Reading can take you to places you’ve never been before, and make you a better photographer than you ever thought you could be. You might want to take a break from looking at your computer screen after a long day of answering emails and editing new photos for your photography website. Reading can be a good reason to do that.
From how-to manuals for beginners to business manuals and photo collections that inspire, this collection of photography books will help you learn all the skills you need to be a successful photographer.
Photography books for beginners
Understanding Exposure – Bryan Peterson
Being able to understand how light behaves and affects your pictures is the most important skill for beginners to learn. It can be hard, though. This well-known photography book explains in great detail how to use your camera settings to get the best picture of each scene. More than 100 photos will show you how each setting affects how well an image is exposed and how it looks at the end. This will help you understand why each setting is important.
The Photographer’s Eye – Michael Freeman
As important as camera skills are, many people think that composition is the most important part of making a picture look good. That’s why a photographer with a “good eye” can take great pictures with a camera from decades ago and a roll of film that’s long gone. This book talks about the intricacies of visual language in a way that goes far beyond the basic rules of photography composition. It shows each concept with amazing photos to show how it works.
The Art of Photography – Bruce Barnbaum
“How” you take the picture should be just as important for a photographer as the reason why they want to take the picture. Through this photography book, the author explains why he took more than 100 pictures and how he used different techniques to get the exact feeling he wanted to show viewers.
How to Create Stunning Digital Photography – Anthony Justin Northrup
You can learn how to do everything you need to do in this detailed instruction manual. It also has a lot of video and an online forum to help you. In addition, each chapter ends with a different set of exercises for readers to put theory into practice and improve their skills as they move through the sections. The book touches on a wide range of skills, from composition and exposure to location scouting and posting, in a wide range of ways.
The Hot Shoe Diaries – Joe McNally
Photographers make a common mistake when they don’t think about the value of artificial light. Photographer Joe McNally talks about how important it is to be able to make your own light and how you can use hot shoe flashes (the small ones that go on top of your camera) to take amazing pictures. McNally is an internationally renowned photographer.
Mastering Aperture, Shutter Speed, ISO & Exposure – Al Judge
There are three things you need to know about exposure in order to take good pictures. The exposure triangle is the heart of photography, and it has a big impact on how your pictures look. When you know how to control all of the settings that go into taking a picture, you will be able to see your own unique vision come to life. This book will help you improve your exposure skills and make sure that every picture you take turns out the way you want it to. Each of these components is explained in great detail in this book.
The Digital Photography Book – Scott Kelby
I think this might be the longest, most well-known book on the list. There are five parts to this “book.” Each part is its own book because it gives you advice on how to improve your photography skills. Instead of focusing on the technical side of photography, the author uses his own experience to show real-life examples and give actionable tips that can be used right away.
BetterPhoto Basics – Jim Miotke
Photography tips for newbies aren’t far away from where you came to this page. These simple, quick tricks will make your pictures look better very quickly. This book has a lot of them in it. If you want to learn how to take portraits or wildlife photos, there are several step-by-step guides that show you how to do it.
The Headshot – Peter Hurley
It used to be that, just a few years ago, models and actors were the only people who needed professional head shots. Since social media has become more popular both personally and professionally, the demand for images like these has risen a lot. It will show you how to develop your own style and take portrait photos that stand out from the rest.
Light, Science & Magic – Fil Hunter, Paul Fuqua, and Steven Biver
Photography is all about light, and the more you know about light, the more likely you are to become a professional photographer one day. Light is more than what you see at first glance. You need to go deeper and learn about the nature and principles of light. The many examples, instructions, and diagrams will help you apply this knowledge to even the most difficult scenes and subjects, even if you don’t understand them yet.
Studio Anywhere – Nick Fancher
When you think about some photography jobs, the first thing that comes to mind is a big, well-equipped studio. Turns out, you can get great pictures anywhere as long as you know how to do it. This book will give you all the tools you need to make the best of every situation so that you can take beautiful photos.
Read This If You Want to Take Great Photographs – Henry Carroll
To improve your photos without getting too technical, you should read this. This book talks about how to use your camera in real-world situations, based on the work of some of the best photographers of all time. It talks about everything from basic settings to different types of lenses.
Langford’s Basic Photography – Michael Langford
The book was first published 50 years ago, but the content has been looked at and expanded nine times. Photography is a very broad field, and this guide is meant to help you learn all the basics and get a solid grasp on how to do things right. The book talks about both digital and film photography, and it includes diagrams, charts, and examples of images.
Speedliter’s Handbook – Ysl Arena
Using an on-camera flash isn’t just a good thing to have for your camera. How to get the most out of them will let you take pictures that you’ve never even thought about. This guide is very useful because it helps you understand the properties of light and how your camera sees them. As a bonus, you’ll see beautiful photos taken with flashes, and you’ll learn about all the different accessories you can use for these types of shots. All of the information in the book can be used with any brand of on-camera flash, even if the book is about Canon speedlites.
Books about photography businesses
Best Business Practices for Photographers – John Harrington
Photos don’t make money on their own. You need more than just a good eye and a good camera to make money. As well, you’ll need to learn to think like a business person. This detailed guide is like a compass that will help you find your way through this new world. It will show you how to deal with clients and how to learn how to sell stock photos.
The Photographer’s MBA – Sal Cincotta
It isn’t easy to start a photography business, but this book will make it a whole lot easier! It will show you the steps you need to take to start a successful business, like choosing the right type of business entity for you and coming up with ideas for how to market your photography business. As a result, it will show you how to improve your SEO for photographers, and it will also show you how to improve your brand and your online presence.
What They Didn’t Teach You in Photo School – Demetrius Fordham
Chances are, no matter what you learned in school, you felt like there was a lot more to learn when you left. This book talks about the business side of photography, which isn’t always talked about in school. This guide is based on the experiences of a professional photographer who has worked for a long time. It gives you advice on how to build a strong network, impress potential clients, and reach out to brands for partnerships.
Inspirational photography books
Annie Leibovitz at Work – Annie Leibovitz
If you ever wonder why it’s important to figure out your own photography style, think about Annie Leibovitz’s work. Because her photos have a unique look and feel, she has become one of the most important people in the history of photography. A look at how some of her most memorable pictures were made is shown in this book.
Henri Cartier-Bresson: The Decisive Moment – Henri Cartier-Bresson
In the early 1950s, this book was first published. Many people believe that this book changed photography for good. Henri Cartier-work Bresson’s influenced generations of photographers because he looked for the right moment to take a picture. The book is a collection of the best pictures taken by Cartier-Bresson when he was younger. The photographer himself chose the best ones.
Humans of New York – Brandon Stanton
For his project, Brandon Stanton walked the streets of New York City in 2010 to take pictures of its people and share their stories on social media. It took him many years to build his fan base and travel to more than 20 countries so he could take pictures of their citizens. This book has some of his favorite portraits, along with short quotes about each one.
The Americans – Robert Frank
This book is a look at post-war America through the eyes of a photographer. It’s full of racism and consumerism, but also a lot of beauty that people don’t notice. People were shocked when The Americans came out. It was an inspiration for Don’t Blink, one of the best photography documentaries of all time, which was made in the 1980s.
Magnum Contact Sheets – Kristen Lubben
There are 139 contact sheets from 69 members of Magnum Photos in this book. It gives a unique look at some of the most well-known images of all time. It has cards and notes written by the photographers themselves or by people who know a lot about photography. These things are sure to give you new ideas for taking better pictures.
Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs – Ansel Adams
Ansel Adams might be the most well-known photographer both inside and outside of the field. Many people around the world have put his landscape photography on their walls, and his photography quotes have inspired many to follow in his footsteps. This photo book is the largest collection of his work that is available. It also includes short essays about a few of his images that show how he made them and how he thought about them.
100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time – TIME
This is true even in a world where we see so many images every day. There are some images that stay in the collective imagination for generations to come. Most of them come from photojournalism, which is a picture that will stay in your mind for a long time. To celebrate its 175th birthday, TIME magazine put together a collection of its most important photos of all time, with a background story for each one. A must-see for everyone, no matter how good they are at taking pictures.