Fifty-Seven Photography Books That Made Us See Differently in 2022

Fifty-Seven Photography Books That Made Us See Differently in 2022

Fifty-Seven Photography Books That Made Us See Differently in 2022

by The Luupe

These photobooks by women and non-binary photographers balance joy, struggle, humor, and a hopeful gaze on the human spirit.

For the third year in a row, The Luupe highlights photobooks that made an impact on us. To broaden our scope, we opened up a call to photographers from around the world. These books show limitless perspectives and ways of seeing.
Photographers Jess T. Dugan, D'Angelo Lovell Williams, and Judith Joy Ross, for example, offer new ways of using portraiture as a tool to explore our shared humanity.
As we anticipated, many photographers, like Amy Elkins, Jennifer Latour and Cattaneo Adorno thoughtfully, and creatively address the pandemic and its impacts, often with unexpected, and experimental hues.
And many of the books – like Amanda Greene's "Peach," and Jessica Pettway's Please Wait to Be Tasted– a cookbook she photographed for 'Lil Deb's Oasis, look at the joy, beauty, and sustenance of food in new ways.
Most importantly, we believe that the books on this list belong in your personal collection. With the holiday season upon us, we encourage you to buy them, read them, talk about them, and share them with friends, students, and anyone who may connect with their vision and power.

(editor's bonus! A couple of additional titles caught our eyes moments after we published this - read to the end to see them.)
Jess T. Dugan
Publisher: Mack Books
In Look at Me Like You Love Me, Jess T. Dugan reflects on the ways desire, intimacy, companionship, and our identities shape each other.  Dugan weaves self-portraits, portraits of individuals and couples, and still lifes with diaristic writings reflecting on relationships, solitude, family, loss, healing, and the transformations that define identity.
Dugan works slowly and collaboratively, creating photos that go beyond the specifics of a particular person or place. They use medium-format cameras and natural light, to evoke and reimagine the conventional dynamics of art-historical portraiture. All together, Look at me like you love me highlights the constant dialogue between seeing and being seen.

Annegien van Doorn
“Why do plastic flamingos spark joy?”, asks Annegien van Doorn. In her work, she considers the innate, somewhat twisted relationship between people and nature, how they integrate natural elements into their immediate environments, and the strangeness or exaggeration that has occurred in recent years. Fake nature in homes, offices, and shopping centers photos and prints of plants in public spaces, surrounding ourselves with fabricated symbols of nature.
The book’s title, taken from the Greek word for “ love for life,” points to the human need to feel connected to nature, even if it’s fabricated, and reveals the strange and often humorous contradictions around containing nature inside.
Emma Hardy
Publisher: GOST Books
Permissions, photographer Emma Hardy’s first monograph, is a tender document of motherhood and childhood, love and yearning, and leaving home. The images in the book are gathered and distilled from Hardy’s personal archive and span a period of 20 years. An exhibition of the project, coinciding with the book’s publication, will be on display from 1 December – 27 January at 10 14 Gallery, London.

D’Angelo Lovell Williams
Publisher: MACK Books
Williams’ first book is a wide, encompassing look into desire and the depiction of the Black body, told and shown through a Queer lens.
The title Contact High reflects the importance of touch and gesture in Williams‘ work, and alludes to “ the heightened senses and intuitive movement.”
Williams’s portraits and often theatrical images reflect the many forms in which Black queer people exist and have existed historically within each other’s lives, picturing them as sitters, lovers, caregivers, or shadows. Using a wide spectrum of care and vulnerability, Williams looks at the often overlooked dynamics that play out between families, cultures, friends, lovers, ancestors, and descendants.

Amanda Greene
Publisher: Bitter Southerner
Amanda Greene’s new book joyfully spans all things peach – an intimate collection of her incredible peach photos along with peach recipes from some culinary superstars and a forward by Shane Mitchell, and a poem by Li-Young Lee. What’s interesting about this book is that it came out of a simple editorial assignment. Greene was commissioned to photograph Peach County, GA’s annual peach festival, and then, quite organically, began photographing the various tangents of peach-ness, including university orchards, various roadside stands, and even the historic Rose Hill Cemetary.

Sandra Cattaneo Adorno
Publisher: Radius Books
While on press for her second book, Águas de Ouro, Sandra Cattaneo Adorno, who began her photography career in 2013 when she was 60, noticed the brightly colored metal plates used to make test proofs. The plates, called “scarti” (Italian for “scraps”), showed her photographs boldly pink, yellow, cyan, and black monochromes, conjuring Andy Warhol and other pop artists. And she began thinking about how photography can be used to preserve, memorialized, and reconfigure time.
In March 2020, at the beginning of the pandemic, Cattaneo Adorno, felt like she was accumulating “scraps” of time layering upon itself. So she began working through her archive, creating collages of unrelated images to create a new series of that blurs these boundaries and reflects their strange sense of disorder.

Karla Guerrero
Publisher: The Third
In Jorge, Karla Guerrero appropriates and manipulates images from her grandfather’s archive to create new memories. In one image, red dot stickers cover the faces of a group family portrait. In others, images are intentionally blurred, highlighting the ambiguity of time and intergenerational storytelling. While the material is incredibly personal and specific to Guerrero’s experience, the ambiguous way in which she gives the photos a new context and storyline makes them widely accessible to any viewer.

Holly Lynton
Publisher: L’Artiere Books
Holly Lynton creates a poetic, nuanced portrait of rural 21st-century America. Through 85 portraits and landscapes, she captures various ideas and realities about small-town life – people working in their environments, using tools that have been replaced by mechanization, each looking at a beautiful and spiritual connection to nature, the earth, animals, and agriculture.  

Yelena Yemchuk
Publisher: GOST Books
‘Time is different in Odessa. It’s a city outside of time.’
In 1981, when Yelena Yemchuk was eleven years old, her family secretly immigrated to the United States from their home in Kyiv, Ukraine, never to return home. Ten years later, when Ukraine announced its independence, the artist was able to return to her home country to visit and began making regular trips to photograph.
In 2015, she started photographing in Odesa, making portraits of teenage boys and girls at the Odesa Military Academy, one year after Russia had invaded and Anexxed Crimea. She soon realized that there was more to the project than just portraits, and expanded the project to wider documentation of Odesa, which she continued through 2019. The resulting images are a layered homage to the city.

Rachel Demy
Publisher: Minor Matters Books
Rachel Demy has spent the past twenty years working in music - as a photographer, promoter, and tour manager. She knows everything about moving instruments, cases, and crews around the world and has toured with musicians like The Shins, Neko Case, Ra Ra Riot The National, and St. Vincent.
One of her biggest stints was working with Death Cab For Cutie, which brings us to her first book Between, Everywhere, a collection of her photos made over a five-year period touring together – a band she met first as a fan, and eventually joined as family. Demy’s sometimes quiet, always introspective photos of beautiful and in-between moments take viewers on a journey of the everyday ups and downs of touring around the world.
Diana Karklin
Publisher: Schilt Publishing
Undo Motherhood explores the less-discussed reasons why women around the world regret becoming mothers, despite loving their children greatly, and being caring and providing parents.
Karklin combines photography and interviews with women into seven chapters: anger, fear, isolation, exhaustion, guilt, resignation and acceptance. She presents them as seven stories from seven different countries as separate booklets – each with a ‘closed’ cover – in a slipcase, to reflect the sense of loneliness and silence. The book is in no way a condemnation of motherhood, but rather an exploration of a topic many people choose not to discuss.
Katie Shapiro
For Katie Shapiro, Big Sur is a magical place of escape, retreat, and renewal. For Shapiro, driving between its meeting of land and sea “yields a profound quiet of the mind.” Something she feels is unique to the terrain. This series of photographs explore different approaches to the landscape. The artist’s combination f traditional landscapes with collage, hand coloring, and other abstractions gives it a new sense of magic and reflects its constant fluctuation and changing topography.
Chiara Fossati
Publisher: Cesura Publishing
"WHATEVER is the story of my adopted family and of a dream we shared with thousands of kids like us: to live in a world where rules or constrictions didn’t exist" – a collection of beautifully nonchalant black and white and color photographs of 90s rave culture, published as a reflection of her youth, a “fairytale saturated with asphalt, dust, mud…” and fascinated by the unknown.
While one might expect loud or psychedelic images channeling the thumping beats, loud style, and drug culture, Fossati’s images are quiet and collected. A close-up detail of a face. Almost-portraits as lyrical asides. Poetic cropping. A surprisingly euphoric image of a bloody nose. All aptly reflecting the generation X-ness of the title  “Whatever” and worth a close look.
Delphine Bast
Publisher: Éditions Bessard
In the Isthmus of Tehuantepec - Mexico - Zapotec women are known for their independence, strength, and beauty – their aesthetic is a major piece of their indigenous identity, a symbol of perseverance. Delphine Blast’s book of portraits highlights these women and their style in bold, floral colors.  The book is packaged in a flexible card sleeve, with interior pages cut into a square window to allow the reader to play with frames and patterns. It also includes a c-print signed by the author.
Marta Karkosa
Publisher: Justnago​​
Women Body Acceptance is a book based on the @women.body.acceptance Instagram handle – a project that features the voices of dozens of women reflecting on body image – Stories aimed at normalizing the female body in society while expanding ideas about female beauty. It is also a journal with the author's thoughts and notes, Each woman included in the book is ten years apart, beginning with the Maja, an eighteen-year-old, and ending with the photographer’s eighty-two-year-old grandmother. “In this way,” Karkosa writes, “I wanted to find out whether the body acceptance changes with age.”
Laila Nahar
“As I walked the old city of Delhi it was life at its infinite wondrous variation. Each nook and each corner are at its unique existence, yet no one would exist in its glorious beauty without the rest” Laila Nahar takes a meandering journey through the city - somewhere between documentary, street photography, and mediation, looking at the wide depth, existence, and unfolding of everyday life.
“It is life of struggle,” she writes, “ unadorned, and, revealed; and it surrounds us, and it penetrates us.’
Martha Cooper
Publisher: Prestel Publishing
Curated from the archives of one of the most renowned and possibly greatest of all-time graffiti photographers, Spray Nation is a collection of previously unpublished images of New York’s graffiti scene in the 1980s. The photos include obscure tags, intimate portraits, candid views, walls, and subway cars painted inside and out. While on one level, they are nostalgic for a certain New York City past, they’re timeless and powerful and stand beyond looking longingly. Truly one of our favorites of favorites!
Janette Beckman
Publisher: Drago
Rebels: From Punk to Dior, is a stellar anthology of Janette Beckman’s best and most powerful work. Known, like Martha Cooper, as one of the most famous street photographers of all time, Beckman has portrayed some of the biggest players in punk rock and hip hop’s history, as well as glamorous fashion campaigns. In over 240 pages, the book encapsulates the spirit of history-making generations and their influence on fashion and wider visual culture. 
Judith Joy Ross
Publisher: Aperture
In two hundred, often never-before-seen or published photographs, Judith Joy Ross’ retrospective book spans her wide and influential career. Like Diane Arbus, August Sander, and Dawoud Bey, Ross’ portraits render people of all walks of life with a diverse, yet unified humanity. Whether they are kids at a public swimming pool, immigrants, refugees, tech workers, or military reservists, they are here for Ross’s empathetic and tender gaze. 
Sarah Wilson
Publisher: Yoffy Press
Before he died, photographer Sarah Wilson’s grandfather gave her three black metal boxes filled with faded Kodachromes. The images, which he used as teaching slides when he was a professor of geology and paleontology at the University of Texas, featured geologic charts, rock formations, bone fragments and skulls, and landscapes from his annual digs in West Texas and Big Bend National Park. 
When she started examining them, Wilson realized that she had photographed some of the exact same desert landscapes, from the same vantage points, only fifty years later. This shared connection inspired a long-term project, her first book, DIG: Notes on Field and Family.
Wilson joins paleontologists on digs every winter in the Big Bend area, searching for bones and photographing the same stark desert landscapes featured in her grandfather’s 35mm transparencies. But beyond recreating his images, her photos take on a new form: conceptual self-portraits in the style of geology and anatomy charts, - a hybrid of scientific documentation and personal exploration.
Jeanine Michna-Bales and Adam Reynolds
Publisher: Yoffy Press presents two complementary series by Jeanine Michna-Bales and Adam Reynolds that each takes a frightening look at the logic behind the United State’s offensive and defensive nuclear infrastructure during the Cold War.
Michna-Bales’s “Fallout: A Look Back at the Height of the Cold War, Circa 1960" (2013-2022), explores various Cold War-era fallout shelters throughout the United States, while Reynolds looks at now-dormant nuclear missile silos that have been converted into tourist sites in his photo essay “No Lone Zone” (2017-2022). The pairing of these eerily calm architectural spaces, devoid of people offers a chilling parallel to present nuclear dangers as it relates to the collective psyche of the American people during the Cold War.
Justine Kurland
Publisher: Mack Books
Inspired by, and riffing on Valerie Solanas’ SCUM Manifesto, SCUMB Manifesto is Justine Kurland’s own uncompromising initiative: the Society for Cutting Up Men’s Books. Channeling the legacy of DADA and other subversive collage movements, Kurland creates collages by cutting up images from famous photobooks by “straight white men that have monopolized the photographic canon,” a means to subvert their power, legacy, and patriarchy, making it her own. Includes essays by Marina Chao, Renee Gladman, Catherine Lord, and Ariana Reines.
Talia Chetrit
Publisher: Mack Books
Joke plays on themes of life, death, and birth through a variety of visual approaches. Chetrit brings together family photos, street photography, still lifes, selections from her teenage archive, and self-portraits involving a wide mix of collaborating characters. The images are a mix of jokes and “dead seriousness” contorting social roles, norms, and ideas about truth. 
Amy Elkins
Publisher: Kris Graves Projects
On March 30th, 2020, a day in which her head was “raging in pain,”  Amy Elkins began making a series of daily self-portraits which would continue for 377 days – the day she received her second vaccination. ”My throat was constricted,” she writes, “and the fear that I might have contracted COVID hung over me before testing was easily accessible.”
The first images were made in her 340 sq ft Bay-Area apartment and printed as cyanotypes, the nineteenth-century process that just so happened to be the only materials Elkins had on hand — “a budget printer, transparency film and a package of fraying sheets of cotton pretreated with cyanotype chemicals.” As time progressed, the location changed.
“I took others in fleeting spaces while traveling—in a guest room, in a medical examination room, during a pause in the wilderness, and later against the wall of an old California bungalow sandwiched between the mountains and the sea.”
In the initial portraits, Elkins covered much of her face and body “as a commentary on my fear of the virus and my efforts to guard against it,” armed with concealing props like potholders, and aluminum foil. Towels, bedsheets, and toilet paper - items that shifted as the pandemic blurred forward.
Tema Stauffer
Publisher: Daylight Books
Southern Fiction uses the literary traditions of the American South to explore the region’s history like a road map. Stauffer focuses on environments that have shaped the imaginations of 20th-century Southern writers during their formative years or throughout the course of their lives and careers. The images portray domestic settings, everyday architecture, and rural landscapes that speak to the history, culture, and atmosphere of the Deep South.
Marie Smith
Publisher: Kris Graves Projects/ Monolith Editions
Marie Smith juxtaposes self-portraits and landscapes with writing about her experience with depression and anxiety in 2019 and 2020. In one passage and image pairing, she writes: “I collected a bunch of discarded Camilla flowers from my walk, they felt velvety and smooth to touch and I wanted a memento from the day. The pink glow was vivid and, I liked the endless layers of petals which made the flowers look dense. They felt substantial in my hand and I wonder what they will look like this time next year.”
Like Smith’s writing, her black and white photographs provide a calming, therapeutic counterpoint to her quest for well-being.  
Gabriela Hasbun
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Featuring stunning full-color photographs by Gabriela Hasbun, The New Black West celebrates the modern Black cowboys of the Bill Pickett Invitational Rodeo and the community that comes together to witness their achievements year after year. 
Hasbun honors the thriving historic accomplishments of Black cowboys and the vibrant culture that still exists today. Focusing on Oakland's Bill Picket Invitational Rodeo, Hasbun captures the cultural nuances, going beyond just "documenting" and looking deeply at the community, their joys, and forever vibrance.
In addition to Hasbun’s photographs, The New Black West features quotes and stories from the cowboys themselves and a foreword from the Oakland rodeo’s regional manager, Jeff Douvel. Intrigued? Read an interview with Hasbun HERE.
Photographs by Mara Sánchez Renero
Publisher: Kahl Editions
During the colonial period in the Americas, a “Cimarrón” was a Black fugitive, a previously-enslaved person who lived a free life in isolated corners of society.
After independence, when slavery was abolished in Mexico, the Afro-descendant population began to group mainly in two parts of the Mexican territory: Veracruz and the Costa Chica. It was in this last one that photographer Mara Sanchez Renero had her first encounter with Afro-descendant culture and became aware of its importance and invisibility in Mexico’s history of Mexico - one that was not recognized in Mexico’s constitution until 2015.
Sanchez began researching the period, ultimately using photography to better understand it. The result is a series of portraits, landscapes, ephemera,  photos of birds in flight, paper boats, and various other metaphors for this largely buried history. The images are often dark, seeped in twilight and mystery, a reflection of the fluctuations of colonial history and how it fits into the identity of Afro-Mexican descendants.
Tamara Blake Chapman
Publisher: Pomegranate Press
Tamara Blake Chapman’s new book Make it Like a Memory is a series of the artist’s favorite portraits from the last two years. The images are casual, candid, and intimate, and eloquently show a deep connection with subjects, whether they are gazing directly into the lens, at the photographer, or looking away.  Blake’s balance of black and white and color images feels organic and happenstance – creating a sense of pacing like we are stumbling into vignettes of their life and the people that are meaningful to it.
Edited by Sara Moonves
Publisher: Rizzoli USA
Since its founding in 1972, W has worked with the world’s best photographers and writers, celebrating their most ambitious and creative work. Edited by W Magazine’s editor-in-chief, Sara Moonves, this book is a collection of some of the magazine’s most exciting photo stories over the past 50 years, finding soul in the balance between editorial, fashion, and advertising photography. 
Gabriella Angotti Jones
Publisher: Mass Books
I Just Wanna Surf is about Gabriella Angotti Jones’ experience and challenge of finding identity and community during the pandemic through surfing, a sport still dominated by white men.
The photographer, who grew up as one of the only mixed-race Black families in a small Orange Country beach town, uses this work to reflect on how her early relationship with the ocean and Californian surf culture became intertwined with her identity.
Part photobook, part diary, part zine, she confronts traditional surfing narratives by documenting Black women and non-binary surfers inspired by 1990s and 2000s surfing culture while making it their own. Despite the challenges and homogeneity of the past, the book is about joy, refuge, and glorious, wavy change.

Lara Einzig
Publisher: Penguin Random House
Another must-get book about surfing, Women Making Waves celebrates the “sisterhood of surfing,” profiling women from the United States, Philippines, Mexico, Australia, Senegal, Japan, France, and beyond. Einzig includes portraits and interviews with more than two dozen inspiring female surfers from various backgrounds —from activists to artists—who are finding new connections and community in the water.
Einzig’s portraits and words show the resilience that these women find through surfing.
Leah Frances
Publisher: Alien in Residence
Lunch Poems is a series of photos of diners, churches, taverns, and movie theaters, photographed without people as a symbol of the ongoing political divide. Her images become portraits of these spaces – her use of light and shadow makes you feel the empty air in them, the absence where conversation and connection should be happening.  Who enjoyed a meal here and who might return? What conversations might happen, and what connections might, but aren’t happening? How might we come together?
Atong Atem
Perimeter Editions​​
Surat is South Sudanese / Australian artist Atong Atem’s first photobook, co-published by Photo Australia and Perimeter Editions.
Commissioned by Photo Australia for PHOTO 2022 International Festival of Photography, Surat (which translates from Sudanese Arabic as ‘snapshots’) is an allegory to family photos and the individuals within them. Atem revisited her decade and continent-spanning family photo albums and restaged the scenes and individuals they depict.
The resulting images and photobook are a series of performances as self-portraits that document the act of photographing and being photographed. It’s a celebration of the visual cues we see in family photos and how they capture and repeat our collective histories, our mythologies, and our sense of record.
Graciela Iturbide
Publisher: Aperture
In this educational volume of The Photography Workshop Series, Graciela Iturbide— looks at ways to develop a deeply personal vision in photography while also reflecting and respecting subjects’ rich cultural backgrounds. 
Wendy Red Star
Publisher: Aperture and Documentary Arts
Following Wendy Red Star’s 2019 book Crow Country, Delegation is the first comprehensive monograph by the Apsáalooke/Crow artist known for using wit, candor, and a feminist, Indigenous perspective to reimagine historical narratives
Delegation celebrates Native American life and culture through self-portraiture, colorful collages, archival interventions, and installations, constantly questioning how photographers have shaped Indigenous representation. Including a dynamic array of Red Star’s lens-based works from 2006 to the present, and a range of essays, stories, and poems, Delegation is a spirited testament to an influential artist’s singular vision.
Penny Wolin
Publisher: Crazy Woman Creek Press
In 1975, when she was twenty-one, Penny Wolin moved from Hollywood to the pay-by-the-week St. Francis Hotel in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and created Guest Register, a series of photos of the hotel's residents. While many people may see these individuals as outsiders, Wollin saw them as people “whose dreams are bigger than their rooms.” The images are observations without judgment, “organized as a tour, one image per spread, with residents identified by their room number and an insightful caption.”
This tour goes through the building room by room from the ground floor, where room #105 was vacated by the death of a former stuntman, to a barbell aficionado living in the penthouse, then returning to an artisan welder living in the basement. There is a sense of hope, humanity, and reinvention in these photos.
Sophie Bramly
Publisher: Soul Jazz Books
This new book is a collection of over 150 archival images of Hip Hop’s artists and fans, from Afrika Bambaataa and Run-DMC to Keith Haring and the Rock Steady Crew
Bramly lived in New York during Hip Hop’s early days and became embedded in the scene, creating intimate images of the culture’s legendary figures when they were getting their start. These include Kool Herc, Afrika Bambaataa, Grandmixer DST, Jazzy Jay, Red Alert, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Kurtis Blow, Lisa Lee, the Fat Boys, Run-DMC, Beastie Boys, and more.
The book also includes images of emcees, deejays, graffiti artists, and break dance crews like Keith Haring, Dondi, Futura, Phase One, Zephyr and Lady Pink, Magnificent Force, Dynamic Breakers, and the Rock Steady Crew.
Lourdes Grobe
Publisher: Half a Century of History
This volume traces the history of the Laboratioro de Teatro Campensino, a mass, communitarian indigenous rural theater collective operating in Mexico since 1983. The book is paired with essays elaborating on the group, their significance and impact on the larger culture.
By Carla Kaya Perez-Gallardo, Hannah Black, and Wheeler.
Photos by Jessica Pettway
Magically photographed by The Luupe's Jessica Pettway, this is a bold-flavored tropical comfort food cookbook from Lil' Deb's Oasis, the James Beard Award-nominated spot in Hudson, New York. With 70+ recipes, such as Charred Octopus in the Ink of Its Cousin, Sweet Plantains with Green Cream, Abuela's Flan, it's a "big-hearted celebration of food, love, and community," paired with essays on the restaurant's early days and the chefs' "navigation of the colonial histories entangled in their recipes' origins."
Photos by Ashley Corbin-Teich and Paul Delmont
Publisher: Clarkson Potter
Tastemade presents 100 mouth-watering and accessible recipes designed to answer everyone’s daily question: “What’s for dinner?!” Make This Tonight is a one-of-a-kind resource and guide created to inspire and empower first-time and seasoned home cooks alike to create explosively flavorful dishes that will enrich your time in the kitchen and to cultivate your culinary curiosity every day of the week. Included in The Luupe’s summer cookbooks roundup.
Jessica Todd Harper
Publisher: Damiani
Inspired by 17th-century Dutch painters who elevated ordinary interior spaces into extraordinary scenes, Pennsylvania-based photographer Jessica Todd Harper finds significance in everyday moments. She photographs her friends, herself, and family— with a focused attention to light and composition that shifts how we perceive them - much like a painting by Vermeer, Bronzino, or Ingres.
Harper’s images celebrate how “beauty, goodness, and truth” can emerge in the every day. If we look close enough, even the most mundane can appear magical.
Julie Blackmon
Publisher: Radius Book
In her third book, Julie Blackmon finds and creates inspiration in her "generic American hometown." She creates a lively, fictitious world that is both playful and menacing. “I think of myself as a visual artist working in the medium of photography," she writes, "and my assignment is to chart the fever dreams of American life.”
Shirin Neshat
Publisher: Radius Books
Multimedia artist Shirin Neshat focuses on the American West, a nuanced look at contemporary America through the eyes of a fictionalized artist. 
Hand-drawing Farsi text atop the images, Neshat transforms black and white photographs filled with ancient myths and ideologies.
"With Land of Dreams,” Neshat writes, “the intention was that while we are following the life of this woman who’s haunted by these two worlds – Iran and US, dream and reality – we are also really understanding the malice of a society that is spying on people’s subconscious for whatever selfish reasons. There is definitely a question of collecting data on people, but also there’s a lot of references to racism, bigotry, political injustice, poverty."
Land of Dreams is co-published with SITE Santa Fe, and accompanies Neshat's one-person show opening on October 7th, 2022- through January 13th, 2023.
Sant Khalsa
Publisher: Minor Matters
Years before Flint, and California’s annual wildfires ravaging the state and much of the west coast, and in the early days of bottled water becoming a staple of American consciousness, Sant Khalsa photographed a store called Water Shed, launching years of research and documentation of the commodification of water. The sixty black and white photographs in the book, made between 2000 and 2002, show water stores in Arizona, New Mexico, Southern California, and southern Nevada, introducing a new lens for thinking about how we bottle and sell one of nature’s most important resources. The book includes a foreword by Ed Ruscha, and an essay by the photographer.
El Keegan
Self-published through Blurb
Fuji and Leica (Keegan's dogs!) never shied away from a challenge and when March 2020 brought plenty of "unprecedented" ones they got creative and made unforgettable memories. Business ventures, busy work, puzzles, and games, these dogs did everything and anything to keep from going stir-crazy in their one-bed apartment in Toronto, Canada.
Gouzelle Ishmatova
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag
In My Country Is Female, Gouzelle Ishmatova asks what it means to be a woman in Russia today, having moved to Western Europe at age twenty-five. My Country Is Female begins with Ishamtova’s great-grandmother, Kortyi, who was born in 1903 during the reign of Nikolai II. Using images from her family’s own archive, alongside documentary and staged imagery, the series looks at the relationship of Russian women of the past to their future identities.
Mary Berridge
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag 
(Luupe editors’ note: this was originally published in 2021, but released in the United States in spring, 2022)
Inspired by the diagnosis of the photographer’s son, Visible Spectrum pairs portraits of autistic people with profiles written primarily by the subjects or their parents. Building on the Neurodiversity movement’s celebration of neurological variation, the book focuses on both the benefits and challenges of thinking differently.
Berridge photographs her subjects in mostly quiet contemplative moments to emphasize their rich inner lives. The book’s personal narratives further encourage new ways of understanding the often pigeonholed and stigmatized group of people.
Edited by Joy Stacey and Rayyan Abdelkhalek
Publisher: Cold Cuts
This special, now sold out (but you can access a PDF online!)  edition issue by Mohamad Abdouni, co-edited by Joy Stacey and Rayan Abdel Khalek, is a public archive that compiles studio shoots, interviews, personal photographs, and archival imagery to record the untold stories of ten trans* women living in Beirut. 
It pays tribute to trans women and femme men - ranging from those in their thirties to late fifties, who have been largely erased from Beirut’s history– a city that is now lost, of war, survival, love, balls, parties, families, beaches, abuse, and jail. It shows an unprecedented history of queer communities in Beirut and aims at "affording our elders' overdue respect, visibility, love, and kindness."
Edited by Zoraida Lopez-Diago and Lesly Deschler Canossi
Publisher: Cornell University Press
This new collection of essays and images addresses the complicated relationship between Blackness and photography, specifically as it relates to Black motherhood and Black female bodies. It digs into health, sexuality, and digital culture and challenges racist images and ideas, both historically and as they continue in contemporary society. Altogether, the images and text reclaim the power and brilliance of Black women through personal stories, history, political acts, connections to place, and moments of joy and celebration.
Edited by John Rohrbach and Will Wilson
Introduction by Patricia Norby
Publisher: Radius Books
This groundbreaking project summarizes how these artists are now leading the conversation about how their cultures and lives are depicted through their dynamic embrace of three interwoven themes: Survivance, Nation, and Indigenous Visuality. The photographers demand that their existence, perspectives, and troubling history be acknowledged. It also includes texts by leading Indigenous scholars.
Speaking with Light features the work of more than twenty-five artists, including Nicholas Galanin, Sky Hopinka, Zig Jackson, Kapulani Landgraf, Dylan McLaughlin, Alan Michelson, Shelley Niro, Jolene Rickard, Wendy Red Star, Cara Romero, Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie, and a new commission by Sarah Sense.
Pia Riverola
Publisher: Homecoming Gallery
Flechazo, meaning "love at first sight," - is a photographic love letter to Mexico – a journey through its culture, people, and spirit. Riverola shows us elements of soul, the country's rich culture, and colorful nature. ‘Light and love," she says, "can turn the mundane into beautiful, and the other way around, beauty can become dull without it."
Beginning in 2012, Flechazo spans ten years traveling from Ixtapa to Oaxaca and Mexico City. The color palate is both bold and gentle, hinting at Riverola’s personal identity, her encounters, and her state of mind.
Dana Stirling
Dana Stirling’s self-published zine uses photos of everyday objects, landscapes, and still lifes to respond to her clinical depression and feelings of isolation, going back to her childhood. 
“In this loneliness,” she writes, “ I found comfort in photography. With my camera, it would be just me in my room and a random object like an eggshell, a figurine, a mirror etc. and I could have it tell my story for me.” The collection of images does not pose an answer to the project’s title, and rather reflects its sense of always looking.
Polina Titarenko
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Ichthys (ancient greek - fish) - an abbreviation for the phrase “Jesus Christ, Son of God, Savior”. The image of the fish is a kind of visual embodiment of the main theological idea of Christianity. The images in Ichthys are a collection of everyday moments responding to the death of the photographer’s grandfather.
“There is nothing unusual about death,” she writes, “but it seems like we have all banished the thought of it from our daily lives.” Ichthys looks at the ordinariness of death and how it surrounds us. 
Rachel Papo
Publisher: Kehrer Verlag
It’s Been Pouring is a response to photographer Rachel Papo’s experience with postpartum depression, and the conversations she had with other women who experienced it - “something we are still not seeing, or are only willing to look at askance.” Papo sets out to find the balance and shared experience between the voices of mothers in their darkest moments, and her own. This collection of photographs and interviews illuminates their experiences and brings the unbearable tension that exists between the miracle of birth and the horror that follows into the forefront.
Elisabeth Smolarz
Publisher: Spector Books
Queens, NY-based artist, curator, and educator Elisabeth Smolarz photographs everyday objects for their “talismanic” qualities in a social and anthropological process. She visited 200 people in North America, Europe, the Middle East, and Asia, and spent an afternoon with them talking about the objects they had selected. In dialogue with these collaborators, she then developed an installation of the individual objects--an arrangement that ultimately produces a portrait of the person. The photographic still lifes are accompanied by short texts by a range of writers who share their responses to these portraits.
Jennifer Latour
Publisher: OD Books
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, Jennifer Latour began using her skills as a special effects makeup artist to create a fantastically Frankensteined "new species" of plants and flowers from local florists. Her photographs are a chance meeting of beauty-still life and science fiction that we can't stop looking at.
Tokuko Ushioda
Publisher: Torch Press
This is actually a set of two books: the first includes square, medium format photographs taken over a five-year span overlapping the photographer's daughter Maho's birth in 1979. Book 2 includes 35mm snapshots, establishing a precious photobook that can be seen as the starting point of her photographic career. Combined, it's a series of autobiographical photographs that vary between a formal and casual snapshot approach. In these images, she documents the joyful days with her husband, Shinzo Shimao, and daughter, Maho, living in a one-room unit of a Western-style house in Japan, and the solitude she faced alone in the quiet night.
Stacy Kranitz
Publisher: Twin Palms Publishing
As it Was Give(n) To Me captures intimate perspectives of Appalachia - photographed over the course of twelve years. Kranitz' goal was to look at the place – one that has been embued with countless stereotypes – with fresh, empathetic eyes. It's a region that was forced to quickly move away from coal extraction, making it economically unstable, was plagued with an opioid epidemic, and held a unique place in a politically divided nation.
But what else? Instead of simply offering a selectively elevated or artificially glorified counter-stereotype, Kranitz sought out to show its many layers. The resulting photographs are real, complex, and human. For Kranitz, it's about showing "our understanding of culture and place in a manner that is poised between notions of right and wrong."
Thanks for spending time with our 2022 "best of" list. We hope you feel moved to further explore some of these titles and maybe even purchase a few.
Looking for more photobook inspiration? Check out our 2021 and 2020 lists for a whole lot more.
The Luupe
The Luupe is a one-stop production company that is raising the bar for professional brand imagery on a global scale. With a highly curated and diverse network of professional women and non-binary photo and video creators across 80+ countries around the world, we are reinventing how brands produce original, local, and authentic visual stories that connect with a global audience. Our mission is to champion and amplify diverse perspectives from around the world — in front of and behind the lens.
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