2 Weeks ago i started an Indiegogo fundraiser to turn a life long dream into a reality. To have my own photography book published.
So far £160 has been raised towards my goal of £2500, but there is still a long way to go. However much i raise, the book will still be released and pre-orders shipped, but the more money the better as it will enable me to do a higher print run and to arrange and pay for exhibition space during the summer. You can view more details about the book, perks that are avaliable including signed copies, prints, and even get your name in the book itself on the link below
So why publish the book now?
Last October my father Ken Simon passed away aged 61 after being diagnosed with Pancreatic and Liver cancer in June. Sadly, it was at a late stage and although he did have some chemotherapy treatment, it did not help with slowing down the cancer. 2 weeks before his passing he was admitted to St Giles Hospice in Walsall, initially for some respite care, but during his stay there, his condition worsened and on the evening of the 27th October he passed away in his sleep with my mother at his side.
He was initially a bit reluctant to go into the hospice as was all of the family due to some very poor treatment of him at the Manor Hospital following his diagnosis. But straight away from the day he went in the staff there were phenomenal. Their care and compassion was beyond anything i had ever seen. Everything they did to accommodate him and my family was simply beyond words. All this from a charity that were set up to help people like my dad and 1000’s of others in the same situation as him. When he did pass away, they gave us the time and space we needed to grieve, but were also incredibly supportive at the same time. The staff there genuinely cared about my dad, and my family and made the whole process as easy as it could have been.
My dad has always been there for me, for my wife, for my children. Nothing was ever too much trouble for him. He would do what he could no matter what. From taking me and my daughter to cello classes every Tuesday, to having the kids stay over, and anything DIY related he would help out with from plumbing emergencies to helping build sheds, lay patios, whatever, he was always there.
He was also a strong supporter and big believer in me and my photography work even when i was not. When i decided to change career to become a photographer, he was there for me, Every time i saw him which was usually a couple of times a week, he would want to see what work i had been doing, especially my landscape work and many many trips to Wales.
Even after his diagnosis, every time we saw each other or spoke he would want to see my work and what i had been doing. I would like to think during that time it bought us closer together and gave him something to distract himself from the horrific cancer that was eating him away from the inside. It was a terrifying time for all of us. and even up until the end he put on a brave face, kept on smiling and had this philosophy of “just getting on with it” as was his way.
During his last couple of weeks in the hospice, we would talk about the future and he said to me so many times, to never give up photography and how proud he was of what i had accomplished. I made a promise to him back then that i would carry on, no matter what, and this is what i am doing. This book is my way of not only remembering him, but to say thank you to him for making me the person i am today, and after he had passed away i set myself a goal of carrying on as best as i can, in his memory and in his honour. It has been a difficult few months since he passed, for me and for my family, but we are strong, we are stubborn just like him, and we shall carry on fighting the good fight.
Earlier this year i decided i wanted to somehow raise some money for St Giles Hospice, and this book is my way of doing so. So they can have some much needed money, no matter how small, to carry on looking after people like my dad. As such a percentage of the book sales will be donated to St Giles Hospice after it has been published. I am not producing the book to make a profit. As long as i can cover my expenses for it, then i will be happy with that. But even if i donate £100 or £1000 to the Hospice i know it will make a difference to them.
As the book is still in production and will not be launched until mid June, The same time my dad was first diagnosed with cancer, it is still a work in progress. The original title of the book was going to be “Finding my Way” but this has evolved into “Found” as i feel i have already found my way photographically speaking. The “A different direction” Subtitle signifies my shift away from commercial fashion photography, into more landscape work, Whilst i have been a prolific landscape photographer for many years, longer than i have been a fashion and portrait photographer, it is a side of me that people rarely see as it is not what i do commercially, But i am hoping that by publishing “Found – A Different Direction” That people can see and appreciate the other side of my work. As such i will soon be launching a total secondary brand for myself. Darkslide Photography will still continue on, but “Andrew Simon Fine Art Photography” will come to life. A facebook page is already available here where you can see my landscape work, purchase prints etc. and soon a new website will be launched under www.andrewsimonphotography.co.uk where you will also be able to view galleries of my work, follow my adventures through blog posts, purchase prints and find out details of upcoming events and exhibitions. In the mean time you can still follow my existing facebook page Darkslide Photography as well as this website for more details until the new brand is launched
The whole book is about Journeys, adventures, taking the path less trodden and through each photograph you will be able to explore this. All of the book is photographed around North Wales, from the mountains to the woods, the rivers to the llyns (lakes) and is an accumulation of over 4 years work. All of the photographs are shot digitally using a system of lenses by Lensbaby, they create surrealist worlds, not always sharp and in focus, but abstract work that helps make the mind wander freely though them. You can see a few examples of the work for it in the gallery below.
So what next? Well please visit the indiegogo page for more details on how to pre order or if you want to contribute in any way. I realise the book price is on the costly side, but there are smaller perks starting from just £1 which you can help towards printing and publishing costs. Or visit my facebook pages for more information as well as competitions to win prints, and copies of the book!
As always, thank you for reading, for any more details feel free to comment below, or contact me via email or facebook. I do apologize that this may be a bit of an emotional read for some, as it has been for me writing it.