Preserve Your Story
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Laying it all out...

For lunch in the 8th grade, every day I bought 2 chocolate chip cookies and a carton of chocolate milk. With the $20 I was allotted from my dad, I usually had 7 or 8 dollars left over at the end of the week which I spent at the local grocery store on nail polish and shampoo. And magazines. So many magazines.

What does this have to do with anything, except the diabetes is in my future?

The magazines! I loved magazines, I loved them so much I tore out the articles and pictures that I loved. I didn't hang them on my wall, as you would expect. I carefully taped and hole punched them into a new "magazine," I turned them into a book.

This peculiar habit carried on well into my early twenties, even though it seemed totally impractical and made no sense whatsoever. I liked it, I was having fun, and I felt like somehow I was doing something important, even if it was just important to me. (We can agree I use the word, "important" loosely, here.)

This notebook is labeled 2005. Sometimes the things you liked 10 years ago aren't as completely embarrassing as you think.

This notebook is labeled 2005. Sometimes the things you liked 10 years ago aren't as completely embarrassing as you think.

Looking back I can see that I was starting to explore page layout and image relationships. I thought about every picture I placed. How it looked with the things around it, how it changed the overall look of the page. It mesmerized me.

Thinking about how pictures fit together to create a narrative continues to be one of my favorite aspects of making books. Looking at the overall set of images, making connections between the aesthetics and subject matter and then putting it all together in a way that's compelling and exciting, is constantly refreshing and challenging.

And hard.

This book went through a pretty big evolution in the layout of the pages.

Version 1

Version 1

This spread got so much sweeter when the best images were really showcased.

This spread got so much sweeter when the best images were really showcased.

The images from this book are of a seed to table urban farming program in Tucson, Arizona, called Tucson Village Farms. I photographed here in the summer of 2011, which was both fun and educational.

Version 1

Version 1

Taking this image across the fold just a bit doesn't distract from anything important in the image, and cropping out the arm strengthened the whole thing.

Taking this image across the fold just a bit doesn't distract from anything important in the image, and cropping out the arm strengthened the whole thing.

Americorps supplies volunteers to supervise and help with the kids camp that takes place twice over the summer.

Version 1

Version 1

One of the weaknesses in the first version of this book was that I didn't take advantage of the binding style at all. When I started thinking about using the entirety of the horizontal space the pages got much more interesting.

One of the weaknesses in the first version of this book was that I didn't take advantage of the binding style at all. When I started thinking about using the entirety of the horizontal space the pages got much more interesting.

One of the most satisfying things that comes out of taking the time to thoughtfully and meticulously layout photos and put them into a book is that the narrative becomes clear. The pictures tell a story all on their own instead of simply acting as a prompt. That's why photos continue grow in importance and power and our culture becomes more and more visual. 

 

Do you have any favorite photo albums or series of images that you love together? Tell me all about them it in the comments!

Krysta Williams2 Comments