“What I’ve tried to do, above all, is to make photobooks with clear purpose. I’ve generally been less concerned about trying to choose one picture over another, though that’s important—I’m much more interested in honing the book concept, ensuring the book’s structure is rigorous, clarifying the criteria on which the image selection is made. I think of photobook editing like sharpening a pencil. The pencil is the photographer’s work and I’m the pencil sharpener.” —Chris Boot
Chris Boot has worked as a photography producer and editor for more than 25 years. Boot started out in 1984 at The Photo Co-op (now Photofusion), London’s leading independent photography resource and education center. In 1990 he moved to Magnum Photos, becoming Director of Magnum London, and, later, Magnum New York, before joining Phaidon Press as Editorial Director, Photography in 1998. In 2000, Boot left Phaidon to work independently on his own list of books, setting out to make contemporary titles that pushed the boundaries of the photography and historical surveys providing fresh insights into the story of the medium. He set up his own publishing company, Chris Boot Ltd. in 2002. He became Executive Director of Aperture Foundation in January 2011.
Books commissioned, edited or published by Boot include Bodies of Experience – Stories about Living with HIV & AIDS (Camerawork, 1989), Humanity and Inhumanity by George Rodger (Phaidon, 1994), Living Apart by Ian Berry (Phaidon, 1996), Israel, 50 Years As Seen by Magnum Photographers (Aperture, 1998), Boring Postcards (Phaidon, 1999), South Southeast by Steve McCurry (Phaidon, 2000), Walker Evans by Luc Sante (and the ‘Phaidon 55’ list, 2001 onwards), A Broken Landscape – HIV and AIDS in Africa by Gideon Mendel (Network/Action Aid, 2001), Heaven and Earth by David Malin and Katherine Roucoux (Phaidon, 2002), Our True Intent Is All For Your Delight, the John Hinde Butlin’s Photographs (Boot, 2003), History by Luc Delahaye (Boot, 2003), Lodz Ghetto Album (Boot, 2004), The Photobook – A History by Gerry Badger and Martin Parr (Phaidon, 2004), The Fat Baby by Eugene Richards (Phaidon, 2004), Magnum Stories (Phaidon, 2004), Meetings by Paul Shambroom (Boot, 2004), Things As They Are— Photojournalism in Context Since 1955 (Boot/Aperture/World Press Photo, 2005), The British Landscape by John Davies (Boot, 2006), Motherland by Simon Roberts (Boot, 2007), The Memory of Pablo Escobar by James Mollison (Boot, 2007), Parking Spaces by Martin Parr (Boot, 2007), The World From My Front Porch by Larry Towell (Boot, 2008), Beaufort West by Mikhael Subotzky (Boot, 2009), Maske by Phyllis Galembo (Boot, 2010), and Infidel by Tim Hetherington (Boot, 2010).