Advertising & Graphic Design alumnus John Urbano’s creative touch can be seen on big-name companies and projects including photography and videos for Abercrombie & Fitch and music videos for the international pop band One Direction. One of his own personal projects has neared an end after 10 years in the making. He will be self-publishing a 300-page, black and white photography book, John Urbano 1.
For Urbano it is all about story-telling no matter what the project or subject is, and John Urbano 1 is no different. The book, which will be a limited-edition release this summer, all started when he met a girl named Niki Coyne.
“Niki's love for riding horses inspired me to start taking photographs,” Urbano said. “These photographs became the first part of my collection for the book. After shooting Niki I started to photograph more girls who were passionate about something in their lives, everything from soccer to sailing—and that is what drove this book.”
Urbano's long-time friend Arri Taylor, who runs a scouting company, helped him find the right women to photograph.
“He introduced me to some of my favorite women in the book. Along with Arri, I also worked with a few agencies like Ford and Vision,” Urbano said.
Urbano shot all over the world in locations including the U.S., Dominican Republic, Italy, Ireland, New Zealand, Australia, and Central America.
In Urbano’s own words, the tone of the book is simple—beautiful women and beautiful landscapes. Each woman was shot in black and white to portray Urbano’s tone and purpose.
“I have always loved traditional black and white photography,” Urbano said. “It seems appropriate for this collection of work—timeless.”
After nine years of taking the photographs Urbano had to decide how he was going to design and publish the book. He worked closely with Roger De La Rosa on the book design and decided to self-publish the book and release it in limited edition.
“I wanted to self-publish John Urbano 1 so I could control every detail from start to finish,” Urbano said. “I am only releasing 1,000 copies because I like the idea of my book being rare—if you don’t buy one now, you might not be able to later.”
This is not Urbano's first time working on a book. In 2010, he finished work on the photography book Beauty of the Flight, which accompanied a documentary he filmed. The work featured the intimate and devastating imagery of two Panama barrios affected by both political and social struggles.
You can purchase John Urbano 1 at www.johnurbano.com, and it will also be in a few, selected bookstores around the world. He is currently working on two more photography books and two short films.