There are more than a few creative industry titles out there, but Creative Review has long held the enviable reputation for being one designers and photographers actually want to read. One of the highlights of a subscription to this bible of visual communication is, without a doubt, the Photography Annual. Published each November, this special double edition showcases the year’s finest commercial photography, as judged by a panel of experts, and Blurb is proud to sponsor the prestigious Best in Book section. We hounded the editor, Patrick Burgoyne, to get his pick of this year’s entrants and more.
Blurb: The Photography Annual is always causes such a buzz – how do you manage to whittle it down to the winning few?
Patrick: When we first set up the Photography Annual some years ago, we consulted with people in the industry about the best way to judge it. There was a feeling that the traditional jury system didn’t suit photography awards because what tended to happen was that people would only agree on relatively “safe” work – the work that divided opinion because it was different or new would seldom make it through. We wanted to encourage this type of imagery and so decided to go for more of a curatorial model where we entrust each category to just one highly knowledgeable judge. They select the work for their section alone, but the Best in Book winners are decided jointly. We always have really strong, informed debate about those – but it’s never gotten ugly (yet)!
Blurb: You must see new trends emerging each year. What surprised or intrigued you this year?
Patrick: There are always a few trends or common themes – this year I saw a lot of interesting cropping going on. And there were some quite unusual angles and ideas used, with the subject perhaps reduced to one corner or shot at an oblique angle.
Blurb: Is there anything you’ve seen falling out of fashion among photographers?
Patrick: I think there was a lot less of the highly saturated, lens-flare stuff that had been quite a feature in past years. And fewer desolate urban landscapes too.
Blurb: We love Martin Osborne’s series, The Silence of Dogs in Cars. There’s something so sad and desolate about it. Which entry struck an emotional chord with you?
Patrick: Well I think that one did, certainly. You’re right – you almost fear that the dogs are about to commit suicide in some of the shots. They are heartbreaking.
Blurb: Lots of pro photographers use Blurb – do you have any advice for any who might be hoping to get into next year’s annual?
Patrick: It’s always just great ideas well executed. The judges are ultimately looking for images that they’d have been proud to commission themselves and, because of their background, they always have an understanding of context and how appropriate an image is for a certain use.
Thanks to Mr. Burgoyne for his words. Check out the Creative Review website and feast your eyes on this year’s Best in Book pieces.
Image of Patrick Burgoyne by George Foote. All other images courtesy of Creative Review