Essential Reading for Every Photographer

The number of books on the internet and in stores on the topic of photography are astronomical. Their topics range from creativity as a photographer to marketing to the more technical aspects of aperture speeds and exposure methods. All of them claim to be the best and most influential.


I think that as photographers, we should reserve the title of “most influential” for those that actually have influence on us and our craft. For me, the following books have gone above and beyond the call of influencing my work.


This book is not all-inclusive. It includes many of the more well known books on the market, as well as some lesser known.

Tony Northrup’s DSLR Book: How to create stunning digital photography: Tony Northrup

Mile Fazelian Bryan Peterson

This book is so good because it is a hands on course in DSLR photography. It focuses more on hands on learning by giving assignments, quizzes etc versus focusing solely on theory. It is an excellent course in photography.


Understanding Exposure, 4th edition: How to shoot Great Photographs with any camera By Brayan Peterson

Mike Fazelian Understanding Exposure

Every photographer must understand the nature and manipulation of light. In this classic book, the entire focus is on light, its manipulation and how to use this essential element effectively in your photography. A MUST read.


National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the extraordinary: National Geographic and Stephen Alvarez

Mike Fazelian Rarely Seen

National Geographic is the epitome of every travel photographers dream employer. In this book, some of the most stunning images of places in our natural world is shared. This book is a constant source of inspiration.



The photographers playbook: 307 assignments and ideas Jason Fulford

Mike Fazelian The Photographers playbook

It is necessary sometimes to seek out inspiration. And when inspiration can’t be found, it is often best practice to work with assignments and prompts. In the Photographers Playbook, you get almost a years worth of inspiration and assignments. It helps you to learn new skills while diligently honing your craft.


Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton

Mike Fazelian Humans of New York

Brandon Stanton has done a great job in developing a culture of storytelling around the culture of New York. His work has focused on photographing and interviewing residents of NYC, giving us inspiration and encouragement in the meantime. This book is another endless source of inspiration.


The Lens: A practical guide for the creative photographer by N.K. Guy

The Lens Mike Fazelian

One of the most essential items a photographer will ever use in their career, understanding the lens of a camera is essential to success. In this book, photographers are taught about its importance, how it works and how to take better pictures using all of its functions.


There are a ton more books on the subject of photography. A longer list will be shared at another time but for now, these are essential.


What books have influenced your own photography practice?