Saturday, January 16, 2010


One of my goals while in the city yesterday was to meet with my friend Sybil, from the Zendo. Sybil used to work in photography and publishing, and has written a few books herself. I was interested in getting her advice about possibly publishing some of my photos.

As you know, I've produced two Blurb books of my favorites, but that's not really publishing -- not really. What I'd ideally like to do is find an agent and produce a real book, or maybe postcards or greeting cards or something. Sybil had some useful ideas about individuals and publishers to talk to, and I hope to follow up on some of that in coming weeks.

I'm especially interested in figuring out the commercial potential for all this material now that I'm not working myself. Several people have suggested I put together some graffiti books, but I shy away from that for legal reasons (I think I'd have to get permission from all the artists, which would be a laborious process) as well as ethical ones (should I be profiting from someone else's art, which they've given away for free on the streets?). I'm more inclined to publish "city life" photos like these.

Sybil thought reaching out to publishers specializing in books about New York and those with a Buddhist bent would be a good idea. I've long thought of my photography as an expression of the impermanence and fleeting nature of life that Buddhism emphasizes. So maybe I'll start there.

Yesterday I walked around Chelsea with my little point-and-shoot camera and took these shots, before meeting Sybil. I took the top photo first, then zoomed out for a wider angle with and without pedestrians. I actually took about ten shots of this wall; these are my favorite three.


  1. I love the way you are going about this so methodically while really living in the present moment. I love your logical thinking about what you might do. Sometimes I think your world is a Zendo!

  2. I just feel that you are going to go far with this venture!!

    great series!

  3. Steve, I am just curious: Why do you not view your blurb books as "real publishing"? Is it the difference in distribution and commercial possibilities?

    I think your blurb books are beautiful by the way. Is is possible a publisher with deep pockets might republish/distribute them so they reach a wider audience?

    Or else, you can become a publisher yourself! You've already shown you do a great job! Have people pay you to publish their books, and continue to do your own as well. You'd just have to figure out the distribution.

    Okay, enough of my presumption. It's so simple really, when you don't know you don't know. lol

  4. Good luck with the photo venture Steve!!
    Ms Soup