The Top 10 Inspirational Books for Photographers You Must Read

When it comes to photography, or any form of art at that, it's paramount to be continuously learning and finding inspiration in order to avoid becoming stagnant. 


“Which of my photographs is my favorite? The one I’m going to take tomorrow.” — Imogen Cunningham

One of the best ways I have found to stay motivated is to read inspiring books. That's why I'm sharing the Top 10 Inspirational Books for Photographers.  

top 10 inspiring books for photographers

1. 50 Photographers You Should Know

"Packed with striking images, this concise and lively guide to 50 of the greatest photographers in history is eloquent proof of the perennial magic of the camera. Looking at figures ranging from Felix Nadar to Nan Golden, it vividly illustrates how exceptional photographers have always pushed the boundaries of their medium, constantly offering new ways of seeing and understanding the world and ourselves."

 

10 inspiring photography books read

 

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2.The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression by Bruce Barnbaum 

"This is a newly revised edition of the classic book The Art of Photography (first published in 1994), which has often been described as the most readable, understandable, and comprehensive textbook on photography. In his accessible style, Barnbaum presents how-to techniques for both traditional and digital approaches. Yet he goes well beyond the technical as he delves deeply into the philosophical, expressive, and creative aspects of photography. This book is geared toward every level of photographer who seeks to make a personal statement through their chosen medium."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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3. The Life of a Photograph by Sam Abell

"Drawing on 40 years of fieldwork, The Life of a Photograph takes readers on assignment and inside the heart of a master photographer to witness the process of making a truly great picture. This exquisite book is organized by the known and unexpected themes of Abell’s work"


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4. Big Magic: Living Beyond Fear

"Readers of all ages and walks of life have drawn inspiration from Elizabeth Gilbert's books for years. Now, this beloved author shares her wisdom and unique understanding of creativity, shattering the perceptions of mystery and suffering that surround the process - and showing us all just how easy it can be. By sharing stories from her own life, as well as those from her friends and the people that have inspired her, Elizabeth Gilbert challenges us to embrace our curiosity, tackle what we most love and face down what we most fear."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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5. The Photographer's Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

"Design is the single most important factor in creating a successful photograph. The ability to see the potential for a strong picture and then organize the graphic elements into an effective, compelling composition has always been one of the key skills in making photographs. Of course, digital photography has brought a new, exciting aspect to design first because the instant feedback from a digital camera allows immediate appraisal and improvement; and second because image-editing tools make it possible to alter and enhance the design after the shutter has been pressed. This has had a profound effect on the way digital photographers take pictures. The Photographers Eye shows how anyone can develop an eye for seeing great digital photos. The book explores all the traditional approaches to composition and design, but crucially, it also addresses the new digital technique of shooting in the knowledge that a picture will later be edited, manipulated, or montaged to result in a final image that may be very different from the one seen in the viewfinder."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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6. 100 Photographs That Changed The World

"A celebration of the power of photography offers a stunning portfolio of one hundred of the most important and vivid still images of all time, including Robert Capa's images from the beaches of Normandy, Joe Rosenthal's famed study of the flag raising at Iwo Jima, and works by Harry Benson, Eddie Ad."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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7. Humans of New York

"A Number One New York Times bestseller, Humans of New York began in the summer of 2010, when photographer Brandon Stanton set out on an ambitious project: to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. Armed with his camera, he began crisscrossing the city, covering thousands of miles on foot, all in his attempt to capture ordinary New Yorkers in the most extraordinary of moments. The result of these efforts was Humans of New York, a vibrant blog in which he featured his photos alongside quotes and anecdotes. The blog has steadily grown, gathering millions of devoted followers.

Humans of New York is the book inspired by the blog. With four hundred colour photos, including exclusive portraits and all-new stories, and a distinctive vellum jacket it is a stunning collection of images that will appeal not just to those who have been drawn in by the outsized personalities of New York, but to anyone interested in the breathtaking scope of humanity it displays. Heartfelt and moving, Humans of New York is a celebration of individuality and a tribute to the spirit of a city."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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8. The Creative Digital Darkroom

"This tutorial takes photographers beyond the quick tips and gimmicky effects of many digital photography books. Author Katrin Eismann - an internationally acclaimed artist, bestselling author, and gifted educator - offers high-profile work, including her own, as examples for teaching photographers how to use the digital medium to create, edit, and output images that reflect their true vision."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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9. Fifty Paths to Creative Photography

"The Photographer's Eye will show you the paths the greatest photographers took to excellence so you too can take stand-out thrilling photographs.

In Freeman's own words: "There's a long line of opinion, from Plato through Kant, that holds creativity to be unteachable, and to be the province of genius. You have it or you don't. End of story. I don't agree"

By looking at the work of other great photographers, as well as Freeman's own work, the book provides the reader with 50 "paths" they can explore to think about taking photos, looking at subjects from cliché to zen, so you will be able to hit the right point in surprise, originality, insight and execution every time."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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10. The Photographer's Survival Guide

"Freelance photographers, here are all the tools needed to compete in todays competitive business world; How to price work, how to find new clients and keep them and more. Practical resources such as portfolio makers, website builders, sample estimates and budgets, bills from real-life photo shoots and much more make The Photographers Survival Guide the book that lets independent photographers climb their way to the top and stay there. A bonus CD features ready-to-use business forms and templates every photographer needs, including a talent casting form, estimate template and more."

10 inspirational books for photographers

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There you have it, Top 10 Inspirational Books for Photographers You Must Read. Have anything to add? We'd love to hear from you on InstagramFacebook or Pinterest or have your images featured by using the hashtag #giveityourbestshot.



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