Five Photography Books that Will Inspire Your Next Escape


From candid portraits of early 20th century English bohemians to a sun–drenched chronicle of surf culture in California and Hawaii, these new titles offer wide–ranging perspectives on the world — and may just prompt your next escape.

March 25, 2020
The cover of "Bright Young Things" featuring Cecil Beaton's photos by Robin Muir
A black and white full page photo of six people taken by Cecil Beaton in Robin Muir's "Bright Young Things"
   Photos: “Cecil Beaton’s Bright Young Things” by Robin Muir / National Portrait Gallery Shop
  1. Party with London’s high society in the Roaring ’20s —

    Bright Young Things (£35, National Portrait Gallery Shop) spotlights the glitterati of 1920s London as snapped by Cecil Beaton, legendary Vogue society photographer. The book’s subjects – writers, socialites and partygoers from the English aristocratic classes – are pictured in extravagant costumes revealing their self–enclosed world of performance and role–play.

A black and white photo collage make up the cover of “Anders Petersen: Stockholm”
  1. Immerse yourself in daily life in Stockholm —

    Famous for melancholic black–and–white portraits, Swedish lensman Anders Petersen focuses on the people and spaces of his home city for the first time in Anders Petersen: Stockholm (US$70, Artbook). Captured between 2015 to 2018, his photos are a visual diary of a fast–growing city and an intimate look into the joys, sorrows and everyday lives of its inhabitants.

A pink hued photo of Portugal's trees by Kate Bellm
Photo: Kate Bellm
Black and white photo of a woman standing in the middle of the street in a feather dress
Photo: Kate Bellm
  1. Take a dreamy road–trip through Portugal —

    Kate Bellm: Amor (€54, Hatje Cantz) is a decade–long travelogue, chronicling dreamy landscapes and nude muses (friends and lovers on the road) by Brit photographer Kate Bellm, known for her racy surreal aesthetic.

A photograph of Sunset Beach 1972, as seen in “Jeff Divine: 70s Surf Photographs”
The cover of “Jeff Divine: 70s Surf Photographs”
Sunset Beach 1972 (left).   Photos: Jeff Divine
  1. Hang ten with OG surfers in California and Hawaii —

    Jeff Divine: 70s Surf Photographs (US$40, Artbook) is a glimpse into an era when boards were handmade in garages and wave–inspired slang was just beginning to develop. Pulled from the photographer’s enormous archive, the images reveal a nostalgic portrait of close–knit surfing communities in the U.S. before the sport became commercialized.

  2. Wander the streets of Tokyo after dark —

    Liam Wong, an art director and video game designer (he’s a former director for Montreal–based Ubisoft), first picked up a DSLR in 2015 and, on a work trip, began capturing Tokyo after dark for his debut photo series. Now these vivid cyberpunk– and animation–inspired scenes of the nocturnal city are available in TO:KY:OO ($56, Amazon).