ROCKPORT — Come spend an hour with Cig Harvey and Tim Whelan Wednesday, April 6, at 1 p.m. in an interactive online discussion about photography books and how to collect them. These two Rockport legends will discuss their utter infatuation with how to acquire the latest masterpiece from your favorite publisher, and how to seek the first edition or out-of-print rarity that will crown your collection. Regardless of personal taste, luck and devotion will undoubtedly play a role in starting the collection that completes your world.

Collecting photography books is an art and carefully selected titles will often appreciate in value over time. Scores of artists, designers, and photography lovers outfit their homes and studio spaces with personal libraries of photography books, but where does one begin? To those who love and collect them, photography books are an obsession. These books offer an opportunity to live with a curated selection of photographs and contemplate their collective significance. Today these books have evolved in range from the educational and informational to the deeply expressive and experimental.

Whelan’s Rockport bookstore was famous nationwide and was a legendary meeting place for photographers and photobook enthusiasts. With more than 20 years of experience, Whelan is an encyclopedia of information about photography, photobooks, and the industry.

“For some reason photography has fascinated me since I was a child visiting Yosemite with my mom where I first saw Ansel Adams photographs. Later on, making photographs for high school and college yearbooks and newspapers made life more interesting. I managed a small camera store for years and bought things from what was then the Maine Photo Workshops store. Finding myself passing through Rockport on a vacation and picking up the course catalog, I applied for any opening they had. It was a dream come true. After a few years of working at MPW and in Santa Fe for a photographer, I returned to Rockport and started selling photography books. It still feels like a dream having had a chance to meet so many photographers,” Whelan said.

Harvey, a photographer who has received international recognition for her work, got her start at Maine Media where she first met Whelan. She is an artist whose practice seeks to find the magic in everyday life. Harvey’s work is rich in implied narrative, deeply rooted in the natural world, and devoted to the topics of belonging and familial relationships. She is the author of four sold-out books, “You Look At Me Like An Emergency,” “Gardening at Night,” “You an Orchestra You a Bomb” and “Blue Violet.”

This lecture is part of the Alumni Lecture Series, a weekly online series offered by Maine Media Workshops + College featuring stimulating conversations on topics in photography, filmmaking, book arts and design, and writing. Registration is required at

The Alumni Lecture Series is free and open to the public through the generous sponsorship of Camden National Bank, WERU Community Radio FM89.9, Eaton Peabody Attorneys at Law, Allen Insurance and Financial, Two Ponds Press, Page Gallery, B&H Photo and Video, and Cedar Crest Inn as well as through donations from individuals.