My favorite reading challenge is Kid Lit Frenzy’s Nonfiction Picture Book Challenge. Visit her blog to discover more wonderful nonfiction titles.
Stand There! She Shouted is Susan Goldman Rubin’s biography of nineteenth-century photographer Julia Margaret Cameron. It’s a wonderful book–full of engaging, informative writing and two types of illustrations: Cameron’s photographs and Bagram Ibatoulline’s paintings and drawings. Cameron’s work has been familiar to me for many years, but I didn’t realize until reading this book just what a pioneer she was.
Cameron’s personality shines through: ambitious, demanding, eccentric, lovable to friends and family, perhaps less so to the subjects of her photographs. She was very active: she traveled the world, raised six children, and had an eleven-year career as a photographer. She considered herself an artist, and Rubin makes a strong case for her as an innovator and an artist. She photographed her subjects in close-up when no one else was doing that, and she pioneered this slightly out-of-focus style that gives her photographs a dreamy quality.
Rubin situates Cameron in the Pre-Raphaelite school. It was very easy for me to look at Cameron’s photographs and see the connection with Pre-Raphaelite painting because I’ve looked at a lot of that art. For readers unfamiliar with it, there is only a brief description, so more explanation and examples might have been helpful.
Although I was interested in learning more about Cameron, I purchased this book as much for Ibatouilline’s art as anything else, and his full-page paintings are certainly lush–vividly lit and colored, detailed, highly evocative of the Victorian period. There are also ample sepia drawings illustrating Cameron’s life and work.
The back matter includes an index, source notes, a bibliography, and a list of museums where Cameron’s photographs can be viewed.