Workshops

Workshop: Photography - Book - Impact!

By Magnum photographer Rafal Milach & Rob Hornstra on April 8-9, 2024 in the beautiful medieval city centre of Utrecht (NL)

Are you a photographer with ambition to publish your own photo book? Do you want to make more impact with your next photo book in the art world or beyond? Is it a mystery to you how to finance a photo book? Do you wonder how to approach a publisher or do you consciously consider to self-publish? Or you just want to better understand the industry behind the world of photo books?

Join Magnum photographer Rafał Milach and Rob Hornstra for a two-day intensive workshop focusing on sharing information and experience through presentations and conversations.

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On an annual basis, thousands of photo books are being published. And that is not surprising. Like an exhibition, a book allows you to a large extend to show work to its full potential. But a book is potentially more democratic than an exhibition and might appeal to a wider audience. At least if you know how to make use of this potential…

There are some ‘minor caveats’ to publishing your own photo book. Of the thousands of books that appear on the market every year, only a few hundred sell. Photographers frequently invest their own fortune in the production of a book only to find out that hardly anyone is willing to pay for it. The only promotion comes from your own social media account. Why is there no reviewer writing about your book in a newspaper? Why do leading bloggers not willing to write about your book?

This workshop addresses the questions posed above and is a crash course for photographers who want to prepare for publishing their (next) photo book. In the morning, important topics will be covered, such as whether every work is suitable for a book, collaboration with designers and publishers, is there a formula for success and how to apply for financing a book. In brief afternoon session, you can test a book project for feasibility and chances of success.

Rafał Milach (1978) and Rob Hornstra (1975) are experienced workshop teachers. Together they have (self-)published more than 30 books in small and larger print runs and unconventional forms of publication such as free newspapers. They have accumulated a wealth of experience, not only in publishing but also in reaching an audience. More detailed information in the biographies at bottom of this page.

Day 1 focuses on the validity of motivations to make a photobook and first steps to make this possible.

Examples of topics that may be covered include:

Is a photo book an appropriate form for my work?
What kind of cooperation is needed to realise my plans?
What are alternative publishing strategies?
What visual language should I choose?
When do I use text/images or not?
How do I deal with historical and archival information in my project?
What are the ethical questions to weigh when representing others?

Day 2 focuses on practicallities to produce a distinctive photo book and the industry around it.

Examples of topics that may be covered include:

Is crowdfunding a good way to finance my book?
How do I write a winning grant proposal?
Who is my story’s target audience?
What are the pros and cons of working with a publisher?
How do I get my photo book noticed and generate sales?
How can I use social media effectively?
Where can I find sales platforms?

This workshop is aimed at photographers / visual storytellers, both those working as professionals as those who have the ambition or desire to work on visual stories on a professional basis in the future. The maximum number of participants is 15.

Workshop fee
€375 excl . VAT

Included
Coffee, tea, water and lunch during the day and entry to the FOTODOK Book Club in Tivoli Vredenburg on Thursday 8 April 2024 from 20:00 - 21:30.

How to apply
Registration can be done on this website by clicking ‘Sign Up’. After registration, you will receive an email with payment instructions. After registration and payment, you will be asked to submit a CV and/or Artist Statement and one potential book project that is not yet finished to workshop@robhornstra.com. The stage of the submitted project is not relevant. It can range from an A4 with just a few sentences to a finished dummy of a book. It is appreciated if you describe in one sentence what is the most important thing you want to get out of this workshop?

Biographies

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Rafał Milach is a visual artist, photographer and educator. His work focuses on power relations between society and systemic oppression. He is the author of protest books and critical publications on state control. Rafał Milach is a professor at the Krzysztof Kieślowski Film School of Silesian University in Katowice and co-founder of the Archive of Public Protests and Sputnik Photos. His works have been widely exhibited and can be found in the public institutional collections worldwide. He has received scholarships from the Polish Minister of Culture and National Heritage, Magnum Foundation, and European Cultural Foundation, was a finalist in the prestigious Deutsche Börse Photography Foundation Prize, a winner of the Erich Salomon Prize and World Press Photo competition. Rafał is a member of Magnum Photos.

Rob Hornstra is a Dutch photographer of predominantly long-term projects, both at home and around the world. He has published numerous books, both self-published and in collaboration with renowned international publishers. His work has been exhibited in numerous solo and group exhibitions worldwide and he is seen as an epitome in alternative ways of exhibiting work that aims to reach new audiences. He is the founder and former artistic director of FOTODOK – Space for Documentary Photography and former head of the BA and MA Photography at the Royal Academy of Art The Hague. Currently he is working together with writer Arnold van Bruggen on The Europeans 2020 – 2030, a project on Europe in times of drastic change. Four times per year he runs a popular live talk show about photo books in his hometown Utrecht.

“This inside information is what I came for. Most valuable were the practical and hands on tips on how to make and publish a big project.”