The Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 List: The Book Edition

Here it is – that time of year when holiday lists start popping up on the web…

This year – I thought I’d shake the list up a bit.  Yes – I’m keeping to the 20 Photo Gifts under $100 theme – but I thought I’d keep this year’s  list to books.

Christmas lights-1Why?

Well – first, books often offer a great value.  There are lot of great teachers right now publishing a lot of great resources. And, second, most of these are filled with a healthy dose of “get out there and shoot”.

I also gave myself a second constraint:  each of these books had to be on my shelf (or loaded onto the tablet).

Is this list exhaustive?  Golly, no.  There’s are a lot of good stuff out there today for photographers – but hopefully this gives you a running start.

So – in no particular order – here’s Camera 47’s Annual 20 Photography Gifts Under $100 List – The All Book Edition.  If you have any to add – please don’t hesitate to list them in the comments.  Enjoy!


  1. Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.  This is a cool book that’s on my reading pile right now.
  2. 2013 Photographer’s Market.  If you’re looking for places to sell your work – this very well could be a great place to start with over 1,500 listings for stock agencies, print publishers, and more.  There is also a collection of articles aimed at helping you with your business.
  3. The Americans by Robert Frank.  I’m not going to say every photographer should have this one on the shelf.  Not going to say it…
  4. Exposed by Michael Clark.  The subtitle says it all: “Inside the Life and Images of a Pro Photographer”.
  5. Speedliter’s Handbook by Syl Arena.  Shoot Canon?  Want to get better with Canon Speedlites?  Get this book.
  6. The Digital Photography Book 1,2, 3, and 4 by Scott Kelby.  Are you a beginner / immediate photographer?  For the love of sushi – please, just buy and read these books.  The “advanced” folks will likely get something out of these, too.
  7. Storytellers by Jerod Foster.  Moving from photos to stories.  Good stuff.
  8. The Passionate Photographer by Steven Simon.  The subtitle “Ten Steps to Becoming Great” probably isn’t the most descriptive – but I liked this book.
  9. Photographically Speaking: A Deeper Look at Creating Stronger Images by David duChemin.  ‘Cuz it’s duChemin …
  10. Going Pro: How to Make the Leap from Aspiring to Professional Photographer by Scotte Bourne and Skip Cohen.
  11. Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It by Scott Kelby.  Good book.  Christmas lights for blog-2
  12. Hope in the Dark by Jeremy Cowart.  I wish this book were still readily available but unfortunately it’s not.  Check the used book stores.  This is a good one.
  13. Within the Frame: The Journey of Photographic Vision by David duChemin.  See #9.
  14. Lighting Notebook by Kevin Kubota.  Great lighting book.  Also – if you ever get a chance to hear Kevin talk – do it.  I caught him up at WPPI U.  Enjoyed it.
  15. Vision & Voice: Refining Your Vision in Adobe Photoshop Lightroom by David duChemin.  See #9.
  16. All Access: Your Backstage Pass to Concert Photography by Alan Hess.  If music photography is your gig – check this one out.
  17. Visual Poetry by Chris Orwig.  I’m simply a fan of Orwig’s work.
  18. Fast Track Photographer by Dane Sanders.  Most will say this book is focused on making a run at the wedding photography business – but I think it’s about building a photography business with wedding specific examples.
  19. The Moment It Clicks by Joe McNally.  Joe is a great teacher.
  20. Sketching Light by Joe McNally.  Did I mention that Joe is a great teacher?
  21. Visual Stories by Vincent Laforet
  22. Vision Mongers: Making a Life and a Living in Photography by David duChemin.  See #9.
  23. People Pictures: 30 Exercises for Creating Authentic Photographs by Chris Orwig.  Just good stuff.


  1. Anything from Craft & Vision.  Seriously.
  2. Seeing the Light: Making the Most of Available Light and Minimal Equipment by Mitchell Kanashkevich
  3. The Essentials of Street Photography: A 21st Century Guide to Photographically Capturing the Streets by James Maher Christmas lights for blog-4
  4. Captivating Color: A Guide to Dramatic Color Photography by Mitchell Kanashkevich.  Published through Digital Photography School.
  5. Getting Published in Photography Magazines by Mitchell Kanashkevich.  Published through Digital Photography School.
  6. Going Pro: How to Make Money Through Your Photography by Kelly Kingman.  Another one from Digital Photography School.
  7. The Essential Guide to Portrait Photography edited by Darren Rowse

DVD’s: Hey, it’s my list … I can change the rules   🙂

  1. Jeremy Cowart’s Lifefinder.  Chillin’ with Jeremy on location.  How cool is that?
  2. Photo Recipes Live Behind the Scenes 1 and 2.  Not sure where I learned more on lighting – from these or from Zack’s One Light stuff.
  3. OneLight by Zack Arias.  Yeah – this one exceeds that whole $100 rule thing.  This one also exceeds all expectations.  It rocks.
  4. People Pictures: Creating Authentic Photographs with Chris Orwig.  This complements Orwig’s People Pictures book.  Simply good stuff.

Hope that helps – but if your photographer has all of it (or wants none of it) – how about something like this?  It’s great for making smoothies.  🙂


Looking for more ideas?  Here are the first 4 editions:

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