A report from the Photobook Club Amsterdam

I was very fortunate to be invited by the organizers of the Photobook Club AmsterdamShirley Agudo and Taco Hidde Bakker to attend their second meetup last month. Already there is a great deal of interest in this branch but it was great to see the group meet in an intimate studio space courtesy of Rein Jelle Terpstra which allowed a very relaxed and fluid event to take place.

I had been invited to present a book on the day and had decided to present John Gossage’s ‘The Pond‘, in part because it is symptomatic of some of the reasons I founded the Photobook Club, and in part as I am always curious to see how the book is received. The discussion went in directions I never would have anticipated from the layout and design to the sequencing, title, cult status and a whole bunch more.

Interestingly I presented the book in a questioning and critical manner but found that when others also leveled any criticism at it, I found I became defensive about it and perhaps had a truer understanding of my own reading of this book. One thing that was decided on the night is that my copy of the book should be left in the hands of Taco Hidde Bakker who was keen to deconstruct the pages and collaborate in a re-editing and re-versioning of this classic (so keep a look out for this).

After my warm up act it was a privilege to have Hans Gremmen present to talk about his role as designer on Rinko Kawauchi’s latest Aperture book ‘Ametsuchi‘. Having this unique perspective reminded me of the very first Photobook Club event in London where Maxwell Anderson introduced me to a world of design choices in Kenji Hirosawa’s ‘Celebrity‘ that I had previously given little thought to. I think it fair to say that all who attended took a great deal from Hans’ candid take on the design process and having a variety of dummies from different stages of the project enabled us to better understand the process involved in designing a photobook as well as the relationships between photographers, designers and publishers.

It is a huge testament to the Photobook Club Amsterdam that despite the event starting at a very reasonable 7.45pm, I only just made the last tram back to town after midnight and took a whole bunch of questions and thoughts back with me. A huge thanks for the invite go to Shirley and Taco.


PBC Paris – a report

Thanks to Pablo Porlan of the Photobook Club Paris for sending through the following:


Here you can have a look to the chronicles (in French) from the third reunion of Le Paris Photobook Club. The theme for this 3rd meet up was “China” and our guest participant was Pierre Bessard; a photographer and editor.
For a full reading and if you want to see some pictures: http://parisphotobookclub.wordpress.com/2013/07/10/chronique-du-pbc-3-chine/

The Photobook Club London and Valencia

The Photobook Club London launched last Wednesday at Ti Pi Tin book store, this event was co-organized by Tom Wade and Sean McDonnell with the support of other members of the PBC London and Katja Chernova of Ti Pi Tin.

A summary from Tom Wade can be found below this extraction from a longer piece by Sean McDonnell and found on his blog:

Hosted at the marvellous Ti Pi Tin space in East London we were able to spend time perusing the photobooks on display and pick one, or more, off the shelf that took our fancy to discuss with everyone else. The choice is intriguingly diverse. Japanese miniatures bound by silken threads, idiosyncratic self-published pamphlets, heavyweight tomes from the major publishers all vied for my attention. – Sean McDonnell

The Photobook Club London

We kicked things off around the table, Sean and I said a few words before we dived straight into browsing the books on Katja’s shelves , spending time mixing and mingling. The chosen books were brought back to the table and the conversation was concentrated on sharing ideas and thoughts about the chosen books – from themes to the pacing, rhythm and production quality – not to mention the smells and types of binding.

The conversation and atmosphere of everyone browsing different parts of the shop was great and very loose, for example Naresh and I spoke about photography & his film background and his thoughts and views on the photobook. I found myself then in a discussion with Marco about digital photobooks and the difference between ibook & and app format. I spoke with Lewis about his opinions on photobook covers.

All in all a great night, next event will be announced soon…

– Tom Wade

PBC Valencia

Meanwhile… Another branch of the book club is launching in Spain; the Photobook Club Valencia is run by Jorge Alamar and will meet for the first time on the 1st June at an outdoor venue. More information from Jorge below or head to their Facebook page here.

The 1st session is Saturday, June 1 at noon of 12 open air, in the bed of the Turia River near the bridge of the exhibition as indicated on the map.

For this first date bring a photobook that you like to share with others and add a comment. In this way, we will start debate on the different books that arise.

To do this, only thing you need to do is send an e-mail to photobookclubvalencia@gmail.com to let us know what book you would like to take.

La 1ª Sesión la realizaremos el sábado 1 de junio a las 12 del mediodía al aire libre, en el cauce del río Turia cerca del Puente de la Exposición tal y como se indica en el mapa.

Para esta primera cita no habrá todavía una temática concreta, es decir, cada uno podrá llevarse el libro de fotografía que más le gusta para compartirlo con los demás y comentarlo. De esta forma, podremos iniciar el debate en torno a los diferentes libros que se presenten.

Para ello, lo único que hay que hacer es enviar un e-mail a photobookclubvalencia@gmail.com para informar de qué libro se va a llevar.


The Photobook Club returns to it’s birthplace… LONDON! This Wednesday 1st May

The Photobook Club returns to it’s roots and the city in which it was born – LONDON!

The Photobook Club London’s first event is this coming Wednesday 1st May at the fantastic Ti Pi Tin in the Dalston area. There is no need to bring a book along as discussions will be centered around the huge range of books on Katja’s shelves – so pick one and let’s discuss first thoughts – unprepared, unrehearsed, unpretentious!

If you would like to attend the event, please RSVP to the email address photobookclublondon@gmail.com

All welcome and all free!

The Photobook Club London
Ti Pi Tin

47 Stoke Newington High St.
London N16 8EL
(How to find us)


Photobook Club Amsterdam; first meeting report

Thanks to Taco Hidde Bakker (who runs the PBC Amsterdam along with Shirley Agudo) for this report from the Photobook Club Amsterdam’s inaugural event, complete with some images…

A short update from the Photobook Club Amsterdam front.

Last thursday we had a succesful first meeting with a small club of 10 people. We talked about the idea of the PBC. Shirley introduced Mrs. Merryman’s Collection (Mack, 2012) & I introduced Michael Lesy’s Wisconsin Death Trip (Pantheon, 1973). The books circled round the table and lively discussions stirred up about issues of truth most of all. (Shirley and I didn’t know beforehand that the books we proposed would have such an underlying thematic connection).

This initial meeting certainly calls for many follow-ups…

Taco Hidde Bakker

The Photobook Club Paris Launches on 28th April…

PBC Paris

Awesome news from Pablo Porlan who, together with Emilie Hallard has set up the Photobook Club Paris. They will hold their first meetup on Sunday 28th April at Le Bar Florèal in Paris.

There is more information (in French) here, and you can also head on over to their Facebook page found here or read on below:

Le Paris Photobook Club launches its first meeting the 28th of April between 17h and 21h at Le Bar Floreal, 43 rue des Couronnes


# 1st Reunion of our club (17h to 19h): Bring your most loved photobook! Just the first 20 lucky photobook lovers to write an email to parisphotobookclub@gmail.com will be able to come.

#2 Aperitif and Projection (19h to 21h): after the meeting everybody is welcomed to join us for wine and snacks. We will be also showing and promoting different photo and video projects.

WE’RE ALSO LAUNCHING AN OPEN CALL for video/photo projects to show during this second part.

If you want to participate just wetransfer (https://www.wetransfer.com/) us your project (parisphotobookclub@gmail.com). Cross-media projects (photo, video, animation, design… ) are more than welcomed. With or without sound. It could be any new or old stuff of yours.

A brief description of the project (50 to 80 words) and your personal information (name(s), web(s), email(s) will be required.

Time: max 5min
Resolution: 1920 x 1080 px (72ppp) APPLE PRO RES 4.2.2.
Format : .mov

Videos will be selected for their interest, quality and originality by Le Paris Photobook Club. Works selected and their authors will be announced and posted on our blog and facebook site (https://www.facebook.com/ParisPhotobookClub) before the event.

– Pablo

The Photobook Club’s ‘Box of Books’ Makes it’s 4th Stop

The ‘Box of Books‘ has just made it’s 4th stop off at a Photobook Cub event, this time in Coimbra before it heads on to PBC Porto and PBC Barreiro. You can see images from this the Coimbra event below courtesy of Arnaldo Carvalho and can also catch up with the box’s progress via it’s own Facebook page.

The box has more than 2,800 miles still to travel and many more events to go to. Will keep you posted on those as they occur!

The Photobook Club, A Small Table in London to 29 Branches…

I held the first official Photobook Club meetup in London back in late 2011. I can’t say quite how nervous I felt waiting to see if anyone would actually show up, before this point the Photobook Club had lived online only, and virtual thumbs up, plus ones and RT’s are important for sure but by no means represent the interest to meet face to face.

The first official Photobook Club event

There are now 23 active branches from Bangalore to Belfast with another 6 on the way shortly. It has been a constant challenge to highlight all these clubs and their great events and I am still working toward a better solution but for now you can at least see all the clubs on the map below.

View Photobook Club Branch Locations in a larger map

I must stress at this point that these branches are a product of the great and passionate organisers rather than my own work. It has also been made possible through all those who attend, who demonstrate and act on an interest in the organic and generative experience of these events. Whether the photobook boom lasts will remain to be seen but I strongly believe that these small communities are an important connection to physical artifacts and interactions.

My sincere thanks to all who have helped to promote and enable discussion around the magical format that is the photobook in all it’s guises.

Visiting with the PBC Victoria, BC

– Matt

The Photoook Club Belfast Launches

The newly formed Photobook Club Belfast run by Laura McMorrow at the awesome Belfast Exposed Gallery held it’s first meetup just this weekend with a great turnout and some sweet books brought along. Looks like more will be planned some day soon in Belfast. I’ll keep you posted, in the meantime, check the event out…

PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast
PBC Belfast