Photographers of all skill levels need to remain updated on techniques, trends, and inspirational works that can improve their art. The year 2023 marked the release of some top photo books to elevate the craft. This article provides an excursion into photography books released in 2023 that can serve as a source of inspiration for diverse photographers.

Whether you want to expand your own knowledge base or look for the best gifts for photographers, delve into this expert-recommended collection. These books will help readers discover various techniques, stories, and visions that will inspire them to see the world through a more creative and informed lens.

Believable: Traveling with My AncestorsBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(2)

by Lola Flash, The New Press

Exploring the top photography books of last year, you cannot leave this portraiture collection without your attention. Photographer and LGBTQIA+ rights activist Lola Flash showcases the example of photography storytelling through the portraits of people of different ages, ethnicities, gender identities, and sexualities. 

The book sums up years of the author’s photographic experience, focused on representing and celebrating people’s authentic selves that were hidden and persecuted for decades because society was not ready for diversity. The book includes in part a separate section devoted to Flash’s self-portraits to show that they, as a queer person of color, can not only transmit the stories of unprivileged communities but understand them deeply and contribute to their journey to acceptance. 

The School of Photography Beginner’s GuideBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(3)

by Marc Newton, Octopus

If you are searching for the best beginner photography book, this comprehensive guideline is a great roadmap for those who are only starting to explore the world of photography. It explains photography in theory, observes equipment types and camera settings, and familiarizes readers with basic terms (aperture, ISO, depth of field, resolution, color balance, etc.). 

The book explains essentials like lighting and composition, including practical application examples. For instance, there is a separate chapter devoted to night photography. Marc Newton, who has been teaching photography for over two decades, acknowledges that the journey to a perfect shot does not end with a click of a shutter. Post-processing software like Adobe Photoshop, Canva, or Luminar Neo can help you get rid of minor drawbacks in pictures, enhance their general look, and transform them creatively according to your unique vision. The last chapter of the book specifically emphasizes the importance of good post-processing software for photographers. 

Adobe Photoshop Lightroom - Edit on the GoBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(4)

by Victoria Bampton, Lightroom Queen 

Photo editing software evolves constantly, introducing more and more tools and photo editing AI capabilities every day. What makes this book so special is that its electronic version updates simultaneously with the software to which it is devoted.

This book will teach you to import and organize files within the Lightroom workflow, taking advantage of the AI-based search. You will learn to analyze photos from a technical perspective. Explore every slider within Lightroom, how the sliders interact with one another, and how to go beyond applying presets in post-processing. 

The book is written in simple language, easy to understand even for newbies. It includes step-by-step photo editing instructions with illustrations based on real photos that require enhancement. 

In This Brief LifeBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(5)

by Eugene Richards, Many Voices Press

Born in 1944, Eugene Richards devoted half a century to the art of chasing beauty through the lens. This memoir photo book introduces the audience to mostly unseen shots from the author’s childhood to the present times. The idea of sharing these photos belongs to the photographer’s son, Sam. He was the one who introduced his father to the social media world and published his creations on Instagram, awakening the public’s curiosity about the subjects of these images. 

From portraits to captivating African landscapes, from socio-political issues to intimate stories, Richards’ photos cause a wide spectrum of emotions. This book is a perfect option if you are interested in cool photography books that inspire you to storytelling and visual masterpieces that touch viewers’ hearts. 

Remember MeBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(6)

by Preston Gannaway, GOST Books

The photographer from California devoted 17 years of her life to the project, which resulted in this book. This photo collection is a story of love and loss and attempts to hold on to the memories while time passes by. 

In 2006, Gannaway, then a photojournalist, covered a story of a young mother named Carolynne St. Pierre, who was dealing with a terminal illness. The pictures of this woman inspired a cycle of five stories that brought their author a Pulitzer prize two years later. 

A few years later, the photographer returned to the family to continue photographing the youngest son, EJ. She was seriously bothered whether the boy would remember his mother, who passed away when he was only four years old. 

“Remember Me” covers the gradual maturation of the child who carried the memories of his long-lost mother throughout his life. EJ, now a university student, considers Preston Gannaway not just a photographer who tells the story of his family. For him, this woman is a close friend who shares his hopes, struggles, losses, and achievements with the world because this story has a special place in her heart.  

Painting PhotographsBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(7)

by Alice Wong, TBW Books

We all know that the artistic expression of photographers does not end when the picture is taken. Photographers experiment with photo editing tools like GenSwap to replace unwanted elements in their photographs with AI-generated visuals. 

But the Hong Kong-born artist Alice Wang went even further with creative experiments. Wong collected vintage photos from different people to use as a canvas for her paintings with acrylic markers. She adds vibrant colors to the moments captured before colored photography was a thing. The artist aims not to ruin and recreate the moments from the past but to highlight them and make them more lively. People, animals, majestic landscapes, and close-up flowers — everything can be a little more colorful. 

GhostlightBest Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(8)

by Keith Carter, University of Texas Press

Keith Carter is an American photographer who specializes in landscapes. “Ghostlight” is a black and white photo collection inspiring to explore the Southern wetlands of Georgia, Louisiana, and East Texas. If you want to transmit a certain vibe, mood, and spirit through your pictures, Keith Carter is someone to learn from. The mysterious and secretive energy of more than 100 shots awakens the fantasy. It is more than sharing what a photographer saw. It is a canvas for the viewers to create a fascinating and somehow scary story with the power of their imagination, knowing that these swamps, bogs, baygalls, moss, bayous, and fens exist in real life. Alligators popping above the water, deceased woodpeckers — the environment is harsh; explore it if you dare. 

Still Life Best Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(9)

by Doan Ly, Chronicle Chroma

“Still life” represents a unique blend of three main passions of its author — art, photography, and flowers. Doan Ly, a florist from New York, captures the fragile beauty of floral arrangements in a special, creative way. The flowers in these photos, particularly inspired by vintage flower paintings, are more similar to human portraits than inanimate objects. Ly meticulously uses color and lighting to make the flowers “pose.” The author sees her artistic goal in sharing the beauty and joy of quiet moments that are often overlooked. 

Advanced yet easy-to-use photo editor

Get Luminar Neo Now


Regarding books about photography, 2023 can be described as a year of photographic wisdom, inspiration, and groundbreaking techniques. Each book, whether focusing on the technical aspects of photography or the art of storytelling through visuals, helps photographers develop their craft. The stories, techniques, and visions shared within these pages enrich one’s perspective on the world and how it can be captured.

Let these works inspire you to see the world more creatively and informedly. Push the boundaries of your craft when capturing the beauty of the world, and explore the vast and vibrant world of photography!   

A Special Perk for Our Blog Readers

Get a 10% discount on Luminar Neo and dive into professional photo editing today!

Please, enter valid email!

Thank you for subscribing.

Your gift is waiting in your inbox!

Best Photography Books 2023: Explore The Finest Picks  | Skylum Blog(10)

Advanced yet easy-to-use photo editor

view plans