Growing From Inside: Meet Jaime Molina

Max Zhiltsov
Aug 7 · 5 min read

Here’s Max. I have some exciting news for The Phooks. And also for everyone who has ever interacted with the project, or will do so in the future.

Our venture is getting bigger from inside by doubling the team! From one person to a couple.

Welcoming Jaime Molina

Jaime Molina

A new and the very first team member. A partner who has already started to help project developing as a better place for everyone who cares about the photographic small-press industry.

Jaime is a graduated photographer and a bookbinder with both personal and professional interest in photography books.

His experience in self-publishing and helping other photographers to create their books is a gem for the project.

This is the first big step towards turning The Phooks from a run-alone startup into an organization, and I’m so excited about this! Thus I’d like to tell a bit about the story behind.

A Meaningful Step

I started this venture alone, and I did so intentionally, despite my strong belief in the value of the collaboration. I was short in time and resources to test the idea and build a basis. Having all these and being afraid to lose the focus, I decided to isolate myself from external influence. There was a goal to launch a fully working platform in two weeks even if it turns underdone.

Creating a “Minimum Valuable Product” to see how it goes

The concept of the MVP was quite simple: to create a place where artists and collectors from the whole world meet each other and able to sell or buy books.

It took about a week to gather some feedback on the concept and a couple more to launch it.

It was clear that the idea works good enough after two months since the launch in April this year. Many people from the community found it valuable and showed a lot of support by joining the library, ordering books, or sharing their kind words.

Then I started to think more about the longterm vision, and now I have enough clarity on how The Phooks should evolve. I’d say, there’s no better moment to start collaborating and switch from thinking to doing.

Since now, together with Jaime, we are building the place where artists could get onto the “scene,” showcase their work and vision, discover more opportunities from beyond the platform.

We will tell more about the plans very soon, but now …

Let’s greet Jaime!

“I am Jaime Molina, Colombian photographer graduated from Falmouth University in the UK. My deep passion resides with documentary photography, finding ways of exploring and communicating the spellbinding stories found in the natural world.

Raised on naturalist family values, the love for wildlife and wilderness runs through my blood and fuels my drive to invest everything in the expression of the natural world.

My work explores the intricate relationship between humans and the natural world; a relationship that can be both volatile and beautiful.

This lead to the development of my first photographic book “Gatherers,” a handmade photographic and recipe book which celebrates and shares the stories of the modern hunter-gatherer.

Gatherers” — a photobook by Jaime Molina

Photographed in Cornwall, it captures different subjects throughout the diverse ecosystems the county has to offer, using a combination of film photography, typewritten and handwritten text.

Through a successful Kickstarter campaign, I funded the production of 100 copies and the possibility of being fully involved in the creation of the project, which generated an intense passion for photography books.

For the past year, I have been training as a book-binder and have helped develop over ten different photography books. Soon this year, I will be beginning an MSc in Publishing to develop my skills further.

Working alongside photographers I have always been fascinated with, as we all have unique ideas and skills that when combined, a beautiful piece of art can be created.”

Was it challenging to find a partner?

No. Jaime found The Phooks himself some time ago.

He asked to share a bit of advice and expertise in publishing, showed a lot of passion for the topic and, most importantly, his proactive attitude.

There was nothing to share besides my passion for photobooks and intentions to build something valuable for this industry. A short call made me sure: Jaime is the right partner for this adventure.

What does it mean for The Phooks?

Besides the doubled amount of hands which could do twice more physical work, The Phooks obtained another head sharing values of the product.

I’m happy about this match in thinking and vision, but also see how valuable it is to have another firm opinion. A week of intensive work shows the difference: both small routine tasks and strategic projects ideas turn into actionable plans much faster than when I was doing things alone.

We’ll work closely together, but share the areas of responsibility to stay focused where each of us is most effective.

Jaime says (stolen from a prepared publication about The Phooks):

Our future will bring incredible opportunities. We want The Phooks to be a community, where artists and viewers can join together, share experiences, knowledge and passion.

I’d stress that we’re going to focus on creating new opportunities for artists and indie-publishing collectives inside and beyond the platform.

Stay tuned!

→ Go to The Phooks library on the website
→ Join us in social networks:
Instagram, Twitter, Facebook.

View all posts here on Medium and follow the page.

The Phooks

On the culture of self and independent photobooks and zines publishing

Max Zhiltsov

Written by

Photography enthusiast, Brand & Marketing strategist. Founder of Open photobook library & marketplace. Personal website:

The Phooks

On the culture of self and independent photobooks and zines publishing

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