While I’m often asked for camera recommendations, I’ve gotten a few questions on books recently. Everything from coffee table to something a little more in-depth. Meg thought this would be a great thing to share with everyone, so here we are!
Pete Souza‘s “Obama: An Intimate Portrait” is pretty amazing. Souza was the White House photog for 8 years and has a compelling Instagram. He’s funny, accomplished, and this oversized, glossy book is a collection and backstory of about 300 of his favorites.
Robert Frank and Jack Kerouac’s “The Americans” is a 180 page book of photos and stories from 1950s post-WWII America. It’s a classic. And so, so beautiful.
“Annie Leibovitz at Work” by… iconic photographer Annie herself has back stories, personal thoughts, setups, and of course – imagery from her life and journey. Annie is cool as shit. I mean, she shot John Lennon for the cover of Rolling Stone like 2 years after she got her first camera….
Asher Moss “Miss Lonely Vol 1.” – Asher is one of my favorite follows on instagram (basementfox) and this is a huge (like 250 page) book of film, predominately of lifestyle and nudes. it’s just gorgeous. Added incentive: a percentage of each book sold goes to help fight human trafficking.
And it sounds dumb, but Henry Carroll’s “Read this if you want to take great photographs of people” is inexpensive, compact, and inspirational to new photogs. Bonus, there are companion books; “Read this if…… photographs” and “…. places.” Get it? Just get the trio for an aspiring photographer. They can fit these in their backpack with the new camera Santa brought them.
Side-note: I personally, I learned a lot just by looking through a set of silver National Geographic books from the 70s that smell like an old bookshelf. I think one of them was just called “The Camera.” Ah yes, it was. See below. Fundamentally, the elements of photography, and the camera itself are the same. Every class we run in the studio starts with taking apart a 1940s rangefinder and a 1970s SLR – regardless if we’re teaching for a modern mirrorless camera or an iPhone. Cruise a good garage sale or thrift store and find some of these 1960s and 1970s books. And more than anything – just shoot!