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A beautiful photo art book of portraits and conversations with people that may expand your idea of gender.
A beautiful photo art book of portraits and conversations with people that may expand your idea of gender.
A beautiful photo art book of portraits and conversations with people that may expand your idea of gender.
140 backers pledged €15,565 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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€15,565

140

Cover Design by Edgar Hoffmann
Cover Design by Edgar Hoffmann

You are helping fund the production of a photo book that collects the portraits and stories of 36+ beautiful individuals who identify along the gender spectrum. As the creators of this project, we have already produced most of the content but are relying on the amazing Kickstarter community to bring it over the last hurdle: the book’s production cost.

Who is behind All The People:

Bernd Ott is a professional photographer with a background in portrait photography.  He often works as a fashion photographer these days. 

Emily Besa is a creative consultant and works as a writer and a stylist.  She worked in TV and film in Los Angeles before moving to Amsterdam to start her own business.   

Who and what makes up All The People:

The people we've interviewed and photographed came to us through friends, mutual acquaintances, and organizations, but more importantly they are incredibly unique people. It's taken us over a year to meet them all and interview and photograph them. To this day, Bernd has spent over 1000 hours, taken thousands of frames of 36+ people in five cities and four countries.  Emily has spent over 1000 hours researching, interviewing 36 + people, transcribing each conversation, and writing and revising the text.  All of this time, energy, love, and humanity will be distilled into a hardbound art photo book measuring 24 x 30 cm with over 240 pages of beautifully printed color photos and text on matt coated high quality 150 gram paper.  

All The People-how it came together:

When Emily approached Bernd with the idea for this project, he was eager to work on a long term project with depth and social relevance.  We hope that by sharing stories of people who don't conform to society's rigid ideas about gender with a wide audience, connection, understanding, and acceptance will be formed.   This journey has lead us to many cities in various countries and not only has it widened our circles, it has broadened our minds and our hearts. We hope in some way the reader is similarly affected in viewing the pictures and reading the stories.  

Little did we know how much time and effort this project would take or how financially challenging it would be.  We have been able to take care of the production ourselves, the travel, accommodations, the writing, photography, post production, etc.  But now we are at a critical point and we need your help to make this project a reality.  Please give what you can, and please share the project.  By sharing the project, you help us to get the word out and engage as many people as possible.  

We created this project to be a platform for others, we simply provided the medium through our lens as a photographer and our words as a writer.  By supporting this project, not only do you support the arts, you help contribute to our greater goal: to raise awareness and engage people in connecting to what and who they don't know intimately.  This project is not just a document, it's a celebration of the many facets of gender expression or simply being human.  

The process behind All The People:

Bernd: All the images were taken with a digital medium format system as I wanted to bring a certain “slowness” into the process and create a cinematic feel that can only achieved with larger image formats.  At the beginning of the project I used my well liked Rollei/Leaf system which sadly died. I then replaced it with a very modern Phase/Leaf medium format system. To keep the same look, I searched long and wide for vintage glass and a Hasselblad/Zeiss lens (which was identical to the optic I had mainly used before) and thus managed to recreate the look again.

This project involves people living in five cities, Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, and New York.  It was an organic process-the idea was for each participant to determine factors in the photo shoot and also share their story just as they liked in conversation. Furthermore, we asked each participant to connect us with friends they thought would like to join the project.  This made for an even more intimate aspect to the project.  

We had the opportunity to meet and work with all sorts of amazing people, from health care professionals to students to choreographers to performance artists. Over the course of the project, we also worked with the invaluable support of Mermaids in the UK and TransAmsterdam in the Netherlands.  Mermaids provides much needed support for "gender variant children and teenagers and their families" in the UK.  TransAmsterdam is a "transgender arts and culture organization" that also organizes the Amsterdam TransPride.  The day this campaign goes live coincides with our first public presentation of All The People as a work in progress at Amsterdam TransPride.  We are so honored and excited to be publicly debuting the project at this year's TransPride. 

Funding the publication of All The People:

Your help ensures that this book is printed this year as we set out to do. This project is very timely and relevant so it's important that it is published this fall as planned.  With your help, we will be able to offset two thirds of the printing costs.  

Any funds raised in excess of our goal will go towards fully covering the costs of the publication: the sum the art book publisher is asking in order to print this book plus the copyeditor's fees.  And additional funds help save us essential time from seeking further funding through arts and cultural grants so we can concentrate fully on bringing this project to life this fall.  

We chose to work with this publisher after comparing the costs of self-publishing and learned that it would not save us money to self-publish.  This way, we are working with a renowned art book publisher so that the book will have access to its distribution channels, PR, and the like.  

Rewards:

-The book (the cover design is pictured at the top).

-The three images below are being offered as a limited edition of 25. 20 of those are only exclusively available to backers on kickstarter. They will be delivered with a certificate and signed on the back and are printed in gallery quality on heavy semi matte paper with long lasting pigment inks. Size is 16" by 20", or 40cm x 50cm and will be shipped safely inside a tube. Naturally without the watermark.

Bright
Bright
Nando
Nando
Steven
Steven

-Exclusive to Kickstarter and not available anywhere else, these three images are available as printed postcards (at the €15, €35, €45, and €60,00 levels) and in 8"x10" or 20cm x 25cm on semi gloss photo paper (at the €100,00 level).

Becky (1)
Becky (1)
Steven (2)
Steven (2)
A Man To Pet (3)
A Man To Pet (3)

-A personalized thank you on the Facebook page.

-Your name printed in the book in the acknowledgments.

-An invitation to the book launch in one of the five cities: Amsterdam, Berlin, London, Los Angeles, and New York.

Risks and challenges

We are almost completely done, with just a couple individuals left to photograph and interview. There are a few factors that may delay getting the book printed by our fall deadline.
We are still waiting to hear back from the person we've asked to write a foreword. However, we're prepared to ask other people who would each add a vital voice and another layer to this project and we're confident that even if we do not hear back in time from the first person, we can still secure a great person for the foreword.
We are both very experienced in production. I regularly run large productions as a commercial photographer. Emily has many years of experience in production in the entertainment industry and we are both used to working with budgets, trouble shooting, problem solving, and difficult deadlines. However, this is our first book project so there is definitely a learning curve. Still, with your support and help in the funding area, we are confident we can bring this book to market before the end of the year.

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  1. Select this reward

    Pledge €5 or more About $5

    You are a star. You just believe in what we do and are happy to help for the cost of a coffee. You will be thanked on the Facebook page for the book.
    Go on, you know you want to like it!

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    Pledge €15 or more About $16

    You are a collector. You believe in the project and want to have something but you are traveling light. Three postcards of the second set of images shown in the rewards section. These images are exclusive to the Kickstarter campaign and will not be in the book or exhibited later.

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    Pledge €25 or more About $27

    EARLY BIRD SPECIAL:
    Your very own copy of the book at a special price.

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    Reward no longer available 20 backers
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    Pledge €35 or more About $38

    A copy of the book and the three postcards exclusive to Kickstarter.

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    30 backers
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    Pledge €45 or more About $49

    Your very own signed copy and the three postcards exclusive to Kickstarter.
    Come join us at one of the book launches in Amsterdam, Berlin, LA, London or NY!

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    Limited 15 backers
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge €60 or more About $66

    Your very own signed copy and the three postcards exclusive to Kickstarter.
    You will be invited to the book launch in the city of your choice.
    And your name will be listed in the book as supporter!

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    Limited 10 backers
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge €100 or more About $110

    Two signed books: one book for you to keep and another one to share. Perfect for gift giving!
    One 8 x 10" (20 x 25 cm) print of one the Kickstarter exclusive images. Just specify the number following the name of the image when you order- 1:Becky, 2:Steven, 3:A Man To Pet.
    Join us at one of the book launch in one of the five cities.
    Plus, your name listed in the book as a supporter!

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge €300 or more About $329

    A signed copy of the book, your name in the book, and a limited edition exhibition quality print of "Bright". 16 x 20" (40 x 50 cm) signed and numbered in an edition of 25. Print mailed individually in a tube.

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    Pledge €300 or more About $329

    A signed copy of the book, your name in the book, and a limited edition exhibition quality print of "Nando". 16 x 20" (40 x 50 cm) signed and numbered in an edition of 25. Print mailed individually in a tube.

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    Pledge €300 or more About $329

    A signed copy of the book, your name in the book, and a limited edition exhibition quality print of "Steven". 16 x 20" (40 x 50 cm) signed and numbered in an edition of 25. Print mailed individually in a tube.

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    Pledge €1,500 or more About $1,647

    Hello big spender!
    Your very own portrait session in London!
    You must be available from the end of August to mid September, 2015. You will receive your own printed portrait, 11" x 14" (28 x 35 cm). A different size can be arranged.

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  12. Select this reward

    Pledge €1,500 or more About $1,647

    Hello big spender!
    Your very own portrait session in Berlin!
    You must be available from the end of September to end of November, 2015. You will receive your own printed portrait, 11 x 14" (28 x 35 cm). Another size can be arranged.

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Funding period

- (30 days)