Hey Jared. You surprised me at the shop yesterday with your new photo book! Honestly I was blown away on the size,quality, and how you kept a project this massive quiet for so long.
Can you give us a lil background on what inspired you to get this book going?
I didn’t plan on doing a book, it started more as an organization project, just to get a bunch of old film out of boxes and into a filing cabinet. I had been using some of the last winter rainy season here in Portland to scan and put names to images I liked while I was still able to do it. In other words, while I had a working scanner, and while I still had some sense of the who, what, and where of the photos. There was no rhyme or reason to my film archives after moving across the country a few times over the years. No organization at all. A lot of the old stuff was crammed in boxes and I’d go through it occasionally and maybe scan things for instagram, but I wasn’t necessarily doing it in an archival manner. I guess I was trying to start fresh and put together my favorite shots on a hard drive in some sort of cleaned up archive.
I think in early February I started dumping some of my favorite shots into an InDesign file… not necessarily as a book, just seeing where it went. Things were starting to shut down at that point due to the pandemic, and I was just occupying my time, tinkering around on the computer and around my studio. That file I was working on was in no way a BMX book. It was a little of everything — weird photos from around Portland, snowboarding, skateboarding, motocross, music, BMX — really a little of everything with no real direction. Then the world shut down.
I kept scanning and dumping stuff I liked off of hard drives into these InDesign layout files that kept growing. I think I figured I’d maybe make some zines or something. At some point in March or April I had these three or four massive layout files with hundreds of pages each… I had over 2000 pages between them, of just random shit I liked put into spreads. One of the files was very loosely chronological, and was action sports focussed overall, but it wasn’t specifically BMX. I spent weeks just moving shit around in these different documents. I kept coming back to that chronological document, organizing it further, cutting stuff from it, adding stuff to it. The more I went along it wasn’t cohesive at all. It was like five books that someone shuffled into one. I think in June at some point, when we’d been stuck shut down for months, I was losing my mind trying to figure out what to do with all the shit I’d been moving around on my computer. I didn’t feel like I was getting anywhere, so I started focusing on one of those layout documents, trying to put together some sort of story. Slowly the more I edited it down, the more focussed it got. It probably wasn’t until early July that I said “fuck it, I’m gonna put all this BMX stuff into something of its own.” At that point I made another InDesign file, moved all my BMX stuff that I’d been playing with into it, and then just locked myself in to making something out of that, even if I never actually printed it. I don’t think I had fully committed to making it until the second week of July, and then I gave myself till the end of the month to have something done, and just focussed completely on that. I’d say most of June and all of July, every waking moment I was moving photos around InDesign documents in my head.
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