Top books on photography in 2023

It’s an enjoyable, if challenging, task to go through all the books that were featured in the magazine over the years to select a selection of the best, and the existence included in the magazine indicates that they’re worthy of your time and attention.

There’s a broad range of photographers, genres, and styles. There’s something for everyone and budget, especially in these tight times.

Documentary photography, specifically historical and archive photography, has been especially strong, with a heightened nostalgia resembling working well with book publishers.

There are also excellent shows from contemporary artists, proving that there is no sign of this medium being less sought-after in a digitally-driven age.

There’s something unique about having something tangible that you can hold, The smell of paper, and that weight and feel of books. Even if we need a shelf that is reinforced to accommodate certain of our most loved books.

The books that appear on the following pages are not presented in any specific order. The process of narrowing down the chosen few was hard enough, even if you had to order the books. Of course, everyone’s preference is unique, and what may appeal to me may not be appealing to you. There’s at the very least one below that will entice your taste.

This book is the ultimate complete retrospective of the career and life of Chris, who was one of the United Kingdom’s most significant and influential post-war documentary photographers.

He is renowned for his compassionate work in documenting the working-class communities of north-east England during the 1970s and 80s against the backdrop of coal mining and shipbuilding and the decline of these industries. His constant immersion in the communities he documented is unlike anything else.

Edited by long-time colleagues Ken Grant and Tracey Marshall-Grant and published in conjunction with the first comprehensive retrospective of Killip’s work and life in The Photographers’ Gallery, London (from 19 February to 19th19 February), this collection is a definitive compilation of images from every one of his major series as well as lesser-known work. The book includes a foreword written by Brett Rogers, in-depth essays written by Ken Grant tracing Killip’s life and work, as well as text written by Gregory Halpern, Amanda Maddox, and Lynsey Hanley.

If you are interested in British documentary photography, Chris Killip is a must-have book for your library.

Though we’ve likely over-had enough of pictures inspired by Covid, we are so exquisitely executed that we are able to be forgiven.

A lot of us worked on lockdown tasks as well as for professional photographers in their homes or nearby. There’s been plenty of interest in Vivian Mayer. In the first quarter of 2022, we were treated to an extensive new biography of the legendary “photographer nanny” that was meticulously studied through Ann Marks. In 2022, there was an important retrospective of the work at MK Gallery. MK Gallery in Milton Keynes, which was accompanied by a publication that was published through Thames & Hudson.

It’s worth buying each book if you’re interested in an in-depth look at the master of street photography. The first one will provide more information on the things Vivian was and was like as a person or, as best as it can be gleaned by those who knew her, as well as documents from the past.

The photograph’s story was only revealed and widely distributed after her death and has remained popular since the first time she came to the public’s attention in 2009. Both these books allow you to understand the reason.

While she was not recognized during her life, Maier was both extremely prolific and razor-like in her ability to capture a moment prior to proceeding to the next. Her archives are believed to comprise 140,000 photographs and a large number of others that were never created. It is estimated that just 5 percent of her images were processed in her life.


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