People often ask me for recommendations about how to improve their photography. I’ve assembled a short list here of some of my favorite photography books that would be particularly helpful to new photographers.
Books About Photography
Learning to See Creatively by Bryan Peterson
My photography classes are centered around this book. It’s one of my all-time favorite books about the art of photography. If you read the book and apply the concepts, your photography will improve tremendously. You can browse and/or buy the book here.
Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
This book is an excellent introduction to each element of the exposure triangle – shutter speed, aperture size, and ISO. There is also an in-depth discussion about light, both natural and flash. You can browse and/or buy the book here.
This is a beautiful introductory book to photography. While most of the images are taken with a point and shoot camera, the information about how to set up shots will be invaluable for new SLR owners. From baby pictures to city landmarks to flowers and foliage, this book has you covered. You can browse and/or buy the book here.
Beyond Auto Mode: A Guide to Taking Control of Your Photography by Jennifer Bebb
This is a wonderful, conversationally written book geared towards hobbyists that will help you understand all of your camera settings. In addition, it provides tips for photographing things in your daily life such as portraits, events, places and things. Finally, there’s a good discussion about the use of flash. You can browse and/or buy the book here.
Picture Perfect Practice by Roberto Valenzuela
This book is one of my favorites about portrait photography. Valenzuela deliberately uses the elements of composition to create portraits with tremendous impact and beauty. The book also includes sections about lighting and posing. You can browse and/or buy the book here.
However workshops and in-person classes are a better option because you can ask questions of your instructor and get some hands-on practice and assistance.
I’ve been teaching photography classes since 2013 and I’m available for one-on-one instruction or for group instruction. Rates vary depending on the number of people. If you are interested, please get in touch.
There are a number of photography groups on Facebook where members can share images and receive helpful comments, as well as be inspired by others. This sort of back and forth can begin to train your eye, especially as you are able to observe other photographer’s work and the comments they receive. At some point you’ll jump in to contribute some advice yourself and you’ll realize just how far you’ve come.
Many areas have local meet-ups, photowalks, and photography clubs as well. I strongly recommend participating in these! You’ll make friends, hone your skills, and have fun.
Please note the book links are Amazon affiliate links and you are welcome to use them, but if there is still a book store in your neck of the woods go check it out! I still miss Borders; let’s try to prevent other book stores from suffering the same fate.