I guess I’ve always known what a contact sheet is, but I didn’t know I can buy one. As I’ve become more aquatinted with each photographer’s archive, I’ve come across some really awesome contact sheets. A contact sheet is a set of multiple images, made from the film negatives, lined up next to each other into one image. From the photographer’s side of things, it’s a quick way to look at all the images together, side by side. But for the art collector, it’s a way to experience a moment. Yes, in essence, you can own 36 small photos of Jim Morrison, photographed by Ron Raffaelli, but what you’re really purchasing is documentation of that moment. You can own the motion, the laughter, the gesture from point in history when Morrison revealed himself to Raffaelli. And that’s so cool!

I have quite the imagination and I like to read the contact sheets like analog gifs. From start to finish, I love picturing the motion of that shoot. Which one is your favorite?