Photography books have always been a lover of mine. There are some books that I just completely lust over and they do not have to only be about mobile photography to be noted here, we are inspired by photography. To select the top 10 best photography books of 2015 is no mean feat and there will always be others that can be added to the mix, if I have not included your favourite photo book of 2015, then please add it within the comments section at the end of this post (on our website).
Portraits in Lace : Breton Women – 1st Edition
From high starched towers to elaborately pinned, tucked, and embroidered confections of handmade lace, the creations captured here by Charles Fréger are as delicate as they are distinctive. Fréger has photographed a series of portraits of Breton women of every generation from every region, wearing costumes and headdresses of endless variety. Each costume and headdress may indicate a wearer’s village as well as age or status. They are worn for celebrations of marriage, birth, or a local saint’s day, or to mark a period of mourning. Against a translucent gauze backdrop, young girls and women, both married and unmarried, mothers, sisters, and grandmothers, pose in costume for these stunning portraits.
Although these headdresses were once worn daily, today they are part of a costume tradition upheld by women throughout Brittany in rites of passage, in Celtic circles, and at summer festivals, keenly attended by young and old.
Some fifty headdresses are identified and described in a separate reference section, accompanied by specially commissioned illustrations. Fréger’s exceptional photographs demonstrate Breton culture’s wealth of pride, ingenuity, and personal expression.
This book retails for $28/£19.96 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
‘Elaborate and mysterious’: Jobeline. Ensemble de cérémonie. Pays de Pontivy, pays des Moutons blancs, 1910-1920. Photograph: Charles Freger
The Decisive Moment – Henri Cartier-Bresson
Please don’t shoot me! This new edition of one of the most famous books in the history of photography, originally called ‘Images a la Sauvette’ was actually published on 24th November 2014. When I received this book I was mesmerised. It is definitely one to have in your collection. If you missed this last year, I highly recommend you purchase it this year.
This book retails for $84.99/£61.99 – – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Aunties: The Seven Summers of Alevtina and Ludmila
A book of pure love. “Nadia Sablin, who was born in Russia but has lived in the United States since she was a girl, has visited her father’s sisters each summer for seven years now, finding comfort in knowing them and celebrating the lives they have chosen for themselves. . . . Their bright clothing, the pleasing picturesqueness of their home and surroundings, bring to mind the bright-coloured illustrations in Russian fairy-tale books that were so important to such modern artists as Wassily Kandinsky. In these pictures it is always spring or summer, the garden flourishes, the women enjoy the span of the seasons. The photographs are warm with an aroma of the magical. . . . [Sablin] chooses to show their way of living as almost enchanted: we can hardly believe that what we see in these pictures will ever disappear,” words by Sandra S Phillips.
This book retails for $36.19/£31.00 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Babe, Petra Collins (Prestel)
Young Canadian photographer Petra Collins is leading the way in a contemporary girl power revolution that proves feminism and sexuality aren’t mutually exclusive. Babe includes work by Collins as well as over 30 artists who have been part of her online collective The Ardorous. Though their work is aesthetically varied, it all represents a current zeitgeist characterised by explorations of female identity, scrutinisation of the role of the Internet and social media and a penchant for pastel colours. The artists in the book, such as Arvida Bystrom, Sandy Kim, Harley Weir, Jeanette Hayes and Kristie Muller, hail from a variety of places, including New York, London, Moscow, Stockholm, Los Angeles, Berlin, and Toronto. Together they reflect an all-accepting, affirming, distinctly female point of view that teens and young women everywhere can respond to. With a foreword by Tavi Gevinson, writer, actress, fashion blogger and creator of Rookie Magazine, this is an inspiring collection for a new generation of creative, forward-thinking women.
This book retails for $21.77/£33.14 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Occupied Pleasures – Tanya Habjouqa
Tanya Habjouqa successfully funded her photobook via Kickstarter, managing to raise more than US$30000. This reaches the extra goal of devoting funds to producing exhibits in cultural spaces, community centers and museums.
This book retails for $50.00 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Sylvania – Anna Beeke
Forests appear throughout literature, from fairy tales and adventure stories to Arthurian romances.
“Usually, the protagonist goes on some sort of quest that leads them through the woods, they encounter things along the way, and then they always come back having learned some sort of lesson, having changed for the better,” said Anna Beeke.
But when she was sitting around the Thanksgiving table in Virginia in 2010 with her divorced parents together for the first time in 20 years, she had no idea she was about to become the protagonist of her own forest tale.
“We were acting like a family,” she recalled. “We were telling stories,” words by Rena Silverman – NYTimes, LensBlog.
This book retails for $42.62/£29.89 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Wild and Precious, by Jesse Burke
“Wild & Precious brings together treasures from a series of road trips traveled with my daughter to explore the natural world. I use these adventures to encourage a connection between my child and nature and to give her an education that I consider essential—one that develops appreciation, respect, conservation, and self-confidence. On the road we talk about the vastness of nature and try to get more in touch with the earth. Together we document the routes we drive, the landscapes we discover, the creatures we encounter, even the roadside motels where we sleep. Wild & Precious reveals the fragile, complicated relationship that humans share with nature and attempts to strengthen those bonds”. Words by Jesse Burke.
This book retails for $47.77/£33.09 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
About Forty Years, by Nicholas Nixon
“The series grew out of boredom,” Nicholas Nixon said recently of his ongoing long-term portrait project, The Brown Sisters, in which he has photographed his wife, BeBe, and her three sisters every year over a 40-year period. “We’d go down to visit BeBe’s parents on weekends. It was kind of boring, a lot of socialising, we were expected to show up for dinner every day … Out of a friendly desperation, I said: ‘Let’s take a picture.’”
This book retails for $35.54/£36.47 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Mary Ellen Mark: Tiny, Streetwise Revisited
Mary Ellen Mark died on May 25 in New York City. Her studio manager, Julia Bezgin told the New York Times the cause was myelodysplastic syndrome, a disease that affects the body’s bone marrow and blood. She was 75.
Throughout her career, Mark never became as intertwined with a subject as she did with “Tiny,” one of the subjects in her 1988 book “Streetwise” and corresponding Academy Award nominated documentary of the same name that Mark made with her husband, Martin Bell. “Streetwise,” which started as a 1983 assignment on Seattle’s homeless and runaway youth for Life Magazine, became one of Mark’s most iconic works.
This book retails for $31.50/£35.00 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.
Jimmy DeSana: Suburban
Jimmy DeSana: Suburban collects in print for the first time DeSana’s surreally lyrical, sexually charged photographs from his series of the same name, made in the late 1970s through the 1980s. DeSana staged photos of nude subjects, male and female, in various strange, evocative poses, entwined with everyday objects and luridly lit with gel-covered tungsten lights. The photographs suggest broad physical comedy as much as sadomasochism.
“I don’t really think of that work as erotic,” DeSana has said of this series. “I think of the body almost as an object. I attempted to use the body but without the eroticism that some photographers use frequently. I think I de-eroticized a lot of it … but that is the way the suburbs are in a sense.” At a moment of growing interest in DeSana’s life and work, this volume (edited by Dan Nadel and DeSana’s longtime roommate and friend Laurie Simmons) offers access to a critical–and previously unpublished–early body of the photographer’s work.
This book retails for $41.67/£30.00 – if you do purchase please go via our Amazon link in our right hand column.