Brooklyn Beckham’s New Photography Book Is Getting Slammed by Art Critics

The celebrity scion's Instagram account is being turned into a photography book.

What I See Hardcover by Brooklyn Beckham. Courtesy of Penguin.

At age 18, Brooklyn Beckham, son of former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham and retired British soccer star David Beckham, is publishing a book of his photography, due out from Penguin Random House UK on June 29. But not everyone is impressed.

“I carry a camera around with me absolutely everywhere so I don’t miss a potential photographic moment,” Beckham told the Press Association, noting that his famous parents are among his favorite subjects. “Having said that, I don’t love being photographed myself. I accept it because I have grown up with it.”

Beckham, who made his modeling debut at 2014 at just 15, insists that he prefers to be on the other side of the lens. “I really am not a model,” he said. “I have been lucky enough to have been asked to do some amazing shoots in front of the camera—and while I much prefer to be behind it, I have learned a huge amount from the photographers I have worked with.”

Brooklyn Beckham, a photograph of Harper Beckham, from <em>What I See</em>. Courtesy of Penguin.

Brooklyn Beckham, a photograph of Harper Beckham, from What I See. Courtesy of Penguin.

His foray into photography has not been without its critics, however. When Beckham was invited to shoot a fragrance campaign for Burberry in 2016, at just 16, fashion photographer Chris Floyd was among professionals who criticized the move, arguing that it devalued the skills of trained professionals in the field.

“David and Victoria Beckham represent sheer willpower… and then their 16-year-old year son comes along and it’s sheer nepotism. He hasn’t done it from hard work, which is counterintuitive to what his parents represent,” Floyd told the Guardian.

Similarly, it would seem that Beckham got his book deal mainly on the strength of his over 10 million Instagram followers. Titled What I See, the book contains 300 photographs. “Each chapter tells a different story through pictures by and of Brooklyn, accompanied by captions and passages of text in his own words,” notes the official book description, which totes the publication as “unique, authentic, and stylish.”

Brooklyn Beckham, a photograph that got him in trouble with his parents, from <em>What I See</em>. Courtesy of Penguin.

Brooklyn Beckham, in a photograph that got him in trouble with his parents, from What I See. Courtesy of Penguin.

Putting aside the fact that Brooklyn Beckham somehow has fans of his own—welcome to the age of social media—the images in the book are already drawing criticism for their somewhat prosaic qualities.

“Huge fan of Brooklyn Beckham’s terrible photographs and even worse captions,” Alice Jones, the arts editor at the i Newspaper, wrote on Twitter, sharing a blurry black-and-white image from the book titled Dinner, and Beckham’s accompanying caption: “i like this picture—it’s out of focus but you can tell there’s a lot going on.”

What I See is a book for teenagers, by a teenager, which gives Brooklyn’s fans broader insight into his world seen through his unique and creative perspective,” Francesca Dow, managing director of Penguin Random House Children’s, told the Independent. “Teenagers lives are filled with the visual image and we know Brooklyn’s photos resonate with his huge young following, who avidly follow his life through his photography.”

Brooklyn Beckham, a photograph of Romeo Beckham, from <em>What I See</em>. Courtesy of Penguin.

Brooklyn Beckham, a photograph of Romeo Beckham, from What I See. Courtesy of Penguin.

The budding photographer will presumably have an opportunity to improve, with mom Victoria announcing on Instagram that he is “off to study photography in NY soon.”

Before heading Stateside, Beckham has a number of book signings planned in the UK, but attendees shouldn’t expect the opportunity to take a photo of their own with the young celebrity. “Brooklyn has asked for [selfies] to be banned,” an anonymous source told the Daily Star. “It’s all a little diva-ish.”

Original prints from the book will also go on view at Christie’s London in Mayfair on June 27, with sales to benefit children affected by Grenfell Tower fire, according to the Daily Mail.

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