Such a long process it has been to create my photobook now entitled ‘unwelcome Invitation’.
Original Idea: To narrow the horizon between photographer and viewer as intruders, I wanted the portraits to be hidden inside envelopes to be opened up. However, to break this up I wanted to include ‘rests’ of artefacts within the homes attached to the portraits. The rests also acts as a second reading of people’s relationships with their homes and the decoration of the home.
Paper quality: For me, I wanted to have a rustic feel to the photobook with texture playing a vital role. I wanted to have a rough texture, almost like wall paper, to echo the inside aspect. Therefore, I decided that I wanted to use Fine Art Rough for my main pages; yet, I had to get some off cuts to practice folding the card in a neat way as it is quite thick. Also with its thickness, combined with wanting to have Japanese fold pages, I measured that for every page I need a 2mm filler at the spine so that there would be an even thickness when the book is shut. The envelopes are made out of recycled cotton so have this delicate roughness to them as well, but inside I have decided to use canvas material to print the portraits on, this means that they will be delicate to handle.
Text: After talking to George Rippon and Matt Johnston, I had different thoughts about whether or not to include text. George felt that he needed more instruction about the people, not necessarily on a personal level but just to familiarise a little more. Matt offered that not all the pages need text, or that maybe text can add second readings; so that the viewer is told something new to feel differently. However, after thinking about it, and how my title is ‘unwelcome invitation’ I feel that this is enough information for the viewer to understand this concept. I feel that adding text to such a short book will be adding too much.
Bertil Nilsson: When showing Bertil Nilsson a mockup of my photobook, he suggested that the rhythm becomes almost too predicable thus need to mix it up even further. When I was talking to him, the idea of having an empty envelope will catch out the viewer, feeling like they lost the portrait from its surroundings and also how the intrusion has taken a step too far. We were talking about the images and decided that I should reorder a few: although they are separate stories, the open door should start the image series as a gateway.
Further design: I wanted to include pages of just beds, to break up the colour palettes of the pink and the green as well. I chose to change the image of the coat hanger to the ladder in the garage with the circular wire for Josh’s portrait as the wire echoes the bike wheel in the corner of the frame. I decided that halfway through I added a closed door, with the empty envelope: this anomaly will heighten the intrusion further.