Author Archive for david alan harvey

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My house

My whole house looks like this. Pictures all over the walls. Comforting. Those of students from my last workshops and mine as well. Works in progress. Books the goal. These are just inexpensive Walgreens quickies for selection and rough sequencing only. Just to get a feel. A rough to size dummy comes next. Then maybe back to the wall with larger prints . Another dummy. Back and forth. You can’t know how a book will be until you make a dummy and hold it in your hands for a bit. I usually end up with at least 2-4 dummy copies. If you make a book be sure to keep these dummy copies. They can become quite valuable if your book rises above the masses. Book publishing is a labor of love. A benchmark for your work. You are unlikely to get rich publishing a photo book yet these days it’s imperative if you intend to make a mark. Your life as a photographer changes dramatically if you publish a fine book. No small task. A book cannot be just a collection of good pictures. That is a portfolio, not a book. A book needs to have a narrative, a theme, and must take viewers somewhere. It generally takes years to make a book. Few are able to stick with it. Early passion fades, and only the strongest of heart are able to finish. At a time when most of us have a bit of attention deficit and seek instant gratification, a photo book is a long haul deal. Usually years to shoot, months in layout and production, and finally distribution, a book is definitely a mountain to climb. The so called ” rush to publish syndrome” kills many. To be avoided at all costs. I’m off today to New York and out annual Magnum gathering of the tribe. Our 70th year. I only know one thing. Some will lay new books on the table. I expect to be humbled by my colleagues work as always. Magnum means photo books. Maybe next year mine will be ready . One step at a time. One step at a time.

Bryan and Lyla


My son Bryan and his daughter Lyla are always on the move. Bryan is a avid surfer, kiteboarder, and sometime skater. 3 year old Lyla has dad at home more than most kids. Bryan may be off to some faraway place to shoot a tv doc, yet also has long periods at home as a full on dad. Most of us grow up with more mom than dad. Lyla has both about equally. I guess I’m technically late for a Father’s Day post, yet for Lyla dad day is every day. Whatever career dreams that may have come my way, nothing beats this reality. @bryanharveyfilms

Nags Head

Nags Head NC 6-14-17.

Summer breeze


Summer breeze on Pamlico Sound.


Big kites created some surreal landscapes for me yesterday in the Outer Banks NC. Yes they were colorful and yes I shot also in color. Yet by the end I liked b&w best. I shoot both b&w and color exactly the same way anyway. 90% of my work could be converted in either direction. For my American Family project I would even grab randomly b&w or color film and shoot the same with either. At my base I’m definitely a b&w guy. Only adding a wee bit of color later in my photographic development. I’m very monochromatic with color. My two books upcoming mix the two. Carefully.


Selfie by @oliweirdtwist. Our 2 weeks of book making workshops is over here at my home. The most incredible engagement I’ve had on IG Stories came from those in this audience who tracked the whole 2 week process. Special thanks to @michellemaddensmith @billmarr @loyd @diegorlando @malloryash @obxhomepage @chrisbickford. My 11 students took a step forward towards getting a book published. They all still have a long way to go, yet I’ve tried to get everyone on the right path. Both Michael Loyd Young, “Mesquite”, and Chris Bickford, “Legends of the Sandbar” were here with those new books as proof of results. @mariadanielbalcazar will be next to have a book with her poignant sublime work in Brazil. I take my mentoring just as seriously as I do my own work. So I’m very proud when any student makes their mark. All of us had the very best of times here in the outer banks. There is something about being at home and a 6 student limit that makes this workshop a life experience we will all remember. Bonding at its best. I think All who were here would agree. Here are the 2 classes. Some of their work will be published on @burnmagazine . Love you guys. Missing you all. @mariadanielbalcazar @sandracattaneoadorno @ledelsun @shinwoongjae @zjwaze @christinagregoire @kirstenlphotog @al.nielsen @eric_melzer @ryanjcasson @shanemacomber



OBX. 5-11-17.

Squal line


Squal line 5-31-17. OBX


Taos, New Mexico. Native American powwow. A mother hugs her daughter who had just won a traditional dancing contest. This was part of my photo story about powwows all over the U.S. and the cover of NatGeo Magazine. I’m going through a lot of retro work now as I work on my Off For A Family Drive book. Students will be gathered at my home for the next two weeks all centering around their work and the photo essay medium.

Indigenous highlands

Indigenous highlands Oaxaca, Mexico. From my book “Divided Soul”. I have now two weeks of students coming to my home in the Outer Banks. I’m building two new books of my own and focusing on my students who want to publish books. It’s all about the process. Keep your eye on my IG Stories if you have an interest in building narrative. We will also do some live broadcasts here and on FB. To be announced.