If you are looking for some inspiration, look no further; these books by famous photographers and filmmakers will inspire you on your journey as a photographer—amateur, professional, or hobbyist.
From bestsellers like “Humans” by Brandon Staton and I Can Feel Good” by Tyler Mitchell to underhyped but equally great photography books like “Drivebys” by Brian Bowen Smith, there is something for everybody on this list.
By Brandon Stanton
What started off as a story-telling blog “Humans of New York” now has become a cultural phenomenon. As 2020 brought moments of great division around the globe, it also brought times of great unity. That is what this book, recorded before the pandemic represents. Brandon Straton’s new book “Humans” is his most moving yet. It documents people around the globe. Each page tells a story that will resonate with everybody.
2. The New Woman Behind the Camera
By Andrea Nelson
The 1920s “New Woman” was not only a description of fashion and style of the decade, it was also a symbol of feminism in the photography industry.
Featuring the works of over 120 photographers, this book shows women’s role in the 1920s to 1950s as modern photography took shape.
From fine photography, photojournalism to fashion, advertising photography, and studio portrait work, women undoubtedly became a driving force for the photography industry.
3. Godlis Streets
By David Godlis
OG Street Photographer, David Godlis, has been capturing the lives of New Yorkers for 40 years. He has been doing so since he bought his first 35mm camera in 1970. He famously started the flashless, nighttime black-and-white grainy shots of the 70s punk scene.
Godlis Streets is the first book dedicated to the photographer and his amazing body of work.
The book captures the small, mundane, sometimes humorous moments of the New Yorkers’ day-to-day.
Vanishing Bangkok: The Changing Face of the City
By Ben Davies
British Photographer Ben Davies has been living in Bangkok for over 20 years.
This book is all about the forgotten backstreets and hidden neighborhoods. It features historical buildings, beautiful neighborhoods that are being torn down to erect shopping malls, and urban developments.
The book seeks to capture the fleeting unique character and identity of old Bangkok. Although pictures are unique to the city, the story is unfortunately universal: the new replacing the beauty and history of the old.
5. Accidentally Wes Anderson
By Wally Koval
Discover the quirky places around the world with this Wes Anderson book. Between 200 locations from every continent, each image is more interesting than the last.
A traveler’s dream, this book captures a familiar style of photography and sights, that is if you are an Anderson stan or have seen any movies by the director.
Unique locations from around the world are featured that can only be described as being farthest away from tourist traps and truly capturing the real world.
6. I Can Make You Feel Good
By Tyler Mitchell
This book captures Tyler Mitchell’s vision and hope of Black bliss. Photographer and Filmmaker, Tyler Mitchell, across his entire body of work explores an avant-garde and new aesthetic of Blackness.
You can see Tyler’s background in fashion photography through his unique, rich color palette.
With each picture, you can experience the positivity and joy within.
7. Jacques Henri Lartigue: The Invention of Happiness: Photographs
Edited By Dennis Curtis
Jacque Henri Lartigue did not receive recognition until he was well in his 70s. Not discovered until later, Lartigue made most of his living with his paintings. But this, however, did not stop him from capturing the world around him; first as a young boy, in his room capturing his surroundings, and later as a successful adult, the upper crust of European society.
With domestic candid shots of motion blur and frequently grinning subjects, the book features over 120 images, 55 of which remained unpublished until now.
By Brian Bowen Smith
In his 1958 Ford F100, they call “Pearl,” Brian Bowen Smith captured the quarantined human life by this new socially-distanced way of photography.
The book captures American culture through the window of his car “Pearl.” Brian Bowen Smith is famous for his celebrity portraits. He without a doubt has invented his own style in photography.
The book launch was made possible not only by his Instagram supporters but also with the power of the Kickstarter campaign.
We hope that you are also feeling some inspiration from these from these photographers- old and new.
FEATURED PHOTO CREDIT: TYLER MITCHELL/PRESTEL
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