Hollywood by Keegan Allen
Genre: Non-Fiction, Photography
352 pages | Published April 24th, 2018
Rating: 4/5 stars
Firstly, I’d like to thank St Martin’s Press for providing me with a copy of Hollywood in exchange for an honest review.
This was my first experience with a photography book, and I must say I am impressed. I won’t go out of my way to read photography books from now on, but I definitely will keep an eye out for any other books such as HOLLYWOOD.
Keegan Allen was part of the Pretty Little Liars cast, which used to be my favorite TV show. Born and raised in Hollywood, Allen decided to put together a book dedicated to his hometown. When St. Martin’s offered to send me a copy for review, I was ecstatic – still am! – to read something by Allen. I won’t lie, I was a bit nervous because I have no idea how to review a photography book, but I was also super excited that this would be my first.
As someone who’s never been to Hollywood, I found this to be an insightful read. It doesn’t just show us the glamorous lives of famous people, or the beautiful sights and landscapes we might find in Hollywood. It features the good and the bad, the luxury and the poverty, painting a realistic portrait of one of the most famous places in the world.
Naturally, being a portrait of Hollywood, Allen emphasizes cinema and actors quite a lot. He includes numerous portraits of different actors and movie directors – or even their wax figures, which can be found at Madame Tussaud’s.
The author focuses not only on the Hollywood people and their lifestyle but also the historical buildings, the art, and the architecture. It’s crazy how much Art Deco can be found in Hollywood. It really screams early 1900’s, absolutely beautiful! It’s mesmerizing to see the places that so many legends (Marylin Monroe, The Rolling Stones, Robin Williams, James Dean, etc.) used to hang out at.
Now, I’m no photography expert but, technically speaking, I really like how Allen captures movement in his pictures – he makes them come to life! And the way he plays with the focus and the natural shadows wherever he photographs is stunning. Truly an inspiring book for any photography enthusiast out there.
Although it is mainly a photography book, Allen also includes pieces of writing. Not only his own poems but also life stories he gathered from people he met out on the streets of his hometown. There are a few of those, each more fascinating (although tragic) than the other. That was one of my favorite parts. It kind of reminded me of Humans of New York, except in HOLLYWOOD the narrators are anonymous. Definitely something to look out for in this read!
Overall, HOLLYWOOD is a refreshing, inspiring read that paints an accurate portrait of one of the most famous cities in the USA – the good, the bad, and everything in between.
I hope you enjoyed reading my thoughts on Hollywood and if you’d like, check out my other book reviews!
Have you ever read any photography books? Let me know your recommendations in the comments!
Thank you so much for reading,
I’ll see you in my next post ♡