Conversation 07: Chi Yin Sim

By Alrik | September 30th, 2013 | No Comments

“Just go chase that personal project that you feel really strongly about.”

Chi Yin Sim is a photographer based in Beijing, a member of VII Photo Agency’s Mentor Program for emerging talents. She’s been selected for the PDN30 – Emerging photographers to watch – in 2013. When she’s not working on personal projects on social issues in the region, she shoots regularly for the New York Times. Alrik Swagerman, Co-founder of Viewbook, calls Chi Yin at home in Beijing, China. Just back from from an assignment, Chi Yin tells us about her work, personal drive and her view on getting ahead in today’s editorial industry.

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Related links
PDN30 2013
VII Photo Agency

Conversation 06: Jonathan May

By Alrik | May 28th, 2013 | No Comments

“Work out what you really love shooting and shoot a lot of that. Fill your book up with it and try and go for that kind of work.”

Jonathan May’s great love is the quirky, creative, concept-driven advertising that comes out of true collaboration with art directors. Jonathan May’s instinctual ability to take a concept and tell a fascinating visual story is both innovative and compelling. Over the last years Jonathan has won many awards, such as the 2009 Sydney Morning Herald, photographic portrait prize HEAD ON in 2010, 2011 and in 2012. Lurzers Archive magazine named Jonathan one of the Top 200 International Advertising photographers. May currently has representation in Sydney, Paris and Moscow. Alrik Swagerman, Co-founder of Viewbook, calls Jonathan at home in Sydney, Australia. Just back from six months working in Africa he tells us about his work, what drives him, and his view on getting ahead in today’s art and advertising industry.

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Alvaro Deprit wins Viewbook Photostory 2012

By Alrik | January 24th, 2013 | No Comments


The finalists in this year’s Photostory proved to be as strong as they were diverse, and picking a winner was no easy task. After much deliberation, the jury chose ‘Suspension‘ by Alvaro Deprit as the winning series of the Photostory 2012.

‘Suspension’ portrays young immigrants in Italy finding temporary refuge in the so-called ‘Case Famiglie’ (‘Family Homes’). Often times that have travelled thousands of kilometres, fleeing war, poverty and uncertainty. Having now found a ‘home’, they find themselves in a relatively tranquil place. However, it’s a temporary tranquility. In Deprits words: ‘they live suspended between two worlds; they are on hold, waiting for what will come. […] Once they reach adulthood, they will again find themselves facing the external world outside the home, often without any sort of purpose.’

Alvaro Deprit was born in Spain in 1977. He studied German Philology in Germany and Sociology in Italy. Currently he lives in Rome and Istanbul. His interests include the modernisation of Turkey and immigration in Europe, which he explores in various forms, including photography.

The jury praises the series for its way of conveying the state of mind of the youth portrayed: ‘the Casa Famiglie is a place of limbo and transition. Not knowing their fate, the young people who live there only have their imagination to draw a picture of their future. This state of mind is beautifully visualised in Deprit’s photographs of daily life.’

Alvaro’s award will be in the form of a book publication and a travelling exhibition kit. The book and exhibition kit will be designed by renowned designers, and will provide a different perspective and a new way to interact with the work.

The Photostory contest is a non-profit initiative by the founders of Viewbook. It was inspired by direct engagement with photographers, and the desire to present engaging photographic work through different media.

See the series at

Larger scaling sites, retina ready and more.

By Alrik | November 30th, 2012 | 2 Comments

Photo: Brandon Schulman

We’re happy to announce a couple of highly-requested features. All site layouts can now scale up to 1600 pixels wide and also the top layout can be set to scale. For optimum sharpness the logo fields and albums are optimized for the high resolution retina displays. The following updates have been made:

- Larger scaling of images for all layouts
- Scalable top layout
- Scalable background image
- Full width text columns
- Logo and albums optimized for retina displays
- Share Albums on Google+
- Bug fixes & improvements

For detailed info, read more here.

If you notice any bugs or quirks, contact us in support, and we will do our best to resolve them as soon as possible.

Conversation 05: Jon Frank

By Alrik | August 31st, 2012 | No Comments

“It’s more about communicating what I’m feeling than what I’m seeing. I’m interested more in trying to communicate an atmosphere.”

Widely regarded as the artist of the ocean image, Jon Frank (1971) has spent the past two decades expressing his unique vision of surfing and ocean waves. His ethereal images have adorned magazine covers, books and advertising campaigns, selling everything from soft drinks to surfboards. His cinematography has added an esoteric layer to an impressive catalogue of surf films, documentaries and television programs. His work has been exhibited in Australia, America, Slovenia and Portugal and he has collaborated with Richard Tognetti & The Australian Chamber Orchestra to create a series of critically acclaimed classical music concerts. Surf photography has been described as “starvation on the road to madness” and Frank’s gaze has wandered far beyond the agitation of wind on water. Alrik Swagerman, Co-founder of Viewbook, calls Jon at home in Victoria, Australia. Jon Frank tells us about his work, what motivates him, and his view on getting ahead in today’s world.

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Introducing: Bob, Jim, Joachim and Bas

By Alrik | July 10th, 2012 | 3 Comments

Viewbook is growing fiercely. A few years ago our core team was the four Swagerman brothers, but today we are ten people strong. If you have contacted support or followed our blogs, you may know a little about these guys already, but I’d like to give them a proper introduction. Each of them shines in his own way, and we’re extremely happy to have such skilled and independent thinking people aboard.

Bob Donderwinkel – developer
Bob has been with us from the beginning as a freelancer, and he joined us full-time as the coordinator of our development team last year. He is passionate about creating smoothly functioning feature rich products, and that is one of the many reasons why we love him. When he is not making Viewbook more awesome, Bob enjoys looking at and photographing urban architecture.

Jim Turbert – support & education
Jim is the only non-Dutch person who works for Viewbook. Most days he keeps himself busy answering your support requests, but he also gives workshops and does a bit of copywriting. We like him because of his sparkling personality, and also because his ability to help people borders on the supernatural. When not making your website related troubles go away, Jim is a photographer. You can see some of his work at his way outdated website

Joachim Nolten – developer
Joachim is an extremely thorough Ruby on Rails developer. He has a critical eye for systems design, and never jumps into a project without researching all of his options. Besides being a Ruby on Rails prodigy, he also seems to know everything about movies, science, and anything technical. He is also a joy to be around.

Bas Ben Zineb – developer
Bas is a javascript ninja. He specializes in clean and neat designs that work. Before working for Viewbook, Bas ran his own web design company. We are glad he decided to lend his discriminating eye to make Viewbook a better place. You may find it interesting that Bas swears by the slightly older versions of Apple monitors with the matte screens. You gotta love a man who knows what he wants.

Photostory 2012: Small Stories. Open for submissions!

By Alrik | June 13th, 2012 | No Comments

We’re very excited to announce the opening of the 2012 edition of the Viewbook Photostory contest. After successful editions in 2009 and 2010, it’s back in a new form. While we focused on the big picture in the previous editions, this year’s edition will concentrate on the theme “Small Stories.” The focus will be on photographic series with a personal view, or stories from a “small” or intimate perspective. Of course, this theme is open to interpretation. We aren’t eschewing topics that deal with major world issues or news, but sometimes personal stories can tell us more about the big picture because they deal with situations that individuals can relate to. We are interested in what is happening to specific individuals under any given conditions. It would be fantastic if you could show us work that is focused on the micro instead of the macro.

During the submission period selected series will be displayed on the website and in an iPad app with beautiful slide show presentations. We’re really looking forward to (re)view and share your photographic series from all around the globe, and ultimately, celebrate the winner!

We partnered up with GUP Magazine and United Photo Industries. They will promote and support the contest as well as participating photographers in various ways.

The Jury
New as Jury Chair is director and scriptwriter Ineke Smits from Rotterdam, The Netherlands.
Sam Barzilay, former director of the New York Photo Festival and now director of United Photo Industries is on the jury panel. Other jury members are being selected as we speak.

The Prize
The winner of Photostory 2012 will receive a personalized award in the form of a book publication, a travelling exhibition kit, and exposure on a variety of channels.

Submit your series
Any serious photographer whose work meets the theme and criteria is invited to submit their series. Submitting your work is free, and there are no obligations. All entries must be received by Midnight on Wednesday 31 October 2012.

To stay updated, be sure to connect with us on Facebook and Twitter.

Join the Viewbook Student Poster Exchange

By Alrik | June 1st, 2012 | No Comments

Get your work outside the academy walls! While introducing the Viewbook EDU student plan, we were looking for an opportunity to connect and collaborate to the world of academies and students; and here it is: the Student Poster Exchange project.

Students from art academies worldwide are invited to submit work and every week a handful of students will be selected by the founders of Viewbook. The work of the selected students will be printed on large posters, and they will receive a free Viewbook EDU subscription (Value $95). Just like Todd and Gisli in Exchange 01, they will receive the poster by mail to hang at the wall at their respective academies.

See the first exchanges and submit your work at
Read more about the Viewbook EDU student plan.