EU shipping is temporarily suspended

Seaside Photographed

Professor Val Williams, Dr Karen Shepherdson


A portrait of over a century of the British seaside in all its raucous, joyful and sometimes seedy glory

See Inside


Since the beginnings of the medium, photographers have been fascinated by the shoreline and seaside cultures. Seaside: Photographed offers a record of how both British and international image-makers have responded to the UK’s coastal communities since 1850 and how the art of photography has both shaped and exposed the multiple layers of the seaside resort.

From the roaring waves of the 19th century through the heyday of the classic seaside resort in the 1950s and 60s, and the critical reportage of the 1980s and 1990s, to the more intimate work of the last ten years, many photographers have worked at the British seaside, including Henri Cartier-Bresson, Lee Miller, Martin Parr and Anna Fox. The end-of-the-pier show, beauty competitions, light entertainment, the seaside boarding house, the holiday camp, combined to give British seaside resorts the brash and colourful image that is now enshrined in British national mythology. Seaside: Photographed shows not only some of the most spectacular and incisive photographic work from the 1850s to the present, but provides a place of shared connection, of collective memory and a space where memories and perceptions are challenged.

Read More


'Surveys over a century of iconic and humorous holiday experiences and trips to the beach'

'Features a unique and engaging cast, both behind and in front of the lens, from the 1850s and into the 21st century'

'Jam-packed with holiday snaps, shoreline street photography and alluring tourism material'

Read More

Product Information

Book Details

Format: PLC

Size: 25.0 x 19.5 cm

Extent: 224 pp

Illustrations: 208

Publication date: 23 May 2019

ISBN: 9780500022061

Contents List

Introduction • Waves on the Beach • Shell Stories: Editing the Seaside from the Thirties to the Eighties • Seaside Bohemias • Reporting Back • Halcyon Days • Road Trips • Who’s Looking at the Family? Seaside Chronicles from Then until Now • Worlds in a Small Room: The Seaside Hotel • Gazing Up Close and from a Distance: Performing Studio Portraiture in the 21st Century • Undercurrents: Revising the Seaside from the Sixties to the Nineties

About the Author

Val Williams is Professor of the History and Culture of Photography at the University of the Arts, London, and has curated exhibitions for the Barbican, the Victoria and Albert, The National Media Museum, Tate and the British Council.

Karen Shepherdson is Reader in Photography at Canterbury Christ Church University, and in this role both directs SEAS Photography and co-directs the Centre for Research on Communities and Cultures.