Sneak Preview: My Book, On Photography

by | Sep 19, 2020

“Promises, promises. I’m all through with promises, promises now.”—Hal David

Today’s Post by Joe Farace

At long last… my forever promised book, On Photography: A Life in Photography, is here…at least for a few of you. If you’ve been following this saga, it has more twists and turns than a daytime soap opera.

After I finished my (first) final draft of the book—there were several it turned out— I asked a few friends and colleagues if they would be interested in copy editing the book. Two of my former colleagues from Shutterbug magazine turned me down. Not really the friends I though they were, I guess. Two other writers that I knew and respected agreed to do it but, for whatever reason, neither one of them could never seem to get “a round tuit.”

As you might imagine, all of this back and forth and waiting took time, which is where all the additional final edits came into play. I wanted to make the book as good as I could so there were several re-writes and edits while searching for a copy editor. Not that long ago, while having donuts and tea with my pal Barry Staver he offered to edit the book. Since we had written two books together and he had copy edited his son’s thesis, I said, yes and then went through my hopefully last ever edit of the book. Then COVID-19 hit.

While reflecting on the impact I think this pandemic will have not only on society as we used to know it, I also expect it will also turn professional photography on it’s head. To me, selling my book made as much sense as publishing a book about horse and carriage maintenance after Karl Benz and Gottlieb Daimler gave us the modern automobile. Since I thought there still might be some slivers of good advice in the book, especially when it comes to all of the mistakes that I made in my career, I thought that perhaps it might help you avoid some of them. So I decided that the best thing to do was give the book away for free.

My plan is to offer On Photography as a free download on this site. Please do not confuse this offer with all the “let me show you how to get rich in photography” free books I see all over Instagram advertised by photographers looking to get rich themselves by selling you something else. Nope, that’s not the case here. I just don’t want to see all of the effort I put into the book go to waste. And if it helps a few of you make a few bucks as professional photographers or save you some grief my stupidity caused myself, that will make me happy. There are also some bits of my personal story—just bits not the who magilla—that were cathartic for me to write and they might also help you get some insight into your own decisions about life and the business of photography.

In the meantime, I would like to send five of you an advance PDF copy of the book to make sure it works OK, because this is new territory for me. If you like it, that’s nice. I’m not looking for compliments. If you hate it, that’s OK too and I don’t want to hear about that either. If on the other hand you find some bugs in the format. please let me know and I will try to fix them before offering it as a download to everybody else. Just click Contact and tell me you’re interested in taking an advance look, and I will email the PDF to the first five volunteers. And thanks for your help.

Along with Pulitzer Prize-winning photographer Barry Staver, I’m co-author of Better Available Light Digital Photography that’s available from Amazon for $21.88 prices with used copies selling for around seven bucks, as I write this. The Kindle version is kind of high for some reason (not Barry and I to be sure.)