157 - Igor Posner and Ben Brody

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Igor Posner was born in Leningrad (St. Petersburg). After the fall of the Soviet Union, Igor moved to California in the early 90s. He studied molecular and cell biology at the University of California, Los Angeles, where he first started to take pictures and experiment in the darkroom. This initial infatuation with picture-taking led Igor to explore the silent and haunting experience of walking after dark on the streets of Los Angeles and Tijuana. This first series of images No Such Records savors the strange solitude of the enigmatic region between California and Mexico; amid the streets, bars, night shelter hotels, and its disappearing night figures. After 14 years, Igor returned to St. Petersburg in 2006, taking up photography full time, which led to a book project entitled Past Perfect Continuous, published by Red Hook Editions in 2017. At present, Igor is based in New York and working on a long term project exploring psychological aspects of migration and the gradual disappearance of neighborhoods based on Russian immigrant communities in North America. Igor’s work has been shown in North America, Europe, Russia, and Southeast Asia. He joined the Prospekt Photographers agency as a full member in 2011.

Ben Brody is an independent photographer, educator, and picture editor working on long-form projects related to the American wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and their aftermath. He is the Director of Photography for The GroundTruth Project and Report for America, and a co-founder of Mass Books. His first book, Attention Servicemember, published by Red Hook Editions and designed by Kummer & Herrman, was shortlisted for the Aperture - Paris Photo First Book Award. Ben holds an MFA from Hartford Art School's International Low-Residency Photography program. He resides in western Massachusetts.

On episode 157, Igor and Ben answer some of the following questions:

  • Can you pass on one or two useful tips when it comes to editing and sequencing images for a book? Is there something you can say about the decision making process?
  • When you begin a project, are you thinking about how it will end up - a book, exhibition etc? Does this influence your practice during the shooting phase?
  • When you feel creatively exhausted or uninspired or blocked what do you do to get yourself moving forward again?
  • What else, outside of photographery, are you passionate about? Do you have any other obsessions?
  • Do you rely on a number of distinct income streams to make a living, and if so how is your 'income pie chart' made up?
  • What is the most exciting photobook (or photographer) you've come across in the last year or so?
  • What's your favourite photobook, and why? Or is there a photobook that was particularly influential?
  • Where do you see the market for photo books heading in the next few years?
  • Which photographer's work has been most influential to you?
  • What advice should young photographers ignore? Are there recommendations you hear a lot that you totally disagree with?
  • How do you fund a project you are going to publish? Does the author have to contribute towards the costs?
  • What is the best fund raising strategy for a photo book?
  • What are some key things to be aware of when contacting a publisher. Any Do's and Dont’s?
  • Any suggestions for putting together a book proposal?
  • How do you choose the projects you are going to publish?
  • Where do you see the market for photo books heading in the next few years?

Igor: Website | Instagram | Redhook Editions
Ben: Website | Instagram | The GroundTruth Project | Mass Books

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