Book Review: Every Picture Tells a Story, by Jocelyn Carlin

Available in bookshops nationwide.

cv_every_picture_tells_a_storyNot having heard of Jocelyn Carlin before nor having seen her work in any form, I was initially unsure of the message presented in the book. A photographer for nearly 40 years, Jocelyn has gathered images from her extensive collection into an eclectic and intriguing mix that drew me in to her world.

At times whimsical, sometimes heart-wrenching and always interesting, the photographs, accompanied by short narratives, inform the reader of a life spent in company as diverse as a young man playing the part of Marilyn Monroe on stage in nothing but a towel and white y-fronts; to Sir Ian McKellen,  and Rigaberta Menchu, a Nobel prize recipient.

Well known New Zealanders rub shoulders with Jocelyn’s family members, and stark photographs of the aftermath of the Christchurch earthquake lie on pages not far away from images of the damage climate change is causing to small Pacific islands.

One reading isn’t nearly enough to take in the full substance of this fascinating book. It is rather like moving through a passage which has drapes hiding various nooks and crannies where amazing, amusing and thought-provoking objects can be discovered on closer examination.  It is a treasure in its entirety.

Reviewed by Lesley Vlietstra

Every Picture Tells a Story
by Jocelyn Carlin
Published by Te Whenua Press
ISBN 9780908689927