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Photobook Dummy Call

18 July 2019

Along with our move to themed content for issue 10, we’re changing our regular photobook review to focus on unreleased dummies. Gemma Padley, a writer and the mind behind our photobook feature, explains the reasoning for the move and then shares some recent examples of books that have nailed the image-text blend.

Harry Flook: Why the move from reviewing published photobooks to dummies? 

Gemma Padley: There are lots of awards out there and articles being written about published photobooks, which is fantastic, but given what we’re trying to do at Loupe in terms of supporting early career photographers we felt it made sense to place the focus of this feature firmly on publications by soon-to-be graduates or photographers who have recently graduated from university or college. It’s important there is a space for these early-career voices at a time when support and exposure is especially crucial. We are keen to do our bit to promote some of the amazing work being made in the form of dummies.   

From ‘Dream Away’, reviewed in Issue Seven ©Michael E. Northrup

Harry Flook: What trends are you seeing in photobook publishing that excite you? 

I’m really inspired by and interested in how photographers are experimenting with using text alongside their images, or incorporating text into the design of their books in poetic ways. For example, Vasantha Yogananthan includes snippets of text in the third published book, Exile, of his mighty project A Myth of Two Souls, which we featured in Loupe issue 05, while Nicholas Muellner’s image-text masterpiece, In Most Tides an Island collapses the boundaries between images and text to brilliant effect. Tereza Zelenkova plays with text and images in her books (for example, The Essential Solitude), as does Aaron Schumann in SLANT and Laia Abril so powerfully in On Abortion. This is just the tip of the iceberg of course, but it’s exciting to see!

From ‘Do Not Feed the Alligators’, reviewed in Issue Eight ©David Shama

Each issue of Loupe goes out to an extensive list of industry professionals, making this is a great chance to get your book seen by publishers. If you would like to submit, please send a PDF of your book dummy to Please note if you are selected to be featured you will need to send a physical dummy to us. Copies will be returned, although if you live outside of the EU and the dummy is large / heavy we may ask you to make a contribution to the cost.

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