Sex, a Skater and Saint-Tropez: Seven Photography Books to Buy Now

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Bare With Me Zine Begum Yetis Matt King 2019 indie nudes
Bare With MePhotography Begum Yetis, Styling Matt King

Here are seven of the most exciting photography books of the month

Fashion Eye Saint-Tropez by Osma Harvilahti, published by Louis Vuitton

Fashion Eye is a collection of photo books from Louis Vuitton, which sees the French fashion house send photographers to various countries and cities to create a series of images (previously Harley Weir travelled to Iran, for example). Paris-based, Finland-born photographer Osma Harvilahti travelled to the French Riviera for Fashion Eye Saint-Tropez, and decided to capture local people and moments in the town known for glamour and excess. “We went to the marketplace which they have two times a week and we saw these older Tropézien people,” Harvilahti told AnOther earlier this year of his beautiful, sun-drenched images. “In a way, it is an exploration of these senior people and the vegetables from the market, they’re kind of jumping in and out from the pages of the book.”

Bare With Me by Begum Yetis and Matt King, published by SORT Zine

More a tear-away zine than a photo book, Begum Yetis and Matt King’s Bare With Me nonetheless features compelling imagery depicting people baring it all. The zine follows a 2018 exhibition of the same name by the photographer and the stylist, and is designed so that each page can be torn out and tacked onto a wall – a decision made to counteract the increasingly ephemeral nature of our digital lives. “We wanted to make this in to a zine that would be a collection of posters rather than a coffee table book,” Yetis told AnOther. “Our art director Omer Agustoslu, added catchphrases like ‘Wild Wild’ and ‘Sexy Seductive’ which makes some of the pages into story headliners, like the layouts of erotica magazines.”

April Dawn Alison edited by Erin O’Toole, published by MACK

April Dawn Alison is an intimate study of the female persona of an Oakland-based photographer who lived in the world as a man. The MACK-published book collates self-portraits taken by the photographer as the eponymous April Dawn Alison, during the 1970s, 80s, 90s and 2000s (the image-maker died in 2008, and the images were then donated to the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art). Hilton Als contributes an essay to the publication, which is a searing collection of images exploring the various sides of April Dawn Alison, taking inspiration from depictions of women in advertising to BDSM.

Loewe Autumn/Winter 2019 Publication, by Fumiko Imano

Loewe has started creating limited-edition publications for its collections, and for the Autumn/Winter 2019 edition, the Spanish house enlisted Japanese photographer Fumiko Imano to capture the collection worn by Chinese model Fei Fei Sun – alongside Imano’s fictional ‘twin’ in various playful poses. The A/W19 collection was photographed inside Paris’ Maison de l’UNESCO and the images feature floral arrangments by Loewe’s in-house florist Amy Humphrey. With bright backdrops and typically elegant silhouettes, the publication would make for a beautiful addition to any bookshelf – though not yet available to buy, the house hopes to collate these collection publications and release them as a book set in the future. 

Hardcore Soul by Ewen Spencer, published by Gabber Eleganza

Ewen Spencer’s latest photo book is a love letter to Britain’s rave scene in 1990s northern England. Hardcore Soul, published by Gabber Eleganza and designed by Mark Leckey, brings together photographs Spencer took of the Northern Soul and Happy Hardcore music scenes, which he immersed himself in as a student in the 90s. Spencer’s captivating photographs form an ode to the intricate and intimate moments of raving, on the dancefloor or otherwise, during a time when subcultures in Britain were thriving. “Things have changed a lot, but I do believe that new subcultures will start bubbling and coming to the fore in venues and locations elsewhere,” says Spencer. “Because people will always want that: they’ll always want to get out, come together and party. The British are very good at it.”

Good Morning, America (Volume II) by Mark Power, published by GOST

Mark Power has been photographing America for ten years. Good Morning, America is a project comprising five photo series, each an exploration of the USA’s cultural and physical landscape. For Good Morning, America (Volume II), published this month by GOST, Power brings together images dating back to 2012 with his more recent work taken at some of the country’s most striking landscapes, from the Grand Canyon to the Rust Belt. Power’s fascination with America comes from an outsider’s point of view: the photographer grew up in the UK and is based in Brighton. With striking compositions, Power presents America’s epic landscapes as well as signs of hardship and decay in the vast country.

Blondey 15–21 by Alasdair McLellan, published by Alasdair McLellan and M/M Paris

“I’ve always been interested in rites of passage as a subject. The idea of growing from an adolescent into an adult,” Alasdair McLellan told Another Man as his most recent book, Blondey 15–21 was published. The book documents photographs McLellan has taken of Blondey McCoy between the ages of 15 and 21, capturing a formative time in the skater and designer’s adolescence. “It seemed to be the right time as I’d photographed him at every age since he was 15 and obviously you change so much between the ages of 15 and 21. And 21 is such a milestone,” the photographer continued. “It seemed to be the right time to bring a book out about this period of his life. It’s rare to find one person or one subject that you photograph during those years that really shapes you.”