I believe if you want to become greater at creating contemporary street photography, then these books listed are a must read. When creating striking imagery, background knowledge will help greatly to succeed in the genre. Below are a few books I recommend reading along with a little information about the books. The books have inspired my craft in the street photography genre, I have found other books when starting street photography to have great images, but learning tips and hints to capture images like a professional from these books has helped direct and inform my work.
List of Top five Reads
100 Great Street Photographers by David Gibson.
Bystander: A History of Street Photography by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerowitz.
The Street Photographer’s Manual by David Gibson.
The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto by Tanya Nagar.
Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren.
100 Great Street Photographers by David Gibson (published in 2017)
100 Great Street Photographs von David Gibson
This book contains street photographers from various backgrounds, such as Instagram to historic images that have changed and improved the street photography genre. I’ve really enjoyed spending hours looking though the images, the book has given me great inspiration to go out into the street to photograph people. I love the cover to this book, the bold black and white image, thinking about the use of composition has worked, making a very striking image! The book has worked really well getting inspiration and new ideas to photograph street portraiture.
Bystander: A History of Street Photography by Colin Westerbeck and Joel Meyerwitz (published in 2017)
This book is a recent purchase, it was recommended by other street photographers. When the book arrived, I was very excited by the content of the book, but also the overall feel and look, particularly because it is hard back with thick heavy paper which makes the images and text really stand out. It is important for me to have a book that displays effort through a variety of ways, and one that makes me revisit it. The book focuses on the history of street photography, I found the information about the images interesting, although I felt they were lacking excitement for my style of photography. The book could have been more contemporary, having work that was from more recent times. The book overall is a great read with some very interesting articles on the history of street photography.
The Street Photographer’s Manual by David Gibson (published in 2014)
The book is well laid out, very formative with simple instructions to help get started with genre of street photography. Having the profile of the current practitioners really helps to get creative ideas going for your own theme. If you want to be able to tap into creative thinking within the street photography genre, I really recommend this book. The only down side is once you have solid grip on the genre, the book is not in-depth enough to explore street photography to its fullest.
The New Street Photographer’s Manifesto by Tanya Nagar (published in 2012)
This book is a smaller version of the street photographer’s manual, I recommend this book as I feel it is a more precise and in-depth book. The beginning of the book has an introduction into the genre in great depth, along with the step by step guide to the equipment, and ideas for getting started in the realms of street photography. This was a great read that I highly recommend for people who are just starting out photographing street subjects or in an urban environment.
Street Photography Now by Sophie Howarth and Stephen McLaren (published in 2010)
This book I feel is really the best place to start with understanding the genre of street photography and to get an understanding of the current contemporary art form of street photography. The book has really helped with my progression and current themes that I have been exploring. This is seven years old but still has such an impact in contemporary street today.