Click to preview L.A. Women photo book
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In December 2010, Los Angeles Police Department released one hundred and eighty photographs that were found in the possession of a serial murder suspect. All of them are photographs of women. These women may or may not be residents of Los Angeles, they may or may not be prostitutes (as were the women in the investigation). They may or may not be murder victims. We don’t know. We don’t even know whether the arrested suspect took these photographs himself.
Without knowing where the photographs come from, most of them wouldn’t be worth a second glance; for you and me, that is. Of course this is different for friends and family of the women depicted. And it is certainly different for the person who took these pictures. From the testimony of one surviving victim we know that the woman was first photographed, then shot, and then raped before she was dumped in the street.
Most of the women were clearly alive when the photos were taken; some are smiling, some are posing. Some appear to be asleep, they may or may not be sleeping the big sleep. Some of them may have been shot soon after or just before the photographer shot the picture. We don’t know.
It is actually the fact that we don’t know anything – apart from the context where these photographs come from – that makes them so eerie. We want to know more but the pictures don’t tell us. We look at them and they look at us. That’s all there is.

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This book is only available as hardcover with dust jacket, printed on uncoated paper with white end sheets.

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"L.A. Women" received an honorable mention in the 2011 Photography Book Now competition.


About the Author

Joachim Schmid
J.Schmid Berlin, Germany
I am glad you are interested in my work. If you order any of my books, please check your copy carefully after receiving it. Most print-on-demand books are ok, some are not. Do not hesitate to contact Blurb support and ask for a new copy if you should discover any fault. Find more of my books on

Publish Date  May 17, 2011

Dimensions  Small Square  154 pgs ProLine Uncoated Paper

Category  Arts & Photography

Tags  , , ,

Comments (8)


mcchesneyone says

I really don't like this book. I don't think it has any artistic merit. I am not opposed to the photos being used in a work of art. But I feel strongly that this work is degrading these women because the author has done nothing more than dump them into a book.

There's no thought, no editing, no real point made. Dressing this up with amateur critic nonsense about 'photographic truth' is just foolish.

posted at 05:51am Sep 27 PST


s_ressler says

I fail to see how compiling photos already published on the Internet is worthy of merit. The thing is, not only does it brutalize these women a second time (especially because they are presented as anonymous Jane Does rather than people with names, families, histories...) but the author of this book is taking credit for it. He ought to remain anonymous for this book to have any validity.

posted at 07:35pm Jun 14 PST


hannahfc says

@Tonnard I am no sycophant. When anyone publishes something so controversial there will be a difference of opinions and strong feelings. Does this mean I do not respect the artist? Of course not. Will I buy his work again? Certainly.

posted at 02:27pm Jun 14 PST


iansand says

I think you are missing the point. If we were told that all the women in the book had won the lottery or owned pink poodles, I am not sure the "uncertainty of photographic truth" would apply (whatever that means) See it for what it is.

posted at 11:19pm Jun 07 PST


tonnard says

Why are you making comments about a book that you haven’t even seen? Wrt to Hannahfc: wouldn’t you think the artist you respect so much did think twice and hopefully more than twice about this publication? I own this book and find it very powerful. To me this is a book about the uncertainty of photographic truth, and a book that shows photography as an act of possession.

posted at 04:29pm Jun 07 PST


iansand says

I agree that an important purpose of Art is to provoke thought . 'Found' imagery has featured throughout the last century. Nihilism, dada, surrealism were movements where the juxtaposition of ordinary objects or images provoked thought. Visual artist like Rauschenberg and Warhol or conceptual artist like Long and André have continued with this . At the same time I feel that there was always another dimension, innovation. I can't see any innovation in this work, only derivative imitation.

posted at 01:10am Jun 07 PST


hannahfc says

It is an interesting point you make Iansand. I am familiar with Joachim Schmid's work - he is of great inspiration to me. He has paved the way for 'artists' like myself. He works within 'the vernacular', with images that already exist by amateur photographers. It is in the compiling, the gathering of these images to invoke thought and I guess ultimately the act of preservation which gives this particular publication merit.

I am very uneasy that this book could be used for titillation purposes and I believe you made a good point about the emotions of the families involved. The Police published these images for a reason - to identify the victims. I would really think twice about 'publishing' them again, with the greatest respect to you Joachim.

posted at 05:24pm Jun 05 PST

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