Not to sound cliche, but I have been into photography since I was a little kid. Simply being into photography doesn’t mean much when you don’t know the basic principles. Inspired by a trip to Europe, I started to step up my game and start learning how to get the best shots possible. There are endless educational videos on youtube, but if you are like me, you would prefer to learn principles from a book.
The books below are great starting points for beginners and more advanced users alike. They will not turn in into a world-famous photojournalist, but they will certainly make you a better photographer. These books are what gave me the confidence to start a photography business and just feel more confident with my photographs overall.
1. Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson
I’ll admit, I am a huge Bryan Peterson fan. This book should be the first educational book any new photographer picks up. It very thoroughly covers the principles of exposure and teaches you how to get comfortable with Manual mode and the exposure triangle. Bryan does an amazing job of writing in a way that anyone can understand. It’s an educational fun read that also delves into the more artistic forms of photography. His other books can be picked up on Amazon as well. They are all great books to treat yourself to!
2. Picture Perfect Posing by Roberto Valenzuela
Posing is something everyone struggles with at first. My first non-family/friends shoot was with a model. Despite knowing about posing principles; it seems as soon as the shoot began everything I knew went out the door. My next shoot was far more successful, and I credit this book for most of my success. Picture Perfect Posing is filled with great pictures, but it also explains posing principles in a technical matter that can be applied to any shoot. This book will get you to the point where posing people feels much more natural.
3. Adobe Photoshop CC and Lightroom CC for Photographers
Taking pictures and posing people is one thing. Processing the files to end up with the best images is another. This book does a great job of teaching you the basic of both Lightroom and Photoshop. I will be the first to admit; its more of a bland textbook read than a fun read. This book is a quick way to learn the basics very fast. You can follow along in the book without having to worry about educational videos playing too fast or in another window. It’s on the pricier side, but it is worth it, I promise!
These books will not make you an expert. Heck, I don’t even consider myself an expert as I feel few have earned that title. What it will do is give you the skills needed to break out artistically and/or professionally. With time you will develop your unique style, but these books are a surefire way to learn photography fundamentals.