10 Diverse Photobooks of 2014

10 Diverse Photobooks of 2014

Melting Away (2014)

By now you may have read several lists of the “best photo books of 2014”, many of which feature the same books… This is not one of those lists. The photo books listed below were chosen based on this blog’s philosophy of promoting photographers of color and including diverse subject matter. I hope in 2015 this list can be twice as long.


Father Figure (2014)

Melting Away 
by Camille Seaman
Princeton Architectural Press
2014, 156 pages

When I bought this book home my 4-year old son immediately flipped through it. His eyes widened with each stunning image, all of which inspired questions that led to a complex conversation about earth science and biology. Although we didn’t talk about the book’s overarching message regarding the effects of climate change, I loved that Seaman’s work got my son interested in learning more about the planet we live on. If you haven’t already, check out Camille Seaman’s 2011 Dodge & Burn interview.

Father Figure
by Zun Lee
Ceiba Photo
2014, 124 pages

Earlier this year, Dodge & Burn guest blogger Kim Weston interviewed Zun Lee about his series so we’ve had our eye on this book. For me this book has achieved The Sweet Flypaper of Life status. It radiates love, which is something we all need in these times when sadly the world has to be reminded that #blacklivesmatter.

Spread from Earth Magic (2014)

Earth Magic: Photographs of Witches at Play and At Ritual
by Rik Garrett
Fulgur Press
2014, 72 pages (textured cloth cover)

Timeless images of Wiccan witches at play… Documentary studies of witchcraft and the occult seems rare in photography history. Garrett’s images feature naked women cavorting in nature but there’s a reverential eye used here and I appreciate that it’s not interested in sensationalizing the subject or titillating the viewer.

GenderQueer (2014)

GenderQueer and Other Identities
by Dave Naz
Rare Bird Books
2014, 128 pages

Naz’s simple, studio portraiture allows the viewer to notice the subtleties that inform each subject’s unique identity. This book is on the pulse of contemporary discussions about the spectrum of gender identity. It is important work supporting the queer community and necessary towards documenting the visual history of humans.

Ugandan Photographer Deo Kyakulagira

Ebifananyi I – The Photographer Deo Kyakulagira 
Concept/editing/ text: Andrea Stultiens
2014, 265 pages

Founded in 2011 by Dutch photographer and historian Andrea Stultiens, History in Progress Uganda is an collects and publishes photographs from private collections and archives in Uganda. 
As part of their efforts to engage with these archives, HIPUganda has published Ebifananyi I featuring the work of Deo Kyakulagira (1940 – 2000), a photographer who was never recognized as an author for the work he did. This is the first in a series of photo books by Stultiens, each book will feature a different Ugandan photo archive.

Spread from The Notion of Family (2014)

The Notion of Family
by Latoya Ruby Frazier 
2014, 156 pages

Frazier’s star continues to rise with the publication of her first book. The Notion of Family chronicles the degradation of Frazier’s hometown Braddock, PA as seen through the documentation of her own family. The book includes an interview with Frazier by photographer Dawoud Bey.

Cover of On a Wet Bough (2014)

On a Wet Bough 
by Keliy Anderson Staley
Waltz Books

2014, 144 pages

Experiments in stillness, chemistry and light… This book is a monograph of tintype portraits made during a ten-year period by one of the best contemporary artists working in this 19th-century photographic medium. 

Spread from 10×10 Japanese Photobooks (2014)

10×10 Japanese Photobooks
Edited by Matthew Carson, Michael Lang, Russet Lederman and Olga Yatskevich
10×10 Photobooks in association with International Center of Photography
and Photobook Facebook Group

2014, 248 pages

This book is a catalogue associated with the traveling 10×10 Japanese Reading Room exhibition (which kicked off at the ICP-Bard MFA studios in 2012) and online space. A great survey of Japan’s long-time contribution to the photo book genre. 

Spread from AMÉRICA LATINA 160-2013

AMÉRICA LATINA: Photographs 1960-2013
Texts by Luis Camnitzer, Olivier Compagnon and Alfonso Morales Carrillo
2014, 392 pages

Exhibition catalogue for the Fondation Cartier Pour l’Art Contemporain/Museo Amparo, the works featured focus on the relationship between text and photographic image. Including 70+ photographers from eleven different countries, there is an effort towards representing the diverse existences on this continent but as is often the case, the Afro-Latin experience is minimal. Regardless, with artist biographies and essays, this book is a great way to (re)discover the works of Latin American photographers who are rarely exhibited.

For more Latin American photography, also check out Urbes Mutantes 1941-2012 Latin American Photography, the catalog for the 2014 ICP exhibition of the same name.

Cover of Lenny Kravitz (2014)

Lenny Kravitz
2014, 228 pages
Although I don’t cover music photography on this blog, I do admire the genre. Outside of the live performance, photography is what defines the persona/brand/style of each musician. I’ve been a diehard Lenny fan since I discovered his music as a teenager in the mid 1990s when he was being compared to Jimi Hendrix, as if there could never be another Black rock icon. The photographs in this book shows Lenny’s evolution from his early “Romeo Blue” days to his current rock legend status.

For more on the year’s “best” photobooks, check these other sources: 


American Photo Magazine 

TIME Magazine

Humble Arts Foundation 


ICP Library 

dewi lewis publishing

Mother Jones

photo-eye blog

Sturm & Drang 

the loggin road


Dodge & Burn is a blog dedicated to documenting a more inclusive history of photography and supporting the work of photographers of color with photographer interviews.

This blog is published by visual artist and writer, Qiana Mestrich. For regular updates on diversity in photography history, follow Qiana on Twitter @mestrich, Like the Dodge & Burn Blog page on Facebook or subscribe to Dodge & Burn by email.



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