About this project
What is Sports?
For too long, I feel the narrow definition of sports has been limited to professional leagues and Olympic competitions, folks with monster builds and monster salaries. Sports is to be taken seriously, for the serious athlete.
Does it really need to be that way?
To me, sports is what you want it to be. Inclusive, not exclusive. Sports allow people to express what matters to them and how they have fun. That's why dodgeball and roller derby leagues have become the rage. Anyone, hell, everyone can play. Elite athleticism is not mandatory.
So, what are Weird Sports?
That's up for discussion. There are no rules. Some of what I consider to be Weird Sports have been around long enough to become mainstream. But I remember a day when Evel Knievel was the X-Games, when snowboarding was a fad, when roller skating was something you did on a date - and not during a downhill race.
This book isn't about creating a definition of what sports is or is not. It's about starting a discussion about what role sports play in people's lives.
It's about simply celebrating fun.
Since 2005, I've photographed nearly 200 different Weird Sports around the globe while searching for the fun and unique moments in sports. Along the way - while minding my own business - something weird happened:
My passion project turned into a photo book series.
My first collection, "Weird Sports," was published in 2011 by the fabulously talented folks at Kehrer Verlag. Sure, they produce beautiful books. But they are also beautiful people. I couldn't be prouder to have them in my corner.
What's really weird is all the fun(ny) publicity my project has received since its release, including The New York Times, WIRED, APAD, NPR, Marie Claire, HuffPo, PDN, Popular Photography - and Penthouse?! (So sorry, no link available for that.)
I'm pretty much a one-trick pony. Once "Weird Sports" went to press, I started thinking about a follow-up book. Since then, I've been working again with former National Geographic photo editor Mike Davis. Every few months, I'd send him recent images for an edit.
The group of selects is looking great. And it's definitely weird! (Surprise!)
I've stayed in contact with Kehrer Verlag, and we agree the timing is perfect to produce a fun sequel in this series.
To make the Fall 2014 European book catalog, I'd need to turn in all materials by May. A date would be set for this summer for the press run in Heidelberg.
If things hold true to form as with my first book, "Weird Sports 2" will be released in Europe this fall and in the U.S. in Spring 2015. However, those whose Kickstarter reward includes a copy of my book will likely receive it before the 2014 holidays.
Can you say perfect Christmas/Chanukah gift??
What kind of rewards do I offer? Only the fun kind.
Maybe you've heard I love luchador masks. Still working with the designer on the exact selections, but here's a sample of the cool stuff they offer.
Scared of the dark like me? Fear not. For a $60+ pledge, you can receive a custom Weird Sports night light.
There are also prints of the images on this Kickstarter page, plus copies of Weird Sports 2 (naturally). Not listed: a free hug for every backer.
What does this Kickstarter campaign fund? Simply put, it covers the entire cost of publishing "Weird Sports 2" in Germany, which is no small feat. That's why your contributions are so very important.
Photo books are not cheap to make, store or distribute. And it’s the photographer’s responsibility to allocate those funds, by finding sponsors - like you! - or by paying out of pocket. This isn’t a scam. It’s the current business model for most photographers living and not named Henri Cartier-Bresson. (And yes, I thought about changing my name to HCB.)
Thanks to a huge corporate job in 2010, I was able to cover the entire $26k in publishing costs for my first book. No such job on the horizon this year, which means I truly need your help.
My hope is that people view this as a way to pre-order "Weird Sports 2," while also funding its existence. Without your help, there will be no book.
And why books? For me, it’s about legacy, first and foremost. This is what I saw while on this Earth and what makes me laugh. As photographers, we are pretty lucky to leave behind evidence of our presence and personality. These books are my children.
I want to thank all my friends, family and fans that have supported me along this path. My community means everything to me.
And thanks to you for helping make "Weird Sports 2" a weird reality.
Risks and challenges
Honestly, I don't foresee any risks or challenges. My publisher, Kehrer Verlag, has agreed to publish and distribute "Weird Sports 2." Aside from the funding, that's really the big hurdle for any book project.
This will be my second time working with the kühl folks at Kehrer. I couldn't ask for a more professional and talented group of people to collaborate with on this project.
I can't wait to share with you the final results! And thank you again for your support.
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