(Text ) contributions to photography books

Text should be a substantive and meaningful contribution to the photography

Arnold and Eefje are both big fans of good, narrative photo books. On several occasions, Prospektor has been asked to collaborate or contribute texts to photo books. We are especially glad to do this if they are photographers that we rank highly. However, we only do so if the text’s content is able to provide a meaningful contribution to the photography, can tell stories and add depth to the book. There are countless photobooks whose textual contents are unreadable essays from an apparently random professor or expert.

Below is a list of the books that Arnold and Eefje have collaborated on.

Beautiful pictures,blown up to painting-like proportions ... no longer seem to be holding up without the text of Arnold
— De Volkskrant

In 2008, Prospektor was approached by photography producer Paradox to work on a project with photographer Ad van Denderen. Arnold interviewed Ad van Denderen several times and did his own research into the themes that Van Denderen covered during his travels around the Mediterranean. This is how So Blue, So Blue, a retrospective of the work Van Denderen had done in the region between 2001 and 2008, came about.

Ad van Denderen
Text: Arnold van Bruggen 
Design: Kummer & Herrman 
Producer: Paradox
Publisher: Steidl Mack

so-blue-so-blue 2.jpg

Arnold hadn’t yet travelled through Russia with Rob Hornstra when Rob asked him early on to co-write 101 Billionaires. Together with Hans Loos and intense editing by Rob himself, 101 Billionaires was a monumental book about Russia’s frayed edges which, at the time, hit the newspapers with stories of new luxury car showrooms in Moscow and the number of billionaires that frequented them.

Rob Hornstra
Text: Hans Loos & Arnold van Bruggen 
Design: SYB

101_Billionaires_2008 uit boek.png

For years, Dana Lixenberg had been photographing the far reaches of the United States until she was asked for this project about the disappearing Alaskan village of Shishmaref. The reality of rising sea levels with dramatic consequences for the village and its Inupiaq Inuit population. Eefje carried out an in-depth interview with Dana about all of the characters and experiences in the village and used the material to compose the text that would accompany The Last Days of Shishmaref.

Dana Lixenberg
Text: Eefje Blankevoort
Design: Mevis & Van Deursen
Producer: Paradox 
Publisher: Paradox, Episode Publishers


Arnold and Anoek Steketee were commissioned by the Royal Tropical Institute to travel to Indonesia for six weeks in search of the strange vestiges of the Dutch colonial past. The exhibition was on display in the Tropenmuseum in 2013.

Anoek Steketee and Arnold investigated a remarkable phenomenon in Indonesia: plesiran tempo doeloe. As a form of leisure-time activity, men and women, young and old relive the colonial times through role play and costume parties. People ride antique bicycles, stroll around in colonial suits and re-enact the police actions.

Do they do this out of a need for nostalgia? Does it arise from a historical awareness of is it simply an outward display without any meaning?

Anoek Steketee 
Text: Arnold van Bruggen
Exhibition: Tropenmuseum
Published in Vrij Nederland 

vroeger was een ver land 1.jpg
vroeger was een ver land 2.jpg

The British photographer, Chloe Dewe Mathews, went on an impressive journey around the Caspian Sea and asked Arnold to create a narrative about oil, gas and water. Although it was a thematic, essayistic approach, Arnold accepted the invitation. After all, on the Caspian Sea you have the Volga delta, the Turkmenistan Kara-Bogaz sea waterfall and the castle among castles in the Dagestan coastal town of Derbent. It would be possible to write lyrically about all of this.

Chloe Dewe Mathews 
Text: Arnold van Bruggen (o.a.) 
Publisher: Aperture & Peabody Museum Press

caspian the elements inside book.png
caspian the elements.jpg


Take a look at our monster project with photographer Rob Hornstra:

The Sochi Project

For this project, photographer Anoek Steketee started with filming:

Love Radio