In Training is a fine art photography book about bonsai, empathy and slowing down that I've been working on for the last year.
I want to make this book because I want to share the feeling of being close to these remarkable trees. I want to share their peaceful presence and their humble, rugged beauty.
For someone who has never seen a bonsai before, I hope this book will be a meaningful visual introduction to this art form. For those who know bonsai intimately, I hope these photos will present a new way of looking at these trees - a fresh, but respectful interpretation of the artist’s intent.
I’ve loved bonsai trees since I first saw one almost twenty years ago at the National Arboretum in Washington, DC. I’m humbled when I think about the commitment of generations of bonsai masters who care for these trees.
What I love most about bonsai is the empathy of its practitioners that is reflected in these trees. Practitioners who care for and maintain trees that will outlive them, that will eventually be watched over by someone else, long after they’re gone.
And so after a year of thinking hard about this project, making dozens and dozens of trips to photograph the bonsai, and editing down thousands of images I’m asking for your support. I’m working with one of my favorite designers to create a beautiful, hand-crafted book of my photos.
I hope this will be a book that rewards a long, slow look, that can be returned to again and again.
The book will come in two versions:
First Edition Book - Hardcover - 12" x 12" - 40 pages
Limited Edition Book - Hardcover, 12" x 12" - 40 pages in handcrafted slipcase. Limited to 50 copies. The book will also include one 12” x 18” print only available to Kickstarter backers (see choices below).
(book size and # of pages subject to change as design progresses, but page count will only increase)
These museum-quality prints will be made by a printer in New York who works regularly with NYC galleries and exhibiting photographers worldwide. After exploring a wide range of photo papers, I've found a special matte paper that will preserve the beautiful, rich detail of the images.
8" x 12" signed print, Bald Cypress, with $200 reward
12" x 18" signed print (choice of 1), with $400 reward
20" x 30" signed print, choice of five limited editions prints, each in an edition of 10, with $500 reward
These greeting cards have five of my favorite images that didn't make the final edit for the book. Each will have the photograph on the front and the information about the tree printed on the back of the card.
Stephen is a photographer based in Washington, DC who works with clients like Time Magazine, Wired, NPR and The Wall Street Journal. He loves running, gardening with his kids and rock-climbing.
You can see more of his work at his website: stephenvoss.com.
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Risks and challenges
I've had my photographs published in many books before, but this is my first experience publishing my own book. To that end, I'm working with designer who has a tremendous amount of experience with publishing and a well-established printer who specializes in producing the finest art photograph books. Both make meeting deadlines their business, but if there's any real risk, it's the risk that there may be a delay due to an unforeseen issue.
Regardless of whether that happens or not, I will be transparent in keeping my supporters up to date on a regular basis on the book's progress.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- (32 days)