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Five Taschen Photography Books That Make Perfect Father’s Day Gifts

Give Dad the Gift of Creative Inspiration in 2021

How do we say thank you to the father-figures in our lives? There’s nothing wrong with going the classic route: a nice tie or a bottle of their favorite adult beverage are always welcome. For the millennial or Gen Z dad, perhaps getting them that home-brewing kit, a subscription service, or an ancestry DNA kit is the way to go. 

These days, we have more Father’s Day gift options than ever before. But, particularly if dad is a photo enthusiast, look no further than the coffee table book. 

Book Riot, the largest independent editorial book site in North America, provided some insight into the popularity of coffee table books earlier this year: 

Coffee table books, according to psychologists, trigger memories of reading oversized picture books as children, which is another aspect of their appeal. Additionally, as seen in the popularity of “bookaflage” in the 1920s, we use books to showcase our personalities. Coffee table books happen to be a great and beautiful way to do just that.”

When you’re in the photography business, whether in front or behind the camera, one is bound to encounter hundreds of photography books. And, year after year, one publisher continues to stand out: Taschen. “The popularity of TASCHEN is due in part to the fact that they have become mini cathedrals to the art of book production,” said Forbes in 2016. “TASCHEN books are not simply words and pictures, they are experiences that unfold, mesmerize, stimulate and provoke with brilliant covers, bindings, photography, illustrations, colors and typography–brain candy for the TASCHEN customer.” 

From landscapes to theme park history, there’s a Taschen book that dad will be proud to own. Here are five Taschen photography coffee books that make perfect Father’s Day gifts.

For the Photo Historian

Start spreading the news – Taschen’s New York: Portrait of a City is a must-own for those interested not only in The Big Apple; but in the many groundbreaking photographers that photographed one of the nation’s most iconic cities. Maybe they haven’t had the chance to see the Empire State Building in person. Or, perhaps they are a New Yorker at heart. Whatever the case may be, this book is sure to transport dad across the five boroughs. 

About the Book:

More than just a remarkable tribute to the metropolis and its civic, social, and photographic heritage, New York: Portrait of a City pays homage to the indomitable spirit of those who call themselves New Yorkers: full of hope and strength, resolute in their determination to succeed among its glass and granite towers. 

This book features hundreds of iconic images, sourced from dozens of archives and private collections-many never before published-and the work of over 150 celebrated photographers.

For the Budding Landscape Photographer

If dad is more of an outdoorsman than an urban dweller, Fullmoon By Darren Almond is page after page of stunning landscapes from around the world. As reported by The New Yorker in 2014, “While travelling in the U.K. as well as to natural wonders around the globe, Almond used an extended exposure—about a quarter of an hour long—to capture landscapes against a cloudless, moonlit sky.” 

The results are, truly, a sight to behold. 

About the Book:

In Taschen Fullmoon By Darren Almond, the conceptual meets the poetic in more than 260 photographs, British artist Darren Almond catches landscapes around the globe, under the particular light of a full moon. This book covers all parts of Almond’s fullmoon series from the turn of the century up until today

For SoCal Locals

If the special someone on your list just so happens to be a lover of all things Disney, this is a no brainer. Simply put, Walt Disney’s Disneyland is nostalgia overload – rare photos from the park’s inception to present day. If a unique Father’s Day gift is what you’re looking for, we think taking a trip back in time to mid-century Southern California is something pretty special. 

About the Book:

Walt Disney’s Disneyland is a visual history that draws on Disney’s vast historical collections, private archives, and the golden age of photojournalism to provide unique access to the concept, development, launch, and enjoyment of this sun-drenched oasis of fun and fantasy. It is a treasure trove of original Disney documentation and expertise, with award-winning writer Chris Nichols drawing on his extensive knowledge of both Disneyland and Southern California history to reveal the fascinating tale of “the happiest place on Earth.”

For the Film & TV Buff

What’s the perfect companion to one of the best television shows ever made? Mad Men by Matthew Weiner belongs in the collection of every die-hard fan. With all seven seasons covered in this extensive tribute, this collection takes the reader behind the scenes and while providing a deep-dive into the fascinating art of television. 

About the Book:

Mad Men By Matthew Weiner is TASCHEN’s tribute to Mad Men’s television art. It chronicles all seven seasons of the series with on-set photographs, many published here for the first time, alongside extensive and candid interviews with the show’s creator, Matt Weiner, and Mad Men’s superstar ensemble of actors, set designers, costume designers, producers, directors, and writers. From the plot twists that took our breath away, to the unforgettable outfits; from the shapes and textures of 60s decor to the very real intricacies of relationships, discover the ideas, inspirations, and talents that brought human lives and human history together on the small screen.

For Serious Collectors

Say hello to the ultimate conversation starter…

Taschen’s Helmut Newton, Collectors Edition “BABY SUMO” is a limited run publication that any amateur gallerist would be proud to display in their home. And yes, it comes with a book stand. 

Newton, whose career spanned over five decades, is considered amongst the world’s most influential photographers. Beginning in the 1950’s, his work would be featured in top publications, including Vogue and Elle. Without a doubt, you’ve come across his  iconic black-and-white images. 

With so many not able to get their hands on the original (and massive) 1999 SUMO edition, this book is the next best thing. 

About the Book:

Shrunk to exactly half the size of the famous 1999 original, the Helmut Newton, Collectors Edition “BABY SUMO” is no less glamorous: With more than 400 breathtaking images, reproduced and printed to the latest standards, it still has all the scope of a private exhibition of photographs. It is likewise published in a limited edition of 10,000 copies and comes with a detailed booklet documenting the making of this major publishing event. Philippe Starck has once again designed the accompanying book stand, this time including a pedestal, as an ideal way to display the volume.

Final Thoughts

Especially for self-taught creatives, Taschen books, time and time again, prove to be a valuable resource and are a great addition to one’s library. 

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Sure, when it comes to showing dads how much they are loved and appreciated, the possibilities are endless. But, if you are looking for a unique and meaningful item, these five Taschen photography books are sure to make this Father’s Day a memorable one.

About Author

Destiny A. Lopez is a writer based in Los Angeles. Destiny has previously covered pop culture, lifestyle, tech, and personal finance for various media outlets.

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