For two years straight, Blake Andrews listed an Ivars Gravlejs book on his year end lists. It was Early Works in 2015, and the mirth continued in 2016 with Useful advice for photographers.

With a plastic sleeve and a lanyard, you can hang it from your neck like a press pass and take it with you wherever you go, just in case you forget.

Some are better ignored or pushed back against, overcome:

13. In bad weather, it’s better not to take pictures.

Others are spot on, more or less:

6. When you take a portrait try to focus on the subject.

Many are a bit silly:

54. When you photograph through the window try to avoid flies.

The photographs are mostly deadpan, apparently unskilled, rather boring affairs, all quite obviously intentional and totally in keeping with Gravlejs’ general aesthetic, and the presentation works.


I don’t think I’ll be wandering around with it dangling around my neck, but I should probably study up some. If I look back in my archive, it would be very beneficial for me to follow this Advice, and overall, I’d give it 3.8 stars.

Speaking of Blake Andrews, he has an excellent, wide-ranging and very interesting interview with Gravlejs that is definitely worth a read, and Gravlejs’ website has a bunch of fun stuff too. Useful advice for photographers remains available all over, and the advice is, undoubtably, useful. It’s probably worth as much, or more, than all those how-to books out there, and definitely makes a worthy addition to my bookshelf.

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