Interesting Photobooks of 2022

Another year has gone by, so it’s time for us to present you with our new list of interesting photobooks. Our selections feature intriguing photographic content, brilliant project concepts, and excellent book designs that support the artist/photographer’s intent in conjunction with spot-on production qualities; the books that are the most interesting have a delightful combination of all of these creative elements.

The following members of our editorial team, all of whom are dedicated professionals who volunteer their time to create these contributions for our journal – Debe Arlook, Melanie Chapman, Gerhard Clausing, Kristin Dittrich, Steve Harp, Brian O’Neill, Douglas Stockdale, Wayne Swanson, and Rudy Vega – contributed to this list this year. We think that these photobooks are especially noteworthy, as we engage with them again and again; so please check them out. We would also like to encourage you to browse all of the many reviews we published during the past year.

These thirteen books represent an amazing range of contemporary photography, and our team is proud to honor Florian Bachmeier, Roger Ballen, David Butow, scott b. davis, Jason Francisco, Alan Gignoux, Kenro Izu, Anthoula Lelekidis, Anne Morgenstern, Arturo Soto, Julia Vandenoever, the World’s Women Photographers, and Makeda Best (editor). The book reviews are linked below the cover images as overlays of the titles.

Please also remember to support authors and publishers with your book purchases whenever you can. All the photobooks we reviewed throughout the year were specifically selected by those who reviewed them and have great merit, even if they are not mentioned in this list.

We also want to express our thanks to all our readers/viewers around the world as well as to the authors and publishers for your interest and loyalty, and to wish you all a peaceful and healthy holiday season and only the best for 2023!

Gerhard (Gerry) Clausing, for the Editorial Team

Here are this year’s selections, in alphabetical order by the authors’ last names:

Florian Bachmeier – In Limbo   An attractively presented project of the many trials and tribulations Ukraine has been through, from the past to the present, and still not over.

Roger Ballen – boyhood   In the 1970s, after the death of his mother, Ballen traversed the world in search of his own childhood for a period of four years. The result is an emotional trip through various cultures, with the bonus of his astute vision that presents the ordinary as extraordinary.

David Butow – BRINK   No matter one’s politics, Butow’s journalistic courage and painterly eye cannot be debated. Up close and at times in harm’s way while documenting Donald Trump’s campaign ascendency all the way to the crescendo of events leading up to and during the storming of the US Capitol, these images transcend historical documentation and belong in museums as well as newsrooms.

scott b. davis – sonora   The book design beautifully showcases the positive/negative tonalities of davis’s minimalist platinum palladium imagery in a variety of forms, from single images to diptychs, triptychs, gatefold with multi-frame progressions, and a double-gatefold.

Jason Francisco – Alive and Destroyed   As stated in the afterword by Menachem Kaiser, “Holocaust photography is not like other sorts of photography. The rules, you might say, are different …“ Francisco’s consideration of sites of the Holocaust across Eastern Europe is a complex and demanding meditation. The reflection and contemplation required of the photographs presented repay the viewer with a lingering sense of disquiet and conundrum.

Alan Gignoux – Mountain Tops to Moonscapes   An environmentally important book that incorporates a wonderfully layered design that is very intriguing, much like the layered issues surrounding climate change and global politics.

Kenro Izu – Impermanence   The tactile feel of the cloth covers and the thick matte fine art paper, as well as the rich reproductions of Izu’s prints, do a fine job of showcasing Izu’s classic distilled imagery.

Anthoula Lelekidis – Fragments / θραύσματα   This project tells a strong and visually beautiful story about the immigration of a woman from Greece to New York. The author is the daughter of the lady portrayed in the book, a project with the sociological theme ‘post-memory.’

Anne Morgenstern – Macht Liebe   An extraordinary photobook that lets you get in touch with preconceived notions concerning the body and makes you come back repeatedly to discover more connections is very special indeed. Morgenstern effectively connects our external and internal worlds.

Arturo Soto – A Certain Logic of Expectations   Soto borrows both methodological and theoretical inspiration about how one can bodily experience and investigate a locale through walking as a means of making observations. With a wry style of visual analysis, this project is also about establishing a certain conceptual, and equally importantly, a playful framework.

Julia Vandenoever – Still Breathing   A fascinating meditation on loss and remembering, told through a tapestry of family photos, landscapes and objects.

A World History of Women Photographers   An impressive and inspiring collection of contemporary and historical work by an international list of female photographers. A reference book worthy of placement on the top of your coffee table when guests come over and you want to signal your great taste and savvy inclusiveness.

In addition, we would like to call your attention to the following special project:

Makeda Best, Editor – Devour the Land   A factual and well documented narrative about the destructive consequences of the American military on the American landscape that encompasses the environmental, socioeconomic, political and other broadly related issues that they have created. It is articulate and packaged in a smart design.


Articles and photographs published in the PhotoBook Journal may not be reproduced without the permission of the PhotoBook Journal staff and the photographer(s). All creative works and designs are copyrighted by the individual artists, authors, and publishers.

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