Photobooks of 2020: Ed Templeton

 Joji Hashiguchi - We Have No Place to Be

This year has been claustrophobic inside my house every day only coming in contact with photobooks through websites, instagram, and one rare trip to Arcana Books on the Arts in Los Angeles. On the sad side is I surely have missed many great books published this year I would have discovered through book fairs and traveling to distant book stores around the world. But on the good side it seems like I have bought more books than usual this year and have been able to easily fill out a top fifteen list!

Into The Fire by Matt Stuart, 2020 Setanta

Beautiful color images documenting squatters living on an abandoned Army base in the Californian desert, bringing poetry and grace to a chaotic and thorny subject matter

The Dreaming by Ogawa Yasuhiro, 2020 Sokyusha

A 50 year old man looks back through the photographs he took 20 years ago as he backpacked around the world. A melancholy love poem in B&W to travel and loneliness, illustrating the detachment of drifting through new lands as a stranger.

Let the Sun Beheaded Be by Gregory Halpern, 2020 Aperture

Lovely new work from Halpern shot in the Guadeloupe islands, in the Caribbean sea, giving us a glimpse, in his signature way, at the people and history of this former French colony.

Rabbit / Hare by David Billet & Ian Kline, 2020 Deadbeat Club

Beautiful and enigmatic B&W photos from a sojourn into Texas, USA. Don’t sleep on this one, only 750 made!

The White Sky by Mimi Plumb, 2020 Stanley Barker

A wonderful time-capsule of images documenting her suburban childhood haunts, when she was only 20 years old giving a real sense of time and space to a particularly Californian notion of suburbia.

Van Nuys Blvd.1972 by Rick McCloskey, 2020 Sturm & Drang

I’m a sucker for time-capsules! Ever seen the movie American Graffiti? (George Lucas, 1973) Well here is a B&W documentary cache of images from 1972 about the automobile culture in Los Angeles at that time period from an amateur photographer living the life.

The Locusts by Jesse Lenz, 2020 Charcoal Press

This is a good year for photographers documenting the lives of their children. These kids will have magical memories to look back on as they grow older. This book is indeed magical as the children in these B&W photographs drift through and experience a dreamy rural landscape with its flora and fauna both alive and dead. With echoes of Sally Mann this book, along with Anderson's Pia this year, pick up the long historical conversation about family and photography, and not needing to go far to find amazing photos.

The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer by Alessandra Sanguinetti, 2020 Mack Books

Photographs revisiting the sisters she started documenting back in 1999 - It’s a follow up to her previous book “The Enigmatic Meaning of their Dreams.” The medium format square images are shot in rich color and follow the girls from teenagers into motherhood with intimate views of the ups and downs along the way.

Polaroids 92-95 NY & CA by Ari Marcopolous, 2020 Dashwood Books

Another time-capsule! This one is close to home for me as a skateboarder, Ari was shooting my world and people I was familiar with. This collection consists of polaroid portraits of skaters hanging around the streets of LA and NYC during one of skateboarding’s weirdest phases.

Pia by Christopher Anderson, 2020 Stanley Barker

Sumptuous color photographs dripping with warm tones documenting Anderson’s daughter Pia as she floats through a dreamlike childhood in Paris, France.

Perfect Strangers by Melissa O’shaughnessy, 2020 Aperture

Wittily observed and colorful New York City street photography in the vein of Winograd and Meyerowitz.

Book of Everything by Mary Ellen Mark, 2020 Steidl

Wow. An insane amount of work skillfully placed in context by pulling texts from multiple interviews with Mark and essays about her work, and placing them in amongst famous pictures from her various projects including stunning never before seen work.

We Have No Place to be by Joji Hashiguchi, 2020 Session Press

Frenetic and immediate B&W photos of teenagers living their lives out in the streets of various cities around the world. A reprint of a famous photobook from 1982 with previously unseen work and new context.

Honorable Mention:

Tar Beach by Susan Meiselas, 2020 Damiani

A collection of vernacular photographs surrounding the traditional use of the rooftops of NYC’s Little Italy as a private outdoor space in the sun for Italian Americans edited by Susan Meiselas, with an essay from Martin Scorsese

Transparencies: Small Camera Works 1971-1979 by Steven Shore, 2020 Mack Books

A handsome tome of Shore’s unseen 35mm work taken on his famous road trips for Uncommon Places.

101 pictures by Tom Wood, 2020 RRB

A nice overview of Tom Wood’s work spanning his various projects selected by Martin Parr. If you are new to Tom Wood, or can’t find/afford his more rare books, this one will be a great place to start.


Ed Templeton (b.1972 Lives and works in Huntington Beach, CA) - A respected cult figure in the subculture of skateboarding, his paintings, photographs, and mixed-media installations take their inspiration from the culture he is a part of and the suburban environment he lives in. As a skateboarder Templeton was world-champion twice, and in 1993 he founded Toy Machine skateboard company. In 2016 he was inducted into the Skateboarding Hall of Fame. His work has been shown in museums worldwide including, MOCA, Los Angeles, ICP, New York, Palais de Tokyo, Paris, S.M.A.K. Museum, Belgium, Bonnefanten Museum, Netherlands, Kunsthalle, Vienna, Pier 24 Photography, San Francisco, and BALTIC Centre for Contemporary Art, UK. Website: Instagram: @ed.templeton

Images: top - We Have No Place to Be by Joji Hashiguchi, below - The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer by Alessandra Sanguinetti, The Dreaming by Yasuhiro Ogawa


The Illusion of an Everlasting Summer by Alessandra Sanguinetti, 2020 Mack Books

Yasuhiro Ogawa