Last updated on September 29th, 2017 at 06:53 pmFor James Leslie Parker, documenting a human’s journey with a horse through photography has become a lifelong passion and labor of love.
A book by The Book LLC isn’t simply a collection of images hastily placed on paper and bound by an online company.
Published by an Italian printer, it’s a magnificent work of art encompassing the relationships and moments in a rider’s world and reflecting his or her passion for both horses and competition.
“It’s something they will have forever. The photos we take of competitions are complemented by those of family, friends, and pets,” said James Parker, adding that each book also incorporates a portrait session that can include any humans or animals the client would like in their book.
“The number of pages in a book depends on the length of the contract, the number of horses and how often we see that client,” he added. “A book generally spans one or two years, but a Wellington, Fla., WEF-only book is available for those who show enough horses in enough divisions to give us an inventory of photos to tell the story.”
The Book LLC evolved from Parker’s original business, James Leslie Parker Photography, to reflect the evolution of the photography business.
“Seven years ago I realized that, as a photographer, I was going to have to do something different,” he said. “I saw that the old business model was heading downhill, with everyone having easy access to a camera with their phone and theft from websites proliferating. It was time to think more creatively.”
In addition to Parker, The Book LLC includes talented photographers Vicci Valenti and Harry Wendt, as well as full-time designer Kristen Terebesi. All three are experienced professionals, with Terebesi a past successful junior rider. “She’s not just a designer, she’s a horse woman, and so she knows and has an intimate feel of the sport,” he said.
Prior to publication, the client receives a proof of the book as proposed and is urged to comment or make any changes. Some choose to become involved, while others prefer Parker and his staff to tell the story as they see it.
“We can do it either way,” said Parker. “No two book projects are the same. Most clients can’t wait each week to open their galleries on our website and see what we’ve added. And posting those images every week is what makes us try to make every week special for them—not just at the end of a long project.”
Clients often send Parker notes of appreciation after receiving their books.
“I’m speechless. The beauty of Kira’s book took my breath away!” said Kira’s mother, Lisa Kerkorian, recently after receiving her first book. “You captured every moment, nuance, memory, and observation, and told a story I could never articulate. I loved it more than words. Thank you for memorializing Kira’s passion, dreams, and realities.”