With 25 million readers, TIME Magazine is the world’s largest circulation and is coming up to almost a century as a trusted news resource. Each year, their team of photo editors and world renowned photography experts compile a list of photography books that define that particular year.
By no means a comprehensive list, TIME is quick to point out that these 27 photobooks of 2014 are subjective and stems from the task of the team looking for the one photobook that best defines the year 2014. Searching far and wide around the world at book fairs large and small, they looked for “emerging artists” and new titles. This year, many of the books on the list are self published, including the one that many of the editors picked as standing out above the others. Due to the recent popularity of crowdfunding in all genres of life – from lighting solutions to potato salads – publishing your own photo book is as easy as taking some beautiful images and setting up a Kickstarter campaign.
Van Agtmael’s Disco Night September 11 was the choice pick of many of the TIME editors. This self-published tome is a documentary of America post 9-11 and offers a look at the men and women fighting for our country and the effects of war.
Below are 5 that intrigued me the most from the list. These are subjective to my own personal opinion as I am inspired by stories. Not just the stories that the image tells, but the story behind the images and the creation of them. I urge you to pick up a few of these, be inspired and maybe begin a project of your own.
I am a big fan of textures and books that stand out in someway (probably why I loved the whole scrapbook movement so much) and Red String fulfills both my love of stories and textures (and scrapbooks) with this personal look at a family bound with red string (a cultural metaphor). The split binding makes this unique and one I’d like to emulate for my own family album.
Back to the Future is a humorous look back in time with people recreating some of their childhood photographs. It’s not only funny, but the photos are nostalgic and sometimes surprisingly poignant. The book is reminiscent of an old photo album with its design and the thick pages, I would almost expect to hear the sound of pulling plastic off the gummy glued pages popular from the albums of old.
This moving book draws your attention to the stillness of a room left behind by a brave soldier who lost their lives in defense of this country. The posters and trinkets serve as a memorial for the fallen, an intimate snapshot of a life lost before its time. Incredibly emotional.
Who doesn’t love a lyrical love story? Boy meets girl, there is conflict, there is angst, and in a perfect world, there is a happily ever after. All shown in photographs. Many a song has been written about love and this book of photographs proves that love is a multi genre inspiration. It is set within an contemporary Indian culture.
Eugene Richards is arguably one of the “best living documentary photographers” and Red Ball of the Sun Slipping Down is further evidence as to why he earns that moniker. Spanning over 4 decades, this look at race and poverty is even more poignant in the context of the recent Ferguson events. This volume is more than just a book of pretty pictures, it is a harsh look at our history and the lines that has divided us as a nation.
To see the list in its entirety and to pick your own favorites, go to the TIME Magazine website here.