Daylight Is New Platform for Discovering, Viewing, and Sharing Contemporary Art

Publishing entrepreneurs Taj Forer and Michael Itkoff, founders of the art photography publishing brand Daylight Books, have launched a subcompact digital publishing platform, Daylight.

DaylightApp_Brodie-EditionTogether with serial tech entrepreneurs Lee Buck and Peter Bourne, the founders of Daylight aim to bridge the gap between the world of fine art and a rapidly growing mainstream audience of art enthusiasts. Their goal for the platform is to make it easy to discover, be inspired by, and share the most compelling contemporary art of our time.

The founders describe Daylight as “the intersection between subcompact digital publishing, the timeless tradition of art as human storytelling, and a new generation of digitally enabled consumers.” They Daylight users to experience a truly immersive platform for art exploration and discovery. 

Regular editions feature high quality contemporary artwork accompanied by interviews or short essays. Daylight’s minimalist user-interface design and full-screen images allow users to pause in an elegant digital environment that can be compared to that of the world’s top museums and gallery spaces.

Daylight’s first series of curated editions highlight many of the rising stars of art and photography including 2013 Guggenheim Fellow and preeminent American photographer, Alec Soth.

Soth’s exclusive edition (Orlando) appears alongside editions from Cristina de Middel (The Afronauts), Jess Dugan (Every Breath We Drew), Roger Ballen (Lines, Markings and Drawings), Jacqueline Hassink (Arab Domains) and the “Polaroid Kidd” himself, Mike Brodie (A Period of Juvenile Prosperity).

“Daylight is bringing fresh, powerful content with high relevance to a whole new audience. The art has context and meaning, and the presentation in the app and online are beautiful. They’ve got true art credibility and a social community approach that make for an enormous growth combination” said Rob Solomon, Venture Partner at Accel Partners and former President & COO at Groupon.

“We believe the timeless tradition of art as storytelling is vital to the human experience,” said Taj Forer. “For years, my co-founder Michael Itkoff and I have sought to deepen Daylight Books readers’ connection to the world through innovative presentation of curated art and photography. However, print media’s limitations are mounting while digital audiences are growing. That said, most digital content is consumed like potato chips. With Daylight, we are providing digital audiences with the inspiring, compelling art content that they are hungry for. We strive to give audiences reason to take pause with the art, artists and moreover, join the conversation.”



About Daylight


Free Interactive Book about Art of Landscape Photography

PHOTOGRAPHERS. Photographer Robert R. Rodriguez Jr. has published a gorgeous 45-page e-book on the “Art and Craft of Landscape Photography.” Drawing on his real-world experiences as a landscape photographer, instructor, speaker, and blogger, he presents a holistic approach to capturing evocative images.

You can download “The Art and Craft of Landscape Photography” either as a traditional PDF or enjoy it as an interactive iBook on your iPad. He is making the book available free for a limited time.

I immediately downloaded both versions of the book so I could compare the reading experiences.  But I also knew that Robert would venture off the beaten path of traditional photography books. When I interviewed Robert a few years ago, I was inspired by his commitment to living the life of a creative professional on his own terms.  He is very good at his craft, and conveys it in everything he does—whether it’s his blog posts, seminars, or this book.  Unlike e-books that appear to be dashed off in a matter of days (or hours!), this book is noticeably different.

“My goal was to take the best of what I have shared on the Beyond the Lens blog over the past few years and present it in an easier-to-read format,” explains Robert.

And yes, the book does talk about photography gear and technique. But Robert also discusses some psychological limitations that prevent creative professionals from pursuing their passions.

He explains why becoming a professional photographer is not a pre-requisite for making successful images, but says he is often asked about the challenges of becoming a full-time photographer.

“My core belief is that only you can determine what you are capable of, and no one can or should tell you otherwise. IF you have the determination and stamina, then yes, you can become a professional in whatever field you choose, including photography,” writes Rodriguez. “Will it be difficult and challenging? I can tell you it is the hardest thing I have ever done. But so what? I am having a blast, and I am doing what I love.”

In his e-book, Rodriguez examines the motivation, passion, and vision involved in successful landscape photography. He describes how several images were made, shows what he learned from failed images, and talks about how he draws inspiration from the Hudson River School of painters. The book also includes recommended resources and gear he regards as “top investments” for nature photographers.

The interactive iBook version contains full-screen views of all the images (compatible with Retina display), interactive galleries, and two videos.

If you haven’t yet read a photography iBook on your iPad yet, Robert includes a short video that shows you how to enjoy the interactive features to the fullest.  To download the iBooks edition from Apple’s iBook Store, you will need an iPad (any version) and the free iBooks app.


E-Book: Inside the Art and Craft of Landscape Photography

Beyond the Lens Blog

About Robert Rodgriguez Jr.

Book Explains How to Publish a Photography Book

PHOTOGRAPHERS. If you have an idea for a photography-book project but aren’t sure whether to self publish or seek a publisher, read the new book “Publish Your Photography Book” by photography-book-industry insiders Darius D. Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson. In addition to explaining the process of publishing a book of your photographs, the book highlights avenues you might not have considered and points out potential pitfalls.

It also suggests that a photography book can help enhance your visibility and career. Himes and Swanson note that a well-executed photography book can provide you with a passport to the international photography scene and lead to exhibitions, talks, gallery walks, press interviews, and other opportunities.

The book is divided into six sections.

Section 1: The Photography Book Phenomenon
Here, the authors explain why interest in books as a means of photographic expression is rising (and isn’t likely to be disappear any time soon). They point out that a photography book is more than a simple collection of printed photographs. It is often regarded as an autonomous art form.

Section 2: The Nuts and Bolts of Publishing
Whether you plan to self-publish or submit a proposal to a trade-book publisher, this section emphasizes the importance of clearly understanding your goals and developing a solid and engaging concept for your book.

The authors recommend examining your favorite photography books in more detail: What is the book about? Can you summarize the subject in one clear sentence? Is there a singular artistic vision? How is the cover designed? How are the pages laid out? How are the images sequenced? How much does the book stick with you after you’d viewed it?

Section 2 also talks about how publishers work, explains how to approach a publisher, and suggests things to look for when reading a publishing contract.

You’ll also learn how and when it makes sense to use print-on-demand technology to publish a book yourself and when you’d be better off going through a publisher.

For example, working with a publishing company involves collaborating with experienced professionals. This means you must be prepared to compromise in certain areas because the book is not just yours alone, but is also part of a company with a brand and a mission. When you self-publish, you must take on all steps of the process yourself, including hiring individuals who can help you execute your vision for the book and help market it.

The authors write that: “Successful self-publishers are those who are organized and entrepreneurial at heart, who know their audience, can effectively reach that audience, and have the financial and labor resources available to take on numerous roles.”

Section 3: The Making of Your Book
This section walks you through the three main stages of making a book: determining and shaping the editorial content, creating a design that enhances the content without overwhelming it, and working with a printer. Many of these decisions will be based on the concept you have developed and communicated for the book.

Section 4: The Marketing of Your Book
No matter whether you self-publish or have your book published, expect to play an active role in marketing and promoting your book. And you don’t wait until your book is printed to begin thinking about marketing. The first phase of your marketing strategy should begin well before your book is ready to ship. The second phase will be designed to extend the life of your book beyond its publication date.

“Publish Your Photography Book” provides tips for building mailing lists, creating a budget, maintaining a consistent brand identity, working with a publicist, mailing publicity packets, and using the Internet.

The authors also talk about opportunities for cross-marketing. For example, “If the photographs featured in your book can be acquired as limited-edition prints, or are available to be presented as a collection in a traveling exhibition, it is wise to include that information in all formats of your press materials.”

Section 5: Case Studies
Throughout Sections 1 through 4, you’ll find insightful interviews with publishers, editors, designers, photographers, and self-publishers that reinforce some of the advice presented in the book. Section 5 profiles seven photographers who have published one or more photography books:

  • Alec Soth, “Sleeping by the Mississippi” and “The Last Days of W”
  • Paula McCartney, “Bird Watching”
  • David Maisel, “Library of Dust”
  • Lisa M. Robinson, “Snowbound”
  • Alex Webb and Rebecca Norris Webb, “Violet Isle”
  • Sean Perry, “Transitory and Fairgrounds”
  • John Gossage, “The Pond”, and “Stadt Des Schwarz”

One of the profiles quotes McCartney as saying, “It is very important that my books are artworks in themselves, not merely portfolios of my photographic projects…I think of books as a medium—like painting, photography, or sculpture—where all of the elements, including form, content, and materials are in dialogue with each other and are meaningful to the finished work.”

Section 6: Resources, Appendices, and Worksheets
This section includes 24 pages of helpful resources. For example, it includes: a diagram of the anatomy of a photography book; timelines for design, production, and marketing activities; a worksheet for preparing for your book; and guidelines for submitting a proposal to publishers. Also included are lists of: publishers; distributors; independent bookstores and dealers; festivals, awards, and trade events; blogs and book art resources; and online marketing resources.

About the Authors
Darius D. Himes was a founding editor of photo-eye Booklist and is a cofounder of Radius Books, a nonprofit company publishing books on the visual arts. Himes is a lecturer, consultant, and writer who has contributed to numerous publications. PDN magazine named him one of the fifteen most influential people in photography book publishing. For the past four years, Himes has been the lead judge of Blurb’s Photography Book Now Competition.

Mary Virginia Swanson is a consultant in the area of licensing and marketing fine-art photography. Swanson frequently lectures and conducts seminars and educational programs for photographers. She is a respected judge of competitions and awards as well as frequent portfolio reviewer.

If you want guidance about how to proceed with a specific book idea, Darius Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson offer one-on-one in-person or Skype consultations. To schedule a consultation, visit:


Publish Your Photography Book