It is not often that I mention books and other photographers on this website and even less often that I say that something is a must have item. Both issues are being addressed right now.
Artist photographer Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski has recently released a new book called "The Most Beautiful People in the World" which is unlike anything you've seen before and may be the only such project you'll ever see in your life. Michel is a well known and respected conceptual artist photographer who is able to create, develop and perfect a photographic idea in such a way that you are just taken by his originality and message. I've known him for several years and consider him a major influence on my own way of photography and how I approach many things in life. If you are getting the impression that I hold him in high regard, not only as an extremely creative photographer but as an all-round good guy, you would not be mistaken.
"The Most Beautiful People in the World" is a photography book project that took place in ten countries. Announcements were placed in newspapers and magazines asking people to respond if they felt that they were the most beautiful person in the world, while explaining why. Michel, along with his assistants in each country, visited the homes of the individuals selected, interviewing them and photographing them. The stories these individuals wrote, although brief, are a glimpse into their lives as well as our own. The reader of this book will experience the uncanny feeling of reading about themselves or how we ourselves want to view our world. Almost without exception, the "beauty" expressed by the individuals has nothing to do with physical traits, but about how they see the world and their place in it.
Michel's photography is simply outstanding and should be considered reference material. How he is able to come up with original poses and environmental pictures for each person, while maintaining continuity throughout the book is pure genius. Each page of the book folds out to reveal three photographs and the message the individual wanted to say. As you read the text and look at the picture, you can almost hear their voices. And those voices, even from a country or culture far from our own, sound so much like our own. Just as music is considered the international language, this book speaks to us in the language of our own understanding.
You will laugh, cry and be uplifted by this book and the stories in it. This is also one of those books you just want to share with others--the ultimate coffee-table book. This is a book which is meant to be shared--not just to be hidden on the shelves stuffed between other photography books. The book is not about photography, but the photography is an integral part of the book. You cannot separate the photos from the text, nor the text from the photos. Both complete each other. They enable the individuals in the book to tell their story in a manner which makes you want to slow down and really study each one, one at a time, maybe one per day.
Beauty is about happiness, love and what is inside each of us. The wealthy and poor are included in the book and you'll experience the joy of life in the midst of whatever it is their lives are about.
Michel has done something very unique. He has made this book available for free. You can order the book for the cost of shipping. Of course, he also has a "De Luxe" edition of the book, which comes in a nice box, is signed and also is accompanied by a museum-quality print of the cover picture. The revenues of the De Luxe version help pay for the free copies.
This is NOT some do-it-yourself home-brew project. Michel is a top photographer, working professionally since 1970, with exhibits around the world, museum permanent displays and unending credits in magazines and newspapers. He is a true "master photographer" and this book reflects that status. It is of high-grade construction and printing. I encourage you to purchase the De Luxe version as it is not only worth the investment, but helps others experience this amazing work.
The website for the book is:
Michel Szulc Krzyzanowski's website:
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