Our list of some of the best Portrait Photography books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.
- Mastering Portrait Photography (2016)
- The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone (2017)
- How to Create Stunning Digital Photography (2012)
- The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow (2017)
- POSE!: 1,000 Poses for Photographers and Models (2018)
- Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography (2016)
- Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations (2015)
- Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (2014)
- The Complete Portrait Manual (Popular Photography): 200+ Tips and Techniques for Shooting Perfect Photos of People (2016)
- Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter) (2012)
- The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits (Voices That Matter) (2015)
- Storytelling Portrait Photography: How to Document the Lives of Children and Families (2017)
- Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment: The Photography Workshop Series (2015)
Mastering Portrait Photography (2016)
No more formal, corporate-style poses—this book offers a modern, vibrant approach, capturing a moment in the subject's lifestyle. It discusses technical aspects from equipment to exposure, aperture, metering, shutter speed, depth of field and white balance settings, in addition to how natural light, color and movement affect an image. The book also covers posing, home studios, backgrounds, artificial light, and pre-shoot prep such as make-up, hair styling and clothing.
The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone (2017)
When photographing people, you can have a great composition, perfect light, and the right camera settings, but if your subject doesn’t look right―if the pose is off―the shot will not be a keeper. Posing is truly a crucial skill that photographers need to have in order to create great photographs.
How to Create Stunning Digital Photography (2012)
Stunning Digital Photography is much more than a book; it’s a hands-on, self-paced photography class with over 14 hours of online training videos and free help from the author and other readers. That’s why award-winning author and photographer Tony Northrup’s book is the #1 photography book with over 250,000 readers. This book gives you five innovations no other book offers: 1) .
The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow (2017)
Without light, there is no photograph. As almost every photographer knows, the word “photograph” has its roots in two Greek words that, together, mean “drawing with light.” But what is less commonly acknowledged and understood is the role that shadow plays in creating striking, expressive imagery, especially in portraiture.
POSE!: 1,000 Poses for Photographers and Models (2018)
Whether you’re the photographer behind the camera or the model in front of the lens, chances are you could use some help with posing, which is one of the biggest challenges when it comes to portrait photography. POSE! provides the knowledge and the inspiration you need to make your next photo shoot a success. With over 1,000 different looks for you to recreate and experiment with, the book covers a wide range of poses and subject matter in an easily accessible and visually dynamic layout.
Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography (2016)
Following up on the success of his first book, Photographing Men, photographer and author Jeff Rojas has created a companion book that covers everything you need to know about photographing women.
Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations (2015)
What’s your definition of a photo studio? Is it a room with a white seamless backdrop or a cyc wall? Maybe it’s simply anywhere you’re in control of the lighting. In a perfect world, where every day is a breezy 72 degrees with partial cloud coverage, we would all have a 5,000-square-foot studio–and the entire catalog of B&H™ in our equipment lockups.
Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (2014)
In Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots, author and photographer Erik Valind shows you how to get the best shots of your subjects–whether you’re in a studio or outdoors, at a family get-together, or at a formal event.
The Complete Portrait Manual (Popular Photography): 200+ Tips and Techniques for Shooting Perfect Photos of People (2016)
For beginners looking to master the portrait or lifelong photographers looking to try a new twist on the classic genre, this is your photo book.
Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter) (2012)
Foreword by Skip Cohen Translating the chaos of the real world into a breathtakingly simple, beautiful photograph can often seem like an impossible task. With busy, cluttered backgrounds and subjects who don’t know how to pose, how can you take control and get a great shot no matter the situation?
The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits (Voices That Matter) (2015)
It used to be that the only people that needed professional-looking headshots were actors and models, but now thanks to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and social media in general, headshots are hot! They've never been more in demand than they are today, and Peter Hurley's unique headshot style and trademark look have made him the most sought-after headshot photographer in the world today. Here's your chance to learn exactly how to create “the look” that everybody's after.
Storytelling Portrait Photography: How to Document the Lives of Children and Families (2017)
Photojournalists are trained to scout important events, capture mood and emotion, predict peak action, and create images that, in an instant, tell a compelling and memorable story. In this book, award-winning photojournalist Paula Ferazzi Swift (from Framingham, MA) shows readers how she adapted her photojournalistic approach to create a thriving family portrait business.
Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment: The Photography Workshop Series (2015)
In The Photography Workshop Series, Aperture Foundation works with the world’s top photographers to distill their creative approaches, teachings and insights on photography—offering the workshop experience in a book. The goal is to inspire photographers of all levels who wish to improve their work, as well as readers interested in deepening their understanding of the art of photography.
Best Portrait Photography Books to Read
We highly recommend you to buy all paper or e-books in a legal way, for example, on Amazon. But sometimes it might be a need to dig deeper beyond the shiny book cover. Before making a purchase, you can visit resources like Library Genesis and download some portrait photography books mentioned below at your own risk. Once again, we do not host any illegal or copyrighted files, but simply give our visitors a choice and hope they will make a wise decision.
STUDIO: Lighting Setups for Portrait Photography
Author(s): Andreas Bübl
ID: 3720655, Publisher: Rocky Nook, Year: 2023, Size: 47 Mb, Format: epub
Otto Dix and Weimar Media Culture; Time, Fashion and Photography in Portrait Paintings of the Neue Sachlichkeit
Author(s): Anne Reimers
ID: 3289190, Publisher: Peter Lang, Year: 2022, Size: 28 Mb, Format: pdf
The Best of Portrait Photography: Techniques and Images from the Pros
Author(s): Othmane Chahdi
ID: 3118999, Publisher: UNKNOWN, Year: 2021, Size: 2 Mb, Format: pdf
Please note that this booklist is not definite. Some books are really hot items according to Los Angeles Times, others are composed by unknown authors. On top of that, you can always find additional tutorials and courses on Coursera, Udemy or edX, for example. Are there any other relevant books you could recommend? Drop a comment if you have any feedback on the list.