One of my favorite things about editing is that it means collaborating with awesome people to make something special together.
Andrew Renneisen is a super talented young photographer who I met late last year at the Eddie Adams Workshop and, since he's finishing his undergraduate program at Syracuse University where I'm working on my Master's, we've been able to keep in touch.
Andrew has been working on a project entitled Violent Times: Crime in America's Cities in which he's been documenting the effects of a culture of violence in various communities where he has lived and worked over the last few years. The work has been recognized by the Alexia Foundation for World Peace and published in part in a couple of places, but he and I talked about how else we might be able to start getting the work out there.
Andrew was especially enthusiastic about wanting to present the work in a way that would be accessible to the people and communities where he has been photographing.
So we decided on an ebook, as it would allow us to present the work in a clean and intuitive interface, but also be easily disseminated for free in the iBooks store.
We also brought in Abby Legge, my favorite young designer, to help us design the book.
There is so much to love about Abby's design work, but I'm consistently impressed with how cerebral she is about design. In thinking about how to design the cover, for example, Abby picked up on how Andrew's work is about how much violence divides communities and families, and so she translated that idea into the typographic treatment of the vertical orientation title (displayed in the iBooks Store and in your iBooks library). She's also just a great human and is wonderful to work with. But don't tell anyone -- she's Deb Pang Davis' and my best kept secret.
For the edit, I broke up the story up into 4 "chapters" centered around the themes of "innocence", "protectors", "doers", and "loss", each punctuated by portraits of hope, and then I worked with Abby to put it all together in a clean and minimal way that would let the images do the talking.
Abby also had a wonderful solution for handling captions. We wanted caption information to be available but we didn't want to interrupt the flow of the images or break the integrity of any of the images with overlays. We wanted the viewer to first experience the story with the images but then be able to read captions later.
I'm thrilled with how this ebook came out and I hope it will help get this work seen and be part of a movement towards peace in these communities.
All images © Andrew Renneisen. Please don't steal.