I love photography books, and I’ve noticed that most of them fit into one of two groups: educational and inspirational. Educational books being the technical manuals, how-to’s, and general tips and techniques. Inspirational books tend to be more of a “coffee table book” with lots of photos and maybe some supplemental text.

I typically lean toward the inspirational books, but I realize that educational books certainly have their place. Most of the book reviews I do here on the blog also fall into the “inspirational” category. But maybe I’m a minority and you guys are bored to death of the coffee table books — let’s see some votes!


Do you have any favorite books from either category? And have you ever seen a photography book that is truly both educational and inspirational?

3 responses

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Both is kind of a cop-out answer in a ‘What do you prefer’ question between two options :P

May 19, 2010 4:52 pm

I’ve noticed that the more confident I get in my own skill and experience, the less I look toward the educational and am more drawn to the inspirational. Now I look at light, poses, and composition of others to inspire me, and I’m not too obsessed with the “how to.”

May 19, 2010 7:37 pm

I read the educational books to improve my work, but I always always always find myself drawn to the books that inspire me. I linger over their images and begin to dream of what I might create from what I’ve seen.

May 20, 2010 3:20 am

Comment now!