Photography through the Pandemic – 35mmc’s First Book! – By Holly Gilman

It’s official, we have created our first book!

This book features the photography and words of 49 photographers from across the world who were inspired – all in very different ways – by the Covid pandemic. It is a look at the myriad ways that the Pandemic has affected photographers from all around the world and from all different backgrounds. The connecting factor being a love of analogue photography.

Early on in lockdown we were bombarded with mixed and often toxic messages “it’s okay to not be okay”, “if you don’t come out of lockdown with a new skill then you didn’t lack time, you lacked motivation”, “relax, take some time out and just be” and other such confusing and shallow slogans. Almost 9 months in, I knew my own experience of photography in lockdown – how I had returned to photography in an attempt to remind myself of who I was after an awful battle with depression. How I was amazed at the community I had managed to build around me from the hobby I had let fall away for so many years. How that spark of passion and creativity had flared up inside me.

But of course, my experience is not THE experience, and I wondered how this time had affected others. Have they spent endless days honing their craft? Have they found inspiration within the same four walls they’ve looked at every single day? Have projects been halted or even started as a result of social distancing? Are people expressing their innermost thoughts and feelings around the virus and the politics through their art? Or can they not even bear to look at their cameras at the moment?

Of course it’s all of these and even more and this is why I wanted to make this book.

I wanted this to be a broad and diverse range of stories and so I purposefully sought out people I had never interacted with alongside those with whom I already had connections. I wanted to ensure that we were mixing together those of different ethnicities, genders, sexualities and religions as well as mixing professional and enthusiast photographers. I really feel that this is something that has been achieved in this book and I am just so proud and so honoured to have met and worked with each and everyone of the contributors.

In December 2020 I approached Hamish about the idea of doing some Zine’s to complement the website. The early idea for Photography through the Pandemic was to be a small Zine with a handful of contributors because I honestly didn’t think I’d have many volunteers! Over the Christmas and New Year period I began to reach out to people who had written for 35mmc and, in some way or another, had mentioned the pandemic in their articles. This led to chatting with Markus Hofstatter and him suggesting that we get the artists featured in the United Art Gallery involved and from there it really went wild. We quickly realised that this would be an incredibly large Zine and so, we changed to the idea of a book.

To be honest with you, what photographer doesn’t dream of creating a book? Okay it might not be my own photographs in print but the emotion is the same – my heart flutters like a teenager with a crush at the thought of a physical book in my hands and on the shelves of others, with my name in it!

We’re now about to enter the publicising and launch phase and I’m clearly going to be learning a whole lot more over the next few months as we attempt to make this book a printed reality. We’ll be launching a Kickstarter campaign to cover the cost of publishing the book and will be publishing it ourselves. With, of course, help from the community.

Photography Through the Pandemic is over 200 pages, featuring the photography and words of 49 photographers (see below) from across the world who were inspired – all in very different ways – by the Covid pandemic. It is going to be produced on high-quality paper in hardback. You can find out a little bit more about the book here.

If you are interested in supporting this venture, and would to be notified when the Kickstarter goes live, then please sign up:

Photography through the Pandemic features the work and words of:

Ricardo Andrade
Andrea Armando
Shane Balkowitsch
Mike Beard
Amy Berge
Jessica Olivia
Lisandro Capetillo Ortiz
Wendy Chapman
Spike Chen
Alyssa Chiarello
Charlotte Croft
Raimo Dagl
Carole Evans
Christin Goy
Laura Greenway
Ludwig Hagelstein
Markus Hofstatter
Bob Janes
Kary Janousek
Mattias Johansson
Joris Koolen
Jan Kratochvil
Lady Jay
Farid Laid
Roger Lowe
Usman Mahmood
Eugene Marcus
Peggy Marsh
Beverley Rhoden
Eric Norris
Jorg Oestreich
Anton Orlov
Morag Perkins
Bastian Roman Peter
Matthias Petz
Julien Pironin
Eric Retterbush
Gregory E. Roth
Martin Schluter
Christian Schroeder
Daniel Sigg
Josh Sitoh
Jennifer Stamps
Sarah Stellino (Epstein)
Floyd Takeuchi
Dave Whenham
Marc Wick
Clive Williams
Jenna Williams

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About The Author

12 thoughts on “Photography through the Pandemic – 35mmc’s First Book! – By Holly Gilman”

  1. I know of a number of photographers who’ve been quite busy during the time of Pandemia. Most of us are taking photos that are linked to literary endeavours such as concrete poetry, vispo and, as I’m trying to establish, phopo with photography. Lots to talk about in this genre subset. All best for the campaign.

  2. What a wonderful idea to show work during the Pandemic. I feel sorry for photographers (or anyone) who suffered depression during the lockdown, and I hope they get better soon. Often, a trying time inspires creative and innovative work. I was fortunate that where I live (Mississippi), we were never confined to home and could move about anywhere we wanted. I did a lot of photography around the state.

    1. It’s been amazing reading the variety of experiences in this book. I really hope we manage to get it made because it is a really powerful piece of work (if I do say so myself!)

  3. Pingback: Pandemic Book Project

    1. Hi Daniel, it’s quite a long story really. I originally searched COVID on the website to find 35mmc writers who had in some way referenced the pandemic (behind the scenes these had been tagged by Hamish and his team to make it easier to find). I reached out to anyone that had either social media links or some way of being contacted through the website to see if they would be interested. From the respondents we had Markus Hofstatter who runs the United Art Gallery which has a whole section on Photography in the Pandemic and he shared a list of submissions that were analogue so I could reach out to those artists as well. I was very fortunate that everyone who responded to my requests had high quality work so there was no issue with needing to decline anyone! However, once I had received the submissions I realised that the percentage of white males was very high so I made a conscious effort to reach out to those of different ethnic backgrounds, more women and also those who identify as LGBTQ+ and again the submissions I received were wonderful.
      And that was essentially it! I was actually interviewed by Analogue Wonderland this week and talk about it more there if you are interested, it’s on their YouTube Channel.

  4. Congrats Holly,
    You really did a great job! I think nobody of us can imagine, how much lifeblood and passion you need to realize such a project! Thumbs up, very well done!

  5. Congratulations to you Holly and your whole team. Great news and I am very much looking forward.
    And thank you for the instagram introductions to some of the photographers featured – its an honor
    to be among so many talented people.

    Best regards from Switzerland

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