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What are the first few photography books someone should read?

I have to gift a friend a photography book. And I have no knowledge about photography. which book would you suggest that can b gifted?

  • 2
    The term "photography book" covers a lot of territory. Do you want a how-to book (and would it be general or for a particular type of photography) or something inspirational (and again, is there a preferred genre or artist that would strike the recipient)? – user2719 Sep 7 '12 at 18:00
  • Either a general how-to book.. or something with a variety of photographs by renowned photographers... i got some links on books by national geographic photographers but i donno how good they would be.. – appy Sep 7 '12 at 18:26

You should check out flatbooks.com. You'll be able to find a number of high quality books on a variety of photography subjects. They are written by a number of authors who know what they are doing in their subjects.

One possible stumbling point for this answer is that the books at flatbooks.com are all ebooks.

As far as which one to buy I think that making a suggestion would be very difficult without knowing your friend, but I would suggest buying a book that fits the style of photographs they take, assuming you've seen some of the photos they've taken.

Good Luck


There are tons of great photography books and sadly much more horrible ones.

You should think about the recipient. If he likes a certain style of photography, you can find something specifically on Architectural, Panorama, etc. I review plenty of such Photography books here.

Beautiful photography books are very appreciated by photographers too and I own dozens myself. I am partial to National Geographic and find their picture books excellently priced. This 504 page book is one of my favorites. Browse around here for other books filled with amazing photography.


That entirely depends on how advanced your friend is. If he owns a DSLR, shoots thousands of photos and posts them online, if you would describe him as a semi-pro or very advanced amateur, I would not buy him a book about photography theory, techniques or worse, basics. He will not benefit much from it.

I actually made the same mistake a few years ago and I bought my friend a 'photography' book. But I doubt he's read it once. It is easier to find answers to your questions online. And there are plenty of great resources, like Adorama Learning Center, with videos to watch - easier than reading a book.

So for an advanced amateur I would try and find a book about famous photographers, maybe an album with their photos.

I will not duplicate what other people said already - if you decide to get a photography book the other answers are great.

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