Paul Barbera finds Where They Create – IJM

by Jenny Butler
Monday 24th January 2011

This week we welcome photographer Paul Barbera to the Guest Blog! You might remember Paul from his interview last year and from his brilliant website Where They Create, which features artists and creatives in their work space. Paul will be sharing 5 of his favourite spaces from Where They Create – it’s going to be an inspiring week! – Jenny x

Where They Create is my excuse to document and record the working spaces of the friends and creatives that I meet as I travel for my work as a photographer. The idea is simple and I have been working on it for the last 15 years, but for most of the time the images were collecting dust in folders or sitting on the bottom of my harddrive.

Finally in 2009, I found a way to publish my work online in a very simple and elegant manner that suited my aesthetic. Although blogs were around, I didn’t feel that I fit into that genre. While there is something beautiful and temporal about blogs (and I am a fan of quite a few) I wanted the project to become more of an online book rather than a magazine. And now, two years on, I have been pleasantly surprised at the attention the website has received.

It has opened new doors for me and earlier last year, while shooting Frame magazine for the project, they asked me what was to become of Where They Create. I told them that I would like it to be a book, but I wasn’t in a rush for it to happen. I thought the right publishers would see it, and it would happen naturally in its own time. And the editor of Frame replied, “We love it. We’d love to publish it”.

But back to where it began…

IJM studios

IJM (pronounced “ime” as in “time”) studio was one of the first stories that I posted on the website. Although it is a collective, Frank Visser is the driving force behind this studio, where they style for photo shoots and create visual concepts for fashion and lifestyle brands.

We met in 2001 when I moved to Amsterdam. We instantly hit it off and he asked me to shoot for him. Frank has taken me on many international assignments, but I also found his studio to be fascinating. It is 900 square metres of craziness – filled to the brim with endlessly beautiful things to photograph. While some things are still taking shape, some are being broken down, while others from past shoots now lie around, waiting. While it seems like his studio is full of clutter, Frank’s vision is very distinct and he has great intuition with colour and form.


by Jenny Butler
Monday 24th January 2011


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