In 2022 I read a little over 50 books. Quite a bit of those have been about or related to photography. So I’d like to share some books here I think will be of value to any photographer.
My favorite books about photography
First, books about photography. They don’t necessarily include photos in the books. Or pictures that might be inspirational. It’s the books that help you get better at photography.
Some of them have excellent ideas to use, and others are more theoretical. But all are valuable.
De Visual storytelling workshop by Finn Beales
This book is excellent for people trying to get into making more stories of their photos. You might not make the one singular epic shot. In this book, Finn explains how to tell a story and how to start that creation and create photos that show your subject’s history.
The Pocket Photographer by Mike Kus
As the title might suggest, this book talks about taking photos with your smartphone. What I like about smartphone photography books so much is that they often don’t overly focus on the technical side of photography; They usually speak more about the creative aspect.
This book combines fantastic mobile photos with fascinating information and ideas to use in your work.
At Work by Annie Leibowitz
It’s not a book about learning photography, but it does teach you a lot. In this book, Annie explains how she created specific photos. It’s not too technical; it’s more about how she went about the ideas before and behind her work.
Her photos are iconic, so it’s nice to know what thought process (or not) went behind them.
My favorite photobooks
Some books are filled with photos but don’t mention anything about photography as a skill. That’s just a complicated way to say photobooks, it’s books filled with pictures about a particular topic.
Nog altijd ergens by Michiel Hendryckx
Michiel Hendryckx is a famous Belgian photographer. In this book, he shows some of his daily work he creates and includes some kind of written stream of consciousness with them.
Self-Portrait by Vivian Maier
I honestly hadn’t heard of her before an exhibition about her work opened around the corner from where I live. It was good this hole in my knowledge was finally filled. Vivian Maier is a fantastic street photographer who, like many great people, lived anonymously during her lifetime.
In her street photography, there’s a lot of her to be seen too. In the book Self-Portrait, we glimpse some of her photos.
On Photographs by David Campany
In this book, you’ll find many photos from different photographers. David discusses the photos. Not just photographic or historical point of view. Often also include personal views on the photo, genre, or photographer.
Last Days by Lieve Blancquaert
A more challenging topic, this book talks about death and getting old in several cultures. You will see some photos that might not be for everyone, though. But it’s interesting to read. Not only for photography but also for learning about cultures. And how they look at death (and at photographers).
My favorite honorable mentions books
Some books don’t focus on photography but are still relevant to photographers. At least they made me a better photographer this year.
Running a successful photography business by Lisa Pritchard
This book is a recommendation for anyone starting or planning their own photography business.
As an ‘experienced’ business owner, I didn’t learn much from it anymore. Though I wish I had the book earlier in my life, that would’ve helped me a lot.
The Meaning in the making by Sean Tucker
This book is more about creation in general. Though Sean Tucker is a highly skilled photographer, many examples are related to his work.
The mindful photographer by Sophie Howarth
It took a lot of work categorizing this book as it does speak on photography too. But it focuses on how you see things or how you can look at them. If you ever feel rushed in your photography, read this book!
Creative Confidence by Tom & David Kelley
This book aims to make even the most boring accountant creative. Just kidding, but it does look at creativity outside of art, and it’s more about being creative in your day-to-day thinking.
What books this year did you enjoy reading? Let me know in the comments below!