additional comments, and two new posts, about DIY book printers and the Future of Photobooks Twitter chat. […]

  3. December 22nd, 2009 at 3:48 am


    G.R.E.A.T. project y'all! Thanks for the eye opening examples!

  4. December 23rd, 2009 at 2:56 am


    Can you guide on a high definition review website. I got this from my friend looks ok

    High definition camera


  5. December 24th, 2009 at 5:49 pm

    Becky Christensen

    I have found that creating and or publishing a photobook or "storybooking" as we call it – as Personal Heritage Makers Consultants – can and is done very easily with our Studio 3.0 – simply by creating an account – uploading your photos, choose the size and kind of product you want to create and publish. I would like to invite any to contact me or visit my website – for more information. Have a great Christmas! Our goal is always to put a "story" under every tree. Everyone has a Story, and there is a Story behind every picture! Photos are for capturing a moment in time…… our history, our stories and our legacies……Heritage Makers, is a company committed to helping people celebrate their stories through a powerful online personal publishing tool called Studio.

    Check out these YouTube Video –

  6. December 27th, 2009 at 8:03 pm

    books about roullete

    Thank you for this valuable post. It changed my way

  7. December 29th, 2009 at 3:04 am


    Премного благодарен за то что просветили, выводы сответственные обязательно сделаем. ;)

  8. December 29th, 2009 at 4:26 pm


    “Побольше бы таких статей”

  9. December 30th, 2009 at 5:51 am

    Александр Степанович

    вы смотрели как, Железнодорожник победил Спартак ?! был классный матч ! :D

  10. January 4th, 2010 at 3:10 pm


    Но наступает время отрезвленья,

  11. January 4th, 2010 at 11:00 pm


    где-то я уже такое видел…

  12. January 5th, 2010 at 3:51 am


    Автор молодец, правда я нашёл несколько грамматических ошибок в тексте…

  13. January 6th, 2010 at 2:03 pm


    Действия не всегда приносят счастье, но не бывает счастья без действия. – Б. Дизраэли

  14. January 6th, 2010 at 10:57 pm


    Автор молодец, правда я нашёл несколько грамматических ошибок в тексте…

  15. January 7th, 2010 at 7:42 am


    Очень интересно… если бы еще и правда была))

  16. January 12th, 2010 at 3:05 pm

    Business Plan

    I added your blog to bookmarks. And i’ll read your articles more often! "Small Business Plan"

  17. January 30th, 2010 at 10:17 am

    苏菲独立书店 My Own Indie Bookstore » 家庭手工印刷及出版手册

    […] 09年12月份,对于独立出版影像书的爱好者们来说是一个值得纪念的月份。整个月的博客文章都是由livebooks和flak photo发起的跨博讨论(cross-blog discussion about the future of photobooks publication),关于未来十年影像书的出版展望和众多事宜。在这些讨论中,其中涉及到了可供大家选择的小型印刷工作室(small printers)。 […]

  18. January 30th, 2010 at 10:14 pm

    12 Hot Thoughts on the Future of Photobooks | RESOLVE — the …

    […] View post: 12 Hot Thoughts on the Future of Photobooks | RESOLVE — the … […]

  19. May 12th, 2010 at 12:10 pm

    harlan erskine * photography/blog» Blog Archive » Tuesday’s Art Photo Tweetchat – continuing the discussion on the Photobook. UPDATE

    […] A few interesting posts have been written since last week.Catch up with this round up on Livebooks Blog:12 Hot Thoughts on the Future of Photobooks | RESOLVE – the liveBooks photo blog […]

  20. August 26th, 2012 at 5:39 am


    its a shame that certain crazy folks deicde that something as stupid as a simple photo is “kiddie porn”; guess that makes parents all over the world evil and criminals for their naked baby pictures!

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