These are my favorite books on people/portrait photography. Many of these first rate books are out of print but you can still find copies at the links below.
You can learn more about each of these books by reading my article Excellent “How To Photograph People” Books.
It helps to have a basic understanding of metering, lighting, and the fundamentals of people photography before you dive into the books below. A good introduction is in Digital photography Exposure for Dummies. Read the chapters on metering, lighting, and people photography. Then you can move on to some specialized books.
Kodak’s Classic book on People Photography
The Joy of Photographing People
Books on Portrait Photography
The Portrait: Professional Techniques and Practices
National Geographic Field Guide: People & Portraits by Robert Caputo
Digital Portrait Photography: Art, Business, and Style by Steve Sint
Specialized Books on Posing
The Photographer’s Guide to Posing: Techniques to Flatter Everyone by Lindsay Adler
Posing for Portrait Photography: A Head-to-Toe Guide for Digital Photographers by Jeff Smith
Jeff Smith’s Posing Techniques for Location Portrait Photography by Jeff Smith
The Art of Posing: Techniques for Digital Portrait Photographers by Lou Jacobs
Specialized Books on Photographic Lighting
Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers by Christopher Grey
Christopher Grey’s Advanced Lighting Techniques: Tricks of the Trade for Digital Photographers by Christopher Grey
Christopher Grey’s Lighting Techniques for Beauty and Glamour Photography: A Guide for Digital Photographers by Christopher Grey
Christopher Grey’s Vintage Lighting by Christopher Grey
Specialized Books on Wedding Photography
The Art of Wedding Photography: Professional Techniques with Style by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen
The Art of Digital Wedding Photography: Professional Techniques with Style by Bambi Cantrell and Skip Cohen
Digital Wedding Photography: Art, Business & Style by Steve Sint
Specialized Books on Retouching Portraits
Skin: The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies Second (2nd) Edition by Lee Varis
Adobe Photoshop CS2: The Art of Photographing Women by Kevin Ames
Specialized Book on the Business of Portrait Photography
Photography Q&A: Real Questions. Real Answers by Zach Arias
Page created November 3, 2017. Updated December 1, 2019.