Are you looking for some photography technical knowledge? Do you want inspiration for your photo projects? Photography books are great go-to resources to help you get inspired and improve your photography skills.
We’ve put together a list of some of the best photography books out there today. Some are classics, some are pure inspiration, and some will help get your photography to the next level. You don’t need to possess an expensive DSLR to enjoy these books, you can still apply the technical how-tos with your smartphone.
Let’s start reading!
Technical Photography Books
Learning the basics of photography like ISO, shutter speed, and aperture will give you the confidence you need to experiment and get creative with your photography.
By: Chris Gatcum
This is a best-selling classic guide book excellent if you are getting started in photography. It is geared towards digital camera users, but most of the information can be applied to your smartphone in manual mode. You’ll create better photos with your smartphone if you understand the basics of photography.
Smart Phone Smart Photography: Simple techniques for taking incredible pictures with iPhone and Android
By: Jo Bradford
The Smart Phone Smart Photography book has several tips and tricks to get you taking better photos with your phone. The book is for both iPhone and Android users.
"Really good book with tons of information. Written in a very understandable format. I would recommend this book for anyone looking to develop their skills in phone photography."- John D
By: Kat Sloma
This book is geared towards smartphone photography. You will learn how to use your iPhone’s manual settings in order to create unique photographs. The author shows how light affects images and how to edit your shots in apps.
By: Michael Freeman
The Photographer's Eye is a classic book about design and composition that helps the reader to look at their photography in different and unique ways. Freeman covers all aspects of design and how they apply to composition.
By: Jim Miotke
Better Photo Basics is the go-to photography book for the absolute beginner. Readers have commented on how easy to read it is and how rewarding the photo exercises are.
"Very clear, vibrant, and lots of content."- Kevin
By: National Geographic
One of the key factors to becoming a good photographer is observing and understanding light. Dawn to Dusk Photographs by National Geographic takes you through a day, from the first glimpses of the sun to when it disappears over the horizon. Learn to read light better to make your photos stand-out.
The Landscape Photography Book: The step-by-step techniques you need to capture breathtaking landscape photos like the pros
By: Scott Kelby
Scott Kelby is a well-known photographer and teacher that has an easy and friendly approach to photography. In The Landscape Photography Book learn to take draw-dropping landscape photos with Kelby's personal techniques.
The Masters of Photography
Talented and dedicated photographers have risen to the top of their careers and are praised for their contributions to the photography world. Read about some of the famous photographers and browse some of their work.
By: Nick Brandt
Photographer turned conservationist, Nick Brandt has a gracious approach to capturing Africa's disappearing wildlife and landscape. A selection of some of the best black & white photos from his years spent observing the majestic animals of East Africa are put together in this stunning book.
By: Cartier Bresson
French photographer Henri Cartier Bresson was one of the pioneers of street photography. This book, first published in 1952, has a collection of some of his earlier work. At a time when photography was mostly staged, Cartier Bresson came up with the concept of the decisive moment.
"Cartier-Bresson’s concept of the “decisive moment” ― a split second that reveals the larger truth of a situation ― shaped modern street photography and set the stage for hundreds of photojournalists to bring the world into living rooms through magazines."- James Estrin The New York Times Online
By: Annie Leibovitz
Famous portrait photographer, Annie Leibovitz, is well-known for her talent for capturing people and creating truly unique portraits of her subjects. From the Queen of England to John Lennon, she has photographed hundreds of famous and influential people over the years.
"Whether she's photographing the famous and powerful - or simply the woman next door - Annie always captures something unexpected and deeply personal."—Oprah Winfrey
By: John Maloof
The story of Vivian Maier is undoubtfully one of the most surprising developments to happen to the world of photography. Over 100,000 photographs were recently discovered in a storage unit, all created by an unknown woman who photographed all over the world in a span of several decades without showing her photographs to anyone. Her photos are astounding and have since gained a huge following. She was without a doubt one of the first great street photographers without even knowing it.
Inspirational Books about Photography
This list of photography books is sure to make great coffee table additions and to inspire the photographer in you.
By: Bruce Barnbaum
This book dives deep into the philosophical and creative side of photography. It was written at a time before digital photography and shows the reader how to think and analyze their images with a greater vision and fewer clicks.
By: National Geographic
National Geographic put together 225 of the most amazing photographs from all over the world. If this book doesn't make you want to grab your camera and book a flight somewhere, we don't know what will.
By: Tom Ang
This is a beautiful book that looks back at the past 200 years that shaped photography into what it is today.
"Wonderful, comprehensive and profusely illustrated history of photography. A fascinating and informative read."- Kealan Patrick Burke
By: Brenda Tharp
This is a great book for anyone looking for inspiration. Extraordinary Everyday Photography will show you that you can find amazing shots everywhere. You don't have to travel to the other end of the world to create unique and creative images, sometimes your own backyard is full of opportunities.