An inspiring Bristol Photobook Month

21st September 2011

It’s fitting we should be hosting Photobook Month in Bristol, the home of celebrated photographer and photobook fanatic, Martin Parr. It’s even more fitting that he should be exhibiting his work just down the road at M-Shed.

We’re in no such place. We’re in the beautiful Rummer Hotel, tucked away on All Saints Street. Downstairs we have the place all to ourselves.

A good crowd of eager photobookers and photographers joined us and were in for a treat as David Killingback and Andrew Wells offer the inspiration for the evening.

Here are the highlights of the evening;

David Killingback

David is a Bristol based photographer and filmmaker as well as self-confessed photobook nut. Quickly we all fell in love with the most inspirational photobook I’ve seen in a long time: The Long River by Nadav Kander. If you’re unfamiliar with his work it’s of an epic quality that beggars belief. David explained the technical requirements and patience needed to achieve such incredible images. The most important book of the evening. Bravo to David for sharing the work of his favourite photographers – another included a book documenting the lost factories and office complexes of an ailing Detroit – and bringing so many beautiful books.

Andrew Wells

Andrew Wells is based in Keynsham. He brought with him not just a great talk about his working life as a photographer (including impressive commissions with fitness magazines, interiors, Asda and 3 Mobile) but also his first Bob Books photobook – a stunning piece of work documenting the Bristol Balloon Fiesta. Most interesting of all was how the book came to be. Andrew had called to the Twitterverse to ask if any balloon companies wanted to be a part of his project. They responded and Andrew had his subjects, giving him exclusive access into the heart of one of the biggest hot air balloon festivals in the world. His innovative approach also gave him the opportunity to fly in balloons, capturing incredible images of the Bristol landscape. Wonderful.


We were quite literally spoilt for choice. We had our Bob Books on show, of course. But we also had an impressive – and expensive – collection of David’s to enjoy. These are the kind of collectors’ photobooks that are worth a lot of money, sparking lots of conversation and inspiration.

Questions and answers

The best part of the evening came from the inspiration David and Andrew provided in the form of a ton of questions and some even more interesting answers, handling topics as diverse as composition, portraiture, light and – for the gear heads – kit. What a great night. Thanks Bristol.

Photography by Andrew Wells