If you're new to photography and want to start down the road, you definitely need a source from which to draw your knowledge. Today we will tell you about the best photography books for beginners that you should definitely pay attention to.

Every aspiring photographer dreams that in a couple of weeks after picking up his DSLR, he will learn how to take pictures like a pro. Unfortunately, it's not that simple. I had to go through quite a difficult path when I started my photography career. The first problem was finding books on photography for beginners that could teach me the art of camera handling and were easy to read. I managed to find them after all, and now I want to show them to you.

I also thought for a long time about which photo editor to choose, and I settled on Luminar Neo. It has a lot of tools like Enhance AI and Sky AI for sky replacement, which make post-processing easier and faster. In addition, it can be used alone or as a plugin for Photoshop and Lightroom, which is very convenient.

The Importance of Reading Photography Books for Beginners

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum BlogMany users wonder why they need books on the art of photography and photography techniques when there are many blogs and video courses that also tell a lot of useful and interesting information. Let's start with the fact that every photographer should learn from examples. Pictures published in books look brighter and clearer. Looking at them, you can see amazing colors, such as masterpieces of landscape photography, which would not be visible when viewed on a PC or smartphone.

Another advantage of the best books for learning photography is that they contain only text and pictures. There are no hyperlinks or ads that can distract from learning photographic art. As a consequence, you will be able to delve deeper into the subject and master it to perfection.

It is for these reasons a good book is perfect not only for the newbie but also for the professional. It will not only help you learn everything you need to know about working with a digital camera, aperture, or shutter speed but also immerse you in exploring the best examples.

What to Look for in a Photography for Beginners Book

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(2)When you choose a photography handbook, there are a few important points to consider:

  • Who this book is written by? I mean, it should be written by a practicing photographer who is easy to find information about. Otherwise, you run the risk of ending up with a useless read from an author who is not familiar with all aspects of photography.
  • Are there examples? The great book has many examples of pictures made with this or that equipment or technique that the author talks about. It's the only way you can learn to use them. For example, if the author talks about using a particular online photo editor, he should show examples before post-processing and after, and illustrate each of his steps.
  • How easy to understand is the material presented? You are looking for the best books to learn photography for beginners, so the author should explain everything clearly and in detail. Otherwise, there is a risk that you will get confused and even the great photographs in the book will not save this situation.

Don't forget that you will definitely need easy software for post-processing your pictures. I recommend the AI image editor Luminar Neo. It's great for beginners because of its simple and intuitive interface. AI, in its turn, makes it easy to replace the sky or enhance the picture.

Top 5 Best Beginner Photography Books

Well, it's time to get to the most interesting part of my review. In this section, you will find a list of books that will be useful to photographers with a low level of experience. If you are interested in the best photo editor for beginners, you can find all the information about it in the blog.

1. Scott Kelby’s Digital Photography Boxed Set, Volumes 1, 2, and 3

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(3)The author is one of today's digital photographers. His book covers all aspects that may be of interest to the beginner. If you want to learn the basics, it's perfect for you. You will find not only dry theory but also answers to frequently asked questions. What's more, the book is illustrated with great photos taken not only by professionals but also by those who are just starting their way into photography. With their help, you will see different views on composition, lighting, and other important points.

2. Bryan Peterson`s Understanding Exposure, Fourth Edition

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(4)The first thing worth noting is the simple language with which the author provides explanations. Here you will not find abstruse sentences that are difficult for a newbie to understand. This is one of the best digital photography books where you can quickly and easily learn everything about control of your camera. The author will introduce you to aperture, lighting, and shutter speed, as well as tips on using the flash and how to take astrophotographs.

3. Chris Orwig`s Authentic Portraits

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(5)The author is a true master of portrait photography. He knows all the secrets of this difficult genre and willingly shares them in the pages of his book. It consists of 400 pages, but don't be afraid, because these pages are full of clear and simple explanations, tips, and tricks that will help you make truly mesmerizing pictures.

4. John Freeman`s The Photographer’s Guide to Composition

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(6)As you can easily guess from the title, this book will help you figure out how to make the perfect composition. It has all the concepts a beginner needs: the rule of thirds, the golden mean, and the camera angle. There are also lots of examples to help you understand what it all looks like in reality. One of the best books to learn digital photography also has another interesting feature. The author has divided it into sections and added questions at the end of each one so that the reader can check the quality of learning the material. This is a good book, thanks to which you will soon begin to take great photos with the right composition.

5. James Abbott`s The Digital Darkroom

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(7)I'm sure you are well aware of the importance of post-processing. In this book, the author talks about working with two popular photo editors, namely Photoshop and Affinity Pro. The book covers a range of image editing techniques, starting from simple adjustments to more intricate transformations in black and white, color, and special effects. Whether you're a beginner or an advanced user, you'll find everything you need right here. 

Remember that you do not need to use sophisticated software such as Photoshop. You can choose a simpler and more convenient photo editor, such as Luminar Neo. Its interface is so intuitive that you do not need to read guides on how to use the app. It also provides many useful features, such as HDR photography software, and AI allows you to speed up routine tasks. Also don't forget to try a huge number of photography presets that will make your pictures really stunning.

Where to Buy or Borrow Photography Books

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(8)One of the most popular options is Amazon because you can find almost everything there. The learning photography books are also on this list. You can also search in specialty stores, where you can always find something unique.

Beyond Books: Other Learning Resources for Beginners

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(9)There are many options for where to learn the basics of photography. Here are a few of them:

  • Photography school. The plus side is that in such schools the teachers don't stop at only one aspect of photography, so you can learn a lot. The downside is that it's quite expensive, and they don't offer you any guarantees of employment.
  • Online photography courses. They can be paid and free. Of course, free courses won't give you as much in-depth knowledge and won't reveal all the secrets, but if you need the basics, this is a great option. You can start with smaller things, to test your knowledge, like a photography quiz for beginners, to see where to start your learning journey
  • Photography workshops. This is quite a good option for those who want to learn the technical aspect of the process. Certain workshops extend their lessons free, while others entail an enrollment fee in return for a certificate or the opportunity to participate in in-class mentoring sessions facilitated by seasoned professionals.


I have only told you about a few good books on photography, but there are many more. I'm sure you can find something useful in each, so don't ignore them. I'm sure that if you strive for knowledge, you will soon go from being a newbie to a true pro. I wish you good luck and inspiration!


Are Books a Good Way to Learn Photography?

Yes, of course. With their help, you can learn the basics as well as practical tips and see lots of examples of amazing pictures.

Is It Worth Buying Photography Books?

Yes, if that's where you plan to start your training. Sometimes these books are quite expensive, so you can borrow them and pay them back when you read through them. If you want to go back to the information they contain from time to time, it is better to buy them.

What Should I Read to Become a Better Photographer?

All the books mentioned in the article are definitely worthy of attention. You can also read works by authors like Paul Lowe, Lee Frost, and Lindsay Adler, who offer many ideas for inspiration.

Best Photography Books for Beginners - A Guide to Learning Photography | Skylum Blog(10)

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