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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

James Cockroft

Here's a guy who is wildly underrated, in my opinion. He does different things, but the one I am most interested in is his review of photobooks. He buys a lot of them, does unboxing videos — in which you get to watch as he leafs through the book, which is often very nice — and writes straightforward reviews. His reviews are far less pretentious than mine, and thus arguably a lot better.

Indeed, James is a man almost entirely without pretensions, as near as I can tell. His lack of pretension makes it easy to dismiss him as unserious, or un-useful, but both of those things are wrong. I don't attend to his work enough, and I hope to fix that.

Here's a link to James' Photobook Reviews which is a deep archive of very useful reviews and videos. Recommended.


  1. Interesting review of the Marianne Mueller book (apparently an old, out of print book at that) currently featured on What-Would-JC-Do's blog. I have taken to not reading JC's uninteresting perspective on uninteresting things, so I can't really comment on what he may have written about this book, except to say with a high degree of certainty that it's probably uninteresting.

    But I digress. What is interesting about Cockroft's review, is that he found the Mueller book pretty random, but felt that, nonetheless, he ought to collect it because diversity, for he is chagrined that 'photobook' -land is a monoculture. Which it mostly is.

    I personally don't see how owning yet another book of random photos for which one feels no connection is supposed to help with that, but I dunno, virtue signalling?

    1. What I like about James is that he is honest and straightforward, not that I agree with his take every time.

    2. Yeah, he was completely upfront about his reason for collecting the book, and his (non-) reaction to it. So that is refreshing.

  2. Thanks for the great comments, amolitor! I’m very glad someone gets something out of my reviews. I mostly just have fun looking closely (or not) at photobooks and writing about them, and as far as I can tell, very very few people ever read them. Thanks to your comments here, views of my blog jumped about 400% for a couple of days, and the spike is really nice to see.
    Thanks again!

    1. It's fun isn't it?! I love those rare little spikes. A few people will stick with you, too.

      Anyways, you earned it. Keep it up.