with Lorelle and Brent VanFossen

Books on the Business of Photography

We have now made it easier for you to get these wonderful books through Amazon.com. If you don’t see the link or picture of the book, hit your REFRESH button or the F5 key to reload the page. If you have a favorite book you’d like to see recommended, please let us know in the comments below.

The Business of….

Being a professional nature photography is no different from being a business owner selling any product or service. You are selling both a product and a service and you need to set up your business accordingly. The following books will help you set up your business, create a business and marketing plan, set goals, handle the paperwork, understand taxes, and learn how to set yourself up right to start earning money with your photography.

John Shaw’s Business of Nature Photography: A Professional’s Guide to Marketing and Managing a Successful Nature Photography Business

While John Shaw’s books have outlasted all the others and continues to be at the top of the list, and our list. Shaw is considered one of the experts and masters of nature photography and his teaching and writing style are top quality. His Business of Nature Photography book is simple to read and understand and tackles the difficulties of the nature photography business. A must have on any photographer’s shelf!

How to Start and Run a Successful Photography Business
Gerry Kopelow and Kenn Oberrecht have written books to help you tackle the wide variety of photography business practices including administrative tasks and paperwork, self promotion and marketing. Written with the commercial photographer in mind, much of the information applies to all photographers.
The Art of Outdoor Photography, Boyd Norton
Part of developing professional photographic practices is finding a mentor. If you don’t have a professional photographer nearby to teach you the ropes, find your mentor in Boyd Norton, the master of environmental and outdoor photography. In this recently updated book, Norton shares his secrets, tips and techniques for the artistic nature of outdoor photography.
The Law (In Plain English) for Photographers, Leonard DuBoff, Images Press
Written by a photographer and attorney, this handbook is useful for all types of photographers. Among the issues discussed are copyright law, defamation and libel, right of privacy, censorship and obscenity, business organization and taxes, contracts, agents, digitization, computers, estate planning and more.
Professional Business Practices in Photography, ASMP (American Society of Media Photographers), 419 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10016, (212) 889-9144
From contracts to taxation, this book covers all aspects of creating high standards in your photographic business. Tips on cataloguing, storing, legal advice and counsel and more.
The Big Picture: The Professional Photographer’s Guide to Rights, Rates and Negociation, Lou Jacobs
Published in 2000, this updated book helps the professional photographer get a handle on the business aspects on negociating rates and protecting ownership rights of the images and work by one of the industry’s experts.
Business and Legal Forms for Photographers, Tad Crawford

Need an invoice? What should it say? Need a model’s release? The paperwork of photography can intimate even lawyers. This books sets the standards for how the paperwork of the photography business should be handled with excellent samples to copy.
Doing the Right Thing: Models Rights and Responsibilites, Missy Loewe
If you include people or private property in your images, make sure you know your rights and responsibilities. That lovely barn belongs to someone. Protect yourself from suit and insure the protection and value of your salable images.
Freelance Photography Handbook, Cliff Hollenbeck and Nancy Hollenbeck
Nature photography is about working on your own as a freelancer in most cases. This book covers how to set up your business and work as a freelancer, including covering rates and copyright protection.
The Law (In Plain English for Photographers), Leonard Duboff
Photography, when it steps from hobby to business, is something to be taken seriously. Photographers are protected by various copyright and other laws, but it seems to be overwhelming for most photographers to take time to understand. As a business person in the industry of photography, it is your responsibility to understand the law as it applies to you and this simply written book helps.
Professional Photographer’s Survival Guide, Charles Rotkin
Filled with useful information for the professional photographer, topics include editorial, commercial and advertising photography, portfolios, queries, assignments, contracts, secondary uses, equipment, pricing, establishing a reputation and promotion.
Travel Photography: A Complete Guide to How to Shoot and Sell, Susan McCartney
Includes valuable tips and information on history and business of travel photography, equipment, editing, portfolios, self-promotion, magazine and editorial photography, tourism and stock photography. Includes model releases in 29 different languages.
Photographic Global Notes, Volumes 1 and 2, Dean Collins
Includes more than 70 ste-by-step articles showing the tools, tricks and techniques used by the world’s top photographers. Includes advertising, editorial, fashion, food, fine art and electronic imaging. Worth a look through for tips and ideas for all photographers.
More Books on the Business of…



The Directory of Natural History and General Stock Photography, AG Editions, Inc., 41 Union Square West #523, New York, NY 1003, (212) 929-0959 or (800) 727-9593
Editor – Anne Guilfoyle
Similar to the Photographer’s Market, this directory is specifically targeted towards the nature photography market places.


  • Ailreza
    Posted August 12, 2006 at 20:16 | Permalink

    I ma a persian boy and want earning money by photography
    please explain for me how to do it?

  • Posted August 12, 2006 at 22:06 | Permalink

    1. Take photography classes (also see Basic Nature Photography)
    2. Take business classes
    3. Take marketing and advertising classes
    3. Specialize your photography skills
    4. Work another job for many years to make enough money to take photography and business classes and buy camera equipment.
    4. In 2-8 years, you might make a little money.
    5. If you are very specialized, an expert in business and self-promotion, in 10-25 years you might be able to make enough money to make photography your full-time business and pay the rent and eat.

    That’s it.

    Oh, the business classes, a business degree, and even a 4-6 year college degree with a focus on business not photography, will help more than any photography class.

Post a Comment

Your email is kept private. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.