Fine Art Photography Daily

Publisher’s Spotlight: Daylight


© Annette LeMay Burke, Fauxliage cover

These past months we have been focusing on books on Lenscratch. In order to understand the contemporary photo book landscape, we are interviewing and celebrating significant photography book publishers, large and small, who are elevating photographs on the page through design and unique presentation. We are so grateful for the time and energies these publishers have extended to share their perspectives, missions, and most importantly, their books.

Since 2003, Daylight has published art and photography via our print and digital publishing programs. By exploring the documentary mode along with the more conceptual concerns of fine art, Daylight’s uniquely collectible publications work to revitalize the relationship between art, photography, and the world at large.

Today, photographer Alex Henderson interviews Michael Itkoff.

Follow Daylight on Instagram: @DaylightBooks


What is your mission as a publisher?

Daylight provides a platform for contemporary photography both online via our website, digital features and multimedia features and in print via our book publishing program. We are primarily interested in participating in the evolution of documentary photography while promoting ideas and perspectives that we believe in personally.


© Bruce Haley, Home Fires Vol II Cover


© Bruce Haley, Home Fires Vol II Interior

What are the difficulties that publishers face?

It has never been an easy business but, these days, things have become more challenging due to Covid related supply chain issues, increased material costs and complicated shipping logistics.


© Evan Hume: Viewing Distance, Dig

Are there any publishing projects that have been particularly meaningful to you?

I am so pleased with a lot of our recent titles but one jumps out at me at the moment. We just published a book called ‘Alive and Destroyed: A Meditation on the Holocaust in Time’ by Jason Francisco. For the project, Jason photographed over 300 Holocaust-related sites between 2010-2020 using a large format camera. The book is a powerful contribution to the dialogue around loss and making meaning from the immense tragedy.

© Jenny Sampson, Skater Girls Cover

© Jenny Sampson, Skater Girls Cover

© Jenny Sampson, Skater Girls Interior

© Jenny Sampson: Skater Girls, Left: Kristin and Holly, Oakland, 2019, Right: Coree, Encinitas, 2018

How many books do you publish a year, and how do you choose which projects to publish? Do you have a specific focus?

We typically publish between 10-15 books per year and tend to focus on projects that embrace a subjective perspective while imparting expertise on a subject. Whether it is repurposing redacted materials from a government archive (Evan Hume, Viewing Distance, 2021) or an exploration of a favorite Philly watering hole (Sarah Kaufman, Devil’s Pool, 2021) we look for artists that have a visually-driven story to tell.


© Annette LeMay Burke: Fauxliage, Golden Hour Saguaro, Mesa, AZ, 2016

How can an artist get their work in front of you?

Daylight does accept submissions from interested photographers and we have guidelines posted on our website. We also run an annual photo awards program called the Daylight Photo Awards where we invite an outside jury to review work along with our editorial staff. More information can be found at


© Evan Hume, Viewing Distance Cover

What is the typical timeline of a project, from the beginning to the finished product?

Books take time to create and we typically like to work on projects for a minimum of one year. Since we often work with artists that undertake long-term projects they sometimes work on them  for years before even submitting to us. We encourage photographers to wait to approach us until their project is developed enough to warrant publication.


© Martin Buday, Prophetic Kingdom Cover

How collaborative is the design process with the artist?

Everything we do is highly collaborative and we take each aspect of the book production very seriously. Artists will work directly with our designer to view, select and approve materials, review design treatments and etc.


© Jason Francisco, Alive and Destroyed Cover


© Jason Francisco: Alive and Destroyed, Kraśnik, Poland

How is the financial side of the project structured between publisher and artist? Does the artist contribute to production cost?

Daylight is a non-profit organization and, like most art book publishers, we have structured the costs to be split between the artist and ourselves. Depending on the project we have found that most artists are able to cover the costs through a combination of crowdfunding, grant writing and pre-selling their designated copies of the book.

MartinBuday_PropheticKingdom_interior2 copy

© Martin Buday: Prophetic Kingdom, Untitled (The Ice Palace), West Philadelphia, PA, 2015

You can visit the Daylight website here!

Posts on Lenscratch may not be reproduced without the permission of the Lenscratch staff and the photographer.

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