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Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!

2012 brought great strides to 50 Couches in 50 Nights and in my photographic work. I was hired to shoot images of a gallery for their website, sold some fine art photographic prints, and was hired to take the “after” photos for home renovation television show. I also shot the baby shower for a Daytime Emmy Award winning actress, as well photographing her in the nursery that she designed and put together. Some of those images were published.

 

Heather Tom BB

I was also very honored to  photograph the wedding of a good friend in Joshua Tree, and another of an old co-worker in Manhattan Beach.

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And, every spare moment, I worked on 50 Couches in 50 Nights. With the help of a number of friends, I was able to put together a  Kickstarter fundraiser, and with your help, it was successful. Not only did it raise some funds to cover costs that I would not be able to pay upfront by myself, but it raised the profile of the project. One of the portraits was featured in the ArtistsWanted (now See.me) 2011 One Life competition catalog. Another group of the photos of the couches was named among the finalists in the 2012 One Life competition. The project was featured in an article on LAist.com, and was mentioned on AFAR’s “What We’re Reading” blog. One Giant Arm also featured some of the photos their blog, and CouchSurfing.org, promoted the project on their facebook page.

Nearly every day, I’ve dedicated some time working on 50 Couches in 50 Nights. Doing a variety tasks to keep moving the project forward and complete the book. has proved to be much more time consuming than I had originally anticipated. Sorting through the sheer multitude of photos has been slow, deliberate, and wonderful task. My skills in polishing these images have improved greatly since this project began, and many of the photos you may have seen on here or Facebook or flickr are much more pleasing to the eye than when I first shared them. Some of these improved versions, as well as well as other images, which have yet to be shared with the public, may not even be shown until they are printed. I’ve been posting some “new” images to facebook, flickr, and tumblr, as I go along, but this is just a taste of what’s to come. In addition to making the photos shine, deciding which of these images makes the cut and ends up in the book has also been a challenging task. They all hold a special place in my heart, but, unfortunately, not even all of the “good” ones will make it in. In fact, in the process of going through everything, I’m already seeing a number of smaller, more focused books in the future. Imagine a book featuring just all the pets that I encountered, or people’s refrigerator doors. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet. Completing the layout for the two pages which I’ve allotted to each couch has involved deciding which photos best tell the core story of the night, as well as which photos simply work well together. Sometimes a color palette reveals itself. Other times, a pattern emerges from the subject matter. This usually involves some trial and error and some re-working of the images. Many nights will feature a handful of photos, but others will have maybe a dozen. Some may have simply two photos, and even a couple, so far, have a single image telling the story of my night on that couch. This isn’t at all how I had originally envisioned the book. It’s so much more honest and much better.

Making all of these decisions proved difficult in the past and much of the work I completed prior to this year has been put aside. It just wasn’t good enough. But this year, while it has been a slow process, it has also been much more rewarding than I could have imagined. I’m so very pleased with how the book is shaping up. It’s a vision that just doesn’t play out in a blog, facebook posting, or even a tumblr page. So far, I’ve edited the photos and completed the layout for 25 of the 50 couches. I’ve also edited the photos for another 12 of the couches, and they will need another quick polish and the layout completed. The last 13 still need to be edited and have the layout completed. My overly optimistic hope is to have that all ready by the end of January. I’m eager to get this portion of the work done. Once that is done, there’s still captions and the “statistics” of each night to write up. The photos will tell the bulk of the story, with a few words sewing together the pieces. There will also need to be a cover designed, an introduction written, and some other details attended to. Much of this other work is already in the planning stages. I will also be asking each of my kickstarter backers to pick from a selection of photos that didn’t make the cut. The best of these will be featured in a special “Backer’s Choice” section of the book. Of course, in addition to the book, there are kickstarter rewards to send out as well, and once I make more progress, I will dedicate time to getting those created and delivered. While I mentioned that I hope to have the layout completed by the end of the month, that obviously depends upon any other work that may arise in the meantime. I will, nonetheless, work to keep you better informed as to my progress, and share some previews more often. Believe me, as excited as you are to see the finished book, I’m that much more anxious to have it completed and share it with you!  As always, should you have any questions please do not hesistate to reach out to me. Whether you are a friend or a stranger , I enjoy hearing from you.

Thank you for your patience and continued support.

I hope that you had an excellent holiday season and are starting off the new year right.

Dean

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