Guest Lecture & Portfolio Review: Ben Weaver

Designer and publisher, Ben Weaver, came to talk to us about producing photobooks, sequencing and collaborating with other people.

Below are the notes that I took from his lecture:

  • Here Press publishing
  • First project was the history of skateboarding, created a book from that
  • Produced book with photographer Tom Hunter
  • Art director of Wire Magazine
  • Drowned by Sea Kurtis – first photobook to be published by Here (2011)
  • They reached out to people to ask if they wanted to create a photobook with them, rather than waiting for people to approach them
  • Jack Latham, Sugar Paper Theories & Parliament of Owls
    • Spent 3 days solid creating the edit for Sugar Paper Theories
    • Designed it the way the police would have presented it to people.
  • Stacey Kranitz, Speak Your Piece

Following Ben’s guest lecture, I had a portfolio review with him, here is the notes on the feedback I received from him:

  • Current images show the calm before the storm and the storm
  • Don’t force the studio work and water work together
  • They’re okay being so different
  • Something is missing, make another series
  • Try another approach, a whole new thing you haven’t thought of before
  • Try the domestic environment with diabetic stuff
  • Don’t restrict yourself to thinking the studio has to work with the water
  • Just allow anything to happen
  • There is a distance in the studio stuff, try extreme detail of the items
  • Try just photographing your lifestyle, see if there’s more of an everyday element you could incorporate, like maybe where you go, or things you eat
  • Set diabetes as what the work is about; then it sets how people will see the work
  • Doesn’t necessarily matter what it is because you’re saying its about diabetes – to people who don’t have it, it won’t be obvious
  • Interesting to look at carb counting and the numbers, menu boards etc
  • Look at things that are mundane, people wouldn’t think twice but when you make the connection they look at them differently.
  • Try the process of not thinking literally, the world will open up
  • purposely throw spanners in the work
  • Look into the oblique strategies – Brian Eno, prompts creative ideas and development!
  • Don’t produce work that’s so abstract, that it can be anything
  • The work should still be about diabetes, but it’s not so direct