QUESTION: YA lit and other resources related to photography

question / pregunta: 

I am putting together a topical resource list for teens/young adults with a budding interest in photography, hopefully to inspire more youths to be visual storytellers, esp. those whose stories are not well represented in the mainstream. I have a lot of good non fiction books, but would like to include some fiction that has photography as part of the plot in some fashion, and movies too. Andy Warhol said "Art is what you can get away with." I would like to see MORE diversity in the socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds of artists, and see photography as a relatively affordable and accessible medium.


Answer posted by:

Movies featuring Photographers or Photography as Main Character/Theme.

Pecker by John Waters
Fur: An Imaginary Portrait of Diane Arbus by Steven Shainberg
Calendar by Atom Egoyan
Everlasting Moments by Jan Troell
Salvador by Oliver Stone
Under Fire by Roger Spottiswoode
Boat People by Ann Hui
Before the Rain by Milcho Manchevski
More Than 1,000 Words (doc) Solo Avital
The City of Photographers (doc) Sebastian Moreno
Dying to Tell the Story (doc) Kyra Thompson
War Photographer (doc) Christian Frei
The Devil Came on Horseback (doc) Ricki Stern, Annie Sundberg


ps One novel I know of off the top of my head is The Painter of Battles by Arturo Perez Reverte. Features a former war photographer.

On a separate page (click link) you'll find some ideas from Novelist, (a book review and finding site). I haven't read any of them, but am familiar with the work of Sones ("What My Mother Doesn't Know") and Wittlinger ("Hard Love," "Parrotfish"), and Hidier, Avi, and Alphin are also generally well-regarded.

Note that many YA/older kids books feature photography as a means of enabling their protagonist to be a spy, detective, or investigator (intentionally or unintentionally). I've left out most of those titles, since they don't sound exactly like what you're looking for though if you decide to go that route, there's always "Say Cheese and Die...Again!" by R.L. Stine and "Claudia and the Clue in the Photograph" by Ann M.

(PS - I am posting this for a friend, and have read "Born Confused" and heartily recommend it)

2 more

Films with photography as a theme:

Cidade De Deus (City of God)
Born into Brothels (see:

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