Doorbells of Florence + Giveaway!

The top 10 reasons I love The Doorbells of Florence by Andrew Losowsky.
  1. It started by chance when Andrew Losowsky started photographing doorbells in Florence to practice with his new camera
  2. The photographs (I love looking for his reflection in the shiny ones) became popular on flickr with the help of whimsical stories he’d include in the captions which elicited responses from fellow flickr users and…
  3. Andrew started to think about the photos and the people behind the doorbells, which culminated in a delightful series of short stories
  4. And to put it all together, Andrew self-published the first version of the book on
  5. The book wasn’t a huge hit, but he did enter (and win) the Blooker Prize for best fiction, and then something magic happened and Chronicle Books picked it up
  6. And in a small world moment, my talented friend Andrew Schapiro @ CB was assigned the design of the book
  7. Then Joel Holland was brought on board to illustrate the beautiful type for the book, and he makes me want to draw beautiful words all day
  8. The book is released and I get my copy – I love everything about it!
  9. It’s the perfect read on my bus ride to work – short and sweet with just the right amount of charm [view excerpts here and here]
  10. The book is now being adapted into a play! (and remember where it started with #1 !?!)

And the best part is that thanks to Andrew Schapiro and Chronicle Books, I have a free copy of The Doorbells of Florence that could be yours! All you need to do is answer the question: What is your favorite mundane thing to photograph/illustrate/look at? There’s no right or wrong answer. Just respond anyway you please in the comments below [make sure you include your email if it’s not linked to a blog] and your name will be thrown into a hat and winner will be randomly selected to win a free copy of the book. You have one week to respond. Giveaway ends Friday, June 26th at 5pm EST. Thanks for playing!

[update: Andrew Losowsky’s is up and running again here – check out his latest projects, which are pretty awesome.]


  • I discovered Andrew on flickr years ago but I did not know that he had published a book. How awesome!

    Not sure if this are mundane…but I like to photograph stained glass when I am on vacation…in any form.

  • What a wonderful chain of events. It seems like I find something different to photograph in each city. In Venice it was door knobs and knockers. In Paris it was carved stone corners on buildings. And I always love grocery stores!

  • Does it have to be one thing? Back in high school I loved to photograph peoples’ hair color- especially in europe since so many older women there were in to an odd shade of red-purple hair dye back in the 1990’s. Just creating some sort of visual catalog of the various shades was fun.

    In India, it was definitely any sort of sign- which was extremely mundane to the people in India. They didn’t get why we were doing that. But, duh, they’re all hand painted, colorful and amazing!

    This winter, it was dead plants around my neighborhood because they made great fodder for the drawings I was making then.

    Everyone likes to photograph their food, right?

    And pets, of course.

    Now that I think of it, I may be really boring people on flickr, because it sounds like I mostly like mundane things!


  • I love doorbells! I love Florence! I love stories! Yay!

    I most enjoy photographing doors and architectural decay. Preferably at the same time. Also my dog.

  • A few years ago in college I photographed every meal I ate for like 3 weeks- it started out exciting, but got SO boring after a while. The project turned out pretty intense when it was finished.


  • Hi Anne!

    I love photographing “Scenes from a Table.” It’s as simple as placeing the camera on the table and pushing the button. I have pictures from many travels and many tables (a sampling in my Facebook photo album).

    Great giveaway and we still are planning B-more road trip!!


  • thank you all for seriously making my friday! i’m loving these responses, and so many things i’ve never pondered photographing before – like mailboxes and table shots. long live the mundane! keep ’em coming! :)


  • The book looks gorgeous #1!
    #2 I love photographing repeats: bikes in a row, imprints in concrete, gates & fencing.
    ~hannah b.

  • Hey there Anne

    Just having a quick catch-up of your blog! It’s been so long. We’ve been on the road and been frantic as usual but I’m missing reading you. Are you not twittering? And if not, why not? Take care! And we will get you our Boarding Passes one day we promise! x

  • What a fantastic story! I love to look on the ground to see what little windfallen objects there might be, but then I love to look up at the sky, too, (and all around, of course), so there’s quite a bit of neck action in my life. As for drawing, I love making little tablescapes. Always have.

  • Hi Anne!
    I actually already own this book…and I love it! Amazon suggessted it for me last month, and it looked so interesting that I bought it! So funny that you know the author….small world!

    I love to photograph street signs in other languages…especially those that have to do with animal crossings!

  • That book looks awesome, and I love the illustrated text too! :)

    When I was studying abroad in the Czech Republic, I started taking pictures of pedestrian crossing signs. In every country the signs were all different. Some had hats, some were stick people, some were blue, some were white. In my city they’re yellow. It’s fun to notice these little things.

  • I love to photograph odd signs, especially when I am in other countries. My favorite was one in Japan. It had no words. It showed a funny illustration of a kid climbing a fence, but being swatted at by Mr. Electrical tower! Thanks for sharing about the book. I will have to check it out.

  • I LOVE taking pictures of a lot of random unique things I see like funny signs (especially the misspelled ones), interesting looking cars, houses, doors, rocks, yes rocks. Pretty much everything interesting, to me anyway. :D


  • I’m obsessed with ceilings. I’ve been inspired by Michaelangelo and like to take pictures of them while traveling.

    I think many people forget about ceilings in their own homes. It’s amazing what a coat of paint or wallpaper on a ceiling can do for a room. I’ll have to post some pictures one of these days.

  • I like looking at words. How certain letters look together. And fonts…yeesh. I am a typography nut. My dad was a newspaper publisher, and I would come with him to work as a little girl and just stare at the font charts in the graphics department. There is some magic in putting words to paper as a visual statement that got me at a young age.

    I’d love to win this book as I just bought my first house and don’t have room in the budget for new books of any kind. (torture! lol)

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