Max Ferguson

Publisher/Picture Editor/Artist

© Work in progress, by Max Ferguson

Max Ferguson's work is divided into three categories: photographer, writer, and curator. He is the Founding Editor of Splash & Grab Magazine, Granta Magazine's Photo Editor, Port Magazine's Director of Photography, and a freelance Photo Editor for the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. Max also teaches on the BA and MA Photojournalism and Documentary Photography degrees at the London College of Communication, and he routinely talks on other photography programmes around the UK. He addresses these three aspects of practise equally and uses them to compensate for his whole practise.

Ferguson's function in the industry shifts and changes often owing to the nature of his work. Teaching is a key element of Max's profession since it helps him to expand his understanding of photography and indulge deeper.

Max is interested in the research he does, and his perception is that rather than primary research, such as reading, the main portion of his study comes from him making work, such as sketchbooks, collages, and books, to piece together what the pictures imply. He is a big fan of sketchbooks and enjoys making things physically. Making books taught him skills like binding, design, and sequencing, all of which came with trial and error.

Through his talk and my last three years at university, I have developed a significant amount of experience and knowledge in book making, through the creation of photobooks and zines.

One of the most important aspects when creating a book or commission work is the form should match the function of the work. Max showcases this through one of his photobooks, where the pictures are very delicate and soft to the eye. He has recorded calm moments, and it was critical that the book fit the function, so he created a delicate small book, around 15cm by 10cm. This works nicely with the series of photographs within the book because there is a continual balance of subtlety and delicacy between the actual book and the images within it.

I speak in further detail about photobooks in:

  • Creating a Photobook & Zine