As my book deadline looms near, the tasks are changing; the writing is wrapping up, the image placement is in full swing, and the visions of the finished product are a tempting dream. With my assistant Leandra’s help, we’re collecting the last of the images from 30-odd photographers, while I use my new Nikon D200 to shoot figures of plastic cameras, accessories, negatives, rolls of film and the like. And then there’s the frustration of waiting for a sunny day in Seattle in January to test out infrared film in a Holga.
Writing a book like this is an incredible challenge. For months I’ve been stuffing my eyes and head with images, names, articles, information and ideas. I’ve been buying books, magazines, cameras, and film with abandon, all in the name of The Book. And I’ve been organizing all this with 15 years of experience in my head to try to make it interesting and accessible to a broad range of readers. Quite a job!
But there are moments in the process of giddy excitement at what I’m calling work these days. Like the other day, when I took the couple hundred little thumbnail prints of the images I’ve collected and spread them all out on a table, and started choosing what to put where in the book. What could be more fun than swimming in a sea of fabulous plastic camera images, and having the privilege of putting them into print? Thanks to everyone who’s contributed!
But still lots more to do, so back to work on a Saturday night!
Now that I look back on my posts, I realize I haven’t properly addressed the biggest thing going on in my photo world these days – my book!
I’m writing the first comprehensive look at plastic cameras – where they came from, who has been and is working with them, and how to get the most from your Holga. I was approached almost two years ago by Focal Press to write it, and am in the last stages of putting together the manuscript and the many, many photos I’m including. It’s a huge project, and tons of fun to delve into my passion with abandon, plus pull lots of others into the fray with me. I’ve spent hours interviewing folks, days surfing the web, and even have been found hanging out in libraries.
The list of photographers I’m including is thrilling, including Nancy Burson, Nancy Rexroth, Mark Sink, Mary Ann Lynch, David Burnett, and many more exciting discoveries!
I’ve gotten my hands on every book and article I’ve been able to find featuring work done with a plastic camera, which should make my workshops even more fun!
Look out for info about book parties in Seattle in October and New York during Photo Plus in early November (if all goes as planned).
OK, back to work!
A few months ago, some Burning Man friends, Dan McComb & Lara Feltin, started Biznik,
business networking group from the huge number of self-employed folks within the burner community. It’s grown to over 100 members, with business being thrown back and forth between members amid fun and social lunches and happy hours. I appreciate being part of the this group for the business it gives me, the people I’m able to find to work with, learning about what people do, and meeting great folks. Dan recently interviewed me, and posted this article to the Biznik Blog: Biznik Blog » Michelle Bates: Toying with Creativity.