aerial photography, book, editorial photography

The photographers book list

the Photographers book list by Cameron Davidson
The Ultimate photographers instructional photo book list.

The big photography book list here:

Over three-decades in this crazy business and I’ve collected a few good photo instructional books – some by friends or people I admire.  All of them are full of practical and specific information.

Doing it right:

What they didn’t teach you in photo school by Demetrius Fordham.

The ultimate world-class insider view from a formerly top assistant to Doug Menuez to shooting on his own. This book is a master class into the world of commercial photography.

Running a Successful Photography Business by Lisa Pritchard.  Lisa is a London based rep who used to rep a good friend of mine. Her advice is concise on target. A must read for commercial photographers.

The Location Photographers Handbook by Ken Haas. Out of date and out of print but still the bible for travel and understanding culture of any country.

Crusade for your Art by Jennifer Schwartz. Focused on fine art photography and the information you need to approach galleries and do it right.

Publish Your Photography Book by Darius D. Himes and Mary Virginia Swanson.  Swanee is my go-to person for consulting about the art world and making the transition into fine art. This book is the best I’ve seen about publishing.  I have six books published so far. All of the books would have been better if I had read this beforehand. (although, they were published before the release of this book)

On the Portrait and the Moment by Mary Ellen Mark.  Superb portrait photographer and how she approached her subject.

Inside Aviation Photography by Chad Slattery.  Chad is the man when it comes to photographing aircraft, from inside to outside to air-to-air.

Successful Underwater Photography by Brian Skerry and Howard Hall. Brian is a friend and one of the top underwater photographers in the world. Also, he is funny as hell. He is a long-term contract shooter for NatGeo. Fantastic book.

Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It by Scott Kelby. Photoshop  Guru Scott Kelby and how to go from an empty studio to a finished product.


101 Things I learned in Film School by Matthew Frederick and Neil Landau. Title say’s it all. If you need to shoot motion, this is a good to have in your library.

Master Shots 2nd Edition and Volume 3 by Christopher Kenworthy. Advanced camera techniques and director set-ups. Amazing books.

How to shoot Video that Doesn’t Suck by Steve Stockman. Title say’s it and the author means it and shows you how to do it right.

The Art of The Cut by Greg Keast. When young photographers ask me about a career in this industry, I always tell them learn how to edit video.

ITTEN The Elements of Color by Faber Birren.  A must-read for understanding color and how it works.


Using the View Camera by Steve Simmons

Large Format Nature Photography by Jack Dykinga

Book of Large-Format Photography by Kodak.

If you want to shoot large format, all three of these comprise the bible for field and studio work.

My Books:

Chesapeake – the Aerial photography of Cameron Davidson: A long-term labor of love. Co-published with the University of Virginia Press, it is an exploration of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed from helicopter and fixed-wing aircraft. Written by Washington Post Pulitzer winner David A. Fahrenthold.

Over Florida: My first book, an all-aerial exploration of the Sunshine state from Key West to the Redneck Rivera. Text by Mark Derr. This was the companion book to Over Florida video by PBS.

A Moment of Silence: Lovely little book of images shot for a Smithsonian magazine story on Arlington Cemetery and a personal project on military honor guards. Text by Owen Andrews.

Washington, D.C. – Our Nation’s Capital Another companion piece to a PBS special. Written by Edwards Park and an enjoyable project flying low and slow over DC in the days before 911.

Chicago from Above: Fun little straight-ahead photo book on Chicago.  Written by Magda Nakassis

Washington DC from Above: another photo book in a series published by Myriad books. Magda Nakassis also wrote the text for this one.

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