5 Photography Books to Consider Buying in 2022

For the last two years or so, I have been shying away from reading any books in depth. However, it hasn’t stopped me from getting my hands on a few more, which have either gone untouched or I just do a quick flip through. I am vowing to myself this year to do better and embark on some essential reading of my investments.

For this list, I am sharing with you 5 books you should consider buying this year as these are books that are also on my wishlist.

I think this is going to be my third book list. My previous lists can be found here and here.


Book #1What They Saw: Historical Photobooks by Women, 1843-1999

“Presenting a diverse geographic and ethnic selection, the What They Saw anthology interprets historical photobooks by women in the broadest sense possible: classic bound books, portfolios, personal albums, unpublished books, zines and scrapbooks.” – Read more about the book from the publisher 10×10 Photobooks here.


Book #2Nadine Ijewere: Our Own Selves

“Dazzling color, dreamlike backgrounds, and a fierce gaze are the hallmarks of Ijewere’s work. But most important to the London photographer is subversion of traditional concepts of beauty. In fashion work, editorials, advertisements, and film stills, Ijewere draws not only on her roots in Nigeria and Jamaica, but also on her own experiences as a young Black woman in South East London whose skin color, hair, and body type were nowhere to be found in the pages of magazines.” – Read more about the book from the publisher Prestel here. Follow Ijewere’s work here.


Book #3Gordon Parks & Ralph Ellison: Invisible Man

“Parks and Ellison collaborated on two historic photo-essays, now published in full for the first time. It is relatively unknown that the photographer Gordon Parks was close friends with Ralph Ellison, author of the acclaimed 1952 novel Invisible Man. Even less known is the fact that their common vision of racial injustices, coupled with a shared belief in the communicative power of photography, inspired collaboration on two important projects, in 1948 and 1952.” – Read more about this book here.


Book #4 Photo No-Nos: Meditations on What Not to Photograph

Photo No-Nos is for photographers of all levels wishing to avoid easy metaphors and to sharpen their visual communication skills.

Not a strict guide, but a series of meditations on “bad” pictures, Photo No-Nos covers a wide range of topics, from mannequins and TVs in motel rooms to issues of colonialism, stereotypes, and social responsibility. At a time when societies are reckoning with what and how to communicate through media and who has the right to do so, this book is a timely and thoughtful resource on what photographers consider to be off-limits and how they have contended with their own self-imposed rules without being paralyzed by them.” – Read more about the book from the publisher Aperture here.


Book #5Photography: A Critical Introduction (6th Edition)

“Now in its sixth edition, this seminal textbook examines key debates in photographic theory and places them in their social and political contexts. This revised and updated edition includes new case studies on topics such as: Black Lives Matter and the racialised body; the #MeToo movement; materialism and embodiment; nation branding; and an extended critical discussion of landscape as genre.” – Read more about the book from the publisher Routledge here.

What I also like about this book is that the cover is by Adaeze Ihebom from her series ‘Igbo Woman’. You can follow her work and the rest of the series here.


Bonus Book

Light – Science & Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting (6th New edition)

“Photographic lighting is a topic that will never go out of style, no matter how sophisticated cameras and other technology get. Even with the most high-tech gear, photographers still need to put a lot of thought and vision into lighting their photographs in order to get great results. Mastering this key skill has the power to dramatically and quickly improve your photographs as well as your efficiency. Light-Science & Magic provides you with a comprehensive theory of the nature and principles of light, with examples and instructions for practical application.” – Read more about the book from the publisher Routledge here.


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