The Edit: Dashwood Books, New York City

Photography books you will not find in your "Amazon Recommends" email.

If it's not contemporary, and it's not photography, you won't find it at this tucked-away bookstore on a cobblestone street in downtown New York. The place has some impressive credentials: owner David Strettell was the cultural director of Magnum photographs before he opened the store in 2005. Appropriately, he's staffed Dashwood with legitimate photography experts—including Kat Shannon and Miwa Susuda—at least one of whom will almost certainly be on hand should you happen to visit. In the past decade, the store (which is sparsely decorated, all the better for the beautiful books to shine) has become a compulsory stop on any cultural shopping tour of New York, as well as a sub-street-level haven for locals, whom you'll often find propping up the counter.

From left to right: Kat Shannon, Miwa Susuda, and Charlotte de Mazamat

Dashwood also publishes its own books, which often sell out quicker than you can say "Juergen Teller," and Strettell and his team make it a point to continually seek out and support emerging artists from around the world. Some of the more precious pieces are on the shelves behind the counter, but Strettell and team are happy to pull out anything (and, trust us, it's worth asking).

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Kat Shannon, consignment manager

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1. Portrait, by Takashi Homma & Mikako Ichikwawa (Heibon-sha)

Portrait, a collaboration between Japanese photographer Takashi Homma and Japanese actor/model Mikako Ichikwawa, is beautifully designed and consists of photographs of Ichikwawa in different contexts and from different vantage points. I love the book for its very considered layout and the way it attempts to capture the essence of someone through repeated photographs.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2. I Might Die Before I Get a Rifle, by Walid Raad (Steidl)

Walid Raad is a Lebanese-American artist whose work documents contemporary history in Lebanon. This book is for me the most compelling compilation of his work. It's moving and thought-provoking, especially because of its large format, beautiful printing, and the corresponding essays and texts about his work.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

3. Sketches From A Google Safari, by Hugo Guinness (Dashwood)

This little book of illustrations depicts various flora and fauna that Guinness discovered while searching the internet in the winter of 2014. It's a charming and funny and beautiful collection that allows the viewer to access the artist's hand in each thick and thin black line that sprawls across each page. It brings me joy each time I look through it.

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

Miwa Susuda, store manager

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

1. Nightfall, by Giles Cassels (self-published)

At Dashwood, we receive at least 70 submissions for consignment books weekly, and it is really a pleasure to discover new talent. I love Cassels's zine—this is the second in a four-part series. It captures his strong message toward society, which appears in full-bleed pages on glossy paper. It has speed and energy, and I feel his agitation very well. I especially love this book because it comes with an original print!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

2. Code Unknown, by Satoshi Fujiwara (Amana Inc.)

This book is published by the most prestigious photography publishing company in Japan, IMA. They always encourage young talent through exhibitions, reviews, art fairs, and publications. I admire what they've contributed to the international photography community through their bilingual periodical, too. They chose to work with Fujiwara probably because his portrait project is pretty unusual. Code Unknown shows only parts of the faces, and it almost feels scary because Fujiwara blows up the images so large. It's not a conventional type of the book, we know, but a great surprise. I feel like there's no one rule for making a book: anything goes!

Advertisement - Continue Reading Below

3. Kimura Ihei in Paris, Photographs, 1954-55, by Ihei Kimura (Asahi Shimbun)

This book is just pure joy: beautiful photographs of people and city and landscapes in 1950s Paris. No politics, sex, or conceptual ideas. Kimura has been called the Japanese Henri Cartier-Bresson and is one of the most respected photographers in Japan. (The prestigious Kimura Prize for emerging photographers is named for him.) This book can be compared to Slim Aarons's A Wonderful Time (1974): they share the same joyfulness, excitement and love of beauty in life.

All available at

More from sweet: