Free Photography Books
We’ve scoured the web to create the ultimate list of free photography books in 2021. There’s never been a better time to learn how to get into photography – the wealth of information available on the Internet for zero cost is just staggering!
Over 250 fun & informative eBooks to help improve your photography. (Every genre covered)
We’ll be keeping this list of photography books updated as the year progresses and we come across more titles.
If you have any good recommendations, please leave them in the comments below so everyone can benefit.
Table of Contents
Best Free Photography Books in 2021
Night sky photography has been all the rage recently, especially over Instagram. No doubt you’ll have seen beautiful long exposure shots of the milky way or flying comets. Learn from a professional night sky photography with this excellent free ebook from Photzy.
2. Selling Fine Art Photography – by PhotoShelter
Fine art photography is a way for the photographer to express his or her work as an artist, without the constraints of a particular genre. Selling fine art photography can be a lucrative venture if conducted well, and in this free ebook you’ll learn some of the tips to making your first sale.
3. The Photographer’s Guide to Copyright – by PhotoShelter
Make sure you know where you stand regarding the law and your ownership of images. PhotoShelter pumps out the free photography books, and this is one of many they offer. See also: how to copyright photos online.
4. The Camera Buying Guide – by Photo Concentrate
Whilst guides such as these quickly go out of date, this one by Photo Concentrate contains some useful tips on your next camera purchase that are still very much relevant today.
5. Selling Stock Photography: A Guide to Licensing Images From Your Archive – by PhotoShelter
There’s a lot of money to be made from stock photography. It’s a rare photographic passive income source, which can allow you to make money even as you sleep. Here’s a handy guide on how to get started.
6. Good Photos in Bad Light – by Darwin Wiggett
I love the title of this free photography ebook which includes plenty of tips and tricks on how to get the most out of every lighting situation you find yourself in. Essential reading for all the budding wedding photographers out there.
7. Guide to Portrait Photography Basics – by Adorama
No matter what your level as a photographer, it’s always possible to improve. This free guide on portrait photography from Adorama can help both beginners and advanced photographers alike, with easy to follow guides on developing and maintaining a solid foundation of portrait photography. Definitely something for everyone.
8. Photo Business Plan Workbook – by Photo Shelter
This one may have been written a few years ago, but the advice is still relevant. It’s a step-by-step guide to help you implement a rock-solid business plan, target the photo clients you want, and land more gigs.
9. 8 Types Of Natural Light That Will Add Drama To Your Photographs – by Anne McKinnell
Who’d have though there were so many different types of natural light? Anne describes the best way to use your camera in different natural lighting situations in this useful free photography ebook available on iTunes.
10. Before The Shutter: Planning Your Next Travel Photography Adventure by Anne McKinnell
An interesting read on a topic that’s not very often discussed – the planning that goes behind a photography trip. You’ll learn essential tips and techniques to get the most from your next trip, so you’ll be well prepared before you even pick up your camera.
11. Starting a Photography Business – by PhotoShelter
These guys know what they’re talking about when it comes to building a successful photography business. If you need a hand with where to start, check out this free ebook.
12. Insights from Beyond the Lens – Inside The Art and Craft of Landscape Photography – by Robert Rodriguez Jr
This free ebook offers an entertaining read about a journey to discover the art, craft and passion that lies behind landscape photography. What’s more, the images inside are simply stunning.
13. The Ultimate Social Media Guide For Photographers – by PhotoJaanic
Even though the online landscape is constantly and rapidly changing, this 2018 guide offers a lot of useful information to help guide you through the social media maze. It covers best practices for Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest, with practical examples and plenty of marketing tips.
14. The Heart of Portraiture: Examples of Portrait Photography – by Don Giannatti
20 examples of portrait photography and a discussion on the technique and thought process that went into shooting them, all from photographer and author of Lighting Essentials, Don Giannatti.
15. Five Easy Steps To Shoot In Manual Mode – by Kimberly Gauthier
Shooting in manual mode is essential for your advancement as a photographer. This free ebook does a good job of breaking down the steps necessary to make that jump.
16. Photography Tips For Beginning Photographers, Amateur Photographers & Experienced Amateur Photographers – by Kalem Aquil
A bit of a broad-ranging free photography ebook this one, but still, it has some useful advice to offer – especially for the beginner photographer or those just using cheaper cameras and mobile phones.
17. Street Photography for the Purist – by Chris Weeks
A collection of raw and gritty black and white photos, including commentary on technique by this street photographer.
18. 15 Incredible Bird Photography Tips For Beginners – by Prathap
I’m not sure if the tips really are that ‘incredible’, but nevertheless, if you’re interested in bird photography this free ebook will give you 15 ideas to think about before clicking the shutter.
19. Exposure: Understanding Light – by Nigel Hicks
A detailed explanation in this free photography ebook from a 4 part course that delves into the somewhat complex topic of light, and why it’s the photographer’s number one ally.
20. HDR Top Tips by Klaus Herrmann
Similar to exposure blending is the technique of HDR photography. Learn how to get the most punch out of the dynamic range of your camera’s files and learn how to do HDR photography in this interesting book of tips – check out our Aurora HDR review for more tips.
21. Introduction to External Flash Photography – by Photo Extremist
The complicated topic of off camera flash photography made easier to understand. Essential reading in this free photography ebook.
22. Photoshop CS6 Essential Skills – by Mark Galer & Philip Andrews
Taken from the book of the same name, this introduction to the essential skills of Photoshop CS6 includes guides on useful post processing techniques such as colour grading, tilt-shift, faux Holga, lens flare and several more. If you’re interested in improving the look of your photos using Photoshop, this free ebook available on the iTunes store is a good one.
23. Lightroom Tips – by Shotkit
This one’s an ebook that we converted into an article – you’ll be able to learn a handful of useful tips and tricks to make your Lightroom experience more efficient and enjoyable.
24. Photography for Beginners – by Joseph Scolden
Not everyone who visits Shotkit is an experienced photographer. For those of you who are picking up a dSLR camera for the first time, this free photography book could be of use to you. The author goes into detail about the main functions of a dSLR camera, and how you can use them to take your first photo. If you’re just starting out, you might also be interested in this post on the best cameras under $500.
25. 10 Tips to Improve your Travel Photography – by Michael Chia
I wasn’t expecting much from this short photo book that’s available for free on iTunes, but I was pleasantly surprised. As well as the 10 useful tips to improve your photography while on holiday, the ebook also contains some really good photos – vibrant, well composed and of interesting subjects. Definitely one to install on your iPad for some holiday reading.
26. Lighting Essentials – by UNSW
It’s strange that an Australian university should have a free book on photography available in iTunes, but I’m glad they do! Lighting Essentials covers the primary concepts involved with video and photography lighting, including the use of continuous light sources and flash. Each chapter ends with a useful quiz to test your newly acquired knowledge on the topic.
27. Black & White Fine Art Photography of Highton Ridley – by Highton Ridley
Highton Ridley is a well-known BBC-commissioned and award-winning photographer who is worth checking out. In this ebook he explores the intimate relationship between light and shadow through some of his best pieces.
28. History and Practice of the Art of Photography – by Henri Hunt Snelling
In order to break the rules you must first master them. It’s more or less the same when it comes to the history of the art of photography. In this ebook you’ll learn not only about the basic rules, but also how to put them into practice and how to use your knowledge to keep yourself at the top of your photography game.
29. The Shy Photographer’s Guide To Confidence – by Lauren Lim
This one’s been around for a while but the information is just as relevant today as ever. Photographers are often introverted characters, and this free photography ebook gives advice on how to gain the confidence to interact with your subject and become a better photographer.
30. Airplane Photography – by Herbert Eugene Ives
This one is definitely an interesting read to stumble upon on the internet. It sheds some light on how things used to be before the drone era. Here you can learn which lenses are suitable for aerial photography, what kind of filers you should use or how light distributes in the aerial view.
31. Ultimate Field Guide to Photography – by National Geographic
This one is a truly great resource to take advantage of. Here you’ll be able to find very useful pieces of advice concerning topics like “What type of lens do I need?” or “Understanding histograms”. Just keep in mind that the guide is more suitable for beginners.
32. Starting a Photography Business – by Matt Whatley, John Harrington, Greg Smith and Frank Meo
This guide could be a great starting point if you’ve decided to run your own business. It’s divided into two sections: in the first one you can enjoy expert advice from the four authors and in the second one you can get inspired by six real life stories of photographers who struggled, but succeeded to maintain a successful business.
33. Street photography – by Daniel Hoffmann
Here you can take a breather from all the gear talks. In this ebook the author intentionally focuses more on the photos themselves and not on the technical side of things. Under each image featured you’ll see a comment both from Ronald Beams and Daniel Hoffmann.
34. Close-up and Macro Photography – by Michael Erlewine
If you’re someone who’s fascinated by the technical aspects of photography then probably you’ll be naturally interested in this guide. Here you can find all sorts of information concerning close-up and macro photography – from focus stacking to panorama problems.
35. The Photographer’s Guide to Facebook – by Photoshelter
If you run a photography business or you’re simply trying to attract more attention to your work, Facebook can definitely help. In this guide you’ll learn how to engage your audience and also you’ll be able to read about some successful examples of other photographers who have used Facebook to promote their skills and talent.
36. 31 Days to Overcome Your Fear of Shooting Street Photography – by Eric Kim
Street Photography is a great genre to indulge in, but it does take more than technical skills to be able to master it. In this ebook the author represents his point of view on how to best address your fear of shooting on the street. You will learn how to avoid potential conflicts by remaining calm and confident.
37. Post Exposure – by Ctein
This ebook is a great read if you want to learn more about post-processing. It all starts with detailed explanations on how we perceive colour and how the camera “sees” it.
38. 7 Simple Ways To Market Your Wedding Photography Business – by Photography Concentrate
Even if you’re an experienced Wedding Photographer, there’s still room for improvement with your marketing. Learn some helpful hints in this useful free ebook by Photography Concentrate.
39. Wildflower Photography – by Steve Berardi
There’s a lot of information out there concerning the wide-spread photography topics but not such a great variety when it comes down to the less popular ones. In this guide you’ll have the opportunity to get specific: the author reveals 13 useful tips for creating the perfect wildflower photographs.
40. Motivational Essays on Photography – by Scott Bourne
One more gem for people who don’t recognize the technical stuff as the most important aspect of photography. Here you’ll find 10 great essays on inspiration, creativity, storytelling and vision: the real essentials.
41. Introduction to Night Photography Ideas – by Alister Benn
Night photography is a whole different universe and it could also be a great source of inspiration. With this ebook you’ll dive into the mysteries of night shooting and you’ll also get familiar with the must-have equipment you’ll need.
42. Urban Exploration – by Neil Ta
Urbex, as it’s known, is a fast-growing photography niche and this free ebook does a great job in introducing it. Don’t be surprised if it makes you want to go out and grab a compass and map…
43. 100 Lessons From the Masters of Street Photography – by Eric Kim
This one is an open-source ebook which will definitely grab your attention. It contains a lot of inspirational quotes and thoughts by the great masters of street photography. It’s a must-read if you’re feeling uninspired and you need to get back on track.
44. 6 Tips to Make Your Clouds Appear Dramatic – by Photzy
Here’s another great free photo ebook by Photzy which will help bring some drama to the clouds in your landscape photography. All the tips are simple to understand and to implement. If you’re interested in learning more, check out our Photzy Action Cards Review – a fun way to advance your photography skills to the next level.
45. How to Photograph Strangers – by Photzy
If you want to improve as a street photographer, it’s important that you gain confidence photographing strangers. The tips in this fantastic little ebook are also useful for other genres of photography where people are involved.
Free Photography eBooks | Final Words
It’s great that here in 2021 there are so many excellent ebooks on various aspects of photography… and they’re available for free! If you’ve got a tablet or smartphone, download a selection of them as PDFs to read later.
While getting stuff for free is obviously amazing, don’t forget to invest a little in your photography education too. Whether that means purchasing books, enrolling in courses, or attending workshops, spending a little on improving at your favourite hobby is always a good idea.
I hope you enjoyed the guide – please remember to share it with a friend ;-)