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Inspired and Inspiring: 10 Photography Books I Love

Gregory Crewdson - Twilight

If I could be any conceptual photographer when I grow up it would be Gregory Crewdson.  His work really, really resonates with me.  Dark, twisted, beautiful and bursting with narrative, his twilight series is my absolute favourite.  

Vivian Maier Street Photographer

I think any photographer who has ever heard of Vivian Maier is probably intrigued by her.  Over the course of her life she created hundreds and thousands of street photography images and didn't show them to anyone.  It wasn't until a local historian discovered a box of her negatives at an auction and started collecting her work that her talent became known to the world. 

100 Ideas That Changed Photography

I'm not much of a reader when it comes to non fiction.  I have an ever expanding collection of photo books but confess to focussing on the pictures, for the most part.  This is great though as each idea is presented over one or two pages, in a really accessible way so you can dip in and out of it really easily.  It covers everything from the advent of colour film to the tintype and if you're looking for a passion project there are a number of techniques / philosophies that could make a really great jumping off point. 

The Great Life Photographers

A great anthology, featuring work from some of the greatest photographers of the 20th Century.  You can also pick it up at an absolute bargain price on line (£11.87 on Amazon!).

Gregory Heisler 50 Portraits

This is a great insight into the creative process of one of photography's most respected practitioners.  If you think your shoots are stressful, try having to shoot some of the most high profile celebrities and dignitaries in the world with only a 10 minute time slot to get your shot!

Steal Like an Artist - Austin Kleon

Not a photography book as such but a brilliant light hearted and inspiring look at the creative process.  Another great book to dip into when you're feeling a bit stuck. 

180 - Tim Morris

Tim Morris is an advertising and editorial photographer and this is a book of his personal work, taken all around the world. Still life and still moments.  His work is quiet, observational and brilliant.

The Photo Book

Another anthology, featuring some of the most significant photographs ever made, across all genres.  This is another great reference book to dip in and out of. 

The Last Resort - Martin Parr

I love Martin Parr's work and could have picked any number of his books to include in a list of my favourites.  I'm picking this one though as I am fascinated by British seaside towns, especially the slightly run down, gaudy, decaying kind.  Martin Parr gets straight to the heart of the English psyche.  

The Ballad of Sexual Dependency - Nan Goldin

Another one of my absolute favourite photographers. Nan Goldin's work is raw, honest and sometimes brutal. It's also largely autobiographical.  This new edition of The Ballad of Sexual Dependency was released in 2012.  

Have you read any of these books (or at least looked at the photographs?!).  What are your favourite photography books?