Book Reviews – by a Bristol Wedding Photographer

Christmas bells a-ringing! – Book Reviews

“Hark” I hear ye say,

“I (my dad / mum / brother / girlfriend..) enjoy photography and I’d love to get moi / them an inspirational book this Christmas, as a Bristol wedding photographer, do you have any great recommendations Joseph?”

Well yes, as a matter of fact: Photo books are just the greatest form of inspiration for any photographer or ‘would be if I had the time’ photographical whizz. They’re beautiful, they’re interesting, they’re easy to dip into, they’re often funny / insightful / meaningful / eye opening… you can tell I like photo books!

So I have chosen just three from my bookshelf that I think are definitely worth a look at:

The first book, ‘It’s All Good’, is by Serbian street photographer, Boogie. This, his first publication produced in 2007, is a gritty, eye opening account of life in New Yorks’ notoriously deprived districts. Ghetto life is far more real and far more disturbing in this exceptional ‘up close’ documentary. The reality of life for some is indeed very hard. Boogie has an unpretentious way of capturing life, without impacting or distorting the situation or scene. His job is simply to be there and to document, which he does so very well.

Boogie also has a great website If you don’t get the chance to get yourself a copy of his book, do take a look. For the past 10 years he’s uploaded a photograph every single day, depicting ‘life’ on the streets. I used this website as the inspiration for my first website as a Bristol wedding photographer around 8 years ago. It’s a great inspirational documentary site… Go on, pick up your camera and take some pics!

The second photography book is Gerry Badger’s definitive stroll through the evolution of photography in: The Genuis Of Photography. Depicting a spread of work from the world’s greatest talents, analysing and discussing themes and context, through the history of the medium. Badger’s aim, in this chunky book, is to understand what makes a photograph great and what makes one image stand out as the best. An enlightening read (and view!) for anyone interested in the art form as a whole. And for viewing a range of photographers work under under one roof. A must for the dads!

This book also has a simply brilliant accompanying DVD, produced over 6 episodes by the BBC.

The third book is a small compendium/a wispy slice/a fantastic selection of the works of Martin Parr. One of my favourite favourite photographers. Collated by Sandra S Phillips: Martin Parr depicts a collection of his photographs over the past 25 years. Through Parr’s extraordinary vision, the book shows off his unique and compelling understanding of the genre of documentary photography. Martin Parr has the ability to objectively grasp a contemporary theme in a fantastically comical way. One of the worlds greatest Documentary photographers in a cheap, but lovely book. Even when I was starting out as a Bristol wedding photographer – and subsequently a UK wedding photographer, I looked to Parr’s images for inspiration. I loved (and still love) the way his style of photography contradicts the wedding photography genre so strongly: Often capturing grossly unflattering scenes that can make you laugh out loud!

So there you have it, three suggestions for some great photography related Christmas pressies.

Of course I have many more books to rifle through so if enough people ‘Like’ this post I may well give some more recommendations soon!

As a Bristol wedding photographer and a photography graduate, I have always gained much of my inspiration from artistic and documentary photographers. Creativity is definitely what drives me and I’m not the only one. Within wedding photography, there is a fabulous new wave of hugely talented, creative photographers; producing stunning, unique works that are pushing the boundaries. The results are something really rather special, not only capturing moments but also creating beautiful memories. This can often be photographs that are completely out of the ordinary, but also beautifully touching and intimate. Photobooks are such a great resource for photographers and a great way of looking at work outside ones own field.

All photography by Joseph Hall Bristol Wedding Photographer