A photographer's guide to planning and executing a book project

Episode #99: Weekend Wisdom with Skip Cohen, interview with Peter Doyle (38 minutes)

Discussion Topics

  1. Developing a Project
  2. commitment
  3. giving a project personality
  4. networks

Peter Doyle

Photographic Preserver of Stories and Sharer of Wisdom

“Live a Life That Will Make Your Grandchildren Proud,” was etched into Peter’s mind after he learned that his grandfather, whom he is named after, owned and personally ran a successful gas station for 20 years without the ability to read. His motto is vital because no matter one’s passions or dreams, one’s legacy should be clearly seen for generations.

His books include: Haiti’s Hope which highlights the humanity of the Haitian people who were left behind after the 2010 earthquake; To Have & To Hold: a Life for Generations features the stories and interviews of 12 women who were affected by breast cancer while part of a fashion shoot paired with fast cars, helicopters and a private jet in Atlanta, Georgia; Breast Cancer Portraits: wisdom from the journey features 49 portraits of men and women breast cancer survivors paired with their handwritten words of wisdom and hope.

Peter’s photographs have been seen on the walls of boutique stores, billboard campaigns, album covers of acclaimed music artists, national magazines, and received a 2011 International Award of Excellence for his portrait of a Haitian woman photographed shortly after Haiti’s 2010 earthquake.

Peter’s photographic work and book Childhood Cancer Portraits: wisdom from the journey has the been featured on NBC and CBS.

Peter, his wife, Genevieve, and their son, Ezra, makes their home outside Atlanta, Georgia.

Summary of Discussion Topics:

  • Peter’s inspirational process when creating his cause-related books.
  • The process of starting a new project and the necessary questions to ask yourself.
  • How putting yourself in your client’s shoes can spur the best ideas.
  • Why you have to start any design process with the end in mind.
  • Identifying who can help fill your weaknesses when completing a project.
  • Realizing getting the images is the easiest part.
  • You can’t argue with your calendar – you have to give yourself strict deadlines.
  • The importance of remaining committed no matter what.
  • Setting up scheduling for a book-based project.
  • Giving your book or project personality.
  • A few heartwarming stories from the book.
  • How to maintain your network and the importance of having one.
  • Peter attributes attending photography conventions for his valuable network.
  • The importance of building your portfolio to be able to show what you want to be doing.
  • You need to be able to speak in terms of benefits when working with businesses
  • The timeline from start to finish on a book project.

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