When I started to take pictures, I always tried to look for DIY books that would take my photography to the next level. I was very specific when I started to shoot, I wanted to make sure that I had the correct lens and I wanted to shoot exclusively in natural lighting before I started to shoot in flash mode. After a lot of researching and purchases, I’ve narrowed my favourite books to four specific titles.
1. Food Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots by Nicole S. Young
Food photography is an art that is different from other types of photography because the lighting styles are completely different. For most natural light subjects the lighting is usually situated in front of the subject to illuminate their face but in food photography the main light is usually situated behind the subject, in this case food. What I love about this book is that it shows you all the possible lighting situations for different types of food styling. Young also gives tips on what types of lens and accessories needed to get that great shot. In terms of food styling, she gives tips on how to elevate food items such as spaghetti. For example, to make the illusion of more food just add a Styrofoam Dome or to make a scene look more natural add a little mess such as bread crumbs. I recommend this book to photographers who have a handle on lighting before they delve in the technical aspects of this book.
2. The Luminous Portrait by Elizabeth Messina
This book delves into the world of natural light photography. Messina is an excellent instructor who discusses what type of photography looks great in this type of lighting. What is interesting about this book is that she is pushes the viewers to capture the best picture at the time of production so that you don't spend time in post production. She wants the reader to be fully immersed in their work while shooting so they could work on their analytic and creativity skills. She also offers insight to those that are interested in shooting film citing that film cameras offer more control and preparation to obtain amazing shots.
3. Natural Newborn Baby Photography: A Guide to Posing, Shooting, and Business by Robin Long
This book is a great how-to book for newborn photography. Robin Long gets into the nitty-gritty of how photographers need to prepare when planning a newborn shoot with parents. Her book goes through an array of advice from how you should respond to appointment consultations to how you should edit each picture on photoshop. What is interesting about this book is that she focuses on the business of photography, which is helpful for entrepreneurs in photography. Another aspect of the book is focused on how to gain trust from parents and how to make the baby comfortable during the photoshoot. I would recommend this book to anyone who is thinking about doing lifestyle photography.
4. Read This If You Want To Take Great Photographs By Henry Carroll
This handy book by Henry Carroll is the best little pocket photography book for beginners. If you just purchased a new DSLR and have no idea what M mode is then this book is for you. Carrol's instructions and examples will keep you at ease by telling you what each mode is for and what effect you can achieve with each. The examples that he uses are from great photographers, in which he explains that you could also achieve the same results. I would suggest doing of the tasks that he mentions so that you could work your photography muscles and get used to the different options on your new digital cameras.