‘My favourite Photobook’ exhibiiton

As part of the festivities Doug Spowart and Victoria Cooper are organising for World Photobook day in Brisbane, they are asking for participation from photobook lovers the world over. Here is how you can get involved…

Throughout the day at MAUD CREATIVE we will present an exhibition featuring the covers of the favourite photobooks selected by photographers from all over the country. Alongside the print of the photobook cover will be a ‘Why I like this book’ statement and a portrait of the photographer reading the book in their favourite place.

To participate in this exhibition all you need to do is contribute by sending to us the following:

  • A photo of your favourite photobook’s cover
  • A photo of you reading the book in a place special to you – in bed, a comfy chair, in the backyard under a tree, at work or in a bath!! (A photobook selfie)
  • A few words, a paragraph (or two) maybe, as to why you like this book

You can use any technology to make the photos and any style or no-style – keep it as simple or as complex as you like.

We will print out these photos and your statement and Blu-tacked to the gallery wall for the duration of the World Photobook Day’s activities. This material may also be formed into a print-on-demand photobook as a record of the event. The book cover images may be selected for inclusion in a photobook-making project that will take place on the day. Some images and texts may be used on social media to celebrate the event.

Should you accept our invitation we will need:

  • Your book cover and portrait photos
  • JPEGS @ 300ppi, compression ‘8’
  • Image size around 13x18cm
  • The text file can be a Microsoft Word or a text file written into the email

Email images and text to <> by Sunday, October 11, 2015.  

Cheers , Doug


The Natural Collection at the Monash Gallery of Art

I am really excited to announce that the Photobook Club’s ‘Natural Collection’ which now includes over 40 books, will be heading to the Monash Gallery of Art in Australia to be displayed as part of the ‘Light Reading’ exhibition and in conjunction with Photobook Melbourne.

nat_col_montage1The show, which celebrates the relationship between reading and photography will run until 1st March 2015. The Natural Collection will be available to see (and touch and read!) from mid January onwards but an exact date will be posted shortly.


Thanks to all who have submitted work so far to the collection, to co-curator Lucy Johnson who I have worked on this project with and to Stephanie Richter of the Monash Gallery for the collection invitation.

Before more information is available, here are a few images from the collection…



Natural Collection: 

Light Reading Exhibition: 

Photobook Melbourne Festival: 


Rock Your Dummy – Open Call

Following on from the huge success of last year’s ‘Le Photobook Fest’ and the inaugural ‘Rock Your Dummy’ contest, the competition is running again this year so get the low down below from the organisers of lephotobookfest.

Rock Your Dummy!  is  an open call for dummies to support and showcase the work of photobook makers from all over the world.

The Rock Your Dummy! award aims to help a photographer to realise and publish its photobook dummy. Maria Books, the latest publishing project of Le PhotobookFest, will work hand to hand with the photographer to launch the book with a special event in Arles 2015.

The exhibition will be presented during all the festival and hosted at L’Ancienne Imprimerie/Picture Tank, 19 rue Bisson 75020 Paris.

“The dummy is a work in progress but also a significant waymark on the route to publication in one form or another. It seemed appropriate that while we look to celebrate the beauty of the dummy as an artefact in it’s own right, we should also acknowledge it as a work yet to be fully realised and so seek to support it’s author in that realisation.” 
Matt Johnson, 
Founder of The Photobook Club

•    Rock Your Dummy Award :
 All selected photobook dummies in the exhibition will run for the “Rock Your Dummy Award”. One winner will be selected by the main jury (to be announced soon) at Le PhotobookFest awards presentation on Sunday 16 november. The winner of the “Rock Your Dummy Award” gets the opportunity to publish a book with Maria Books (more details soon).

•    Box of Dummies Award :
 As a result of the public vote,  a dummy will be selected to be included in the “Box of Dummies“, a traveling showcase through the branches of the Photobook Club network all over the world -
More infos about the Box Of Books project

“Winning Rock your dummy! contest in 2013 was a great and exciting experience. My book Did we ever meet? got a lot of exposure and has been since exhibited in Europe and Russia. I got a chance to talk about the dummy with experts from the book business. I’ve reedited it to be able to self-publish it independently and do the whole process from printing to binding at home. Thank you so much guys, and good luck to all the contestants this year!!”
Lena Kholkina, Winner of the Rock Your Dummy Award

“I took part in the first edition of Le Photobookfest with my dummy “Dispersal”, I got an honorable mention, and I must confess it took me by surprise. I regret I wasn’t even there when they announced it, cause the atmosphere was at the same time cool, relaxed, and perfect to share books and ideas. A little gem in Paris Photo frenzy. Suddenly, my “book” (which looks more like a box) got noticed, it drew attention, and I could hear feedbacks and comments. I am sure it is also because of Le Photobookfest that it is now almost sold out, and I wish to be part again of this cool new baby among festivals!”
Arianna Sanesi, Honorable Mention,


Conditions :
We are particularly keen to receive, showcase and support mock-up and hand-crafted dummies !

– Your dummy must be the maquette of an unpublished book.
– No electronic version accepted.
– Open to all ! No age or nationality limits.
– The shipping fees (go and return) are at your cost.
– Send your complete name & address, email + name of the book + year of making
– You agree that your dummy will be manipulated by hundreds of people and might be a bit damaged (the price to pay for success 🙂 ).

Deadline for submission is October 30th 2014

Send your dummy to :
Emilie Hallard / Picturetank
19 rue Bisson
75020 Paris – France

Please email us for more info at

Our Web :

Find us on Facebook :


Coventry and Medellin: An Image Exchange

Over the last ten weeks or so, some of my students from Coventry University have been connected with Tom Griggs’ students in Medellin, Colombia. The image exchange was designed to connect locations, perspective and ideas between students on two continents and is an open project viewable by the following blogs…

Exchange 1
(featuring Kat Ullman and Natalia Lopera)

Exchange 2
(featuring Lucy Bartlett and Margarita Valdivieso)

Exchange 3
(featuring Imogen Wall and Andrés Sanchez)

Exchange 4
(featuring Stephen Ma and Edwin Ochoa)

Exchange 5
(featuring Tom Tierney and Juliana Henao Alcaraz)

Exchange 6
(featuring Jonny Bark and Mónica Lorenza Taborda)

Exchange 7
(featuring Jess Bell and Alba Bran)

A curated selection of work can be seen below and a separate collection from Tom is viewable on the fototazo site here.

We exchange emails and talk frequently through Facebook and have bounced ideas off one another and have learned so much from just seeing the work that was being exchanged.

– Stephen Ma

Stephen Ma
Edwin Ochoa
Natalia Lopera
Imogen Wall
Kat Ullman
Stephen Ma
Jess Bell
Mónica Lorenza Taborda
Lucy Bartlett
Alba Bran
Juliana Henao Alcaraz
Andrés Sánchez Muñoz

Cosecha 2014 Harvest

An open call for photobook dummies from our friends in Madrid…

We are very happy to organize once again a special session we call cosecha 2014 (harvest 2014) in which we would like participants to share the dummies of the photobooks in which they have been working this year. We would like to celebrate recent work, not old projects. It doesn’t matter if the book has been published or not, we are interested in the dummies. This year the session is organized with the Library and Documentation Centre of the Reina Sofía Museum in Madrid, Spain, and the La Central bookshop in the Reina Sofía Museum.

Save the date: July 15, 2014

There are two ways to participate. If you want to participate in person, please send an email before July 13 with your name, contact information, and whether you will bring a book dummy or not. We have only 45 places so we will give priority to those with book dummies. Alternatively, if you can’t come to the meeting, you can send the book dummy by post. In that case, contact us for details.

In September, those who wish can participate in a dummy exhibition at the La Central bookshop in the Reina Sofía Museum.

We leave you with pictures of last year’s meeting and exhibition.

Date: July 15
Registration: before July 13
Library and Documentation Centre
Reina Sofía Museum
Nouvel Building
Ronda de Atocha, intersection with Plaza del Emperador Carlos V
Subway: L1: Atocha

Image: Paysanne hongroise récoltant du raisin, Agence de presse Mondial Photo-Presse, 1932
Source: Bibliothèque nationale de France, département Estampes et photographie, EI-13 (2970)


Scopio Photobook Contest + Riga Workshop

The folks at Scopio have initiated a photobook contest with a theme that both sets a guide and gives freedom for exploration and perhaps destruction. You can find all the relevant details by clicking on the image below.

In other news there is a great workshop in Riga as part of Riga Photomonth – it is an artist’s book workshop and is run over 5 days, led by photobook designer Nico Baumgarten. A similar workshop was run last year, you can check out some of the results here. You can find all the details by hiting the image or see the direct message from the ISSP below it…

SSP and Riga Photomonth 2014 invite applications to ARTIST’S BOOK WORKSHOP with photographer and bookmaker Nico Baumgarten (DE)! The workshop will take place on 3-7 May 2014 as part of Riga Photomonth programme.

This time, we invite photographers as well as illustrators, graphic artists and other creatives with projects ready for presentation in form of a book to apply!
The dummies produced during the workshop shall be featured as part of SELF PUBLISH RIGA exhibition in May 2013.

Nico has lead a bookmaking workshop in Riga last spring and proved to be an amazing teacher. The results can be seen here:

The workshop will host 12 participants, selected based on applications.  Application deadline: 1 April.

The workshop is supported by Riga 2014, State Culture Capital foundation, Goethe Institut in Riga, AS Antalis and Hewlett-Packard. Information support: FK Magazine, FOLD, kim? Contemporary Arts Centre, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art.

More information and applications:

NB! We’d like to remind that your existing dummies and self-published trial editions (up to 50 copies) can be submitted to SELF PUBLISH RIGA contest and exhibition till 20 April! Info –

Should you have any questions, please write to or

Yours with spring greetings,



Self Publish Riga Launches!

I am chuffed to be a part of this awesome celebration of printed photobookworks that will take place in Riga, latvia this May. ‘Self Publish Riga’ is part of Riga Photomonth 2014 and will be a really vibrant event running from 3rd – 11th May. Alongside a lineup of speakers and workshops there is an opportunity to submit a dummy to their competition in which first prize will be a free ISSP workshop! All the details for now can be found below so check it out and head over to the website for more info. 

Note: coming soon on the PBC will be a wee conversation about the dummy and it’s new found fame/recognition.

Dear friends and photobook lovers!

ISSP in cooperation with Riga Photo Month 2014 invite submissions for the SELF PUBLISH RIGA international book dummy and self-published photobook contest.

The contest welcomes all projects realized within the medium of photography and presented in the form of a self-published book or book dummy. 
Submission deadline: 20 April (delivery date!). Submissions are free of charge. 


More information:  



The Jury: All entries to the contest will be judged by an international jury:

Markus Schaden (founder, Schaden publishing house, DE)
Teun van der Heijden (photobook designer, NL)
Ania Nalecka (photo book designer, PL)
Matt Johnston (founder of the Photobook Club, UK)
Juris Petraškēvics (professor, Art Academy of Latvia)
Nico Baumgarten (photographer and bookmaker, DE).

Awards and Exposure: The shortlisted books will take part in the SELF PUBLISH RIGA exhibition in May 2014. The winner of the contest will attend an ISSP 2014 workshop of their choice free of charge. The three best entries will receive individual porfolio reviews with the Jury members. Top ten books will receive a special feature promoted by the event partners.

We invite all book lovers and printed edition enthusiasts to take part! 

Please forward the information about this opportunity to your friends and colleagues! 

NB! For international partners with existing photobook collections! Apart from the dummy contest selection, the SELF PUBLISH RIGA exhibition, taking place as part of Riga Photo Month opening week on 9-11 May 2014, will also feature several existing collections from international partners- including Swedish Photo Book Prize winners, Polish Photographic Publication of the Year 2013, the UK Photobook Club collection, and a selection of publications made in Latvia, Estonia and Lithuania. 
We welcome other quality collections in Riga as part of the event – if you have a collection to feature, please contact us at

SELF PUBLISH RIGA is organised within Riga Photo Month 2014 and the Riga 2014 EU Culture Capital programme. Thanks to our partners and supporters: The Photobook Club (UK), Archivo (PT), Association of Swedish Professional Photographers, Lugemik (EE), FK Magazine, FOLD, KIM?, Latvian Centre for Contemporary Art, Goethe Institut Riga, British Council Latvia, Polish Embassy in Riga, State Culture Capital Foundation.

With best greetings,



Belfast, Dublin and Malaga

Have just returned from a 4 day stay in Dublin with a cohort of students from Coventry and was blown away by all of the awesome things happening around the photobook and photography in Dublin and during our visit to Belfast…

I wanted to say a huge thanks to all at the Gallery of Photography in Dublin who made us feel most welcome and introduced us to the Photo Album of Ireland project, something which brought up some interesting discussions about curation, narrative, context and the changing face of the digital album. Big thanks to Tanya, Darragh, Trish and Maeve for their time.

From here we went to The Library Project, only 200 meters from the gallery in the Temple Bar area. The project is half shop, half library, all awesome. We spent a great deal of time pouring over the various books for sale and those that had been kindly donated for people to see and touch and engage with. This I suppose was the most refreshing aspect of the project – the library space was most welcoming and with a sofa and table meant that you could research and reflect for hours without feeling obtrusive. Thanks go to Sinead and Ángel for speaking about the project and for their hospitality.

A coach to Belfast Exposed for the day seemed a fair piece but was well worth it as we were privileged to hear Ciara speak about the Tom Wood exhibition as well as to introduce the students to the history of the gallery and it’s important voice in photography. As it happened, on the same day, Anthony Luvera, a previous BX resident was speaking to second year students at Coventry University. Hannah had kindly allowed the 28 or so students the opportunity to also take part in a great 30 minute book making workshop run by Lewis Rankin – the results were pretty staggering considering the purposefully imposed restrictions in material, time and resource – a workshop we will look to experiment further with in Coventry.

Aside from the above there was time to fit in a few beers with Paul Geraghty who is doing interesting things with the picturk platform and on the last day a chat with Agata Stoinska and Karolina Schlagner from Blow magazine who have a whole bunch of interesting things line up and passion to go with it.

Malaga news from Jose Gallardo!

We have created a photobook club south of Andalusia in the town of Malaga, finally we have called “Photobook club Malaga”, we are still organizing site for meeting,  although we already have had some meetings. Our philosophy is to create a space dedicated to the study and dissemination photography book in our city Málaga, our link in Facebook is found here.


Paris 2013 – A Review

It is not enough anymore to review Paris Photo. With the addition of Offprint, and this year – Le PhotobookFest, a complete review of the city is needed. I am not the person to provide this complete and unbiased view of Paris 2013, but still I shall try with a quick reflection on the different events and some lessons learned in the 4 days I spent in town.

Paris Photo 2013


Photography is by no means dead but Paris Photo is moribund. Everyone has known for some time that the exhibition is really no more than an expensive, glossy trade show but this year was especially uninspiring. It was my belief that exhibitions/events like this should show new work, spark conversations and the like but this years offering was lazy and showed no inclination whatsoever to showcase inspiring work – unless it also happened to be large, colour and by the latest hot photographer.

When I have thousands of pounds to blow on a photograph to sit above my dinner table I shall head straight to Paris Photo and be doted on by gallerists and glamorous assistants, until then I think I will avoid it! The one redeeming feature that returned in 2013 was Aperture’s book award section with display copies for anyone who could squeeze through to see them.

Offprint Paris 2013

I didn’t spend as much time as I would have liked at Offprint this year, but as last year, it offered an antidote to Paris Photo. The hall was lively, packed with publishers and artists who were all keen to talk and show work, if a little rushed by the flow of visitors. I can’t say i saw a great deal that interested me, at least not compared to last year but as I talked with others who has been there, they produced some real gems – perhaps I simply needed more time to peruse.

The ‘live’ bookmaking project in the side print room was a highlight, I regretted not making one myself.

Le PhotobookFest

300+ for the opening images by Ana Galan

Fair warning: I helped, albeit in a small way, on this project.

Le PhotobookFest was organised by Pablo Porlan and Emilie Hallard of the Photobook Club Paris and featured Nathalie Belayache, Juan Cires and Ricardo Garrido (Of the Photobook Club Madrid), Akina Books and a host of other speakers and helpers. The idea was to create a space to exhibit interesting books and encourage informal but thoughtful discussions. With that in mind the three days were a huge success – from 300 odd folk arriving to the opening on Friday night to relaxed conversations over books at the bar on Sunday.

The Le PhotobookFest/Photobook Club Family!

Image by Sean Davey of the Photobook Club Australia

I hope that in the days to come there may be other reviews of the event by people who were not directly involved – they may carry more weight than mine but in the meantime a huge thanks and congratulations for all who made it happen, especially to Emilie and Pablo who should be having a chilled week now!

Update 1: In fact I have just seen this posted by Annakarin Quinto:

Wonderful books, good wine, plenty of coffee, warm passion, wide friendships, free hearts, new experiences, deep sharings and much more. Thank you the Le Photobookfest 2013 to make all this possible at Picturetank and le bar Floréal.photographie

Update 2: A mention in Blank Paper as an relaxed and close event in contrast with Paris Photo’s formal structure.


What I learned in Paris, 2013:

– People are still talking about the bloody Afronauts!

– Being able to get cold beer for €2, see some brand spanking new work in the form of dummys and relax with a book from l’Ascenseur Végétal is close to photobook heaven

– For the most part, artists and publishers are keen to talk, share stories and collaborate

– Broomberg and Chanarin must not be bad-mouthed for fear of being shunned by the photobook community

– Along with the photobook itself, the viewer is evolving, ready to embrace new explorations into narrative formats within the once-linear medium of the book

– Gloves and coffee are essential items for an afternoon at Offprint

BookJockey sessions are awesome and for their humor and relaxed atmosphere, cover a surprising amount of information, make some deep links and pose interesting questions

– There are too many books to even attempt seeing all of them, so many goodn’s will slip away unnoticed, a price we pay for such a rich publishing scene

– Conversations about the Photobook bubble and sustainability will persist until they are seriously addressed or we are afforded the benefit of hindsight

– Matt




The PBC at the Cheltenham Literary Festival and 10×10 American Photobooks

Next weekend, on Saturday 5th October (6pm) I will be in Cheltenham to hold a special Photobook Club meetup as part of the Cheltenham Literary Festival. The event is being organized by Grant Scott of ‘United Nations of Photography‘ who has put an a big weekend of photobook talks and seminars to coincide with the historical festival.

All of the talks and events are free, all I would ask for the PBC event is that you bring along a photobook which you think is particularly interesting for it’s use of text alongside image – perhaps it is just the titles, perhaps the accompanying essay really alters your reading of the images. Whatever it may be, bring it along and we will talk image and text with a few drinks.

Event begins 6.00pm Saturday 5th October, 2013: The University of Gloucestershire Tent, Imperial Square, Cheltenham, Gloucestershire.

And in other news, the awesome 10×10 American Photobooks publication is soon to be posted out. The book has a great list of contributors plus me talking about a love affair with America through photobooks. I have yet to get my hands on a copy but it looks like the design and production match the content’s high standard so it is no wonder a whole heap have already sold. Head over here to get a copy.

– Matt