PHOTO books today | Symposium

Keynotes: Friday, February 6th, 7:30 pm  

Symposium: Saturday, February 7th,   9:00am - 5:30pm

Registration:                                                                                                                                     $80.00 general, $40.00 students with ID

Location:                                                                                                                          San Francisco Art Institute Lecture Hall
800 Chestnut Street
San Francisco, CA (at Jones Street) 



EVENT SOLD OUT!   Thank you!

Photographers have more options than ever before for presenting their work as a book – and meanwhile the notion of the photo book itself is changing, no longer bound by the limitations of the traditional monograph. There is a burgeoning market for photography in book form, with many new publishers, dealers, and gallery imprints serving a rapidly growing number of collectors. This symposium will address several issues of value to photographers and to anyone interested in photo books. Topics include:

· Building the photo book – conceptual and technical issues             Print on demand; high-end, crafted editions; digital editions and hybrid digital/print editions; finding collaborators; services for hire

· Finding and connecting with the audience                                             Dealers, distributors, collectors, libraries

· Photo-based artists’ books – thinking beyond the monograph                     What photographers can learn from book artists

· Publishing as a business and an art form                                               Conceiving, producing, and selling the book as a work of art

· The advantages and limitations of digital technology                             Issues of archivability; the promise of digital/print hybrid editions


      Keynote Presenters, Michael Light & Clifton Meador


Keynotes:  Friday February 6, 7:30pm

Michael Light and Clifton Meador

{Separate admission, free to symposium registrants}


Saturday, February 7

9:00 am to 5:30 pm



8:15am   Registration opens and coffee available

Lecture Hall

9:00-9:15 Introduction & overview - Steve Woodall

9:15-9:45  Photobook Publishing as a Collaborative Art Form- Tate Shaw


9:45-11:15 Panel One: Publishing Models

Speaker 1: Self-published / print-on-demand – Eileen Gittins

Speaker 2: Self-published small editions – Luis Delgado

Speaker 3: Working with a mainstream publisher - Toni Greaves and Bridget Watson Payne


11:15 – 12:45 Panel Two: From design concept to distribution

Speaker 1: Design considerations for the conventionally published book – Robert Aufuldish

Speaker 2: Artist's photo books: concepts, design, production, distribution ­­– Philip Zimmermann

Speaker 3: Working with photographers, starting an imprint – John DeMerritt



12:45 – 1:45 LUNCH BREAK


Lecture Hall

1:45-2:45 Round Table: Photo books and their audience

Dealers, publishers, librarians and collectors all have symbiotic parts to play in the life of the photo book. This far-ranging discussion will offer multiple perspectives to those who consider entering the arena.

Speakers:  John DeMerritt, Noah Lang, Cliford Meador and Steve Woodall


Studio 13, Studio 14, Studio 18, Studio 16,

2:45 – 4:15:  Breakout sessions, various studio rooms

Talking about books: presenters and small artist/publishers show and discuss their books.

At the tables:  Bob Aufuldish, Steven BrockJonathan Clark, Luis Delgado, John Demerritt, Toni Greaves, Jeff Gunderson, Kent Hall,                 Gary Hawkins, Sangyon Joo, Noah Lang, Michael Light, Clifton Meador, Sara Press, Saul Rosenfield, Tate Shaw, Liz Stekettee, Steve Woodall, Philip Zimmermann,  Ben Zlotkin



4:15 – 5:15 Reception



Bob Aufuldish is a partner in the design firm Aufuldish & Warinner and a professor at the California College of the Arts, where he has taught graphic design and typography since 1991.  With his firm, Bob has designed and produced a wide variety of projects for clients including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, the Fine Arts Museums of San Francisco, Nazraeli Press and the Aperture Foundation.

Steven Brock is a photographer and book artist living in San Francisco. In 2006-7 he lived in Italy where he studied traditional bookbinding with a master in Florence. He combines the latest inkjet printing with exquisite leather and canvas binding. His books demonstrate the feasibility of executing a project from concept to completion: photographing, editing, design, printing, and binding.

Luis Delgado is Publisher of Malulu Editions. His photographic work integrates narrative and sequential still images to create idea-driven content. His prints and artist books have been widely exhibited and are held by many museums, institutions and private collectors. His work, published through his own imprint, Malulu Editions, has won wide recognition internationally.

John DeMerritt has operated an independent custom bindery in Emeryville, CA, since 1995. Clients include Aperture Foundation, Apple Computer, Richard Barnes, Electric Works, Fine Art Museums of San Francisco, Fraenkel Gallery, Michael Light, David Maisel, Richard Misrach, Stanford University, and William Wiley. With his wife, Nora Pauwels, he has recently launched an imprint specializing in photo books, DeMerritt/Pauwels Editions.

Eileen Gittins is President and CEO of Blurb, a highly-successful self-publishing and marketing platform she founded in 2005. Today, Blurb has more than a million book producers creating 2.8 million unique book titles, and a global footprint that extends to more than 70 countries. She is a frequent speaker on the future of books, and a passionate lecturer on storytelling and the art of leadership.                                                                              

Toni Greaves is a documentary photographer based in Portland, Oregon, and working worldwide. Born and raised in Australia, she earned her MA in Visual Communication Design prior to graduating from the International Center of Photography in New York City. She has published widely, and is the recipient of many prestigious awards, including Grand Prize at the Palm Springs Photo Festival in 2012. Her first photographic monograph, Radical Love, will be published by Chronicle Books, Fall 2015.

Sangyon Joo is Director of Datz Press and the Datz Museum of Art, Seoul, Korea. Her work is focused primarily on fine art photography, promoting cross-cultural exchange between Korea and the United States. She received her BFA from Seoul National University and MFA in photography from the San Francisco Art Institute. Currently, she lives and works both in Seoul and New York.  

Michael Light is a San Francisco-based photographer, bookmaker, and pilot whose focus is the environment and how contemporary American culture relates to it. His work is concerned both with the politics of that relationship and the seductions of landscape representation, particularly as found in the arid Western spaces of America. He works with found appropriated imagery gleaned from public archives and his own 4 x 5" negatives, most often taken from the air. Visual books are at the root of most of his output.

Clifton Meador is Chair of the Department of Art at Appalachian State University in Boone, NC. He says: I make books: I make books that are intended to be seen as original works of art, not as collections of reproductions of art. This may seem like a pointless distinction, but when the author of a work has control of the final form of a work, then the piece of art is not a banal, commercial object, but something different, a real experience.

Bridget Watson Payne is the art book editor at renowned independent publisher Chronicle Books. With over ten years of experience in publishing, she has collaborated with hundreds of artists, photographers, designers, and illustrators to make their book ideas a beautiful reality. Her authors include Julia Rothman, Lisa Congdon, Danny Gregory, Toni Greaves, Rob Forbes, and Yoko Ono and brands such as Pantone, Marimekko, Ideo, and The Thing Quarterly. She is also the author of the photography books This is Happening: Life Through the Lens of Instagram and New York Jackie: Pictures from her Life in the City.

Tate Shaw is the Director of Visual Studies Workshop (VSW), Rochester, NY, a nonprofit organization supporting artists' books, photography, and the media arts. Shaw is also an Assistant Professor at The College at Brockport, State University of New York, where he directs the Master of Fine Arts program in Visual Studies at VSW. Shaw makes artists' books, writes essays, organizes symposia on books, and is co-publisher of the small imprint Preacher's Biscuit Books.

Steve Woodall, a PhotoAlliance board member, served as education and artistic director at the San Francisco Center for the Book from the time of its founding in 1996 until 2008, when he became Director of the Center for Book and Paper Arts at Columbia College Chicago. He has been an artist in residence at Xerox PARC, and is lead investigator for an NEA-supported research project, Expanded Artists' Books: Envisioning the Future of the Book. 

Philip Zimmermann, Professor of Art at the University of Arizona, has been creating artist’s books for more than 30 years through his imprint Spaceheater Editions. He is an accomplished designer, photographer and offset printer. About his chosen medium, he says: In addition to being a great vehicle for communicating directly to an audience, artists' books have the wonderful advantage of being time-based like video, animation and film. Static pictures on a wall seem an impoverished way of making an artistic statement after one works with sequence, rhythm, movement, translucency, and the narrative arc.


Direct and  in-kind support for this program comes from these generous organizations and businesses: