Ben Watts' Photo Journal

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I'm a big fan of what Ben Watts (yes, he's Naomi's brother) does with his photography. He shoots a lot for Vanity Fair and Rolling Stone, but his celebrity (and fashion) photos are always a bit more gritty and real than other glossier fare. It always seems like everyone on his shoots is really enjoying the process. So I was psyched to get an advance copy of his new book, Lickshot, coming out in October. This compilation is set up like a scrapbook and a travel diary, so while there are celebrity and model faces in the mix, there are also loads of "real", or whatever you want to call them, people. But they are all super interesting skaters, bikers, surfers and all-around unique characters.

I especially loved the collage pages with notes from subjects or Ben himself scribbled in the margins of Polaroids and test shots. As Ingrid Sischy says in her interview with Ben which serves as the books introduction: "I think the boxing metaphor works for how you approach your pictures. You throw a right here, a left there. You go for a knockout. And you've made a kind of sport out of photography...Your subjects don't just stand there and say 'cheese'" I couldn't agree more. Here's a sampling...