2022 Holiday Gift Guide #2 – Photobooks FTW!

It’s always a tough category to recommend as there are so many ways to go.
As we go headlong into the holiday season, nothing says “I know You”, like a well-chosen photo book as a gift.
That’s the good thing: there are quality photobooks for whomever you are gifting, worthy of your time, and the recipients tastes.
Maybe you want to relax over the holidays checking out some of the new publications.

Let’s look at some you should consider:

First up is a beautifully produced book by master photographer Lynn Goldsmith, titled “Music in the 80’s
Ms. Goldsmith captured the world of Rock and Roll in the 80’s. Not that she didn’t capture other decades, she is still quite prolific, and this is just her current collection of brilliant images.
Included here, not only as a document of the music that was, but also as a perfect gift for the music lover.
I could say coffee table book, but only to reference the high quality of the publication.

In addition, she collaborated with her friend Patti Smith to create a limited edition collection of photos, signed by both Lynn Goldsmith and Patti Smith For the special friend. Lynn Goldsmith. Patti Smith. Before Easter After
Prints are available!

Next up we have a brilliant reprint of Segregation Story by Gordon Parks
In the 50’s the only African American photographer on the Life magazine  staff, captured the essence of segregation in the south .

The iconic shot of the young girl and mother outside of a dress store, speaks volumes, but there is considerably more depth with the pages.

“Department Store, Mobile, Alabama,” 1956. Photograph by Gordon Parks. Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation.Courtesy of and copyright The Gordon Parks Foundation

One of the great things about this book is that it’s a reprint of a much sought-after book, published by one of the best photo book printers, Steidl

Usually selling for upward so $800 for a 1st edition, this reprint also had a great publisher.
Stiedl again!
And by adding about 20 images not included in the original, this one belongs in your library.

With a similar layout, size, and even binder titling, the interior layout doe s tells a mostly different trajectory than the original but its splitting hairs.
As to the quality, you can feel the ink on the page, (don’t eat with your hands before checking that out) and the high-grade quality of the publication is everything you expect.

Once again, published in conjunction with the Gordon Parks Foundation, so rest assured this volume is a true American beauty, retelling the reality of the segregation story of the South, that sadly, is rearing its ugly head again.

In a more introspective space, is a current book by Donna Ferrato –
With a unique ultra-personal viewpoint, Donna Ferrato tells her tale in an almost diary like format in her current book, Holy

“Her new book, Holy, published in 2020 by powerHouse Books, is a call to action. It proclaims the sacredness of women’s rights and their power to be masters of their own destiny.”

With black and white images, mounted with the text, you are brought into a more engaging relationship with her photographs, and of course her subjects
As tempted as I was to do an initial cursory flip through this book, as is the usual first blush approach, the written exposures drew me in, again and again.

Sitting down with the full volume, beautifully produced by Powerhouse books, was more than a viewing: it was an emotional experience.

The photographs she shares, are usually accompanied by handwritten text sharing her feelings of the moment, or as an observer of the scenario.
Known for her photojournalistic approach to domestic violence, she reveals hidden worlds that may shock you, not just for the raw insight, but the sheer intimacy of her work.

As with some that have gone before, who also were part of the situation, as well as documenting it, like Nan Goldin or Larry Clark, her vision is singular.
The well written text brings out the bloom of the stories, but never feel as an add-on, but as a deeper dive into the situation.

Here is an artist’s statement
“Welcome to the sanctuary for people who wish to help wipe out violence against women and children. This is collection of stories told to me throughout many years come from people who’ve been through it.
My photography has been used like work horses consistently bringing breaking news through global media outlets.
They’ve created an awareness of a social disease since the stone age. It’s a problem. These shared stories, video interviews and photographs are proof.”



Next up is a reprint of a classic Susan Meiselas book: Strippers.

In her study of the backrooms, backroads, and generally, life as you may have only heard about this classic book gets a 2-volume reprint with a second accompanying volume giving a more behind the scenes look at the shoots.
The original came with CD with audio interviews with the subjects, trying to further expand your intimate knowledge of the woman who danced.

Same format, slip cased.

And one of my new favorite books, Dining Alone, by Nancy Sherl

The title says it all, but if you have ever been single adult, the photographs’ you see will def resonate.
On many levels we either are or see people eating alone. What are their stories, or why are they rating by themselves

It’s not about someone feeling sad for them or thinking that the glorious notion of breaking bread with someone has been breached, but a beautiful construct of the simple act of solitary dining.
Beautiful produced, this is also available with an original signed print.

And of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention my north star, the book that showed me what I wanted to do, the Family of Man

I will never forget fining this dog-eared paperback copy of this in our family bookshelves and knowing than I wanted to be a photographer
Illustrating the human condition, from birth to death, of the global community, showing the similarities between us all.

It may be the least expensive book on this list, but perhaps the one that should be in everyone’s library.


This was a banner year for photobooks, and way to many to list out, and this list should be a good range for gift giving!

With reprints of classics like Segregation Story, and Strippes, plus perennial faves like Family of Man, this list is at least a start!



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