Top 10 Street Photography Books you should have


Like many of you, we love books. That’s why we’d like to share a list of our Street Photography favorites books.

Street photography books

On the list, you’ll find many well-known books, along with other less well-known gems. There’s already a lot to like, and as discoveries are made, our list will surely grow.

Here are 10 books that can certainly inspire you.

1. Bystander: A History of Street Photography

street photography by colin and joel

In this book, the authors explore and discuss the development of one of the most interesting and dynamic of photographic genres. Hailed as a landmark work when it was first published in 1994, Bystander is widely regarded by street photographers as the "bible" of street photography. 

It covers an incredible array of talent, from the unknowns of the late 19th century to the acknowledged masters of the 20th, such as Atget, Stieglitz, Strand, Cartier-Bresson, Brassai, Kertesz, Frank, Arbus, Winogrand, and Levitt to name just a few. 

In this new and fully revised edition, the story of street photography is brought up to date with a re-evaluation of some historical material, the inclusion of more contemporary photographers, and a discussion of the ongoing rise of digital photography.

2. Extraordinary Everyday Photography: Awaken Your Vision to Create Stunning Images Wherever You Are (1st Edition)


Through accessible discussions and exercises, readers learn to use composition, available light, color, and point of view to create stunning photographs in any environment.

Photographers are born travelers. They’ll go any distance to capture the right light, beautiful landscapes, wildlife, and people. But exotic locales aren’t necessary for interesting photographs. Wonderful images are hiding almost everywhere; you just need to know how to find them.

Extraordinary Everyday Photography will help you search beyond the surface to find the unexpected wherever you are, be it a downtown street, a local park, or your own front lawn. Authors Brenda Tharp and Jed Manwaring encourage amateur photographers to slow down, open their eyes, and respond to what they see to create compelling images that aren’t overworked.

Inspiring photo examples from the authors, taken with DSLRs, compact digital cameras, and even iPhones, show that it is the photographer's eye and creative vision--not the gear--that make a great image.

3. Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Mastering Street Photography Kindle Edition


If you want to master the fundamentals of street photography, Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Mastering Street Photography is for you.

Eric Kim distills his 10+ years of street photography experience in a practical and philosophical book, to get you to quickly start capturing "the decisive moment" in your street photography.

In these 165 pages of practical and philosophical knowledge, you will learn how to master the fundamentals of street photography: all the way from the ideal camera equipment and technical settings for street photography, to conquering your fears and creating more beautiful and dynamic pictures of everyday life.

This book is also unique because it isn't just a manual on how to shoot street photography -- it is also part photo-book which includes the best photos from Eric Kim's "Suits" and "Only in America" series.

In **Ultimate Beginner's Guide to Mastering Street Photography** you will learn:

1. What is best camera for street photography?
2. Practical tips and guidance how to start shooting street photography
3. Overcoming hesitation and fear to capture "the decisive moment"
4. Confidently interacting and engaging with your subjects
5. Capture authentic moments in the streets, either with or without permission
6. Boldly get closer in street photography to capture the soul of your subject
7. Starting your own street photography project that is personally-meaningful to you
8. Discover your own personal aesthetic and style in street photography
9. Harnessing the power of the flash to make street photographs that pop
10. Never running out of inspiration in street photography

4. Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment (1st Edition)


Since the advent of the camera, there have been photographers whose mission is to record and interpret the public sphere in all its aspects. Eugene Atget documented evidence of everyday life in the streets as well as the buildings and monuments of Paris. Henri Cartier-Bresson pursued what he called "The Decisive Moment," the moment in which the meaning of an event was most clearly captured in a photograph. Their work, and that of many other masters, has inspired generations of photographers to wander public spaces, camera in hand, searching for meaningful moments in time.

Success requires the street photographer to be proficient with their equipment, to be constantly aware of their surroundings, and to have a keen eye. Quick reflexes and self-confidence are essential: Street photographers know from experience that hesitation or procrastination could mean missing a once-in-a-lifetime shot. The adage "it's better to ask for forgiveness than permission" was probably coined by a street photographer. 

In Street Photography: The Art of Capturing the Candid Moment, Gordon Lewis helps readers understand and conquer the challenging yet rewarding world of street photography. The book includes discussions of why photographers are drawn to street photography, the different styles of street photography, and what makes a great street photograph. Lewis then goes on to explore how the choice of location can change a photographer's approach to image capture: from city streets to fairs to beaches, Lewis discusses the impact different environments have on the process of street photography. 

5. Street Photography: Creative Vision Behind the Lens 1st Edition


With both training and preparation, a street photographer needs to make rapid decisions; there may only be a fraction of a second to immortalize a moment in time that has never happened before and will never happen again. This is where Street Photography: Creative Vision Behind the Lens comes in.

Follow Valérie Jardin on an inspiring photo walk around the world. After an overview of the practical and technical aspects of street photography, Valérie takes you along on a personal photographic journey as she hits the streets of her favorite urban haunts. She shows you the art of storytelling through her photographs, from envisioning the image to actually capturing it in the camera. Learn about the technical and compositional choices she makes and the thought process that spurred the click of the shutter.

Perfect for both the new photographer excited to capture the world around them and for the experienced street photographer wishing to improve their techniques and images, Street Photography requires no special equipment, just a passion for seeing and capturing the extraordinary in the ordinary.

6. The Essentials of Street Photography

the essentials of street photography

Explore the streets with The Essentials of Street Photography. This guide is not only about teaching you how to technically approach the streets, how to edit your work, how to overcome your fears, or how to get sharp, close-up candid shots without getting punched, although it will teach you these things.

It is about teaching you how to conceptually approach your work so that it has something to say.

In addition, learn from six talented street photography veterans in the Street Photography Conversations section. Learn first-hand the techniques of Matt Weber, who prowled the gritty, pre-Giuliani streets of New York in a taxi capturing the 80s crack epidemic and is the focus of the upcoming documentary, More Than The Rainbow. Hear from Blake Andrews, who does beautiful work in the quiet city of Eugene, Oregon. Learn how Richard Bram, Jay Maisel, Mike Peters, and Dave Beckerman all approach the streets in their own, diverse ways.

Few people know all of the tips, tricks and techniques to be able to consistently take meaningful, beautiful, and technically stunning street shots. No matter your skill level, there will be something important for you to learn in this book.

7. Humans of New York : Stories


Now a #1 New York Times Bestseller! In the summer of 2010, photographer Brandon Stanton began an ambitious project -to single-handedly create a photographic census of New York City. The photos he took and the accompanying interviews became the blog Humans of New York. 

His audience steadily grew from a few hundred followers to, at present count, over eighteen million. In 2013, his book Humans of New York, based on that blog, was published and immediately catapulted to the top of the NY Times Bestseller List where it has appeared for over forty-five weeks. Now, Brandon is back with the Humans of New York book that his loyal followers have been waiting for: Humans of New York: Stories.

Ever since Brandon began interviewing people on the streets of New York, the dialogue he's had with them has increasingly become as in-depth, intriguing and moving as the photos themselves. Humans of New York: Stories presents a whole new group of people in stunning photographs, with a rich design and, most importantly, longer stories that delve deeper and surprise with greater candor. Let Brandon Stanton and the Humans of New York he's photographed astonish you all over again.

8. Travel and Street Photography: From Snapshots to Great Shots 1st Edition


Whether you’re heading to Paris or San Francisco, Patagonia or Yosemite, you need a book that goes beyond the camera manual to teach you how to take great shots. This guide by pro photographer John Batdorff will help you conquer the fundamentals of travel and street photography and capture stunning pictures.

Batdorff starts with the basics–composition, light, and exposure–and how to plan and pack the right equipment for different types of shooting conditions. He also covers all the key camera features that affect your image. Once you’ve captured those shots, John takes you step-by-step through an effective workflow in Lightroom to organize your images and develop your own personal style. 

This guide is for beginning-to-intermediate digital photographers to understand the basics and bring their own unique artistic expression to any situation whether you’re taking landscapes, cityscapes, portraits, or food and drink shots. 

Beautifully illustrated with large, compelling photos, this book teaches you how to take control of your photography to get the image you want every time you pack up your camera and take it on the road.

9. Street Photography: 50 Ways to Capture Better Shots of Ordinary Life


Street photography is fun, rewarding, and inexpensive. There is no need for the latest gadgets or trips to “exotic” places. Amazing images can be captured everywhere, all the time, and with the simplest equipment. All you need is a camera, an interest in ordinary people doing everyday things, and—of course—this book. 

In Street Photography, acclaimed photographer Eric Kim shares everything you need to develop your own street photography skills: how to conquer your fear of shooting in public, tips on choosing your gear, and inspiring techniques to discover the beauty in the mundane. You’ll learn how to chase the all-important “decisive moment,” and even how to find your own style. As a bonus, you’ll get insights from renowned street photographers Ludmilla Morais, Blake Andrews, Thomas Leuthard, and Kramer O’Neill. 

Street photography is all about discovering the wonderful things most of us are too busy to notice. Let this book inspire you to hit the streets—and turn everyday moments into extraordinary photos! 

10. Getting Started in Street Photography Kindle Edition


During his 20 years “shooting street,” Bill Birnbaum has been photographing strangers on the streets of North America, South America, Europe and New Zealand. In this book, he offers the reader the benefit of his extensive experience. 

In “Getting Started in Street Photography,” you will learn…

  • What kind of camera is best for shooting street?

  • Choosing your lens – which is best for street photography? 

  • The most appropriate camera settings for shooting street

  • How about a smart phone for street photography? – pluses and minuses 

  • Pre-focusing (or zone focusing) to gain speed 

  • Color vs. black and white – considerations in choosing 

  • How to overcome fear of photographing strangers by employing the technique of “farming” rather than “hunting.”

  • Strolling around the streets – moving within a fast-paced crowd
    Remaining inconspicuous when photographing strangers – dos and don’ts 

  • Techniques for “shooting from the hip” – when walking, standing, sitting What to look for in your subject – composition and timing

  • Shooting street with a companion – yes or no – pluses and minuses 

  • A shot in the dark – shooting at night – shooting indoors 

  • Shooting street when traveling – shooting events – other cultures 

  • Why you should shoot in horizontal, rather than vertical, format 

  • About ethics and the law – what you’ll especially want to avoid 

  • Avoiding each of the three ways in which a street shot can “fail”