Saturday, October 20, 2007

So This is How They Do It

Image Makers, Image Takers

by Anne-Celine Jaeger
Thames & Hudson, May 2007
272 pages/paperback/218 illustrations/ $34.95

Reviewed by Jain Lemos

If your summer book list didn’t include Image Makers, Image Takers, then now is the time to pick up your copy of this handbook that examines the creative methodology of today’s leading image makers and shapers. The book provides Q&A-style interviews with some of photography’s heavy hitters.

There are also plenty of well chosen images to study and their addition to the text greatly enhances the book’s value. Various quotes are pulled and presented in large font and sprinkled throughout for even more punch.

To demonstrate how journalist Anne-Celine Jaeger meticulously amassed the complete picture on what it takes to get the complete picture, consider the breadth of the book’s seven main sections: Art; Documentary; Fashion and Advertising; Portraiture; Next Generation; Curators and Gallerists; and Agency Directors, Editors and Publishers.

Jaeger engages William Eggleston, SebastiĆ£o Salgado, David LaChapelle, Tina Barney, Alec Soth, Camilla Brown and Kathy Ryan. These industry notables represent just one of four equally accomplished veterans who were interviewed for each of the above categories.

Naturally, there is inspiration and insight in the book, purely because of the grand-scale achievements of the makers and takers profiled. There are also enlightening details in the conversations about how they approach their craft on large and small scales, from why an anthology was given a particular name to wondering if it is important to employ a personal philosophy in order to be a great photographer.

Although primarily aimed at budding photographers, Image Makers equally gives pros an opportunity to vicariously pick the brains—and share the creative process experiences—of some of our favorite colleagues.

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