Last Friday, was the first Photobook Meetup New York, organized by Noah Kalina, Joerg Colberg and myself. I decided to walk to Kalina’s place instead of taking the bus. My Bessa was strapped around my shoulder so I ended up making a few photographs along the way while I thought about how the evening might unfold. I wasn’t nervous or anything but was very interested to see how many people would show up, what books they’d bring, and how the socializing would unfold.
When I arrived, Noah was having a smoke outside his place. We went inside and started to move the ping-pong table into place. It was to be the book table for the evening. Shortly after we started, there was a knock on the door. It was Joerg.
We finished setting up the table and then Joerg and I walked a few blocks to pick up some beer. We weren’t exactly sure how much we needed. It was a minor struggle but we figured people would bring some as well.
A few minutes before 7pm people started to arrive. Introductions were made and books started to take their place on the table. Soon, we had a nice group of around 20+ or so mingling and looking at books. Noah, Joerg and I convened and decided we just let it go for awhile before starting the very informal presentation.
At around 8pm we started the presentation. I thanked everyone for attending. Then thanked Noah for being so “hospititiablbleble.” Not the first time I’ve butchered a word and won’t be the last time. Thankfully it was a forgiving audience.
I talked briefly about the book I brought, ‘Edges’ by Dolores Marat. When I was finished speaking someone asked if I could show a few pages of the book…because I forgot.
After I finished, everyone else followed. Each person who brought a book, spoke. It was a great. Great people, great books, great experiment, great night. As people started to head home for the evening, Joerg, Noah and I posed for one photograph, taken with Noah’s Contax T2 I believe.
It didn’t take us much effort to organize the event. Really simple actually, so I encourage anyone whose thinking about it, to give it a try. Maybe your event will be smaller, maybe even just a few friends. That’s fine. It’ll be worth it. My sense was that the people who showed up really wanted to share their books and talk about photography with other people that were just as passionate.
We’ll keep you posted about event #2.
Here’s a partial list of the books that were presented (next time we’ll make sure to get a full list.)
Rockaway, NY – Roe Ethridge
Edges – Dolores Marat
A – Greg Halpern
Portraits of Native America Life – Edward Curtis
Sightwalk – Gueorgui Pinkhassov
A Road Divided – Todd Hido
One Thousand – Phillip Lorca diCorcia
Redheaded Peckerwood – Christian Patterson
Liberia Retold – Tim Hetherington
The Printed Picture – Richard Benson
It’s all good – Boogie
Photographs – Gabriel Orozco
Moll 31 – Wiebke Loeper
White Sea Black Sea – Jens Olof Lasthein
Earth From Above – Yann Arthus-Bertrand