Best Photography Books for Beginners

I have to admit that I do love saying that I’m a self-taught photographer, but that wouldn’t be entirely true.  I was guided by some of the best in the business through their books and tutorials. I want to share some of my all-time favorites with you in case you are diving in as deep as I did.

 If you’re interested in photography and don’t know where to start, this list of the top eight books for beginners will help lead you down the right path.

This list of the top eight photography books for beginners will help new and aspiring photographers learn the basics and get started with their new hobby or career.

Photography isn’t just for the experts. This blog post will introduce you to the best books, so don’t worry if you haven’t spent your life clicking just yet.

I want photographers to have all the information they need when it comes to learning more about this incredible craft without having to spend hours browsing around online for the best. Hopefully, it’ll be helpful! You can also find my updated favorites listed in my Amazon Storefront. Let’s dive in!


What should a beginner photographer learn?

When you’re starting off as a beginner in photography, it can feel so overwhelming. Part of the issue is that you don’t know what you don’t know. The fortunate news is that there are many beginners that have come before you in search of answers and have prompted the experts to share their knowledge in ways that will help them to grow.

I’ve been where you are and am going to list out the books that I stumbled upon in my journey that made the biggest difference in my growth. The photography books listed are not specific to any genre of photography, but will help you in every area.

This means that you don’t have to have your path completely nailed down for these to benefit you. Whether you want to run a photography business or do this as a hobbyist, these will help you grow.

How can I teach myself photography?

It may seem over simplified, but reading a book about photography is one of the best ways to teach yourself photography.

The next thing is to get out there and start shooting. You can learn a lot in the field, but you do need to come from a foundation of understanding or you risk making a lot of mistakes and getting into really bad habits from the get go.

Are photography books worth it?

I attribute the biggest leaps in my growth as a photographer to education in the form of books and online courses. Books are the best way to get started.


In fact, if you’re wanting to start a business in photography, reading books on business can be a game changer. Don’t make the mistake of trying to learn everything on the job.

All of the information you need to succeed is already out there waiting for you.

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The New Complete Guide to DSLR Photography” by Julie Adair King will teach you everything about photographing with a DSLR and editing your photos like the professionals do. You’ll learn more than just how to take pictures – there are tons of tips about lighting and composition as well as posing people and choosing locations for better shots! This book also has hundreds of step-by-step tutorials so even beginners can get started right away learning new skills every day! There’s something here for everyone from hobbyists looking to hone their skills to professional photographers looking for some fresh inspiration.

Whether you want to learn how to take better pictures of your children, landscapes, or portraits this book has it all! From understanding the basics and setting up your camera correctly to mastering post-processing skills, you will find helpful tips and tricks on every page.

As you can see, in this blog post we will take a look at some of the best books for photographers. These are photography books that I have read and found to be helpful in my journey as a photographer. Books can be a great learning resource for photographers, and they are also something that you can enjoy reading even after you have gained the knowledge from them. 

The Digital Photography Book Scott Kelby

The Digital Photography Book, written by Scott Kelby is a great read. Though geared more towards the beginner photographer, this book can be useful for any level of expertise. The layout is fantastic and easy to understand, with large print and detailed graphics. There are many examples from both professional photographers as well as amateurs for those who would like to learn different perspectives on how to compose a photo. This book also has hundreds of photographs that illustrate each topic discussed in detail so you can see exactly what is being described in the text. Furthermore, there are numerous sidebars which contain helpful tips on equipment or industry information to help make your life easier and better at photography!

The Digital Photography Book by Scott Kelby is a great read for beginners or experts alike! The layout offers larger print and brilliant images that anyone will easily understand- it’s perfect for all levels of experience!

Scott Kelby is a master of camera and editing software. In his book, The Digital Photography Book Scott Kelby will teach you everything you need to know about digital photography and how it relates to capturing moments in your life. Learn all about understanding exposure, composing shots, using lenses for different effects, and more! This informative guide includes many sidebars on specific topics such as: overcoming common shooting situations (low light), freezing action with fast shutter speeds (sports), reduce unwanted reflections from windows or mirrors (reflections).

The Photographer’s Guide to Composition by John Freeman

The Photographer’s Guide to Composition by John Freeman is a must-have for every photographer. It offers an in depth look at how to take great photographs and how to improve their composition skills. The book is easy to read, and broken up into chapters that cover different aspects of photography such as the Rule of Thirds, Subject Placement, Camera Angle etc. There are also many examples used throughout the book from professional photographers around the world with information about each example provided via captions or highlighting on the page itself so readers can easily follow along. Readers can also test themselves with questions found at the end of sections so they know what they need more help with which will allow them to work through this guide until it becomes second nature and they’re able to accomplish every photo without referencing anything else.

The Photographer’s Guide to Composition is an essential guide to composition techniques for the novice and experienced photographer alike. John Freeman speaks on the elements of design, including color, line, shape, texture – and how they can be used in conjunction with one another to create a successful image. The book features over 100 examples of compositions by leading photographers from around the world as well as informative sidebars that detail common compositional pitfalls and their solutions.

This comprehensive publication contains everything you need to know about creating memorable photographs through thoughtful positioning of content within your frame.

Creative Composition: Digital Photography Tips and Techniques for Taking Great Pictures by Harold David

Harold David’s book is an easy guide to digital photography. He takes a step-by-step approach and shows you how to take better pictures with your digital camera. His tips are simple and practical, yet his instruction is still perfect for the more advanced photographer.

Digital photography is a great way to express your artistic abilities. For those who are looking for more than just filters and effects, this book can help guide you through the process of taking pictures that will be wonderfully composed and stunningly detailed. This book was written by Harold David and includes tips on how to take good pictures during different stages of the day as well as advice on editing photos so that they look their best.

Picture perfect practice is a self-training guide to mastering the challenges of taking world class photographs. It gives you the technical and practical skills needed for success in photography. You will learn how to use aperture, shutter speed, ISO, and exposure compensation as well as good composition. This book includes basic definitions of photographic terms such as depth of field and focal length; advice on how to handle tricky lighting conditions; tips on improving your images; exercises that help develop critical observation skills; tools like histograms and sharpening filters that improve your imagery; and useful information about where to find inspiration.

This book was written to help photographers find success in taking world class photographs. Roberto Valenzuela’s Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs, is a guide for beginners and experts alike that teaches you all the basics of how photography works. This self-training manual includes information on cameras, lenses, lighting techniques, composition rules and more. It also provides readers with tips for choosing subjects; working with models or other people; capturing moments from daily life; or even creating an artistic photo essay about a certain place or activity. The chapters are divided into sections based on what type of photograph you want to take (portraits, still lifes, landscapes). One can never fully learn everything there is to know about photography so this book will be able to teach any photographer something new.

The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos by Michael Freeman

The Photographer’s Eye is a great resource for anyone looking to improve their photography skills. The book has many detailed, illuminating tips on composition and design that are beneficial no matter what kind of photos you’re taking. From simple snapshots to complicated projects, this book will be beneficial as long as the reader follows along with the lessons in the book and tries out some of the techniques discussed in it.

This text was written by Michael Freeman who offers his insights on how to perfect your photography skills through using his own experiences to help make better compositions for your photographs. He talks about everything from light sources, working distances, lines within photos, etc., all while providing specific examples so readers can see exactly what he means when he discusses these topics.

Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition by Bryan Peterson is a book for photographers of all skill levels. This informative reference offers the most current thinking on exposure and how it relates to our perception of light and color. Whether you are an avid amateur or professional photographer, this will be the resource you turn to over and over again as your understanding of exposure evolves. The book includes photography techniques that help capture optimal exposures in difficult lighting conditions with any camera, including digital point-and-shoot cameras, DSLR cameras, mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras (MILC), fixed-lens compact cameras (point-and-shoot), mirrorless interchangeable lens camcorders (MILC), medium format SLRs, large format view cameras for traditional film photographers.

Bryan Peterson provides detailed information on how exposure works and teaches readers how to optimize settings in different situations on their cameras such as night shooting, low light shooting, and action shots. He also discusses special effects that can be used within post-processing software like Photoshop or Lightroom. This book will teach you everything you need to know about digital photography!

Bruce Barnbaum’s The Art of Photography (Practical Handbook) is a must-have for any photographer. This comprehensive guide offers readers all the skills and information they need to take professional quality photographs that are sure to make viewers stop in their tracks. Featuring everything from how to operate your camera, composition techniques, lighting principles, exposure control, and more – this book has it all! From understanding digital photography basics like shutter speed and aperture to mastering advanced features like image editing, you’ll find these lessons invaluable as you progress through your photography journey. Plus with helpful tips on shooting portraits or photographing wildlife that will improve your shots every time – there’s no question about why this is one of the most widely used reference manuals in the world today!

The Art of Photography is a highly sought after book that helps the reader to understand the basics of photography, including exposure and composition. The author, Bruce Barnbaum, provides a wealth of information in this book from building equipment to understanding exactly how light works. He also goes into detail about all aspects of photographic printing from basic black-and-white prints up until color photographs with over 50 shades. There are many different aspects of this book that make it such an important read for any photographer or anyone who just wants some more knowledge on photography in general!

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