I received a package late on Thursday. My name and address were handwritten in black ink on a yellow envelope; something that made me perhaps more excited than it should have, if only just because someone took the time. That little aspect provides a certain degree of a connection with the maker - already, you feel closer to them, and all because they didn’t print your name, but wrote it out themselves. Inside the envelope was the fourth volume of “If You Leave” - a collection of contemporary photography based in London. The book features 91 fine art prints by photographers from all over the world.
Flipping through the pages of the volume, there is an overall mood that’s being established, a continuous theme retained and gathered from different individuals: a feeling of desolation, solitude, reminiscence, perhaps a certain degree of nostalgia. “If You Leave” succeeds in creating a community, united not only in the aesthetics of the printed volume, but also in the dedication to its vision. The volume itself is precious; so much that I am terrified to get my fingerprints on it; it is at the moment my most favourite photography book.
The photographs picked are enchanting, and I am honest when I say that I struggle in even picking favourites - but there are particular prints that I am fascinated with. Kimberley Tell does an excellent job; Lukasz Wierzbowski, Nicola Odemann, and Ryan James Caruthers are absolutely outstanding.
In conclusion, the book is successful in its execution, both in its exceptional visual content, and in the commitment towards creating a mood and an atmosphere for the viewer to be immersed in.
Hats off to Laurence Von Thomas and the team.
purchase the book here
*photographs taken from If You Leave’s bigcartel page*