Top 10: Snap-Worthy Stories

August 20, 2018

Yesterday's World Photography Day had us thinking about all the great stories that are told visually. From portraits of Canadian authors to the rise of hip hop culture to photographic documentaries of marginalized women, our top 10 list of snap-worthy stories is an ode to this powerful visual medium. 

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10.  Trouble in the Camera Club by Don Pyle (ECW Press)

Before Don Pyle was part of the punk scene, he was behind a camera shooting some of Toronto's earliest punk gigs and punk artists. Trouble in the Camera Club is a culmination of his trial-and-error foray into photography that offers a historical snapshot of the city's early punk scene with images of musicians like the Ramones, Iggy Pop, Patti Smith, The Clash, and many more. 





9.  111 West Coast Literary Portraits by Barry Peterson & Blaise Enright (Mother Tongue Publishing)

Featuring portraits of emerging to well-known writers who have lived in BC, this west coast collection gathers rare photographs of favourites like Marilyn Dumont, Al Purdy, Alice Munro, Taiaiake Alfred, Lorna Crozier and 106 more literary stars, along with excerpts of their writing. Photographing artists in their personal spaces, Barry Peterson and Blaise Enright were able to capture some of the most intimate portraits of B.C.'s honoured and emerging talent. 


8. Portraits of Canadian Writers by Bruce Meyer (Porcupine’s Quill)

And for even more captivating photographs of literary notables, Portraits of Canadian Writers from author and photographer Bruce Meyer ( who previously chatted with us about this project)  presents photos and anecdotes of storytellers like Dorothy Livesay to Patrick Lane to Leonard Cohen. Award-winning poet and photographer describes the collection as "as a significant document that in a way taps us on the shoulder and reminds us that the twists and turns our literature has taken has its origins here in the lives of these individuals." 


7.  Cyclists by Lincoln Clarkes (Quattro Books)

Cycling enthusiasts will go on a nostalgic ride with this collection of candid photographs of over 100 people riding bicycles through the streets of Toronto in 2011 and 2012. A hark back to the street-style fashion of the time, Cyclists is a time capsule of ecological travel and city life. 


6. Everything Remains Raw by Mark V. Campbell (Goose Lane Editions)

For even more Toronto culture, Everything Remains Raw is an in-depth look into the city's hip hop culture over decades featuring photographs of artists like Kardinal Offishall, Michie Mee, Maestro, and of course Drake. 




5. Heroines by Clarkes Lincoln & Barbara Hodgson (Anvil Press)

This photographic documentary from fashion and portrait photographer Lincoln Clarkes and writer and photographer Barbara Hodgson puts a spotlight on the grim realities and circumstances of marginalized women in Vancouver's Downtown Eastside. This collection garnered national and international media attention during its release in 2002, and has a revised edition coming out later this year. 


4. Céline by Diane Massicotte and Laurent Cayla (ECW Press)

Our national pride should be questioned if we didn't include this photo-biography of one of Canada's notable musical treasures Céline Dion. The book is complete with more than 600 previously unpublished photos by Laurent Cayla and a foreward by the pop star and late husband Rene Angélil to present an up-close and personal look at a signing sensation. 




3. Labrador by Dennis Minty (Breakwater Books) 

If the call of Newfoundland's north has been on your travel radar, Labrador is the book to whet your appetite. In this photographic guide, Dennis Minty presents images ranging from populated communities to forgotten places to vistas and coves giving us a comprehensive snapshot of the land in all its glory. 


2.  Live Souls by Serge Alternes & Alex Wainman (Ronsdale Press)

Posthumously published, Live Souls is a window into the Spanish Civil War featuring about 200 photographs taken by the late Alex Wainman, a volunteer member of the British Medical Unit. Along with Wainman's unfinished memoir of the war, the book also offers an overview of the international implications of this time period from a contemporary perspective. 


1. Fair Trade by Éric St-Pierre (Goose Lane Editions) 

A photojournalistic  treat, Fair Trade will have you flipping through continents on a journey to better understand fair trade and its implications. Author-photographer Éric St-Pierre presents intimate portraits and captivating stories that tell the full picture of the effect fair trade has on people around the globe. 






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