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Best Portrait Photography Books to Read

Our list of some of the best Portrait Photography books & series in recent years. Get inspired by one or more of the following books.

1. Mastering Portrait Photography (2016)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadNo 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. Post-production topics include skin retouching, color correction, printing options and presentation….
Author(s): Sarah Plater, Paul Wilkinson

2. The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone (2017)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadWhen 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. If you’re looking to improve your ability to pose your subjects―whether they’re men, women, couples, or groups―best-selling author and photographer Lindsay Adler’s The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone is the perfect resource for you.In the first half of The Photographer’s…
Author(s): Lindsay Adler

3. How to Create Stunning Digital Photography (2012)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadStunning 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) . Watch over 12 hours of fast-paced, hands-on video tutorials integrated into the book to support and reinforce the lessons. View the videos using any web browser or by scanning QR codes with your…
Author(s): Tony Northrup, Chelsea Northrup

4. The Dramatic Portrait: The Art of Crafting Light and Shadow (2017)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadWithout 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. It is through deft, nuanced use of both light and shadow that you can move beyond shooting simply ordinary, competent headshots into the realm of creating dramatic portraiture that can so powerfully convey a subject’s inner essence, communicate a…
Author(s): Chris Knight

5. POSE!: 1,000 Poses for Photographers and Models (2018)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadWhether 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. Photographer and author Mehmet Eygi demonstrates exactly how to get the right pose―from hand and leg placement, to a subtle tilt of the…
Author(s): Mehmet Eygi

6. Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography (2016)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadFollowing 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. Unlike so many other books on the market that focus on photographing women―which are often just a collection of images that show different posing and lighting setups―in Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion, Jeff actually teaches you what you need to know in order to create great images. In the book, Jeff first discusses the variety of face shapes and body types you’ll work…
Author(s): Jeff Rojas

7. Studio Anywhere: A Photographer’s Guide to Shooting in Unconventional Locations (2015)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadWhat’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.   But the reality is that you may have an outdated DSLR with two decent lenses (which took you several years to save up for), and all you have at your disposal is an unfinished basement, your garage, or the empty conference…
Author(s): Nick Fancher

8. Portrait Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots (2014)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadIn 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. Starting with the fundamentals of portrait photography, including how to select the right camera settings and lenses and how to compose your shots, Erik covers building a rapport with your subject, and offers suggestions for poses that flatter your subject to achieve great shots. He then addresses the problems and opportunities of…
Author(s): Erik Valind

9. The Complete Portrait Manual (Popular Photography): 200+ Tips and Techniques for Shooting Perfect Photos of People (2016)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadFor beginners looking to master the portrait or lifelong photographers looking to try a new twist on the classic genre, this is your photo book. The Complete Portrait Manual provides over 200 tips techniques to help you successfully capture the portrait you want.The editors of Popular Photography pooled all their knowledge from their 70+ years of experience to bring you the most comprehensive guide to portraits on the market: The Complete Portrait Manual. Whether you’re after snapshots of loved ones laughing, impressive studio headshots, fun yet tasteful selfies on your smartphone, or lightning-fast captures of athletes…
Author(s): The Editors of Popular Photography

10. Picture Perfect Practice: A Self-Training Guide to Mastering the Challenges of Taking World-Class Photographs (Voices That Matter) (2012)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadForeword 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? In Picture Perfect Practice, photographer Roberto Valenzuela breaks down the craft of photography into three key elements–locations, poses, and execution–that you can use to unlock the photographic opportunities lying beneath every challenging situation….
Author(s): Roberto Valenzuela

11. The Headshot: The Secrets to Creating Amazing Headshot Portraits (Voices That Matter) (2015)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadIt 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.   This is bankable stuff! If you're not adding headshots to what you offer as a photographer, you're leaving a…
Author(s): Peter Hurley

12. Storytelling Portrait Photography: How to Document the Lives of Children and Families (2017)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadPhotojournalists 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. In an increasingly competitive market, professional portrait photographers need to hone their skills to capture heirloom-quality images that are a step above the rest. With the tips in…
Author(s): Ferazzi Swift, Paula

13. Mary Ellen Mark on the Portrait and the Moment: The Photography Workshop Series (2015)

Best Portrait Photography Books to ReadIn 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. Each volume is introduced by a student of the featured photographer. In this book, Mary Ellen Mark (1940-2015)—well known for the emotional power of her pictures, be they of people or animals—offers her insight on observing the…
Author(s): Mary Ellen Mark

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 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.

Street Portrait Photography: How to make stunning street portraits (Street Photography Book 1)

Author(s): Priya Ranjan
Publisher: www.portraitofhumans.com, Year: 2019, Size: 8 Mb, Download: mobi
ID: 2328796

One Face Fifty Ways: The Portrait Photography Idea Book

Author(s): Imogen Dyer, Mark Wilkinson
Publisher: ILEX, Year: 2017, Size: 75 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 2333048

Portrait Photography Workshop

Author(s): MagBooks
Publisher: Magbooks, Year: 2016, Size: 48 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1536719

Complete Portrait Manual

Author(s): The Editors of Popular Photography
Publisher: Weldon Owen, Year: 2016, Size: 13 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1575943

Photographing Women: Posing, Lighting, and Shooting Techniques for Portrait and Fashion Photography

Author(s): Jeff Rojas
Publisher: Rocky Nook, Year: 2016, Size: 13 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1591980

After the Camera: Digital Transformations for Conceptual Nude & Portrait Photography

Author(s): Thom Rouse
Publisher: Amherst Media, Year: 2016, Size: 20 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1591981

Pet Photography: The Secrets to Creating Authentic Pet Portraits

Author(s): Norah Levine
Publisher: Rocky Nook, Year: 2016, Size: 57 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1710088

Retrato: A Guide to Portrait Photography, Gaining Followers and Making Money

Author(s): Bleeblu
Publisher: , Year: 2015, Size: 2 Mb, Download: epub
ID: 1455769

Portrait Photography – The Essential Beginner’s Guide

Author(s): Sarah Plater, Hannah MacGregor
Publisher: Ammonite Press, Year: 2015, Size: 16 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1568207

Portraiture Unplugged: Natural Light Photography

Author(s): Carl Caylor
Publisher: Amherst Media, Year: 2015, Size: 21 Mb, Download: pdf
ID: 1809239

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.

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