In 1952, Ansel Adams, Melton Ferris, Dorothea Lange, Ernest Louie, Barbara Morgan, Nancy and Beaumont Newhall, Dody Warren, and Minor White launched Aperture. These artists and writers created the quarterly journal to connect with “serious photographs and creative people everywhere, whether professional, amateur or student.” At a time when photography was still on the outskirts of the art world, Aperture presented writing and critical dialogue of the highest caliber to anyone and everyone who was interested in learning more about the medium.

Today, Aperture, a not-for-profit foundation, connects the photo community and its audiences with the most inspiring work, the sharpest ideas, and with each other—in print, in person, and online. Each year the organization publishes four issues of Aperture magazine, photobooks ranging from surveys to monographs, the biannual Photobook Review, and dozens of original online articles.

In partnership with LensCulture, Aperture is offering this free guide as an extension of its mission to share the best in photography. Twelve pieces of writing have been selected to provide inspiration, advice, and a better understanding of each photographer’s process. The artists’ backgrounds and practices vary, but they are united in their rigor and commitment to photography.

The title, It’s All Dreaming, references an interview with Gregory Crewdson published in Aperture Conversations, which is also included as an opening piece in this guide. In the interview, Crewdson remarks, “Preproduction is great because it’s all about dreaming.” This collection of texts and photographs embraces a spirit of openness and experimentation, and encourages those reading it to do the same.

–The Editors at Aperture

Cover: Larry Sultan, Mom on Chaise Lounge (detail), 1987. © The Estate of Larry Sultan