What was the first photography book that you remember really changing the way you look at the world? Or inspiring you to approach photography differently?

Follow-up, what are some great photography books that you think every photographer should see?

I would love to hear this community's thoughts!

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    \$\begingroup\$ Questions seeking specific product or service recommendations, where the answer is likely to be either entirely personal or short-lived as a result of changing markets, are off topic here. \$\endgroup\$
    – jhamon
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 17:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ I would argue that the answers would not be short lived. The Shore book that I found really impactful is from the 70s. And I'm not seeking recommendations so much as trying to aggregate opinions from a community with diverse background, experiences, and tastes. Opinion based, sure, but also attempting to provide a resource for anyone looking for inspiration. Maybe turn it into a wiki? \$\endgroup\$
    – Engineero
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 17:21
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    \$\begingroup\$ The problem here isn't that this is short lived. It's that there is no one answer. See the site help — Stack Exchange explicitly discourages questions like this. \$\endgroup\$
    – mattdm
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 17:57
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    \$\begingroup\$ @Engineero That's not what community wiki is for. Community wiki is basically dead — it's no longer an option when creating questions, because if a question needs CW status to be on the site, it probably has fundamental on-topicness problems to begin with. \$\endgroup\$
    – scottbb
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 19:06
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    \$\begingroup\$ Not sure about a book... but cataract surgery has been known to do wonders for how people see the world. \$\endgroup\$
    – xiota
    Commented Dec 12, 2018 at 20:11

1 Answer 1


For me, it was Uncommon Places by Stephen Shore. I primarily shoot black and white, but seeing his work in color made me start looking for more opportunities to shoot in color, and his focus on the mundane and seemingly inane opened my eyes to the fact that a photograph can be interesting for a reason other than a particularly interesting subject.

Super cool book, and I definitely recommend checking Stephen Shore out if you aren't familiar with his work.


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