While unemployed in early 2023, I created a 60-page photography zine.
Any self-respecting photographer will insist that printing work is paramount, and I had been shamefully shuffling my feet for years about physical work. But with some free time between interviews and some inspiration from watching hours of Daniel Milnor videos on his YouTube channel, and internalizing the "Don't let your JPEGs grow up to be JPEGs" mantra popularized by photographers like Jonathan Canlas and The FIND Lab, I stopped making excuses and focused my energy into collecting some work from my archives and printing a book modeled after Milnor's AG23 collaboration.
I adapted most of the work from my photography blog, and I had an additional head-start with a box of 4x6 prints I printed the summer before, which became useful when sequencing the project. Refamiliarizing myself with Indesign was a rocky process, but I asked for help from Nicole Holmes, who patiently helped me find my footing and give me some tips.
After two test prints fixing wording and typos, I've got a version that I feel good about. I only ordered a couple of copies to be able to hand to visiting friends or ship to family members who might want to see my work in print, but the learning experience was useful, the process was fun, and there's a new itch in my brain about the possibility of scaling my efforts, opening it up for sale, and collaborating with other photographers, artists, writers, poets, and designers to publish something like this a few times a year with a wider range of work and voices.
I don't have the time or the connections to make that feasible just yet, but this was a personal success and I'm proud of myself. Just knowing I could do it has been encouraging, and I feel satisfied knowing I have another avenue available to me, ready to be explored whenever I'm ready to turn into it.
"Zine" is maybe a stretch; it's a self-published trade book, not a charming collection of drawings and fan-fiction photocopied and stapled at the local Kinko's, but you get the drift. Sometime in the future I'd really love to make a proper lo-fi zine or two with some block prints and a typewriter, but one thing at a time. ↩︎