Suggested Reading List

Updated January 1, 2019

This anthology contains two types of literary works: 1) biographies of photographers and 2) writings on photography. I first posted this list in 2013, but below is an updated version. These are not picture books, but historical records of a photographer’s life that also fuss over the meaning of a photograph.

There are diamonds for living here, but each book should be approached with skepticism. For example, you may ask:

Do we really need another Diane Arbus book?
The more famous a photographer, the more that’s been written. Arbus is a good example, as new published works on her life and career appear every few years. The list below only includes my preferred sketches and interpretations of a photographer’s life and work. It’s not exhaustive.

Should I read their memoir or a biography?
Both. Read Robert Capa’s autobiography and then Kershaw’s bio of the photographer, they’re wildly different.

Anyone local and still working?
Yes, I just found D.C.-based and European Pressphoto Agency (EPA) photographer Jim Lo Scalzo’s memoir on Amazon.