If you’re in London this weekend (21-24 May) you might just want to cancel all your plans, and book yourself into Photo London. It’s just arrived at Somerset House, and aside from more than 70 exhibitors, you can expect brilliant lectures, book signings, and three large scale exhibitions including unearthed gems straight out of the Victoria and Albert Museum’s Photography Collection (fellow photo-history nerds, rejoice). Below are some highlights that we hope you’ll get around to seeing. 

 

Chat with Steve McCurry

You don’t have to be a photography buff to recognize and appreciate Steve McCurry’s work. One of the most prominent photojournalists of the era, he’s delivered yet again with his new book on coffee-growing communities across the world, From These Hands. It isn’t just his photos that are vibrant and captivating—his insights about humanity and culture also never fail to fascinate.

 

Todd Hido and Sean O’Hagan: Photography and Memory

Sean O’Hagan, one of the U.K.’s most prominent photography critics will interview Todd Hido on portraits as a memory keeper. Beyond captivating us with the unique use of light, the moment’s captured in Hido’s work are the ideal accompaniment to such a discussion.

 

Simon Schama on Portraiture

Between historian and professor Simon Schama art history specialization, Jason Bell’s highly polished editorial portfolio of Hollywood’s A-list, and Nadav Kander’s range of photographs from poignant landscape series, to stunning nudes remarking on the human condition, the conversation between these three will certainly be multi-perspective and thought-provoking.

 

Q&A with Rankin, Hosted by Kate Barrett

We hate to be the bearers of bad news, but this is hosted at the same time at Steve McCurry’s chat—so choices will have to be made. We will leave the difficult task up to you.

 

Kaveh Golestan: Prostitute

Both a piece of history, and an exploration of the reality of femaleness and the lack of agency experienced by so many women, Kaveh Golestan’s photographs in a red light district and walled ghetto in Tehran between 1975 and 1977 are at once striking, powerful, and devastating.

 

Collecting: chaired by Jan Dalley

Of course, we are enthused by collecting photography. Though Photo London has kept it general with this chat, the high caliber of curators from some of the world’s best museums means this is a fascinating opportunity.