Working with a teen for a year on a project could have had its hazards, but instead it produced a successful showcase for an emerging photographer. The teen referred to is my sixteen year-old nephew. For the past year, we met over coffee as we selected from dozens of photos and planned for photoshoots. We worked around homework and engaged in negotiations when we had aesthetic differences. We also wrestled through cowriting the copy, which for me, was a delightful creative exchange. My training is that of a professional designer/illustrator, so this book was a grand opportunity to immerse myself in photography and photographic effects, while nurturing a young talent.
The book uses a selection of random photos by Logan Matthew, photographer, taken between ages fourteen and sixteen. I also assigned photo shoots, all of which we wove together with quotes from Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass. My contribution to the book, besides directing the content, was to take his original snap-shots and run them through experiments using the wonderfully inventive app, iColorama. I was a beta tester for the app, and had enjoyed how it enhanced my mobile digital drawings on the iPad—but since its main purpose was to be a photographer’s tool, I wanted to try it on photos. However, as an illustrator, I had no body of work in photography—then the idea for the book occurred.
An important note on the unique format of the book:
The left sides of the spreads are white pages—each has a formal framed photo by Logan Matthew (think of these pages as representing the “Through the Lens” portion of the book’s title); the right sides of the spreads are cream-colored, with the many renditions of Logan’s photos, created with the tools of iColorama (think of these pages as representing the “Down the Rabbit Hole” portion of the book’s title). Quotes from Lewis Carroll’s books, relating to Logan’s random photos, are at the top of each white page. And below each photo, he states his feeling regarding the photo. There is no chronological order for the photos in the main part of the book. However, at the end of the book is a current gallery that documents Logan Matthew’s skill in the art of portraiture.