100+ Photography Books

Photobooks, Photographic History, Photographic Theory April 6, 2020

I curated this list of over 100 books for photography lovers to read, be aware of or enrich their libraries with. I have divided the books in categories such as history and theory, or by photography genre. Some of these books you can find and read online, or download them for free.

Photographic History
Newhall, Beaumont. The History of Photography: From 1839 to the Present Day. Museum of Modern Art, 1949.
Philippi, Simone. 20th Century Photography: Museum Ludwig Cologne. Taschen, 1996.
Frizot, Michel, ed. A New History of Photography. Könemann, 1998.
Jeffrey, Ian. The Photography Book. Phaidon Press, 2000.
Edwards, Steve. Photography: A Very Short Introduction. Oxford University Press, 2006.
Pritchard, Michael. A History of Photography in Fifty Cameras. University of Chicago Press, 2014.
Parr, Martin, and Gerry Badger. The Photobook: A History. 3 vols. Phaidon Press, 2004-14.

Photographic Processes
Talbot, William Henry Fox. The Pencil of Nature. Longman, Brown Green & Longmans, 1844.
Crawford, William. The Keepers of Light: A History & Working Guide to Early Photographic Processes. Morgan & Morgan, 1979.
Reilly, James M., and Constance McCabe. Care and Identification of 19th-Century Photographic Prints. Eastman Kodak Company, 1986.
Anchell, Steve, and Bill Troop. The Film Developing Cookbook. Taylor & Francis, 1998.
Barnier, John, ed. Coming into Focus: A Step-by-Step Guide to Alternative Photographic Printing Processes. Chronicle Books, 2000.
James, Christopher. The Book of Alternative Photographic Processes. Delmar Thomson Learning, 2002.
Lavédrine, Bertrand. Photographs of the Past: Process and Preservation. Getty Publications, 2009.

Photography and Science
Atkins, Anna. Photographs of British Algae: Cyanotype Impressions. Self-published, 1843-53.
Adam, Hans Christian. Eadweard Muybridge: The Human and Animal Locomotion Photographs. Taschen, 2014.
Curtis, Edward S. The North American Indian. Project Gutenberg, 2006.
Gidley, Mick, ed. Representing Others: White Views of Indigenous Peoples. University of Exeter Press for AmCAS, 1992.
Thomas, Ann, and Marta Braun. Beauty of Another Order: Photography in Science. Yale University Press, 1997.
Wilder, Kelley Elizabeth. Photography and Science. Chicago Press, 2009.
Behdad, Ali, and Luke Gartlan, eds. Photography’s Orientalism: New Essays on Colonial Representation. Getty Publications, 2013.
Salgado, Sebastião. Genesis. Taschen, 2013.
Edwards, Elizabeth. Photography, Anthropology and History: Expanding the Frame. Routledge, 2016.
Heiferman, Marvin. Seeing Science: How Photography Reveals the Universe. Aperture, 2019.
Bizony, Piers, Roger Launius, and Andrew Chaikin. The NASA Archives: 60 Years in Space. Taschen, 2019.

Photographic Theory
Berger, John. Ways of Seeing. Penguin, 1972.
Sontag, Susan. On Photography. Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1978.
Barthes, Roland. Camera lucida: Reflections on Photography. Hill & Wang, 1981.
Flusser, Vilém. Towards a Philosophy of Photography. Reaktion Books, 1983.
Chalfen, Richard. Snapshot Versions of Life. University of Wisconsin Press, 1987.
Batchen, Geoffrey. Burning with Desire: The Conception of Photography. MTP Press, 1997.
Wells, Liz. Photography: A Critical Introduction. Routledge, 1997.
Barrett, Terry. Criticizing Photographs. Mayfield Publishing Company, 2000.
Emerling, Jae. Photography: History and Theory. Routledge, 2012.

Pictorialism & Straight Photography
Emerson, Peter Henry. Life and Landscape on the Norfolk Broads. London, 1886.
Green, Jonathan. Camera Work: A Critical Anthology. Aperture, 1973.
Weston, Edward. The Flame of Recognition. Aperture, 1965.
Adams, Ansel. Ansel Adams: 400 Photographs. Little, Brown & Company, 2007.

Surrealist Photography
Ray, Man, Guido Comis, Marco Franciolli, and Janus. Man Ray. Skira, 2011.

Photojournalism & Documentary Photography
Atget, Eugène. Paris. Taschen, 2008.
Sander, August. Face of Our Time. Schirmer/Mosel Verlag, 1995.
Capa, Robert. Slightly Out of Focus. Henry Holt, 1947.
Frank, Robert. The Americans. Steidl, 2008.
McCullin, Don. Shaped by War. Random House, 2020.
Harrison, Martin. Young Meteors: British Photojournalism, 1957-1965. London: Jonathan Cape, 1998.
Adams, Alyssa, and Hal Buell. Eddie Adams: Vietnam. Umbrage Editions Inc, 2008.
Lubben, Kristen, ed. Magnum Contact Sheets. Thames & Hudson, 2011.
Koudelka, Josef. Gypsies. Aperture, 1975.
Economopoulos, Nikos. In the Balkans. Harry N Abrams Inc., 1995.
Burke, Bill. I Want to Take Picture. Twin Palms Publishers, 2007.
D’Agata, Antoine. Manifeste. Galerie Le Bleu de Ciel & Le Point du Jour, Editeur, 2005.
Petersen, Anders. Anders Petersen. Max Ström, 2013.

Street Photography
Morand, Paul. Brassai: Paris by Night. Bulfinch Press, 2001.
Bresson, Henri Cartier. The Decisive Moment. Steidl Verlag, 2004.
Agee, James, and Walker Evans. Let Us Now Praise Famous Men. HMH, 2001.
Borhan, Pierre, László Beke, and Dominique Baqué. André Kertész: his life and work. Bulfinch Press, 1994.
Weegee. Naked City. Steidl / Edition7L, 2015.
Erwitt, Elliott. Personal Exposures. W.W. Norton, 1988.
Winogrand, Garry. The Man in the Crowd: The Uneasy Streets of Garry Winogrand. Fraenkel Gallery, 1999.
Gilden, Bruce. Facing New York. Cornerhouse Publications, 1992.
Moriyama, Daido. Daido Moriyama. Phaidon Press, 2012.
Parke, Trent. Minutes to Midnight. Steidl, 2014.

Color Photography
Szarkowski, John, and William Eggleston. William Eggleston’s Guide. Museum of Modern Art, 2002.
Leiter, Saul. Saul Leiter. Kehrer, 2012.
Shore, Stephen. American Surfaces. Phaidon, 2005.
Woodward, Richard B. Andy Warhol Polaroids, 1958-1987. Taschen, 2015.
Davidson, Bruce. Subway. Saint Ann’s, 2003.
Galassi, Peter. Jeff Wall. Museum of Modern Art, 2007.
Galassi, Peter, and Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Philip-Lorca diCorcia. Museum of Modern Art, 1995.
Parr, Martin. The Last Resort: Photographs of New Brighton. Dewi Lewis Pub, 2009.
Galassi, Peter. Andreas Gursky. Museum of Modern Art/H.N. Abrams, 2001.
Hido, Todd, and A. M. Homes. House Hunting. Nazraeli Press, 2001.
Soth, Alec, Patricia Hampl, and Anne Tucker. Sleeping by the Mississippi. Steidl, 2004.
Puklus, Peter. Handbook to the Stars. Self-published, 2011.
Brodie, Mike. A Period of Juvenile Prosperity. Twin Palms, 2012.
Tillmans, Wolfgang. Wolfgang Tillmans. Phaidon, 2014.

Nude & Erotic Photography
Meister, Sarah Hermanson. Bill Brandt: Shadow & Light. The Museum of Modern Art, 2013.
Mapplethorpe, Robert. Black Book. Macmillan, 1988.
Witkin, Joel-Peter. Witkin. Distributed Art Pub Inc, 1995.
Araki, Nobuyoshi. Visions of Japan. Korinsha Press, 1998.
Hang, Ren. Ren Hang. Taschen, 2016.

Fashion Photography
Brown, Susanna. Horst. Horst: Photographer of Style. V & A Publishing, 2014.
Penn, Irving, Alexandra Arrowsmith, Nicola Majocchi, and Nicholas Callaway. Passage: A Work Record. Alfred A. Knopf, 1991.
Avedon, Richard. An Autobiography. Random House, 1993.
Ritts, Herb, Paul Martineau, and James Crump. Herb Ritts: LA Style. Getty Publications, 2012.
Bourdin, Guy and Shelly Verthime. Guy Bourdin: Untouched. Steidl, 2017.
Helmut Newton. SUMO: 20th Anniversary. Taschen, 2019.
Knight, Nick. Nick Knight. Harper Design, 2009.

Women Photographers
Rosenblum, Naomi, and Nancy Grubb. A History of Women Photographers. Abbeville Press, 1994.
Wolf, Sylvia, Julia Margaret Cameron, and Stephanie Lipscomb. Julia Margaret Cameron’s Women. Yale University Press, 1998.
Van Haaften, Julia. Berenice Abbott: A Life in Photography. W. W. Norton & Company, 2018.
Gordon, Linda. Dorothea Lange: A Life Beyond Limits. WW Norton & Company, 2010.
Lorenz, Richard. Imogen Cunningham: Flora. Little, Brown, 1996.
Lardinois, Brigitte. All About Eve: The Photography of Eve Arnold. teNeues, 2012.
Arbus, Diane. Revelations. Random House, 2003.
Maloof, John, ed. Vivian Maier: Street Photographer. Powerhouse Books, 2012.
Townsend, Chris. Francesca Woodman. Phaidon Press, 2016.
Sherman, Cindy. Cindy Sherman: The Complete Untitled Film Stills. The Museum of Modern Art, 2003.
Goldin, Nan, Marvin Heiferman, Mark Holborn, and Suzanne Fletcher. The Ballad of Sexual Dependency. Aperture, 1986.
Mann, Sally. Still time. Aperture, 1994.
Moon, Sarah. Coincidences: Photographs by Sarah Moon. Arena, 2001.
Leibovitz, Annie. A Photographer’s Life, 1990-2005. Random House Trade, 2006.
Sassen, Viviane. Flamboya. Contrasto, 2008.
Teichmann, Esther. SPBH Book Club Vol V. Self Publish, Be Happy, 2014.
De Middel, Christina. Afronauts. This Book Is True, 2019.

Hunter, Fil, Steven Biver, and Paul Fuqua. Light science & magic: An introduction to photographic lighting. Taylor & Francis, 2007.
Carroll, Henry. Read this If You Want to Take Great Photographs. Laurence King Publishing, 2014.
Fulford, Jason, Greg Halpern, and Mike Slack. The Photographer’s Playbook. Aperture, 2014.
Freeman, Michael. The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos. CRC Press, 2007.
Taylor, David, Tracy Hallett, Paul Lowe, and Paul Sanders. Digital Photography Complete Course: Learn Everything You Need to Know in 20 Weeks. DK Publishing, 2015.
Northrup, Tony and Chelsea Northrup. Digital Photography. Mason Press, 2019.
Faulkner, Andrew and Conrad Chavez. Adobe Photoshop Classroom in a Book. Adobe Press, 2020.
Himes, Darius, and Mary Virginia Swanson. Publish Your Photography Book. Princeton Architectural Press, 2011.
Bruno, Ceschel. Self Publish, Be Happy: A DIY Photobook Manual and Manifesto. Aperture, 2015.
Read, Shirley. Exhibiting Photography: A Practical Guide to Displaying Your Work. Taylor & Francis, 2013.
Meyerowitz, Joel. Seeing Things: A Kid’s Guide to Looking at Photographs. Aperture, 2016.


Hi, I'm Danae! I'm a photographer and I hold a MA in Photographic History. Besides my passion for photography, I enjoy traveling, walking, meditating, and I am an avid supporter of low-waste living.

Comments 3

  1. Robert says on April 7, 2020

    As this uncertain period of self-isolation stretches on, this is a great list of photography books to read!

  2. Alexandra says on April 10, 2020

    Spotted some of my favorite photobooks and it looks like there are a few others I need to add to my colection as well 😋

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