Oct 10 2018

3 Rules for Self Publishing

Photo by Alex Herzog

I started thinking about all the different sides of self publishing for future blog posts and thought general mindset should be addressed. Some of you are straight up kooks when talking about your photos and books and zines. This needs to stop. We all have musician friends. We don’t wanna hear about your “projects”. We just want to be inspired when hearing the final product. So hurry up. Same for your zine, every page is rad or every page sucks. But really every page is rad and nothing sucks because you did it. Just don’t tell me about it 10 times before you even started.

Disclaimer: Google and Youtube are littered with either numbers in the titles or “how-to”. So I am adopting this style of title-ing in hopes of more viewership. I think with numbers in the titles, the viewer will assume it is a list which means it is a quick read. This one will be.

3 Rules for Self Publishing

Rule No. 1 – Don’t be lazy.

This rule could also be called, “Don’t be a Baby”. Every one has these books they wanna make. You are either going to have some one else publish it which means go out into the world and find someone to publish it. Or, you’re going to self publish it. And that means learning about Photoshop and Indesign and all the different printing processes. “But I don’t know Indesign,” is something I hear a lot. I reply every time, “Do the Youtube tutorials, it’s free. That’s how I learned.” And when they email me 100 questions and I ask, “Did you do the tutorials?” They say no and then I delete and block all their emails, dms, and texts for life. If I see them in person, violence may occur. JK, just stop blowing up my inbox with laziness.

Rule No. 2 – Don’t be scared.

Pick out 20 photos, find copy machine, copy the photos. Fold and staple the pages together. Give what you just made to the nearest person. There, you made a zine and someone owns it. Repeat this exercise 100 times or until you’re over yourself. The number 1 fear of self publishing I think is fear of criticism. And you can say that this is the number 1 fear for doing anything. If you’re stressed about people seeing your work and hating it, then you need to re-think what your doing. If you are not enjoying yourself then you need to be doing something else.

Rule No. 3 – No one cares.

I understand the importance of making a living doing what you love to do, but that is called entrepreneurship and a whole different topic. If you are just trying to make a book, no one cares. To me this is liberating and now I can just go do it. So you can now just go do it. I am bringing this up because I see people struggling with ideas and concepts, etc. Usually over thinking it. Free yourself from that stress. No one cares. The epicness of books and zines is you can take it or leave it. You can cherish it or leave it on the street for some one else. When you can enjoy this cycle of life, it is easier to participate in it. If you do wanna spend a lot of time and try to win some kind of first place prize for your book or zine, go ahead. If you wanna spend no time on it and make it sloppy, that’s fine too. Do it. Either way, we don’t want to hear about it because we don’t care. Maybe you can make us care after we see it and decide we like it or not. But not before.

Oct 09 2018

3 Ways To Make A Zine

Photo by Jason Jaworski

Ok so while I do write a bunch of stuff here on this site I am thinking it is maybe time to start writing about more helpful topics. I get a lot of questions about making zines, therefore this will be the first of many posts about zines, magazines, books, and self-publishing in general.

Anyways, there are 3 basic ways to make a zine. For some of you this may seem like very basic info, but you should know that there are people who didn’t know that self publishing is an option. I guess maybe I should start with “Why Make a Zine” because the intention will serve the final format. But let’s go out of order because first rule is no rules. Also obviously I could’ve made “How to Make a Zine” but let’s start here just to have the extended intro to the topic.

Disclaimer : When I refer to zines, magazines, and books I am mostly (99%) talking about photography zines, magazines, and books. This stuff should apply to any genre but we are coming from a photography side of things. FYI.

3 Ways to Make a Zine

As I am writing this more pre-post ideas keep popping up like, “What is a Zine?” should be the first post. I’ll write that later. For today’s purposes we shall say a zine is decorated pieces of paper, folded in half, stapled and reproduced in quantity for the purpose of distribution. And by decorated I mean decorated with photos. And by reproduced I mean xerox copies, photo copies, laser copies, digital copies.. whatever you want to call them. Also this is just 3 ways to make a zine, there might be a lot more.

Option A – Rubber Cement

This is the traditional way. My favorite way. You take your content (photos) and edit them with scissors. Then glue them to paper. Then make copies of that “master copy” and then collate, fold, and staple. I like to use rubber cement because it holds good but you can also still peel it off and re-position things if need be. Regular glue is messy and too permanent. Tape is just annoying. But again, no rules. Rubber cement is just my preference.

Option B – Rubber Cement and Photoshop.

Edit your pages on Photoshop and print it out on a printer. Turn those prints into a “master copy” with rubber cement and paper. I made zines this way for years. Instead of chopping up my 4×6 photos with scissors, I could scan them, resize in Photoshop, print them out and use them that way.

Option C – Photoshop and Indesign.

This is the modern way. It is so fast and easy. Edit photos in Photoshop, lay them out in Indesign. Export to pdf. This pdf is your “master copy”. Nowadays you can take your usb thumb drive to Kinko’s, plug it into a copier or any printer, and print out 1000s of copies of your zine. Or you can upload your pdf to a bunch of different services online and they will mail you your zines. Or, the way I do it, is go buy a laser printer that does double sided printing. I output my pdfs and then just fold and staple and boom I’m done.

I will go into more detail on this in the next one, “How to Make a Zine”. I just thought it might be cool to do shorter more frequent posts. I think I will title this series of posts “Zine Masters”, get it? Making master copies to make copies off of.

Oct 03 2018

10 Rules For Buying Cameras

Photo by Ray Potes

I am in camera buying mode. I have been watching youtubes and reading reviews for new cameras coming out and I thought it might be cool for me to try to write an article. Also people keep asking me what I’m gonna buy and I’m like, “Quit pressing me, breh.” So here is a guide/list maybe you or someone you know will benefit from it.

10 Rules For Buying Cameras

Rule No. 1 – Don’t let nobody tell you how to spend your money.

There are a butt ton of reviewers out there that say dumb shit like, “I have to ask my wife before I can purchase this particular camera.” Nah, breh. Unless it is her money or if you 2 are going 50/50 on it. Pay your rent and bills first of course. Then if you got extra and you want a camera, then go get it. Get it today.

Rule No. 2 – Buy whatever you want.

If you are into photography and some how you found this website, then we already know you got at least 5 to 10 or more cameras in your closet, on the shelf, in a bag, in a box, etc. Either you are a seasoned veteran or a young buck rookie, you have or eventually will have a gigantic collection of cameras. It is part of it. You need different tools for different projects. So just go get it.

Rule No. 3 – This camera will not make you take better pictures.

If you make crappy photos, a new camera will not make them better. A sharper, higher resolution, more contrasty, more colorful version of a crappy photo is still a crappy photo. Sorry not sorry. You should be studying and taking classes to learn photography. Like all things it takes time. I think that can be for another article.

Rule No. 4 – The camera is for YOU.

A lot of people want to justify their purchases with too many statements like, “It’s for work” or “for travel” or “for sports” etc. No one cares. Or if someone is asking, tell them it’s none of their business. It is all personal work. Only you know what you need and want and what you want and need it for. And if you don’t, then you don’t need another camera.

Rule No. 5 – Output is non factor nowadays.

Phone companies are making billboards with phone photos. How? There is software that can vectorize images and Photoshop is 100% better than it was just 5 years ago. You can argue full frame sensor for image quality, depth of field, low light etc. But making giant prints is non factor. I have made 30in x 40in prints from a phone photo and no one cared. I was going to say no one could tell but really no one cares. Gotta know Photoshop though.

Rule No. 6 – Expand your horizons. Consider another format.

If you shoot film, consider shooting digital. If you shoot digital, consider shooting film. If you shoot 35, consider shooting 120. If you shoot point and shoot, consider shooting rangefinder or slr. If you shoot slr, consider shooting mirrorless. Expand your horizons. I see a lot of people sticking to one format and these people are killing me with the hashtags on Instagram. It is getting too serious. If you love photography, then explore it and experiment more. Having fun vs hashtags. Formats over filters.

Rule No. 7 – Complete the set up.

Prepare to buy accessories too. I probs seen 20 people with a Leica body and no lenses. Would you set up a new skateboard with no wheels? I get it, glass is expensive, but why not consider the lense situation before going in. Maybe you don’t need a Leica, maybe you can get the Bessa and put Leica glass on it. Also, I think every new setup needs a new strap and new bag. That completes it for me.

Rule No. 8 – Make more money.

You don’t have money problems, you have income problems. Imagine if you had twice the income you have now. Then you could buy whatever cameras you want. What can you do to increase your income? What can you do in your off hours for some easy extra money? How can you level up your skill set?

Rule No. 9 – Buy whatever you want.

Yep, this a repeat of Rule No. 2 but going over these I think it is the best one so deserves 2 spots.

Rule No. 10 – No Rules.

Yep, this last one might sound lazy but if you need a guide to tell you how to buy something then maybe you’re lazy too. I say keep learning and keep experimenting and finding out what you like and don’t like and that should guide your next purchase decisions. What cameras and features I like, you probs won’t like and vice versa. But whatever happens stay shooting.