Markus Schaden, PBN 2011 juror, took a few moments to bring us a book publisher’s view on photography today. He also talked about Schaden publishing house and Schaden.com, the fine art photography bookstore he founded in Cologne, Germany.
Blurb: When and why did you become a publisher?
Markus: In 1996, because of my love and passion for books! I was about to open my own bookstore when I thought to myself: Before you start selling photography books you should at least publish one book yourself. To be honest, it was a disaster! But I’ve learned through that experience.
Blurb: How large is your personal book collection?
Blurb: What are professional photography book collectors looking for in a book?
Markus: Like most collectors they are looking for an investment, but sometimes they focus too much on the money and not enough on the creative aspect of photography books. Real collectors are looking to build a collection based around all books on one subject, covering different sizes and shapes.
Blurb: Please describe what makes a great, successful photography book.
Markus: A great photography book can change your life. I’ve experienced this a few times. I owe my most memorable experience to Unter Krahnenbäumen by Chargesheimer. I bought that book during my apprenticeship as a bookseller. It’s about everyday life on a single street in Cologne. At the time the book re-inspired my love for Cologne, where I still live today.
Blurb: What is a favorite photography book that you own or have seen from the last few years?
Markus: That’s a tough one! I have a few favorites. One of them is the first edition of Learning from Las Vegas, by Robert Venturi and Denise Scott Brown (1971). It’s a study about the famous Vegas strip, photographed by architectural students. They took inspiration from the works of artist Ed Ruscha. The interesting thing about this book is that, at the time, architecture was actually more interesting than photography. In Learning from Las Vegas photography served as a medium to present artistic imagery of architecture. The result is a strong book with substantial content.
Blurb: What is the most exciting aspect of the photography scene right now? And how do books tie into that?
Markus: In my opinion, the spirit between boom and crisis that we can sense across the world makes us extremely creative and innovative. Suddenly we dare to do things that we wouldn’t have dreamt about in steadier times!
Blurb: Thank you for your time, Markus. For photographers interested in entering the Photography Book Now 2011 juried competition, the deadline for entry is July 14, 2011. Go to the PBN 2011 website for more information. Check back here for more interviews with PBN jurors, or follow us on Twitter for updates.