OP...Your on the right track. One can get overloaded with junk in the digital age. On the other hand sometimes we get a winner from experiments and mistakes. So have to balance it.
For me, my goal is to have a shot that is portfolio worthy and preferably museum quality. This past year I placed 3 to 4 thousand prints in public collections. I was able to achieve such a high placement of prints because every artists' book I placed had between 38 and 75 original archival pigment prints in it. Then tack on portfolio placements or 10, 20 and up to 50+ prints and it is a staggering amount of work I placed. (All donated, don't get any delusions of selling thousands of prints to museums.)
I set possibly a world record of original photography placed in under 11 months to public collections? I don’t know or care. My goal was not to set records. My goal was to archive my photography as I am getting old and have no one to archive it when I die. And if I had my way I would be in double or triple the amount of collections on my bio list.
(See bio for 2 page list of where I placed my work from January 20, 2013 to December 5, 2013. Excepting 2 placements done earlier.)http://biographyofdanieldteolijr.tumblr.com/
Now, photography is a tough field to do anything with nowadays. Sure you will always have the greats and the lucky well connected few that are stars. But in reality, it is easer for you to be a world famous and rich movie star than it is for you to become a world famous and rich photog.
When I started in the early 70’s you could call up the curator of LACMA and come down for a look see of your book. If you had anything half way decent he would accept it in the permanent collection. But nowadays you can't even find the name of the photo curators a lot of the time....top secret stuff! And if you call or write, you get no replies. As one curator told me…”Please I don’t need any more photographs…the world is just polluted with them.”
But, does all this even matter at all?
NO, even with no outlet or hope we still shoot like hell. Freezing time is in our blood. (As long as we are not just camera fondlers and can actually shoot some decent work.) I keep producing museum quality work now and then. A few a year anyway. I wonder what I am going to do with that stuff now? Start resoliciting the same institutions to give more away? It is a constant hassle. i talked with Duke archives and maybe will give them everything someday. But I will still be pressing the button and freezing time on my death bed no doubt.
It must be a sickness and addiction or whatever…we MUST freeze time no matter what. Jacques Henri Lartigue is a good example of how this disease catchces us early and is lifelong and relentless. This disease we have is no different from the artists that must produce art without hope of sales or placements. No matter what…the artist MUST produce to live a happy life. And so it is for us. We can liken ourselves to termites. Just as the termite must eat wood to live, we must freeze time. The only question that remains is...what wood will the termites be eating and for us, what pix will we be shooting.
Let me give you guys a Xmas present.
Here is a letter I sent in to the LF forum. I’ll offer this forum the same proposal to any outstanding photographer on this group that wants to take a step above where your normal comfort zone is. Duplicate of post sent to LF forum;
Would you like help with making an artists' book and placing them in public collections?
Over the last 11 months I’ve placed artists' book of my photography at numerous special collection and rare book archives around the world. My work is in the collections of some of the most prestigious archives there are. A list of my placements is at the end my bio.http://biographyofdanieldteolijr.tumblr.com/
All but two of 62 placements was done in under 11 months. Probably a world record for private placements of photography at public institutions in under 11 months. I'm not telling you all this to try and set world records or toot my horn. I'm just doing it to intro myself and my background.
If I was interested in tooting my horn I’d be telling you ‘hey look at me’ after each and every placement...wouldn’t I. Just like some of the guys do on the forums with each and every crapper photo they shoot. The real deal on me is: I never was interested on self-promotion until a year ago. I’m getting old and have no one to look after my work when I die. So that was the kick in the ass to start working on self-promotion after 44 years of shooting.
Here is a sample of one of my artists’ books. http://portfolioartistsbook.tumblr.com/
If you would like to make an artists' book and work on placing your photography in similar institutions. I'd be glad to work with you for your first book. No money involved. You just send me duplicates of the photos in the book and I make one book for you and one for me. After you get the first book under control your on your own with production. But I’d be glad for informal consultation via email. I have extensive knowledge about private placements with museums and the most prestigious special collection and rare libraries in the world.
I will also give you access to some of my contacts so you can promote your book. About 80% to 85% of the library donation solicitations will end in rejection. But that is a much higher rate of success than in museum solicitations. (90% to 95%) Now, you may do better or worse than me. You look at my work and see what I was sending around, so that may give you some idea of where you fit in.
Only catch is… I have to like your work and want a copy of you book in my collection to work with you. But it does not hurt running it by me. I like most any excellent (interesting) photography out there.
Ink jets are best for prints as they are cheap, excellent quality and easy to mass produce. https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:%27Left_Silver_Gelatin_Print_-_Right_Hahnemuehle_Ink_Jet_Print%27_Copyright_2013_Daniel_Teoli_Jr..jpg
Silver prints can be done if they are dry mounted back to back to avoid warping. A big breakthrough for me with duo paper ink jet prints was using a thin plastic interleaf sheet on each page. I was getting some ink migration in the books. Problem with interleaf was it made the books too thick, so I had to make it all fit.
When you exceed a certain size the thickness of the book, the spiral coil changes in density and the big books become flimsy. Paper trials, proof books, different binders, interleafing sheets, line production boxes, plastic covers and inserts, etc…it all cost $. My first artists' book cost me $2100+ to figure this all out. And that was with me making it all. I had no one to breast feed it all to me. In your case, the cost is minimal as it has been all worked out by me, for you.
Within the next couple years I hope to write a book on presenting photography to curators and museums. Not much out there on that topic. But I have tons of photo projects going right now and it is on the back burner.
If your interested, drop me an email with samples of your work or questions you may have. Don’t expect me to keep up with this thread. I’m very busy and just too much useless BS on these forums.
If serious write me direct. No games..exactly what is said here...I expect the same from you.Shiroplum1@gmail.com