Mike DiPietro started the Seasons of East Van photography project early in 2018, and released the first photo book in 2023. I found Seasons of East Van through Instagram: a seemingly anonymous account of street fashion portraits taken in nearby neighbourhoods. The photos stuck out to me because they portrayed a beautiful side of Vancouver that is not often published.
I love photography books in all their guises – Monograph, Theory, Practical (although perhaps practical books feature less than the others) – but undoubtedly there are many great photographers out there who aren’t picked up by publishers. And that’s why the fact that self-publishing is so easy is fantastic and allows us to discover photographers that may not otherwise be noticed.
In this article I wanted to share 5 zines/self-published books from my shelves which I think you should try.
Inherit the Land is the kind of documentary photography I aspire to create.
In this 96 page book, Jack Lueders-Booth explores the living conditions, the people, and the culture of settlements surrounding the municipal dumps of Tijuana, Mexico. In these dumpes, people live and survive surrounded by squalor and cast-offs. Life in poverty, sustained by the excesses of others.
I’m sure the majority of those reading 35mmc need no introduction to Michael Kenna, his work is not only superb but well known. In the introduction a quote from Kenna is shared:
“I’ve always considered the make and format of a camera to be ultimately low on the priority scale when it comes to making pictures, I think personal vision is far more important.” Frances Malcolm, Holga
This collection of Kenna’s images taken on a Holga camera really do show his power of composition and I honestly don’t know what else to say about them. It seems too obvious to say that but it is a beautiful collection of images.
The average 35mmc reader perhaps needs no introduction either to Magnum, or to the concept of contact sheets. But just in case, Magnum Photos, founded in Paris in 1947, is one of the world’s most famous photo agencies. It’s a cooperative owned by its members, who have included such luminaries as Henri Cartier-Bresson, Robert Capa (both of whom were founding members), Eve Arnold, Dorothea Lange, and Sebastião Salgado – to name just a few!