Nathan Ams
Nathan Ams
@ntams
Staff
Photography

Top 10 Photography Books of 2020

  • by Nathan Ams @ntams

If you're looking for a book to give to a professional photographer or photography enthusiast, check out these 10 titles that we recommend

History repeats itself: the year draws to an end and we celebrate and exchange gifts with our loved ones. If you have a photographer or photography enthusiast on your gift list, it’s hard to go wrong with a great photography book.

In this blog post, we share our top ten recommendations to help you find the ideal title. Don't forget to write a personal inscription!


Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love, by Hugh Nini

This book is a visual narrative of rare sensitivity showcasing Hugh Nini & Neal Treadwell’s previously unpublished collection of over 2700 unique photographs taken between the 1850s and 1950s, depicting romantic love between men. The images are almost all anonymous and from all over the world. They were sourced from flea markets, family archives, and online auctions. The exceptional quality of the collection and the emotions it conjures up are reasons alone to include it on our top ten list.

“Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love,” by Hugh Nini
“Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love,” by Hugh Nini
“Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love,” by Hugh Nini
“Loving: A Photographic History of Men in Love,” by Hugh Nini


Fernweh, by Teju Cole

Nigerian author Teju Col not only wrote the award-winning novel, Open City, he is also a renowned photographer. This cinematic work documents Teju’s visits to Switzerland over a period of five years. The title, Fernweh, is a German word that refers to the longing to be somewhere else. Get ready for picturesque landscapes, from Graubünden to Lugano.

“Fernweh,” Teju Cole, MACK BOOKS
“Fernweh,” Teju Cole, MACK BOOKS
“Fernweh,” Teju Cole, MACK BOOKS
“Fernweh,” Teju Cole, MACK BOOKS


Humans, by Brandon Stanton

Brandon Stanton is the creator of the Humans of New York project, a blog for which he anonymously photographs New Yorkers along with bits of stories about their lives. On Instagram alone, he has over 11 million followers.

Humans is the print and global version of the project, in which he documents the lives of ordinary people around the planet and shows that, despite all their differences, much of our experiences are shared.

Top 10 Photography Books of 2020 7


Godlis Streets, by David Godlis

David Godlis is known for his photos of the Film Society of Lincoln Center and the New York punk scene. In this selection, we discover another facet of his work: that of the flâneur (a French word meaning a passer-by or stroller) who walks, observes and takes in city life. These are raw and captivating images that span from the 1970s to the 1980s, often showing a hidden side of the Big Apple.

“Godlis Streets,” David Godlis, Reel Art Press
“Godlis Streets,” David Godlis, Reel Art Press
“Godlis Streets,” David Godlis, Reel Art Press
“Godlis Streets,” David Godlis, Reel Art Press


Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World, by iO Tillett Wright and Casey Dunn

Casey Dunn's images capture homes in the desert, from remodeled trailers to large stucco houses: this book is a must for architectural photography enthusiasts. IO Tillett Wright's text reflects on this culture of living simply while feeling a connection to the land. It lists classic examples.

“Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World,” iO Tillett Wright and Casey Dunn, Clarkson Potter
“Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World,” iO Tillett Wright and Casey Dunn, Clarkson Potter
“Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World,” iO Tillett Wright and Casey Dunn, Clarkson Potter
“Oasis: Modern Desert Homes Around the World,” iO Tillett Wright and Casey Dunn, Clarkson Potter


Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station, by Paolo Nespoli and Roland Miller

This book by American photographer Ronald Miller and Italian astronaut and photographer Paolo Nespoli shows what goes on behind the scenes at the International Space Station for the first time. Besides the beauty of the images, the book stands out as an important record of history as the station will be evacuated in 2024 and destroyed in 2028.

“Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station,” Paolo Nespoli and Roland Miller, Damiani
“Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station,” Paolo Nespoli and Roland Miller, Damiani
“Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station,” Paolo Nespoli and Roland Miller, Damiani
“Interior Space: A Visual Exploration of the International Space Station,” Paolo Nespoli and Roland Miller, Damiani


Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness, by Jacques Henri Lartigue

Compared to his fellow countryman Cartier-Bresson, Jacques Henri Lartigue had a very active creative life: he started photographing as a teenager and didn’t stop until after his 90th birthday. However, he didn’t receive recognition for his work until his early 70s, after a show at MoMa in New York. This book includes 120 images from the photographer's personal archive, including 55 that are previously unpublished.

“Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness,” Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marsilio
“Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness,” Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marsilio
“Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness,” Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marsilio
“Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness,” Jacques Henri Lartigue, Marsilio


Duplo, by Claudia Jaguaribe

Following on from her previous publication that came out during the pandemic, in Duplo, Claudia Jaguaribe explores the slow process of returning to daily activities. The images portray people wearing masks–the essential item of 2020–in different situations with different objects. They capture the new reality created by Covid-19.

The book is IpsisPub’s first release, which is a new Ipsis label publishing and selling art and photography books by renowned authors. So far, the book has been published in Portuguese and English with two articles written by Margareth Dalcolmo, pneumologist and researcher at Fiocruz, and Victor Stirnimann, philosopher at the University of São Paulo.

“Duplo,” Claudia Jaguaribe, Ipsis pub
“Duplo,” Claudia Jaguaribe, Ipsis pub
“Duplo,” Claudia Jaguaribe, Ipsis pub
“Duplo,” Claudia Jaguaribe, Ipsis pub


Handbook of the Spontaneous Other, by Aikaterini Gegisian

This collage series by Greek artist Aikaterini Gegisian is created from a personal collection of photographic material from the 1960s and 1970s, which includes tourist catalogs, pornographic magazines, and double-page spreads from National Geographic. From this material, Gegisian seeks to subvert the way the body, nature, and pleasure are portrayed in Western societies.

“Handbook of the Spontaneous Other,” Aikaterini Gegisian, MAC BOOKS
“Handbook of the Spontaneous Other,” Aikaterini Gegisian, MAC BOOKS
“Handbook of the Spontaneous Other,” Aikaterini Gegisian, MAC BOOKS
“Handbook of the Spontaneous Other,” Aikaterini Gegisian, MAC BOOKS


Magnum Artists: Great Photographers Meet Great Artists, by Magnum Photos

This book features over 200 portraits of great artists taken by great photographers. Picasso and Matisse by Robert Capa, Warhol and de Kooning by Thomas Hoepker, Bonnard by Cartier-Bresson, etc. Need to know any more?

“Magnum Artists: Great Photographers Meet Great Artists,” Magnum Photos, Laurence King Publishing
“Magnum Artists: Great Photographers Meet Great Artists,” Magnum Photos, Laurence King Publishing
“Magnum Artists: Great Photographers Meet Great Artists,” Magnum Photos, Laurence King Publishing
“Magnum Artists: Great Photographers Meet Great Artists,” Magnum Photos, Laurence King Publishing

And to complement these books? Why not take a look at our photography courses.

English version by @eloise_edgington.

You may also like:

What is Documentary Photography?
6 Filmmaking Techniques Pioneered by Alice Guy-Blaché
History of the Photobook

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