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Holding My Breath

I noticed the other day that the book is now in stock at Amazon and has begun shipping. Megan, my publicist at Sterling Publishing, sent out a batch of books to media contacts here in the US and Canada last Friday, which means the book is landing in little brown packages on doorsteps and desktops by now. Tweets from a few of my favorite people (@dlemen, @maile_wilson and @sweetsalty) appeared this afternoon to validate my assumption. Meanwhile, I'm taking a deep breath and holding it indefinately.

It's a vulnerable feeling to send a bit of my heart and soul out into the world in the shape of an oversized iPhone. Unlike crafting an editable blog post, writing and publishing a book is like making shapes in wet cement. I hope it leaves a mark unique enough to warrant a glance, worthy enough to hold someone's gaze, and legible enough to withstand the elements. Yet, I can't help but whisper... (what if it's not enough?)

And then I hush the voice, take in some air, and pull out the invisible clipboard to put check marks beside the weighty collection of hopes that fueled the creation of this book.

I hope it stretches your view and loosens up your grip on photography. I hope it reminds you that making images is less about big lenses and f/stops and more about revealing what's in your heart. I hope it demonstrates that photography need not be complicated because complex equipment can raise invisible barriers between you and your subject. Simply put... an iPhone will do. I hope this book fits in your purse or finds a home in your backpack. I hope the edges get worn and bent to remind you of an image or a phrase that moved you in some way. I hope this book inspires you enough to put it down and go create. 

Anxiously awaiting your thoughts, images, and experiences.


The Idea

On February 4, 2010, I proposed the idea of writing this book in an email to Adam Juniper, associate publisher at Ilex Press in the UK. Adam had approached my Shutter Sisters partner Tracey Clark and me about writing a primer on digital photography. We (mostly Tracey) had recently finished final edits on Expressive Photography: A Shutter Sisters Guide to Shooting from the Heart book and Tracey was ready for a break from the book-making process. While I was eager to continue writing and shooting on the subject of photography, I must admit I wasn’t excited about the idea of a primer on digital photography.

At that point in time, I had been shooting nearly exclusively (and daily) with my iPhone – walking around with my head down and thoughts immersed in a myriad of photography apps. Experimenting. Focusing on subjects I wouldn’t typically have sought out with my SLR in hand. Making abstractions. Getting distracted by things like water marks on concrete. Tweeting observations and exchanging images with an early group of fellow iPhoneographers on Twitter. Ignoring calls. Bumping into people. Concocting odd visual experiments like shooting objects in my refrigerator, making egg shell pyramids and abstractions, crafting roadside compositions of blank billboards from the passenger seat along Interstate 20, and roaming parking lots to study the patterns of hub caps. I hesitated to put my iPhone aside. In fact, I couldn’t. So I did what any self-absorbed creative person would do, I yawned and said a polite "no" to the primer and suggested the idea of doing what I really wanted to do... write about “The Art of iPhoneography.” Thankfully, Adam said "yes."

So the 'yes' lead to a table of contents, and the table of contents lead to a couple of paragraphs, and the couple of paragraphs lead to an odd assortment of images, and within just a few weeks, I had enough content to submit to Ilex for creation of the blad. It came together very quickly and (sort of) effortlessly (if you don’t count the late nights, bad drafts, messy desk and jagged fingernails). Adam liked it and his masterful book designer turned my Word document and folder of JPG images into a set of layouts in the outline of an over-sized iPhone, and there it was... the nucleus of this book. I loved it on first glance, signed a contract with Ilex Press, and began writing the book in May 2010.

Next... The Creative Process

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