Are you looking for the best photography books to read and gain knowledge about cameras and photography? Nowadays, there are many photography books. But, most of them are not good when it comes to the learning part. In this article, I will share the 23 best photography books that I found very useful. It will be suitable for both beginners and professionals. I will cover books for Beginners, Professionals, Post-Processing, and the Business side of photography.
First, I will share the best photography books for beginners. If you are an amateur, looking to start from scratch, read these books. Even professionals can use these books to brush up their knowledge.
1. How to Create Stunning Digital Photography
This book by Tony, and Chelsea Northup is one of the popular photography books. I find it very useful for photography beginners.
It comes with 14 hours of video tutorials. The hands-on practice session is the thing that makes it interesting. It covers the topics for professionals also. So, it’s an all in one photography book.
2. Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition
It is one of the best books by Bryan Peterson to learn the camera basics. It helped me during my initial photography days. As the name suggests, it talks mainly about the Exposure: Aperture, Shutter speed, and ISO settings.
After reading this book, I came to know how to deal with exposure settings in different lighting conditions. It will help you to switch to manual mode from automatic.
3. Better Photo Basics: The Absolute Beginner’s Guide to Taking Photos Like a Pro
Jim Miotke’s Better Photo Basics is an easy to use guide for both beginners and professionals. It talks about the basic exposure settings to image composition. Jim shares his quick Photoshop fixes too. Thus, it covers the post-processing side also.
Reading a book alone will not help you to capture good images. So, Jim has included the Photo Assignment section. It will help to boost your confidence level. You can learn all the basic photography techniques which any digital camera can capture.
4. Photography Demystified
Photography Demystified by David McKay is another good photography book for beginners.
David teaches you to get out of Auto mode and shoot in Manual or other semi-Automatic modes. Thus, you will get good control over your camera settings. You will also get his video tutorials for free.
Advance Photography Books
Now, you know the best photography books for beginners. So, let us have a look at some of the books that teach advanced photography skills.
5. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos
Once your photography basics are strong, then I recommend reading Michael Freeman’s “The Photographer’s Eye.”
Basic knowledge will only help you to capture images at different lighting conditions. But to capture extraordinary photos, you need to learn to compose correctly.
This book focuses on image composition aspects. He covers different elements of a frame and how to bring life into the image with proper compositions.
He has explained it well through his fantastic travel photographs.
6. The Art of Photography: A Personal Approach to Artistic Expression
This photography book is recommended for professionals and people who are looking to make creative images. Here, Bruce Barnbaum teaches you to capture an image that communicates to the viewer.
After reading this book, my perception of photography changed. I started to see photo scenes from a different angle.
A good deal of information related to photo printing is also present in this book. Today’s cameras are capable of taking high-quality images. But, this book will help you to capture compelling images.
7. Learning to See Creatively, Third Edition
Learning to See Creatively is another excellent book that talks about image composition and framing. Bryan Peterson teaches you how to develop the photographic vision to capture beautiful pictures.
It has influenced my perspective in framing scenes. So, I strongly recommend this book to all. It will make you think before you press the shutter button.
8. Wildlife Photography: An expert guide
Richard Bernabe‘s book on Wildlife photography is a good one for aspiring wildlife photographers. He has explained the art of mastering wildlife photography through a beautiful collection of images and techniques.
Wildlife photography requires lots of patience and practice, which you can learn from his experiences. He also guides you through selecting the appropriate camera gear for wildlife.
9. Black and White Photography: A Basic Manual
It is the most popular book on black and white photography book out there. It is from the famous professional photographer Henry Horenstein. If you are into film photography, you will love this book.
He explains everything to the point. So, it is easy to understand and implement. In short, I can tell, the best photography book for Black and Whites at the film level.
10. Creative Black and White (2nd Edition)
Creative Black and White is a good book for people interested in monochrome photography. This book was beneficial to me to capture good black and white wildlife images. When it comes to monochrome, what we look in a scene is entirely different.
Author Harold Davis teaches you how to see the scene in black and white. It will show you the editing part also. The topics in the creative black and white sections are the hot ones. It will inspire you to capture monochrome masterpieces. So, if you are into monochrome, then don’t miss this book.
11. Mastering Photographic Histograms
In this digital photography age, it is essential to learn how to read image histogram. Only then, you will come to know whether the image is exposed correctly or not.
Once you master the art of understanding histograms, then you can quickly review images in the field. This book on histograms helped me to learn it the right way. The author, Al Judge, teaches all types of histograms and their importance in photography.
12. Dusk to Dawn: A Guide to Landscape Photography at Night
If you are interested in night photography, then you should read this book by Glenn Randall. I used it to learn night photography techniques, long exposure shooting, milky way, and star trails.
The major part of night photography is planning. This book will guide you through planning your nightscapes.
It talks about image composition during the night and the camera settings to get the correctly exposed shots. The author takes the reader along with him through his excellent narration of each shooting instance. You will also learn to post-process night shots.
13. The Flash Book
There is no point in buying an external camera flash unless you know how to use it properly. The Flash Book by Scott Kelby, one of the famous photography figures, is a useful essential guide. It talks about basic flash and camera settings, which are suitable for beginners.
Once you have a basic idea, you can use the next level flash settings in this book. It will help you to capture beautiful portraits, both indoors and outdoors.
I loved the “Flash tricks section,” where I found some new flash techniques. You will also learn to use flash when mounted on the camera and externally.
14. The Photographer’s Guide to Posing
If you are interested in people portraits, weddings, engagements, or model photography, then this book is for you. I never knew that these many posing styles exist before reading this book. It was an eye-opener for me.
Lindsay Adler, the author of the book, the American portrait and fashion photographer, is the master of the trade. The book also covers maternity and boudoir posing.
This book will help you to know which pose is suitable for what camera angle. She has explained posing for both men and women with the help of her beautiful images.
The Camera by the Legendary photographer, Ansel Adams, is one of the oldest photography books. It is always good to learn from the master. His explanation of camera and photography techniques are still valid in today’s age of digital cameras.
If you like to experiment with old film cameras, then this is the best book to get inspired. If you are serious about photography then you must read this book. Ansel Adams is a real genius in photography.
Best Post-Processing Books
No photography is complete without doing a final touch up in a photo editing software. Lightroom and Photoshop are the two popular post-processing tools. So, I will share the best post-processing books for photographers.
16. Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Video Book
Tony Northup’s Adobe Lightroom Classic CC Video book teaches you how to edit photos in Lightroom Classic and photo organizing. He also shares how to create photo albums and videos in Lightroom.
The one thing which I liked is the additional video part. So, if you are a newbie in Lightroom, watch the video first and then read the book. You will learn Lightroom quickly. It covers both basic and advances Lightroom editing features. So, suitable for both beginners and professionals.
17. The Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC Book for Digital Photographers
Scott Kelby shares his image editing techniques in Lightroom in this book. Image organization using Lightroom, editing a RAW image, processing creative black and whites, and how to use Lightroom along with Photoshop are covered. It is also a quick start guide.
If you are planning to use Lightroom for Mobile, you can find useful tutorials to optimize your workflow. He also shares his popular Lightroom presets for free with the book.
18. Photoshop for Lightroom Users
My image editing workflow includes both Lightroom and Photoshop. Many photographers use both these tools.
So, as a photographer, it is essential to know what all you can do to your photo using Photoshop. Scott Kelby shares useful tools for photographers in Photoshop and how to use them effectively.
You will also learn to work with layers and high-end retouching for portrait and wedding photos. How to use filters for landscape and editing travel images are the other interesting sections.
19. Adobe Photoshop Lightroom Classic CC – The Missing FAQ
It is the most popular Lightroom book for people who have learned the basic workflow. It is from Victoria Bampton of Lightroom Queen. This book is entirely different from the rest of the Lightroom guides.
I find this book more informative and helps to improvise our workflow for better results. You can learn all advance Lightroom techniques. I managed to learn quite a lot from this book.
Business Photography Books
As a photographer, you must have the right knowledge of the business side too. So, I will share the best photography business books.
20. Photography Business Secrets
Competition is very tough in photography as there are many photographers. In this book, Author Lara shows, how to create a profitable photography brand, and how to set the right prices.
The one thing which I find difficult initially is to set the photo price. If the price is low, then the people will think that quality is poor. The higher rate also doesn’t work in the long run.
This book helps to create a proper marketing plan according to your budget. Most of the good photographers are poor marketers. So, a useful marketing guide is essential for a successful business.
21. Legal Handbook for Photographers
Before selling images, you should know how to do it the right way. I have faced many issues during my initial phase. This book helped me to overcome the legal side of selling images.
This book by Bert P Krages is one of the best in the market. It is also useful for buyers too. With a background of an intellectual property attorney, Bert has clearly described what you need to do to protect your photography business. So, it is a must-read guide for people buying/selling images.
22. The Photographer’s MBA
The Photographer’s MBA by Sal Cincotta is a useful business guide for photographers. Sal Cincotta is into portrait and wedding photography. You can use this book to make adequate plans for your long-term and short-term goals.
You will also learn the SEO things for the photography business. I find this part very useful. Branding your business online is the need of the hour. Cost-effective models, photo pricing lists, and model releases are other exciting topics.
Reading a single photography business book will not be enough. You need to get many ideas and experiences from the experts to know what works and what doesn’t.
23. Start a Successful Photography Business in 34 Days
Amanda Stock, the author of this book, has divided the whole photography business into 34 tasks. So, if you do one task per day, then you can set up your business within 34 days.
She divides the book into two sections, Planning and Marketing. So, if you are a beginner who is looking for a quick guide to set up everything, then you will find this book resourceful.
She also provides a free set of downloadable tools like Income Expenditure sheet, model release forms, and many more. After reading this book, I could easily plan my next action steps.
There is a famous saying, “Too many cooks can spoil the broth.” It also applies to photography. I have read many photography books. Out of which, I found these 23 books to be useful to shape your photography skills for better images. So, start reading now.
If you have any other favorite photography books, please share it in the comments section below.