I have been going around to photographers asking them one question:
What was the first photo book that you can remember buying or seeing that really had a strong affect on you?
Here is Eric William Carroll’s answer:
“The first photo book I can remember having a lasting impact on me would have to be my family’s photo album. I imagine my thrill upon its initial discovery was largely narcissistic, but the album played a major role in how I came to understand my identity, my past, and the formation of my earliest memories. The album itself is as thick as a phone book. The front cover is baby-duck yellow and says ‘Family Album’ in an embellished font, complete with photographs of some generic family enjoying an autumn picnic. Its thick adhesive pages were once a creamy white but have since gone yellowish-brown, a prime example of non-archival storage. The album starts right off with my birth and goes until I am about four or five years old. I think I noticed the album when I was around six, and revisited its contents once a week, experiencing what I can only imagine was a twisted sense of false nostalgia. Yes, I was six, reminiscing about the ‘good ‘ol days’. I kept looking through the album until it was memorized and I still don’t understand why I was so obsessed with it. Any way, no book of photography has affected or moved me in a similar way since. If I was to pick a commercially available photo book: Chronologies by Richard Misrach.”