Something Special Studios’s cool, cool summer

The creative agency’s fifth annual photo book ‘Summer of Something Special’ presents a visual diary of the world’s favorite season

Summer is perhaps the most regionally-diverse season of the year: Coastal Californians have the beach, New Yorkers have busted fire hydrants, the French have various lakes in the countryside. Beyond three-ish months of tanned skin and scanty outfits (this is a debatable time frame, considering climate change), summertime can hold a wealth of meaning—this is the ethos behind Summer of Something Special: Volume 5, the fifth installment of creative agency Something Special Studios’s photo book series.

Operating under SSSpecial Projects—the company’s platform for creative exchange between artists, non-profits, and cultural institutions—Summer of Something Special curates a roster of global photographers, uniting their work in a yearbook-style visual diary of the hottest season. This latest volume features both commissioned and submitted work from 65 image-makers, such as Mayan Toledano, Sandy Kim, and Mitch Epstein, as well as a book jacket that folds out into a poster. All proceeds go to Ghetto Film School, an award-winning non-profit geared toward removing film’s barriers to entry for youth.

Volume 5 conjures the fun of summertime—sometimes leisurely, other times energetically. June Kim’s softly-lit shots of leaves and wet pavement complement Igor Furtado’s collages of Thailand’s streetlife, or his study of a banana-dick totem balanced on an equally-phallic gold podium. Furtado also shot the book’s cover, an image of three monks in togas, taking iPhone snapshots in front of the dragon statues at Wat Rong Khun. From Kyle Ferino’s portrait of a serape-draped beachgoer at sunset, to Nate Langston Palmer’s black-and-white tableaux of neighbors watching fireworks, SoSS celebrates the beauty of the season, from all angles.

As to what the Something Special Studios team did last summer? They skateboarded, roadtripped, death-dropped, sunbathed, shared twilight beers with friends on the porch—and much more, all around the globe. Where wanderlust meets wonder, Summer of Something Special reframes the season through the universally-understood language of photography.