Hi friends! While we work on Season Two, we wanted to share two photo books each that has inspired our photography. The first two are Paul’s recommendations and then Wesley’s. Please enjoy and stay tuned for the next season of visionaries, book recommendations, and personal interview questions.
Resurrection City, 1968,
by Jill Freedman
"I first heard about Jill Freedman’s work through the documentary, Everybody Street, by Cheryl Dunn. I just love her attitude, approach to photography, and body of work. One morning at the corner coffee shop, I noticed this book, flipped through it, and immediately bought it. I was late to work because I was mesmerized by the pages and what she captured. ‘This was in 1968!’ I thought to myself. ‘Has anything changed?’ Jill went to Resurrection City, not because she knew these photos would matter someday, but because of raw curiosity, because she cared about people and culture. It reminded me to be aware of my impulses and desire, to follow them, and to make sure I bring enough film."
Bystander: A History of Street Photography,
by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz
"I started with street photography as a way to play. I had just moved to NYC, working a full-time job, doing multiple freelance gigs, and was burning out. My younger brother gave me his camera and encouraged me to go explore, to just do something that wasn’t for money or clients. Learning about Joel’s work, his humanistic approach to photography, and his love for craft then became my compass. Even if I were to never do this professionally, I would love the streets, and treat every new place that I visited differently simply because I now carry a camera with me at all times. This book truly opened my eyes to the beautiful bodies of work that have existed and impacted culture and history. The tones, emotions, and composition is just masterful. This is a book that I keep open on a random page, on my desk, at all times.
Pictures Under Discusson,
by John Loengard
"John Loengard has influenced and inspired me not only in his work as a long-time picture editor of Life Magazine, but also through his photography. He is one of the best all-round photographers of the last 50 years, and perhaps under appreciated. The honesty with which he portraits human stories is palatable. His compositional choices are interesting and make me try harder. The depth of his blacks and grays are aspirational for me as I move into shooting more in black and white. Something I love about this book specifically is that each photo comes with a piece of text that goes into what happened when the photo was taken in a way that places the reader right there in terms of process and feelings felt."
In a Lonely Place,
by Gregory Crewdson
"This gorgeous and evocative photo book presents three of Crewdson’s key series each of which come together in presenting humanity in a most cinematic yet quiet way. The photos are single image motion pictures that start on the page and then linger inside of my mind where they start moving, and moving me. It’s impossible for me to not get inspired when paging through this book. It makes me want to improve the technical aspects of my craft and get better at story telling not through series but through individual images. One of my biggest inspirations and a book that can easily fill an entire evening for me."