Ahrens Editions is an innovative independent art-photography publishing company. As the company’s creator, Janette Ahrens is deeply involved in the creative process of pressing every book, ensuring the highest quality while actively collaborating with artists to help them materialize their visions from start to finish.
Driven and fearless, Ahrens believes that “If you think IT, IT can be done”. A resourceful and innovative problem solver, Ahrens is passionate about bringing ideas and possibilities to life. She is particularly drawn to inspirational subject matters that stretch and expand her scope and acumen.
After completing a degree in photography at the Emily Carr Institute of Art and Design, Ahrens had her first introduction to pre-press and publishing at Echo Memoirs in Vancouver, Canada, where her appetite for working one-on-one with artists was developed. As the desire to pursue publishing, rather than her own photography became clear, she relocated to Germany to work for Steidl Publishers where she developed a profound appreciation for the excitement and intensity of the art-photography book publishing industry.
She says of the experience, “I have infinite gratitude for Gerhard Steidl. He is a true visionary, a source of inspiration and a beacon for quality and perfection. His work ethic and business sense have gained him appreciation and respect.”
Ahrens always knew that her life’s calling would best be summed up by a series of photos handsomely displayed on the pages of a book. From the moment she was given her own typewriter, she began to tap furiously at the keys, pairing short stories and manuscripts with cutouts from magazines and encyclopedias. To this day, Ahrens’ greatest strength is her imagination, whether working with the subtlety of marrying images on a page or the intricacy of weaving figures and forms with innovative narratives.
Ahrens maintains that she has a significant role to play at making lasting and permanent documents from a medium that has now taken a turn toward disposable. Her ambition is to sift through today’s imagery overload and look for the gems among the contemporary photographers who are eager to reinvent and push the limits of the medium. As publisher, Ahrens’ aim is to polish these gems, bring them into our lives and give them a place on our bookshelves.