Bruno Ceschel: The Self-Published Photo Book

Saturday and Sunday, September 26–27, 2015 Aperture Foundation
547 West 27th Street, 4th Floor
New York, N.Y.

Bruno Ceschel, founder of the organization Self Publish, Be Happy and author of the book by the same name, led a two-day intensive workshop that helped participants gain tools and insights they could use to publish their own photobooks. On the first day, Ceschel gave a contextual history of self-published photobooks and walked through compelling case studies, providing a frame of reference to inspire participants’ own projects. Workshop participants were shown strategies for self-publishing, from editing and sequencing through production, distribution, and marketing.
On the second day, participants broke into pairs and worked to make an edit and preliminary sequence of their photographs, gaining refreshing perspective from fellow students who were new to their work. During lunch, Lesley A. Martin, Aperture’s creative director, spoke to participants and shared some of the highlights from this year’s Paris Photo–Aperture Foundation PhotoBook Awards Shortlist.
Once confident with an initial sequence of their images, participants worked to realize the project using Adobe InDesign and Blurb publishing software. Each participant then presented his or her own newly designed photobook project to the class, and left the workshop with a newfound clarity on how to move forward with their projects.


Bruno Ceschel is a writer, curator, and lecturer on photography at the University of the Arts London. He is the founder of Self Publish, Be Happy (SPBH), an organization that collects, promotes, and studies contemporary self-published photobooks. SPBH’s library contains more than two thousand publications, and the organization produces an extensive series of workshops, talks, and projects. Self Publish, Be Happy has organized events at a number of institutions around the world, including Aperture, Tate Modern, The Photographers’ Gallery, Serpentine Galleries, C/O Berlin, and Kunsthal Charlottenborg, among others. Ceschel is also the director of SPBH Editions, which has most recently published books by Cristina de Middel, Lucas Blalock, Mariah Robertson, Gareth McConnell, and Lorenzo Vitturi. Ceschel writes regularly for a number of publications, such as Foam, the British Journal of Photography, and Aperture magazine, and has guest-edited issues of Photography and Culture, OjodePez, and The PhotoBook Review.



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