5Q :: Layne Kennedy returns ‘home’ for new bookThough he’s been on a number of high-profile photo shoots, Minneapolis photographer Layne Kennedy’s latest book revolves around little old Grand Marais.
By: Matthew R. Perrine, Budgeteer News
Though he’s been on a number of high-profile photo shoots, Minneapolis photographer Layne Kennedy’s latest book revolves around little old Grand Marais. The former Zenith City artist (by way of the University of Minnesota Duluth) chose the quaint North Shore community because there’s a lot of beauty in and around the city and, it turns out, it’s been somewhat of a second home to him for some time.
See what other nuggets Kennedy was willing to share with us in a recent e-mail interview:
Budgeteer: Why did you choose to focus on Grand Marais over any of the other North Shore communities?
Kennedy: Because I know the area so well. It’s been a destination for me for more than 30 years — most all of my paddling trips have come off either the Sawbill, Gunflint or Arrowhead trails.
Some people go to the BWCA and go through Ely; others go along Lake Superior. The big lake has always called to me, and I hate missing a visit when I head north.
Heck, I remember when there were no street lights in any of those North Shore towns.
Was this the first book you published on Blurb.com (a print-on-demand publishing service)? And, on that, do you put more or less time in when designing a publication for this sort of distribution stream?
I have five solo books out there from various publishers and am part of dozens of books, but this is the first one I’ve done with Blurb.com.
A friend of mine, Dave Black, a Sports Illustrated photographer, did a book of his work with Blurb. I was so impressed I became a believer in the technology of self-publishing. It allows a photographer to create a book for niche areas. They provide templates for pages and all you do is upload and create a look you like.
I see many more books ahead using this publishing format.
What do you miss most about Duluth and the North Shore when you’re down in the Cities?
I went to college in Duluth at UMD and was down at the lake watching the storm the night the Edmund Fitzgerald sank. I had just moved to Duluth from Alaska and the storm blew my mind. It was so big. I’d have to say it’s the lake I miss.
Every season has its own draw for artists and photographers. And the ice, oh my, I love the ice.
The new book is sprinkled with fantastic quotes from world-famous photographers, so ... can you recall the most thought-provoking thing you have said about the art form?
Interesting question. I teach several workshops around the world and am always involved in good conversations with other artists. Those words come out in the moment and then are gone.
One point I try to make with others interested in the joys of editorial photography is that my job is a lot like being a character actor. I get to walk in someone else’s shoes for a day, week or two weeks. I get to be a fireman one day and a paleontologist the next.
Photographing so many different aspects of life around me keeps me grounded. I love peering into the lives of others and documenting their way of life. I can take a little with me, and those influences become intertwined with my own life.
Finally, are there any of your photography peers working today whose pieces blow you away every time you see them?
There are many. I love photography and I enjoy all the varied styles that the medium can present. The world is filled with great shooters and, for many of these shooters, you can see their works in places like Blurb.
Minnesota has a wealth of great shooters: Jim Brandenburg, Richard Hamilton Smith, Paul Shambroom, Wing Young Huie and Tom Arndt — to name a few.
NEWS TO USE
For a sneak peek at Layne Kennedy’s new book, “47 Degrees North: Grand Marais and Beyond,” visit http://www.blurb.com/books/957163. If you like what you see, you can order it there as well.