On Photography Books and How to Publish Your Own

There are many different styles of dance and yet photographing dancing is similar to capturing a secret moment between the dancer and their movement. That one shot that may not show off the dancer’s best move but rather the emotion of the dance. 

Jordan Matter Photography captures dancers, every where and through every style. I love this because as a dancer myself, one can never stop dancing. It could be performing on a stage, learning in a dance class or simply dancing the street. So taking the camera away from the white backdrop and the wooden dance floor, the world gets to witness the real passion of dance, which is in the heart of every dancer. 

© Jordan Matter 

Of course I am not the first to stumble upon Jordan’s work, he has being featured in The New York Times, "In Jordan Matter’s Photos, Dancers Make All the World Their Stage," referring to his dancing photography book, ‘Dancers Among Us – A celebration of joy in the everyday.’  Also referred by Diane Sawyer, ABC World News as “Breathtaking photos to free your imagination.” 

Isn’t that what photography should be at its best, a method to use your skill to free one’s imagination. How you see something from a specific angle could have seen hundreds of thousands of people who have walked passed it every day and never looked at it from that angle before. 

© Jordan Matter 

The photographic author mentions the inspiration for the book, “came to me one afternoon as I watched my son, Hudson, playing with his toy bus … As I played with my son, I thought about creating photographs that would show the world as if through his eyes. The people in the images would be alive and in the moment, celebrating all aspects and emotions of everyday life." 

With dancers creating the story through their dance, passion and incredible bodies, Jordan spent three years shooting around the country, with some dancers traveling several hours to participate. 

Jordan also wants to share with others what has brought him so much joy in life and that is by giving back through photo workshops, titled, The Art of Serendipity. He teaches you how to find your luck. 

If you wanted to turn your photographs and imagery into a book that sells, where does one begin? 

  1. First think about what the book will be about

One way to do this is to review your photographs and to find a common theme for it. Then think of a book, it has a beginning, a middle and an end. Are you able to collate your images to not just tell a single story but a whole story from beginning to end?

  1. Find your inspiration

May be you have been wanting to go on a big photography project. May be this book idea will help you to push yourself and challenge your skills to take images that will inspire others.

  1. Speak to everyone and everybody

Tell everyone what you are doing. It is amazing who you meet and what they might do in their spare time, including graphic design to book marketing and selling and even just those who love your enthusiasm about your book photography project that they want to pre-order a copy for their coffee table. You never know until you tell people what you are doing and discover how they might be able to help you.

  1. Find your way into the publishing world

There are many publishers you can seek. You can either seek out a mainstream publisher, find an investor who may want to help pay towards publishing your work or self-publish (this option doesn’t have to cost you a cent). If you take the time to research all of these options, you will soon work out which option you want to try first, second and last. Because if there is one way to publish a book, it is to always have a back-up plan, with the end-result to publish. 

  1. Market yourself

Building a following and fan base while you wait for your book to get published is a great way to introduce your product to an already established market, making book-selling a lot easier. 

  1. While you wait to publish, work on your next project

What I love about ideas and inspiration is, once I start a project, more ideas pop up as I ride this wave. Always write down your ideas and don’t start them until you complete your project. However, if everything is out of your control and you are twitching with excitement about your current work getting published. Now is the time to start working on your next idea. Get back into that head space of forming a new photography story, plan your path and shoot. 

If photography can teach you anything, it can show you that as long as you keep capturing what makes your heart sing, then you will continue to bring joy to those who are special enough to see your work. Never give up. 

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