The Observers is a curious community dedicated to photography and books.
Our mission is for all visual storytellers to be inspired by the most compelling work ever created — selected from and curated by the best of us.
Our first offering is an interview series in which notable photographers, curators, and filmmakers speak about the photo books that inspire their work.
-- The Observers
We are students. Of photography, the world around us, and the world inside of us.
We take small steps every day, intentional in pursuit of our craft as visual storytellers.
We study the greats, because originality can be achieved only by knowing what came before us.
We believe that what you’re taking a photo of matters more than what you’re taking a photo with.
We love physical books, because they provide us with an undivided and quiet space to learn. They slow us down, which is important in today’s digital world.
We observe, through our own photos and the great work of others.
Photography generates empathy and invites us into worlds of experiences that are different from our own. We’re here to spark and celebrate more of that.
- The Observers
“The more pictures you see, the better you are as a photographer.” - Robert Mapplethorpe
“Photography is the only language that can be understood anywhere in the world.” - Bruno Barbey
How can we contact you?
Drop us a line at info (at) theobservers.co or send us a postcard at:
47 Bergen Street 3rd FL
Brooklyn NY 11201
Who is on The Observers team?
Paul Jun is a writer and photographer. He is also the head of content for CreativeMornings and previously the community manager for Seth Godin's altMBA program.
[ website / instagram ]
Wesley Verhoeve is a photographer and writer whose work has been published by National Geographic Traveller, Wired, Bonobos, and others. He is also the founding curator of the Projected series at the International Center of Photography, and was previously the US curator for WeTransfer. [ website / instagram ]
Jeffrey Phillips is a Melbourne based illustrator who enjoys visiting Brooklyn in his spare time. It would be way more economical to just visit the park but no! In order to fund this habit, he draws a lot. When he's not drawing for work, he dabbles in various personal projects - most that include his trusty pen but many that include pasta. Cacio e pepe anyone?
[ website / instagram ]
In the age of infinite scroll digital photography platforms, why books?
Books are shown to provide a calmer, more focused experience. Turn a page slowly and let the image move you. Take time to analyze and appreciate an image at a larger format. Look back at the greats who came before and see how our beloved medium has grown and changed throughout the years.
Can I send you my photo books?
Absolutely, you can find our mailing address above. We frequently feature photo books we love on our Instagram stories, though unfortunately due to the large amount of books we receive we cannot promise to feature every book we receive.
What is your publishing schedule?
We publish two interviews per week, one on Tuesday and one on Thursday, for the duration of quarter-long seasons. In between seasons, we take a 4 week break. This break is how we ensure that we get time in for our own photography.
Why include a library link with each book?
We love and believe in libraries. We want to ensure that every reader can benefit from the knowledge and inspiration shared by our guests, regardless of their financial circumstances. A library membership is free and our library links will automatically adjust to your geographic location.
Additionally, some of the photography books shares by our guests are out of print and the only way to find them is by visiting a library or buying them used.
Do you have favorite stores to go browse for photo books?
Absolutely! Three that come to mind are Dashwood Books (NYC), powerHouse Books (Brooklyn), and Book/Shop (Oakland). We'll make a longer and more geographically diverse list soon. Send us your favorites at info (at) theobservers.co
Does The Observers participate in any affiliate programs?
We participate in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program. This means that whenever you buy a book on Amazon from a link on here, we receive a small percentage of the price as a commission to help offset the cost of running this project.