When you’re trying to learn something new, it can be overwhelming to figure out where to start. That’s why we compiled this list of best books for new photographers for you – whether you’re brand new to the field or want to brush up on some of your skills!
Your camera manual: This seems obvious, no? Before you start shooting, make sure you learn all about how your specific camera operates.
The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby: Consider this 5-part series your digital photography bible. It includes equipment recommendations, mastering your settings, and tons of more advice you can immediately put into practice.
Langford’s Basic Photography: The Guide for Serious Photographers: First published in 1965, Michael Langford’s book is well-respected among all professional photographers. Think of it as your textbook in your self-guided photography class!
Understanding Exposure: How to Shoot Great Photographs with Any Camera by Bryan Peterson: Lighting and exposure is one of the hardest things to master with photography. In this book, a veteran photographer explains how to find the right exposure even in the trickiest of situations.
The Photographer’s Playbook by Jason Fulford & Gregory Halpern: Created by Aperture, this book is full of photography assignments, ideas, and stories from some of the world’s best photographers. This is a great book to not only get the wheels turning on creative projects but also to help you learn by doing!
Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations by Nick Fancher: Many photographers today don’t work out of the same studio, often shooting on specific (and probably new!) locations for things like weddings, engagement sessions, family portrait sessions, et cetera. This book guides you through photographing in some less-than-ideal locations.
The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone by Lindsay Adler: If you’re planning on getting into portrait photography, don’t forget about the crucial art of posing! This book goes through how camera angle, lens, and perspective affect your subject.
A book that focuses on a certain specialty: Now that you’re well-versed in the basics, why not narrow your focus to a particular subset of photography? Read up on photojournalism, night photography, or wildlife photography – whatever piques your interest most!
A memoir, biography, or photo collection by your favorite photographer: Which photographer throughout history do you admire? Diving into their portfolio and the story of their lives can open your eyes to something new. Try Hold Still by Sally Mann, The Americans by Robert Frank, It’s What I Do: A Photographer’s Life of Love and War by Lynsey Addario, or The Negative by Ansel Adams.
The Photographer’s MBA: Everything You Need to Know For Your Photography Business by Sal Cincotta: Think you’ll one day want to get paid for your photography skills? Before you start a photography business, this book is your guide to marketing, contracts, pricing, and everything you need to know!
What photography books do you love? Let us know in the comments! Also, once you’re doing shooting, don’t forget to get printing.