This series features interviews with independent photobook publishers. This month’s interview is with Tommaso Parrillo of Witty Kiwi.
Don’t Take Pictures: How would you describe Witty Kiwi to someone who has never seen your books?
Tommaso Parrillo: Witty Kiwi is an independent publishing house founded in 2012 with the intention to promote contemporary photography through photobooks. Research and analysis on diffusion of image is very important for us, we often also produce special edition print and apparel.
DTP: What series of events led you to start your own publishing house?
TP: The idea to start publishing was born during my academic studies in 2012. I was a young photographer and I wanted to promote my personal projects. At that time, I found it boring to upload my stuff on the web in frenetic way; I always loved print paper and the interaction with the object; so I started to produce my personal fanzine under the name Witty Kiwi. That was the foundation of the publishing house, just two
year later when the awareness has grown, I stopped being a photographer and being the publisher became a real job.
DTP: How do you find photographers that you want to work with and how do you determine what might make a good photo book?
TP: Lately I receive many applications from many photographers, and I often publish books coming from those. Generally, I am very attentive to the world of photography, so it often happens that I contact artists to my liking, offering them a collaboration. We are very attentive to personal and metaphysical photography. Although many works have a different aesthetic, all publications have a common thread that unites them.
DTP: Have there been any books that have been particularly rewarding to produce or that you felt a special kinship with?
TP: In different ways, I feel involved in all the books I have published. There are recent books like Radici by Fabrizio Albertini, which has been well received, and also La Vertigine by Federico Clavarino, a project that I adore and probably would have been its first buyer if I hadn't published it with Witty Kiwi.
DTP: What are some forthcoming titles are you particularly excited about?
TP: We have published several books this year and we are working on new upcoming ones. The next title will be The Y by Alba Zari, a very interesting project.
DTP: What was one of the most challenging books that you have published and why?
TP: Every book we make is a challenge: finding the best design, the quality of printing, or trying to reach new audiences ...The real goal is to grow each time with each publication.
DTP: It seems that an increasing number of photographers, at all stages of their careers, are looking to publish a book. What should photographers think about before they embark on the book process?
TP: I believe that an essential characteristic of a good book is that a publication must never make the publisher or photographer feel remorse. Consequently, it requires a great awareness of research behind it, and not a frenzy to ride a very specific trend.
Visit the Witty Kiwi website to learn more about their books.