Self Publish, Be Happy!

Taking place at the Photographers’ Gallery in London this weekend is Self Publish, Be Happy, a festival celebrating independent photography books…

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Taking place at the Photographers’ Gallery in London this weekend is Self Publish, Be Happy, a festival celebrating independent photography books…


The event is the brainchild of Bruno Ceschel, who has picked 60 of his favourite contemporary DIY photo books to exhibit for the event. Several of these will be on sale, and there will also be talks and signings throughout the weekend. Ceschel, who used to work for a book publisher, became interested in self-published books after becoming exasperated with the commercial aspects of publishing. “I got frustrated working for a publisher because the commercial side of it is quite painful,” he says. “There isn’t much money in it and the projects are a bit of a struggle.”



The recession has also affected the amount of books on photography being published, meaning that photographers and creatives are beginning to create their own publications instead. “Something is going on here,” continues Ceschel, “more and more people are publishing their own books. Technology allows you to do it more easily and cheaply now.”



Ceschel also has a blog celebrating self-published books, and will be creating a catalogue for the event at the Photographers’ Gallery. It features photos of all the books in the exhibition shot by Peter Haynes, Nik Adam and Åsa Johannesson, and as you can see from the photos above and below, it has something of a 1970s naturist vibe, but comes replete with useful information as well as nudey pics. “In the back it has technical information on how each book in the exhibition is made,” says Ceschel, “so hopefully it will further encourage people to do their own books.” The catalogue is designed by Glenn Howard at Untitled and supported and printed by ubyu.



The event will take place over Saturday and Sunday at the Photographers’ Gallery. For information on book signings and the books featured, visit the PG site, here.


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  • brucerobbo

    With the new and varied options available to self publish the world should be full of books. Also consider Kindle and the i-Pad too – something is definately going on here!.

    Visit for more literal works and the way to promote your books.

  • Self publishing, or vanity publishing? I see so many projects being turned into ‘books’ I really wonder how many of them actually sell enough to cover the production costs of the making the images. I guess with businesses like Blurb and the like, it avoids printing costs and having to store, distribute and find outlets for publications to go on sale, but I really don’t see self-publishing as part of my business plan during a recession.

  • Self publish be happy – So the worl of photographyis following the narcisistic world of higher education. Self publlish and be reviewed by one’s peers to make one feel more important, then review one’s peers work to gain even more self gratification. Photographers consider themselves to be artists in their own right, I hope that they don’t follow the example of academics in their self fulfilling prophecy of admiration through publishing!

  • Its a really interesting thought – I buy virtually no magazines but still buy some books – before long self publishing may be the norm with services such as magcloud and blurb