Bloodhoney* Dreams - A Book of Photos and Stories
A coffee table book of photographs and stories of people who dreamt of an adventure and escaped their daily lives.
ORIGINS OF THE PROJECT
I began taking photographs as a hobby ten years ago, during my studies at UCLA. Twice a year I would drive from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. and back, along Route 40, photographing landscapes. It was a way to disconnect from the daily grind, have a rare moment of solitude, and re-charge for the following six months. This process would later influence my approach to the Bloodhoney* project.
During my travels around the film festival circuit, I met old friends – some of whom I hadn’t seen in many years. Many were rooted in a 9-5 existence, living highly structured, stressful lives. They rarely, if ever, engaged in creative or artistic endeavors. Instead of going to a coffee shop, I proposed that they take a day off, pick a place that has meaning to them, and choose clothes in which they feel like themselves. That was the starting point. From there the idea was to improvise; spontaneity was to be at the heart of the process.
Initially, my friends asked me to give them instructions and sometimes wondered what they were doing there, feeling bored or frustrated. Slowly, their minds began to let go, and they started doing what they felt like: jumping, climbing, wielding props, and taking risks. It felt almost like a return to childhood, physicality took over and the camera was there to capture the energy of the moment, telling a story.
These "séances" sometimes went on for 10-15 hours. They included long hikes through mountains, head-on collisions with hail and snow, walks through swamps and lakes, and quite a few mosquito bites and bruises.
The experience of the day was most important, not the resulting images. You could never predict what would come of it, and the idea was to let go and let things come together by circumstance. This is very opposite of the notions of safety and caution that we are bombarded with by the current society. Although being in front of the camera while letting go may seem uncomfortable, after these "séances," just about every subject wanted to keep going or do it again. Each shoot was its own unique adventure. The rush of adrenaline and the feeling of being a child again, uninhibited no matter how silly or dangerous, proved to be liberating.
I called the project "Bloodhoney" in reference to the Balkans, the region I am from. It is a combination of two Turkish words: Bal, meaning “honey” and Kan, meaning “blood.” The name refers to the bittersweet nature of life, the moments of beauty and the sublime spontaneously captured in the photographs.
Below you can watch my TED Talk about this project:
In the first book, entitled "Seance," (http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/harun/bloodhoney-seance-a-book-of-photos-and-stories) I told stories of the process behind the photographs, highlighting different aspects of the shoots, and giving the reader a glimpse of the experience each subject went through during their "seance."
In the second book, entitled "Persona," (https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/harun/bloodhoney-persona-a-book-of-photos-and-stories) focused on my friends who chose to appear at the shoot embodying a character, often wearing a costume.
In this book, I focus on those of my friends who wanted to reenact their dreams, visit places they dreamed of, or were the subject of shoots that took on a dreamlike quality.
"Dreams" will be a 12x9'' 192-page full-color hardcover book when it’s completed, but this will only happen with your support!
Photographs from the project will be presented in 12×8″ & 13×9″ & 6×9″ as well as 20×9″ formats throughout the book, along with stories about the séances and the people featured in them.
The book will be a Limited Edition release of 1000 copies, and each copy will be numbered and signed by the author.
Video: A glance at the first book in the series, "Séance," which is identical in size & page count to "Persona" and "Dreams."
HOW THE RAISED FUNDS WILL BE SPENT
The fundraising goal for the campaign is $35,000
$15,000 (book printing) + $4,000 (book shipping) + $3,000 (photo prints) + $1,000 (print shipping) + $1,000 (editor) + $3,000 (designers) + $6,000 (taxes/kickstarter/stripe fee) + $2,000 (contingency) = $35,000.
Official Website: http://www.bloodhoney.com
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/blood.honey.by.harun.mehmedinovic
The Huffington Post "Photographer Harun Mehmedinovic Seeks the Sublime With Bloodhoney* Book Project" - https://www.huffingtonpost.com/michael-juliani/photographer-harun-mehmed_b_4209653.html
Los Angeles Times "War's lessons unfold in Harun Mehmedinovic's Bloodhoney* project" - http://articles.latimes.com/2012/may/03/entertainment/la-et-bosnian-photographer-20120503
Coastline Pilot "Artists from a war-torn land showing in Laguna" - http://articles.coastlinepilot.com/2012-05-24/entertainment/tn-cpt-0525-greencube-20120524_1_harun-mehmedinovic-bosnian-women-artists
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Harun is the cinematographer and co-producer on Ice on Fire, a Leonardo DiCaprio-produced feature documentary for HBO which premiered in the Official Selection at Cannes Film Festival 2019, and a co-cinematographer on Akicita, a documentary film which premiered at Sundance Film Festival in January 2018.
He is a regular video and photography contributor to BBC Earth, and has contributed photographs and videos to Vogue Italia, National Geographic, Astronomy Magazine, BBC Travel, Discovery Science, and Blindfold Magazine. Harun’s photography work has been featured by various media outlets, including The New York Times, Wired, Time, Forbes, NPR, CNN, Gizmodo, Slate, Los Angeles Times, LA Weekly, Vice, and Washington Post. It has also been the subject of a TEDx Talk.
Harun is the author of three books, portrait series Seance and Persona, as well as the Astrophotography Book and Timelapse Series: SKYGLOW.
His videos have been used at various events, most notably by The Rolling Stones on their ZIP CODE tour & 2016 Tour, Pink Floyd's Roger Waters 2016 Tour, Desert Trip Concert, Paul Simon's 2018 Farewell Tour, and Cosmic Gate music video "am2pm," and National Park Service’s “100 Years” centennial video; among others. His photograph of the cloud-inverted Grand Canyon was listed among the 2015 best travel photos of the year by National Geographic, and in 2016, he was on the BBC Earth Instagram team that won a Webby Award for “Best Photography and Graphics.”
Prior to his venture into photography, Harun’s film In the Name of the Son premiered at Telluride Film Festival and won over thirty international awards, including Shanghai, Savannah, and Cleveland film festivals. It was the first live action short film to receive an exclusive screening for the members of United States Congress on Capitol Hill.
REST OF TEAM
Editor: Michael Juliani
Michael is a poet, editor, and writer from Pasadena, California. He edited Skyglow by Gavin Heffernan and Harun Mehmedinović, as well as the two previous books in Mehmedinović's Bloodhoney series, Persona and Séance. He has written about the Bloodhoney and Skyglow projects for the Los Angeles Times, the Huffington Post and Columbia Journal. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in outlets such as Prelude, NECK, Washington Square Review, BOMB, and the Adirondack Review. He has an MFA in poetry from Columbia University, and he lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Designers: Amer Mrzljak & Bojan Hadzihalilovic of FABRIKA, inc.
Publisher: The Convington Group, Inc.