Inspirational Street Photography Books to Put on Your Bookshelf in 2023

Street Photography is a practical activity. Good street Photography Books inspire us to do it well.

We all do it for various reasons, fun, art, relaxation and many other reasons.

But, most of us do have a desire to achieve a high standard when we’re behind the camera.

A little inspiration and help from two excellent Street Photographers, Matt Stuart and David Gibson, show us, prompt us, and generally motivate us to pick up our cameras and get outside for more of the good stuff on the street.

A good street photographer steps onto the street with solid intention and a positive frame of mind. These two books will help to develop your positive way of thinking so that even when you’re ‘not feeling it’, or just plain tired, you can motivate yourself to get something positive from your efforts.

“The Street Photographer’s Manual”, by David Gibson, is packed with photos by various street photographers from around the world.

Instead of focusing on only his own work, he gives us a panoramic view of the variety of photography that is street photography.

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Each chapter of the book is headed with an idea. Quiet, Busy, Abstract, Still, Subjects. And each time we delve into one of these aspects of street photography and the possibilities open to us, we can walk the streets, camera in hand, with these thoughts in mind.

Intention, in photography, is everything. Without a strong intent we meander. With solid ideas we know what we want – that’s when we see those ideas right in front of us.

Reading juicy books like these two helps us to formulate our own intentions and come away with ideas that give us street photographer’s framework of thinking, and a deeper appreciation of what street photography is all about.

Matt Stuart’s book on Street Photography, “Think Like a Street Photographer“, is impressive, exciting, and full of brilliant ideas that make you want to get up and go. Reading this book makes you want to get out the door and go hunting for those shots you always knew were out there somewhere.

He puts a strong tone of positivity in Street Photography. It seems to me that Matt Stuart is all about “go out and look for it, then you’ll find it – do it with a positive mind”.

He’s absolutely right. It’s only when we are tired, over worked, and distracted that the thought of marching through the streets on a not particularly inspiring day seems daunting.

But when you read a few pages of Matt’s book you end up with a feeling that you can always make it happen. Everything is possible.

He’s managed to put a spark of life into the pages that lights up the mind. That it’s definitely worth going out without a cue from the weather, or a prompt from other people. But sometimes, we need a push.

Matt manages that with “Think Like a Street Photographer”, and a welcome push it is.

After all, Matt’s first chapter is titled, “Think Lucky, Be Lucky”, so you’ll find plenty of positive reasons to do street photography in Matt Stuart’s book.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not all about being positive and brave. The book is filled with Matt’s photography – brilliant shots of the streets of London, creative, and inspiring, as well as just plain gorgeous to sit and look at.

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Both books sit well together as companions to your own street photography process.

“I love them for what they are; books that I can pick up, again and again, to look through the photos and study the angles.

To pick up and read a chapter. To think about constructive ideas that help me focus my thoughts. Exactly what I’m looking for in street photography.

These books have helped me get there.

Street photography is fast moving, and a broad idea of photographic practice. It offers you the photographer the opportunity to develop your all round photography skills.

Close up, wide angled, different lens sizes, and from Smartphone to DSLR / Mirrorless street photography.

If you’re a Smartphone photographer. This book has a lot to offer you. If you use a DSLR or Mirrorless camera, the same. The Street Photographer’s Manual, and Think Like a Street Photographer, should be on your shelves.

Above all don’t miss out on these gems. Books come and go, and sometimes even the gems don’t get republished.

Every street photographer should have these books on their shelves. Where they are always easily accessible for quick reference and damned good reading.

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