12 Beautiful Photo Books To Buy as Christmas Gifts This Year

Pin It
Nan Goldin I’ll Be Your Mirror 1st Edition, 1996Courtesy of Climax Books

A curation of photo books to buy for your family and friends, or for even yourself, this Christmas

The British Isles Special Edition by Jamie Hawkesworth, published by Mack Books

Published this summer, Jamie Hawkesworth’s beautiful new book The British Isles offers a sublime portrait of life in Britain, captured over 13 years and featuring 310 pages of portraits and landscapes. Just in time for Christmas, a special limited edition run of 200 signed and numbered copies of the book have been released by Mack, each including a beautiful signed c-type print.

LONDON 82 by Sunil Gupta, published by MACK Books

Transporting you to London in 1982, seminal photographer Sunil Gupta’s new book documents the people, places and streets of the city in the year he was studying at the Royal College of Art. “Around where I lived, it was a mixture of people with and without money,“ he said in an interview with AnOther. “In New York, the poor lived in one place and the rich in another, but here it was all mixed up. I lived amongst a bunch of bankers, but you’d see these pensioners with hardly any income walking around. That caught my eye too.”

Périphérique by Mohamed Bourouissa, published by Loose Joints

French photographer Mohamed Bourouissa‘s arresting new book was created between the years of 2005 and 2008. In it, the image-maker photographs his friends and acquaintances in compositions inspired by history paintings, creating dramatic narratives centering around individuals who are often overlooked in France’s contemporary society. This publication of the Périphérique series in 2021 looks back at the work’s original context in light of today’s social, economic and political issues.

Out & About with Linden: A Queer Archive of the North by Stuart Linden Rhodes

In the 1990s, school teacher Stuart Linden Rhodes spent his evenings travelling across northern England to photograph the region’s vibrant LGBTQ+ club scene. After digging up these images – which were tucked away in his attic until the first lockdown – Linden Rhodes decided to make a book celebrating the parties, people and spirit of the North’s queer club circuit. “Most of my work was about capturing the gay community having a fabulous time,” Rhodes told AnOther. “It was all about going out and having a blast every weekend. People were on the dance floor living their best life and I would get in the right place to snap the picture.”

My Beutyfull Lyfe by Davide Sorrenti, published by Idea

Published by Idea in November, My Beutyfull Lyfe celebrates the radical and often misunderstood fashion photography of Davide Sorrenti. A perfect gift for fashion lovers, the book was brought to life by the photographer’s mother, Francesca Sorrenti and brings together some of his most widely-loved work with never-before-seen images, alongside magazine tear sheets and pages from his own personal notebook.

Climax Books

For the devout photo book collectors, a gift from Climax Books is guaranteed to please. Founded by former Dazed editor-in-chief Isabella Burley last year, the independent online bookstore stocks an array of rare and cult books, ephemera, anthologies, and more. Highlights currently stocked include Martine Syms’ red leather bound Shame Space; a first edition of Eric Kroll’s cult 1977 book Sex Objects; JEB’s landmark book Eye to Eye: Portraits of Lesbians; and Nan Goldin’s raw 1996 monograph I’ll Be Your Mirror

Photography – A Feminist History published by Ilex Press/Tate

Tate Modern curator Emma Lewis’ sprawling new book shines a light on overlooked feminist histories, charting women’s origins in studio photography in the 1800s through to ‘selfie culture’ and Instagram aesthetics in the 21st century. “[It] brought home to me just how narrow the scope of so-called ‘feminist’ art is within museum collections – and indeed, in my own ‘feminist’ art history education,” Lewis told AnOther, reflecting on the process of creating the book. “I wanted to get under the skin of that.”

Helmut Newton. Legacy published by Taschen

Released in tandem with a major retrospective at the Helmut Newton Foundation, this comprehensive tome looks back at five decades of Newton’s boundary-breaking fashion photography. Featuring iconic photographs for magazines like Vogue and Elle alongside rarely-seen images, the book celebrates the visionary’s immense legacy and lasting influence on fashion photography today.

Eyes That Look At The Sky by Sean and Seng

This book is perfect for those dreaming of warmer climes this winter. Available in a very limited edition of just 100 copies from Claire de Rouen, this beautiful title by photographic duo Sean and Seng collates images taken on Easter Island in Chile, back in 2019. Adding to the book’s specialness is a poem found in its introduction, which was written by Sean and Seng’s friend, the Booker Prize finalist Nadifa Mohamed.

Portraits in the Presence of Marina Abramović published by Damiani Books

In 2010, as part of her retrospective at MoMA, Marina Abramović staged a performance for three months in the museum’s central atrium. Here, visitors were invited to sit in a chair opposite the artist and hold eye contact with her. The intense emotional responses from these interactions – from members of the public, plus cultural figures like Lou Reed, Patti Smith and Björk – are documented in a stirring book by Marco Anelli. This month, Damiani releases a new edition of the acclaimed title, featuring never-before-seen images.

Between Girls by Karen Marshall, published by Kehrer Verlag

Collating hundreds of images and spanning 30 years, Karen Marshall’s epic book Between Girls documents one group of teenage girls in New York as they live through love, loss and hardship, and eventually grow up. “There’s a universality that girls have with each other at a certain age, and it’s really hard to explain what that is,” Marshall told AnOther last month. “But I thought, photographically, maybe I could try.”

Aiko by Florian Hetz, published by Paper Affairs

Berlin-based image-maker Florian Hetz began taking photos a few years ago when he was recovering from encephalitis, an inflammation of the brain which caused him to lose vast chunks of his memory. By simply taking photos of life around him, he found he could remember more and more. His third book Aiko sees Hetz return to this practice of daily photo journaling, this time documenting his 2020 in a beautiful monograph which mixes street photography, still lifes and nude portraits.