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7 Books that every photographer or aspiring photographer must read!

Updated: May 16, 2020


Whether you're a full-time or aspiring photographer, here are seven books that will help you in your career, or get you on the right path to starting a career in photography.


I've been a professional photographer since 2015. Some of these books I read before I went pro and some after.


They've all helped me immensely, so I wanted to share them with you so they can help you too!


I've included links to the books on Amazon and also linked the authors Instagram in the text where I've mentioned their names.


Let me know if you have read any of these before and if you have any others you would add to this list.

I'm always on the lookout for other great books on photography, business, or self improvement.



1. Creative Calling - by Chase Jarvis


This book is all about how everyone has creativity inside of them, you just need to start to practice it.


It's by author Chase Jarvis, a commercial and advertising photographer, and the co-founder and CEO of CreativeLive, an online training platform for creatives.


In this book Chase tells of his successes and failures of his career. He advises about daily habits, and practices we can all make to become more creative, get out there and make the work we love.


One of the phrases I love in this book is, "not to fake it until you make it, but make it until you make it"!

Meaning, keep making the work until you make success out of it.

Too many people fake it. Don't be that person. Keep making great work, and sharing that work until you actually make it!


It's well worth a read. I think it's one of the foundational books that every photographer or creative person needs to read in this day and age!





2. Steal Like an Artist - by Austin Kleon


Steal like an artist by Austin Kleon is a book that basically says that nothing is really original, but everything has been done before and has been adapted by each artist.


Photographers, artists, creatives, see something that someone else has done already, then put their own spin on it, change bits of the idea to make it their own.


It's so true when you look at all the art in the world or photographs. There are no real original ideas, but ideas and concepts that have been "stolen" and then adjusted and reframed.


It's reassuring to know that even the great artists of the past did this. That we don't have to worry and panic because we don't have any "original ideas".

What we can do is find an artist, photographer, or creative person we love, see their work, and then adapt it and put our own spin on it to make that work our own.


I know the way I shoot my commercial, advertising, or lifestyle photography isn't completely original in essence. Many people have had the same ideas I've had long ago, but I can put my own take on the project and make the photographs my own.


This is a great little book to read over a coffee.

I love the feel and format of these series of books by Austin Kleon. Well worth adding to your bookshelf!





3. Show your Work - by Austin Kleon


The second book in the series by Austin Kleon