Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Back on the Blog Wagon

As many of you know, this blog was started as a means to motivate myself to get outside my comfort zone and shoot a decent photo every day for a full year. The last time I posted was about three months shy of that mark, which came and went on February 23rd.

It was a difficult challenge to shoot a good photo everyday for a year.

During that same time, I was also working on another project of publishing a book about the city in which I live. It's a documentary portrait project about Ogden, Utah which started out kind of small, and has since mushroomed into this huge art project with all kinds of community support.

Earlier today, I picked up the posters I will be hanging in shops all around town advertising the book. I just received a call from a company handling the customs clearance since the books, which have been on a boat from Hong Kong for a week, arrive in California on Friday. I just finished cutting 35 frames which will display some of the photos at the Union Station on June 5th at a book release party.

A short year and a half ago, I never would have imagined this would be possible. Back then, a book wasn't even on the radar, not even close. My wife and I had batted around an idea about a "print on demand" book from our time in China but nothing like this.

Yet here it is, just weeks away from arriving on my front door and who would have thought this was possible. Not me.

It certainly hasn't been a one man show. I had a bunch of help from a whole host of people. Early on, it came from the folks at Union Station who allowed me some time to shoot at their place. As I started shooting photos, there began to be an enthusiasm and the people I photographed began offering more and more suggestions as to who else should be included in the book.

I got a bunch of help from The Union Grill staff who sent people over from lunch and were very generous with their time and delicious food.

Keith Johnson, a friend and fellow photographer who understood the scope of the effort, was an enormous help in his countless hours of editing photos and offering constructive criticism and generous praise. And Mike Terry who produced a sweet marketing video (which I have yet to do anything with,(sorry Mike), I'll be posting it later this week).

I certainly couldn't have done it without the generous individuals who offered to sponsor the project. If anything came as a complete shock to me, it was the generosity of the sponsors allowing me to raise nearly $12,000 to help cover printing costs. That blew me away, and I can't thank those people enough.

Steve Conlin has been a huge support by providing advise and publicity, and for getting the attention of community leaders who have also been a big support.

And most recently, Simon, who has offered his time and expertise to help make a bazillion frames which will end up costing less than a tenth of what it would have.

I know this is starting to sound like the Oscars and will even more so when I include my dad in the list, who has also been a big contributor with his time and resources.

So there it is. A blog post about the "I AM OGDEN" book. That is probably the main reason I have been such a slacker blogger the last several months.

I hope you enjoy reading and I will attempt to keep this a little more current.



Can said...

WOW! You are INCREDIBLE!!!! Love the cover of the book - love the advertising poster - love to see your name on the book! What a great accomplishment! I can just imagine you, one day, telling your grandkids what you did when you were young. :) It will be a great example to them (and is one to your children) that they can accomplish anything they put their mind and effort to!


(Sorry - haven't done the forever exclamation mark in a long time.)

mmm.chocolate said...

Hooray! Welcome back. I've missed your blog updates. Please be sure to post lots and lots of pictures of your kids (so I can steal them for my blog).

Djamila Grossman said...

hey congrats on the book. it's awesome to see the project pop up all over town.

Janene said...

Hey! Good to hear from you again. :o)

It looks amazing, I'm so excited for this Friday!!

Steven said...

Hey its Steve Nelson, your photog student from the U. Thanks so much for sending my portfolio. Congrats on the book and congrats on the new baby. Thanks again.