Every Photographic Artist Should Take a Look at These Books

Don’t ever, ever underestimate what the printed photo can do for a person

While print may not be what it used to be for many photographers, one cannot deny just how important it is in our understanding of looking at images. Look at a book of prints and you’ll be amazed at what’s possible and just what they look like.

Steal like an Artist


While the name of the book is self explanatory to a certain point, this is an essential handbook for every photographer. It helps you to realize that pretty much nothing out there is original at all. Then when you actually start making art, it’s imperative you find a way to create balance in your life. This is a small book that you can tote around into any camera bag you may have. It’s available on Amazon. If you’re looking for a guidebook to being a photographer, I recommend this as much as marketers recommend reading the Art of War.

Marvel’s Eye of the Camera


Marvel’s Eye of the Camera is about photojournalist Phil Sheldon who works for a newspaper. His world is flipped upside down when Marvel Superheroes start to show up on the scenes and his fundamental job really changes. The book explores  his psyche as he comes to realize that he needs to adapt to how his environment is being disrupted. The artwork is fantastic. And if you’re a fan of the way that Marvel Comics looked in the late 90s (such as with the 2099 Spider Man) then you’ll be smitten for this.

One Face, Fifty Ways

You know that awesome YouTube channel Weekly Imogen? Well, they made a book. It features tips and tricks on how you can create better images with less gear and minimal work. Essentially, you can think of it as more of the style of being thrifty and creative vs relying more on technicalities from gear. One of the best things about this book is the large, well done photos that include instructional procedures and tips that are bound to help loads of photographers. Pick it up on Amazon.

Magnum Manifesto

If you’re a street photographer, then you should really look at and purchase the Magnum Manifesto. It chronicles lots of the company’s history and includes many full page images that are designed for photographers to sit back and study. Of all of the books on this list, it’s the largest and perhaps the most expensive.

Elements of Style

Elements of style is a magazine put out by the Aperture foundation. I use the term magazine quite lightly as it is a very high quality one that introduces photographers to various works and can inspire with its curated collection.

Eyes Like Slumber

Eyes like Slumber is a zine put out by Nils Karlson; a photographer who we’ve featured on the site a number of times. Nils, like a number of us, is visually impaired. And it effects the way he creates. His zine is a result of his cherrypicking some of his best work, presented in the square format. It’s designed to be studied and meditated over.

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