Aperture, a photography book and magazine publisher, gallery, and nonprofit photography resource center based in New York City, is launching a series of educational photography titles, and is releasing its first children’s book, This Equals That, by Jason Fulford and Tamara Shopsin.
The initial titles in the new Photography Workshop Series are by photographers Larry Fink, Alex Webb, and Rebecca Norris Webb. Larry Fink on Improvisation and Composition and Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb on Street Photography and the Poetic Image will both be released in May. In June, Aperture will release a third title, The Photographer’s Playbook: Over 300 Assignments & Ideas by Jason Fulford and Gregory Halpern, a list of assignments and projects designed to help aspiring photographers. Although not a part of the Photography Workshop series, The Photography Playbook is part of Aperture's overall educational effort. More titles will be released in the Photography Workshop Series beginning in the Fall and over the next few years with books slated from acclaimed contemporary photographers such as Dawoud Bey, Mary Ellen Mark, and Rinko Kawauchi.
“Aperture has always had an educational purpose as part of our mission,” said executive director Chris Boot. “But we have a billion people taking photographs now—more than ever before,” he noted, thanks to the ubiquitous mobile phone camera. “We want to publish books to engage anyone who’s interested in photography and [those who want] to take their knowledge to the next level. There’s a broader audience to reach.” Although Aperture has been central to the photography scene since it was founded in 1952, the new titles are part of its efforts to “bring our knowledge to bear on this generation,” Boot explained. “Instagram is full of potential recruits. These books are for them.”
The workshop books are developed from a series of live events: aspiring photographers pay $500 each for a two-day workshop with a noted photographer; the events are held at the Aperture gallery space in Chelsea. Aperture uses the material from these sessions as content for the series. Aperture book editor Denise Wolff emphasized that the titles are not technical manuals. “They teach you how to see and think like a photographer,” she said. “You get the words, the works and the experience of the workshops. We build it into a book and we can spread it around.”
Wolff said that the 300 assignments in The Photographer’s Playbook are designed to “get people off the couch and get a camera.” The children’s book, This Equals That, is a picture book offering a series of carefully chosen, often whimsical, photos, designed to spur creative associations and imaginative responses from kids. “Kids love it and see things that we didn’t expect,” Boot noted. “We’ve got more books in the pipeline to help cultivate kids’ interest in photography.” This Equals That will be released in September.
“We’re bringing together all the things Aperture does—online presentations, live workshops, exhibitions, international events, and education—to capture people’s interest in photography in books,” Boot said.