18 Free Photography Books – Your Photography Summer Reading List

If I told you I had over a dozen free photography books to give you, is that something you would be interested in? 

Well I do – sort of. These are online live previews of books.  Think about the old days when you could sit in a book store and page through books before deciding if you wanted to buy them…  Well with Amazon and other online book stores, you basically guess if you like a book.  And who has time for bookstores anymore?  When I do get to go to the bookstore, my kids want to be in the “children’s area.”

And on the off chance I make it to the photography section, the selection is usually poor at best and the prices higher than online.

So today at MCP Actions Blog, I bring you a bookstore – a small one of 18 books.  I have read and own about 1/2 of these.  The rest I just added in for you to decide. I would love after you have a chance to read through some to come tell us your feedback in the comment section.

The top row are MUST HAVES!  The Bryan Peterson books – especially Understanding Exposure.  In my opinion, every photographer needs to own this one.

These books below are called Limited Previews – basically they skip a page or two here and there – but most of the book is intact for you.  So you can scan and see if you get enough from it this way – or if you want to buy it so you can hold it and embrace it.

I hope you enjoy – and I hope you will twitter, stumbleupon, and digg this post (using buttons at the bottom) so others can utilize this resource.  Stay tuned tomorrow for Photoshop Books!

Thanks – Jodi


understanding exp learn to see beyond portraiture

sandy puc group portrait photography children's portrait 

lighting portrait photog   high key

doug box master posing port photog

butterfly photographer's handbook  wildlife photography  closeups in nature

sports2 sports legal

Jodi Friedman, MCP Actions

Jodi Friedman is the founder of MCP Actions. She designs popular Photoshop actions and Lightroom presets that make editing faster, easier and more fun.

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  1. 6

    Vickie says

    Thanks Jodi! I teach high school digital photography and use Bryan Peterson’s Exposure book in our 1st semester section. It doesn’t get any better! Loved looking at the others and will add a few to our class books! Love your blog!!

  2. 9

    MariaV says

    Thank you, Jodi. There is a Border’s around the corner from where I work and I haven’t been there in months.

  3. 10


    I just want to say I am a new reader to your blog and I love it. I am a teach myself very very amateur photographer so I found this blog very helpful. I have so much to learn and you gave me some great resources to check out.

  4. 11

    Lisa says

    I have Understanding Exposure and gained so much from it. I would love to own the others. Thanks for always keeping us informed. Take care!

  5. 12

    Laurie says

    I have Understanding Exposure and a few of the portraiture books. I would like to look at Learning to See Creatively so thanks for the sneak peek!

  6. 13


    Awesome! It was fun looking through the books I don’t have already. Glad to see John Shaw’s book there, he is my favorite landscape and nature photographer and super nice guy. ♥

  7. 14

    Allison says

    I just spent my entire “allowance” on books – I already own a few, so I will have to dust them off and reread them.

  8. 15


    Thanks so much for posting this, Jodi. I am a book junkie and have most all of the books you listed, but highly agree with you about Bryan Peterson’s “Understanding Exposure”. I cannot recommend that one enough to any photographer, and have given the book as a gift to numerous people when they get a new camera.

  9. 21


    Wow! Thanks a million! I just ordered the first book and have a few of the others, but have been “eye-balling” the rest! Woohooo, great source! Thanks, Jodi!

  10. 25


    Awesome, after many years out of photography the creative juices are flowing and I need to dust off my camera, want to get some photo books so this helps me choose.


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