Photography book review: PhotoJojo!

by DaniGirl on November 23, 2009 · 0 comments

in Books, Photography

Dear Santa, Of all the photography books I’ve read this year (and hoo-boy, I’ve read a LOT of them, maybe even ALL of them) the one that I’m asking for this Christmas is the PhotoJojo book. Yes, I know, I already read it once from the library. But it was so fun, so funny, so full of great ideas, that I simply must have my own copy to turn to and flip through and be inspired by at random points through the year.

I’ve been a fan of the PhotoJojo Web site and newsletter for quite a while now. In fact, together with CBC’s Spark podcast, they were the main inspirations for Project 365. I’d seen that they were coming out with a book, but since I’d been subscribing to their newsletter for more than a year, and had spent many fun hours plumbing the depths of their archives, I didn’t think I needed to pick up what they called “the convenient dead trees edition” of their Web site. Then one day to my delight I found it on the express shelf of the library and took it home.

I got about half-way through when I realized that not only was this one of the most delightful photography books I’d ever read, but that I needed a copy of my own.

So what is PhotoJojo? It’s a whimsical, fun and occasionally brilliant set of, in their own humble words, “insanely great photo projects and DIY ideas.” Some of the material has been recycled from their newsletters, but the vast majority of the content was new to me.

There are two parts to the book. The first section talks about things to do with the photos you’ve already taken but are languishing, unloved and unappreciated, in your hard drive or in a shoe box somewhere. The second section is called “have more fun with your camera” and provides ideas and inspiration for all the fantastic photos you are about to take.

You can see why I love it, right? The ideas run the gamut from the silly (how to build a harness for your dog to create “the amazing doggie cam” or how to make a hidden jacket camera) to the sublime (a disposable camera chain letter, and the most inspired take on the hoary old photo calendar idea I’ve ever come across.) It has fun projects like making snow globes and photo cupcakes, and practical projects like how to turn a water bottle into a monopod. And it’s threaded through with the geeky sort of humour that makes me snicker out loud as I read.

Photographic meets crafty, with a bent sense of humour and a penchant for whimsy: seriously, what’s not to love? Oh sure, you can do what I did and check out a copy from the public library, but if you’re a photo junkie like me, trust me, you’ll want your own copy too!

But wait, wait, I can’t be done the book review, I haven’t told you about the “everyone who comes to visit you photo wall” or the “photo lampshade” or “how to turn your SLR into a pinhole camera” or “how to build a fish-eye lens out of a door peep” or…


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