You know the drill by now: in this series, we take A LOOK AT a project, and inform you why it’s worth checking out. The project could be a zine, a photobook, a set of prints, an exhibition, and anything else you can imagine.
For today’s article, we had the pleasure of having Ronnie Olesnovich from @infiniterolls send us the first Volume of Sips and Shots. This is a truly unique project that we’re excited to share with you. Ronnie is both a photography and coffee enthusiast, and so he’s produced a monthly zine that comes with 12 oz. bag of Sips and Shots Coffee. That’s awesome, right? So whilst you’re enjoying your drink, you can peruse the wonderful images from film photographers.
Now let’s take a closer look at the zine. The zine itself is larger than any zine we’ve looked at so far. It’s close to A4 size, so it feels like a regular commercial magazine. The paper choice is also similar to that of magazines you might find in a shop. I’m a big fan of the decision to make this zine larger than usual. This, partnered with the flexible paper, makes the zine a pleasure to flick through. I genuinely enjoyed it as I enjoyed a drink. It sounds like an odd pairing, but enjoying a drink and the zine really go hand-in-hand. The images take up the majority of the pages, but there’s no noticeable loss in quality. This zine has a wonderful finish. It is certainly a premium product.
As for the images that are included, there’s a wonderful variety to enjoy. Ronnie has reached out to film photographers to feature in the zine, and so we’re treated to the work of three talented photographers. Each photographer shares a few images, and answers the question “What draws you to photography?”.
The first is Tim Brown (@trevy021). Even though he’s only contributing a handful of images, Tim manages to demonstrate a wonderful understanding of narrative. I find both his work, and the response to the above question to be relatable. He takes the time to focus on those scenes that we often overlook, and highlights the beauty in the mundane.
The next is Amanda James (@amanda_jam). Amanda’s work is utterly stunning, but in a completely different way to Tim’s. With Tim’s work, we got to consider how everyday scenes can be beautiful. With Amanda’s work, we’re treated to the beauty of nature. Her images are wonderful landscapes adorned with colour and carefully considered compositions. They’re brilliant. I also found her motivation for shooting film quite relatable. She describes how she likes the tangible and intimate nature of processing film.
Lastly, we’re treated to the work of Nate Xander (@xxxanderrrr). Strictly speaking, his images aren’t shot on film, nevertheless they are great. With a focus on variety and texture, Nathaniel captures some immersive street scenes. There’s textured elements that are not experienced ever day, like fog, or bubbles, that make the images that little more unique. His motive seems different to the other two, but that’s what beautiful about this zine: the celebration of diversity.
Before I conclude, I also want to recognise the finishing touches that Ronnie has added to this project. The zine itself came with coffee, a badge and a sticker - all of which have consistent branding. I’m actually a massive fan of this. When I took A LOOK AT Steven Cox’s The Fifth Dimension and Spencer Reed’s MY CITY, I spoke about how I loved that they came with something extra (a business card and a 6x4 print respectively). It’s not because I’m cheap and I like free things (though that may be true), but it served as a reminder to experience the beauty of the zines. By including a sticker and a pin, I now have to reminders I can put wherever to remind myself of this zine.
Sips and Shots is a wonderful project. Ronnie has set out to unite people through the power of two passions; coffee and photography. Doing so tastefully, he has collected images from three very different photographers, and produced a body of work that he should be proud of. Not only that, but it comes with a drink to enjoy the zine with - what more could you ask for?
If you would like to learn more about this project, and even grab yourself a copy of Sips and Shots Volume 01, you can do so by checking out there website here. There’s a deadline to grab a copy of this zine, so don’t hesitate! Go grab a copy. Also, make sure you’re following Ronnie, who will announce future issues here. Make sure you’re following the three featured artists: Tim, Amanda, Nate. And lastly, if you enjoyed this article, you might enjoy the other A LOOK ATs here.