American Photo magazine just named the photo book This Is Happening, by Bridget Watson Payne amongst its 2013 Photo Books of the Year (listed third) under the aptly titled category “Reflection.” This crowd-sourced book of Instagram photos is quintessential trend spotting and sourcing in advance of a big hit. Bridget is the art book editor at Chronicle Books in San Francisco and her brain child was conceived before Instagram became the über Facebook poster child it is today. This little table top book is near and dear to my heart because I credit Instagram with my return to photography after a 10 year professional hiatus. I began using Instagram early in 2012, and Bridget posted this shout out for image submissions in October of that year. You can read about my love affair here. This is my photo that Bridget selected for page 103 of her book of nearly 200 images.
You can see it here in its two versions — 35mm digital precision and Instagram lo-fi romanticism. This book beautifully pairs two Instagram images per spread and posts all photo credits at the back for each of the 198 photographers by name, Instagram handle and blog site if applicable.
Bridget describes our mutual Instagram crush best . . . “I admit I’m a bit obsessed myself. That moment when you notice something — be it big or small, beautiful or strange — that gives you the This Is Happening feeling, that feeling of unreasoning happiness at seeing the gifts the world is giving you, and you get to capture that feeling and share it. That’s some heady stuff. Which is why I’m beyond delighted to be editing this book. I love the notion of getting to hold a little piece of that feeling in tangible form in your hand. Of getting to see what simply made the day of different people all over the world.”
It is that connection from all over the world that makes this book sing — Thank you Bridget! And just so you know how refreshingly tickled Bridget is herself about this honor, go to her blog here for a dose of “pinch me, I must be dreaming” gratitude and recognition of the winning team effort at Chronicle Books.
Other cool images from the book. . .