Celebrating photographer Al Vandenberg's life, On A Good Day is a photo book comprised of 50 black and white images focusing on fascinating portraits with the characters whom Vandenberg has come across in London. With a grainy film appearance, subjects – who are all cast from the streets – stare head-on into the late American photographer’s lens, their expressions leaking emotion into each still that takes on a raw appearance, eyes fixated on the viewer and thus creating a dialogue between the viewer and the immortalised model. The settings take on the streets of Manhattan and London while models are from a range of ethnic backgrounds and subjects include Motorhead's Lemmy Kilmister.
Born in 1932 to Dutch parents, Vandenberg was raised in Boston by an English foster family and later went on to study photography in New York and is perhaps best known for collaborating on The Beatles' Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart Clubs Band album cover. Although he was a commercial photographer for much of his career, he later settled in London in 1974 to photograph intimate portraits without a commercial tone.
The book covers several decades, including London in the 70s and 80s, yet retains a timelessness through the use of black and white film. While we can see a furrowed brow on a teenage girl's face, Vandenberg hopes to evoke an uplifting mood. The photographer has once been quoted as saying: “It’s a great time being young, with your whole life ahead of you. It’s a time for love, hope, dreaming, great creativity. It’s a time away from home, breaking free from parents, home, creating freedom. You feel you can be anything and do anything. The future looks very positive.”
On A Good Day, published by Stanley Barker, is available now