A week or so ago I had popped into a local Glasgow printing house, to check out some photography book publishing ideas with them, and came away with a nice little surprise!
As I sat down to talk with my contact at the printer’s he produced a small pile of books to show me, to show examples of their fine printing quality, of what they can do, to discuss options and needs. All great service, and it’s always good to see paper samples etc in hand, not just choosing options online.
The first book he handed me, as an example of a very bespoke little book was the one featured in the images here. As he passed it to me I noticed the logo on the cover, but thought nothing of it, it’s a logo I’ve grown very accustomed to over the past two years. And then I opened the book, and glanced at a few images and smiled…
Yep, the images in the book were mine, and I was holding a rare copy of a book only previously discussed and never seen, a fabled book made for a Queen. In this case a copy of a limited edition photography book made as a special gift for Queen Elizabeth II, and containing images of the Queen’s Baton Relay journey through the nations and territories of the Commonwealth.
In late 2013, and for the first half of 2014 I was on and off on assignment on the baton relay, a trip which saw me visit 42 nations and territories, over 5 months, photographically covering the relay, sending back the images to Glasgow 2014 Limited each day for their use in the run up to the Glasgow 2014, 20th Commonwealth Games. I had been commissioned along with photographer Jordan Mansfield of Getty Images (we hopscotched continents, meeting only once in a Caribbean airport for 10 minutes) to cover the duration of the international sector of the relay, providing photographic coverage as well as writing a daily blog, and maintaining social media for the baton.
During the relay I had heard that the images were being made into a book to send to Buckingham Palace, but I never saw the finished product. It was only ever produced in an edition of approximately 20 hand-made copies. Even after such a memorable, round the Commonwealth on 4 continents assignment, and the memories that a photojournalism assignment like that brings, it was great to see the photography in such a nice little book…
A great assignment!