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10 Best Photography Books Ever Written

Posted on February 17, 2021 - By Nancy Howard
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10 Best Photography Books Ever Written
10 Best Photography Books Ever Written
Photography is a wonderful combination of tech prowess and creativity, and one can't go without another if you want a beautiful shot. And the desire to learn and improve even if you're already a professional is essential.

Among thousands of books about photography, we can see clear subcategories. We took 2 best books from every category to diversify this ultimate list of vital pieces you can't go on without.


10 Top Photography Books Every Expert Has to Read

The books on the list go one category after another. We'll cover:

- Educational;
- Photography business;
- Inspirational;
- History;
- Documentary/journalism books.

Educational Photography Books
Education is never redundant, even for top experts.

1. The Photographer's Eye

best photo book

The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos is a book by Michael Freeman, opening doors to the world of composition.
It explains complex, advanced techniques that will help you catch perfect shots in any situation.
The image composition is a vital part of photography. Having it in mind, you will never look at any object or scenery the same again.
The book is suitable for those who need improvement in this niche, or if you want to take a fresh look at the composition and learn something new about it.
Trying these techniques in practice will result in fascinating shots.
Buy the book

2. The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas

best photo book

The Photographer's Playbook: 307 Assignments and Ideas is an engaging book by Jason Fulford suitable for all levels of professionalism. Who doesn't like a fun assignment to practice skills and creativity?
Learning theory won't give desired results without practice. And doing it as a game will become a journey you won't forget.
307 assignments are prepared for you and your camera, guaranteeing at least a year of an exciting creativity vacation.
The book is a #1 bestseller. This is a fact that should make you interested! If you're looking for new ways to enhance creativity and get beautiful shots for your portfolio, this is a book for you.
Allow yourself to get beyond your comfort zone.
Buy the book

Business Photography Books
Learning about making money with something you have passion for is crucial.

3. Best Business Practices for Photographers

best photo book

Best Business Practices for Photographers, Third Edition is a best-selling book by John Harrington.
It's all about making money with your camera. Skills and creativity aren't enough when you want to make a living. And this book teaches everything from how to establish your pricelist to getting new projects to work on attracting new clients. If you want to get paid well and create a flourishing business with photography, this book is for you.
Buy the book

4. What They Didn't Teach You in Photo School

best photo book

What They Didn't Teach You in Photo School is one of the main growth books in the photography field.
Written by Demetrius Freedman, it reveals the secrets of the business world for a professional who wants to make money with their craft.
If you're looking for hundreds of recommendations and tips on growing your business, this is a must-read.
You will learn about being successful at interviews, tricks of networking, and how to shoot a breathtaking portfolio.
Buy the book

Inspirational Photography Books
Inspiration is one of the moving powers when it comes to photography.

5. Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places

best photo book

Destinations of a Lifetime: 225 of the World's Most Amazing Places is a fantastic book by National Geographic, which is well-known for breathtaking stories, pictures, and showing us unique places all around the world.
If you're a travel photographer in need of inspiration, this book will transport you to another world. Wonderful and filled with wonders around every hill and valley.
Besides, it's a great coffee-table publication, with gorgeous photographs every 2 pages. There's also a brief description of each location, plus tips on the best travel seasons.
Buy the book

6. 100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time

best photo book

100 Photographs: The Most Influential Images of All Time is a one-of-a-kind book by the Editors of TIME. Not meaning that there's only one item, of course. But you'll know what we mean the moment you open it.
TIME is one of the most amazing publications photography-wise. In this book, the editorial team shares the 100 best photos in the last 175 years (which is how long the magazine's been around)!
The book will not only give you inspiration but a sense of massive history and lots of thoughts.
Dive into a collection of moments that have changed the world forever.
Buy the book

Photography History/Philosophy Books
It's also important to know about the history of the art and its philosophy.

7. Photography: A Critical Introduction

best photo book

Photography: A Critical Introduction is a well-known and respected book by Liz Wells, which takes you on a special journey.
Travel through the world of philosophy of photography. Take a different look at the art you're so devoted to.
This art sector has made a huge impact on the social and political lives of people ever since the first camera was built.
The target audience for the book is those who want to get deeper into thoughts about their profession.
Buy the book

8. Photography: The Definitive Visual History

best photo book

Photography: The Definitive Visual History is a guide through decades by Tom Ang.
It takes you from the first B&W photos to the advanced, clear, multicolor masterpieces of our times.
You can go back two centuries ago with comprehensive descriptions and examples of some of the most iconic photos of all time.
There's everything in this book, from beauty to utmost power.
Buy the book

Documentary/Photojournalism Books
Looking at the different ages countries and people have gone through, using the vision of photographers of those times.

9. The Americans

best photo book

The Americans is the most iconic book by Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac.
It was first published in France back in 1958 and shows the real America of the 1950s.
The difficult time people were going through was amazingly captured by Robert Frank. Every piece of writing is smoothly accompanied by a photo. If you're interested in such a raw, honest look at the 50s in America, this is a top pick.
Buy the book

10. Magnum Contact Sheets

best photo book

Magnum Contact Sheets is a book by Kristen Lubben showcasing all-time best Magnum photographers.
139 contact sheets by 69 professionals were combined by Kristen Lubben into a powerful, shiver-inducing book.
Go through 70 years of history with the long-time curator of the International Center of Photography.
The book is suitable for those who want to know how Magnum photographers worked throughout the decades.
Buy the book

Where Else to Find Useful Information and Insight?
If you're in search of more knowledge and practical insight, there are more informational resources:

Photographer communities
Within online communities, people gather to seek and give advice, share expertise, and look for inspiration. Even reading beginner threads you can find some unique insights, taking a fresh look at your craft.

Photographers' sites and blogs
There's an enormous amount of sites for photographers with loads of useful information. Surfing through these websites every now and then, you'll know the current trends and inspirational pieces.

Articles by professionals
Being a pro yourself, it's valuable to read a different point of view from the person of your level. Professional webzines will open a new world of millions of opinions to you, developing critical thinking.

Books give knowledge and inspiration to create, develop skills, and improve creativity. We encourage every photographer to always continue to learn, look for more ideas and techniques, no matter how high your level is at the moment; there's always a level above. After all, photography is one of the most important arts of all time, showing us life from a unique perspective of the creator behind the camera.

About the Author:
Nancy P. Howard has been working as an editor at guest posting service Adsy for a year. She is also a professional writer in such topics as blogging, photography and digital marketing.
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