The Best Photography Books

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As someone who teaches photography, I’m often asked to recommend equipment and resources so I thought I’d write a blog post about my favourite photography books. Here are my top 5 to start and they include a little something for everyone, whether you are new to photography or have had a longer career than mine and need some inspiration. Click on the image to take a closer look and/or to order from Amazon.
Please note that as an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Take your Best Shot
Miriam Leuchter
This book was recommended to me by a student. She was francophone so I ordered it in French to help me learn the French terminology since my education was in English but I do sometimes teach in French (my mother tongue). This book has great images and covers all the basics plus some fun creative ideas in a really accessible way

The Digital Photography Book – Box Set
by Scott Kelby
I love this series. The books are small and each page contains an example and a short description with an explanation. If you have a short attention span and dread the thought of opening your camera’s user manual, these are for you. Lots of great info and ideas in a wonderful format that gets you back to learning and experimenting with your camera instead of spending time reading.

The Decisive Moment
by Henri Cartier-Bresson

I received this book as a gift and it’s gorgeous. The cover was designed my Matisse! Anyone interested in street photography and documentary photography should have this book. It also makes a great gift for the shutter-bug in your family.

It’s What I Do
by Lynsey Addario
I have a huge admiration for photojournalists and most especially for female photojournalists like Lynsey Addario who has managed to also juggle a family while not shying away from difficult assignments. This is less a book about how-to than it is about the why. Her determination and dedication to telling stories that would otherwise not be known is really inspiring. I was able to hear her speak last year in Toronto and she is just as incredible and gracious in person as she came across in the book. If you enjoy memoirs and want some insight on what it’s like to be on the front lines with a camera, pick this book up!

Vanity Fair: The Portraits – A Century of Iconic Images
by Graydon Carter et al.
Are portraits more your cup of tea? Why not seek inspiration from a collection of 300 iconic images that graced the pages of Vanity Fair in the last hundred years? It’s a hefty coffee table book but that means you get beautiful quality images that you won’t soon tire of looking at.

Do you have a great photography book that you’d like to recommend? Please leave a comment and let me know!

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