My favorite photography books of 2023: perfect gifts for photographers

Book covers
(Image credit: Future)

With hundreds of photography books published every year, it can be easy to miss a classic. I’ve rounded up my favorites of 2023, from inspirational monographs to practical technique guides. And so, in no particular order...

The School of Photography Beginner’s Guide

(Image credit: Octopus)

$24.99/£19.99
Octopus

Could this be the best photo technique book published in 2023? TSoP founder Marc Newton takes the reader through the basics of photography. 

My verdict: An excellent photography primer that eschews slabs of text for an easy-to-follow visual approach.

Life, Death and Everything In Between

(Image credit: Gost)

$95/£80
Gost 

A new book celebrating the work of revered British photographer Don McCullin, Life, Death and Everything in Between showcases new and previously unseen work. Publisher Gost Books says that the new volume is neither a retrospective nor a definitive publication, but presents “a selection of images valued by McCullin with the benefits of both hindsight and wisdom, encapsulating his prolific, varied, and ongoing career.” 

My verdict: From images of postwar London to recent works in the Middle East via his gritty war photos, this is a must for fans of McCullin’s photography.

Landscape Photographer of the Year Collection 16

(Image credit: Ilex)

$40/£35
Ilex

The 16th edition of the Landscape Photographer of the Year book proves that this is the competition to win if you’re serious about shooting scenics. The latest collection of winning entries is a visual treat for followers of landscape photography. 

My verdict: Keep your LPOTY books set up to date with another superb set of landscape photos to explore.

Tokyo Unseen

(Image credit: teNeues)

$45/£19.95
teNeues 

Another volume in this ‘unseen cities’ series from teNeues. Lukasz Palka takes the reader on a tour of one of the most intriguing and captivating places on earth. A riot of modernity and kinetic energy that’s home to 14 million people, Palka still manages to capture moments of calm and reflection away from all the bustle.

My verdict: Straddling the genres of street and urban photography, this is a fascinating document of Tokyo.

Lee Miller: Photographs

(Image credit: Thames & Hudson)

$45/£30
Thames & Hudson

Cover model turned fashion and war photographer, Lee Miller had an extraordinary life. Introduced to photography by her father, she turned to the medium after studying art. This collection of her work comprises 100 photos taken between 1930 and 1953.

My verdict: Showcases the breadth of Miller’s oeuvre – there’s something here for all photographers to savor. 

Remembering Leopards

(Image credit: Remembering Wildlife)

$60/£49.50
Remembering Wildlife

Remembering Leopards is the eighth book in the Remembering Wildlife series and celebrates the beauty and wonder of this elusive and endangered big cat. Eight sub-species of leopard appear over the 196 pages of this hardback book, including African, Indian, Sri Lankan, clouded and snow leopards. High production values show the photos at their best and profits from the book will support various leopard conservation efforts around the world.

My verdict: This is a visual treat for leopard lovers, and a must-buy book for wildlife enthusiasts looking to do their bit for conservation.

Joel Meyerowitz: A Question of Color

(Image credit: Thames & Hudson)

$27.95/£20
Thames & Hudson

We take color photography for granted these days, but it wasn’t always so. In this book, a photography legend makes the case for equal billing for colour.

My verdict: A compelling and well-argued case for color from a leading exponent of the form.

ViewPoint: Human Stories through the Smartphone Lens

(Image credit: Ilex)

$39.99/£30
Ilex

Jo Bradford has compiled a volume of human stories told through the medium of smartphone photography. Bradford interviews 54 people about their lives and photography, each of whom describes the images they supply.

My verdict: A wide-ranging survey of photos from around the world, and a real insight into the image makers.

David Hurn: Photographs 1955–2020

(Image credit: RRB Photo Books)

$85/£60
RRB Photo Books

Hurn is a bona fide great of documentary photography, and this new book features famous photos as well as lesser-known ones. 129 black-and-white pictures, taken around the world, appear with explanatory notes.

My verdict: An essential collection of Hurn’s ‘non-fiction’ photography from one of the masters of the craft.

Store Front NYC

(Image credit: Penguin Random House)

$40/£28.60
Penguin Random House

Over two decades, the photographers James and Karla Murray captured frontages of ‘mom-and-pop’ shops in New York City. Many have now been lost to development, so Store Front NYC freezes slices of time in the evolution of a city. With this second volume on shopfronts, the Murrays have created something special.

My verdict: An exploration of local communities in NYC and the small businesses that serve them.

Other photography book guides:

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Niall Hampton
Editor

Niall is the editor of Digital Camera Magazine, and has been shooting on interchangeable lens cameras for over 20 years, and on various point-and-shoot models for years before that. 


Working alongside professional photographers for many years as a jobbing journalist gave Niall the curiosity to also start working on the other side of the lens. These days his favored shooting subjects include wildlife, travel and street photography, and he also enjoys dabbling with studio still life. 


On the site you will see him writing photographer profiles, asking questions for Q&As and interviews, reporting on the latest and most noteworthy photography competitions, and sharing his knowledge on website building.