Blended Images of Classic Books Give the Magical Stories New Life

Photographer Ellen Cantor has found a way to artistically express that books are the source of her favorite memories. “My current project, entitled Prior Pleasures, is deeply influenced by my love of literature,” she revealed. “This series explores memory and preservation of the past while ensuring the creation of a visual legacy for the next generation. The books photographed for this series are the ones I have carried with me since childhood. My mother read them to me and, in turn, I read them to my children, carrying on a tradition of the written and spoken word.”

A total of 25 classic childhood books were photographed, including Black Beauty, Heidi, Little Women, and Alice in Wonderland. To demonstrate her appreciation for these novels, Cantor has created stunning composites that include individual photos of different pages. What results is an ethereal depiction that represents just how magical reading can be. “Prior Pleasures is created using a multiple exposure technique (without Photoshop),” the artist explains. “I photograph the end pages, illustrations, and text. This process allows me to show the excitement of a book fluttering open and coming to life for readers of all generations.”

Alice in Wonderland

Black Beauty

Eight Cousins


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