The BEST Business Books For Photographers

READING is the number one key to being a successful business owner.


Okay... make that a successful PERSON! There really isn't anything you can't discover through reading.


These books were the FIRST step toward me aligning my business as high end. They all have had different functions in changing my mindset, and I'll give a little blurb about why I personally enjoyed each one. 


Most of these are NOT specific to photography... they are business books or creative books. You are now a BUSINESS OWNER - not simply a photographer. You need to learn to think like one if you want to be profitable!


A great resource if you want to buy these books is - I've picked up most of these for $4 each.


*Also, these are in no particular order! They're ALL great!


1. The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People - By Stephen Covey


This book is helpful for everyone - I really think it should be required reading in high school! Personally, this helped me learn that I am in control of my destiny. I can act instead of just being acted upon, that I have the power to change my mindset and by doing so I can change my life.


2. Think and Grow Rich - By Napoleon Hill 


Napoleon Hill drew upon stories of famous WEALTHY business owners like Henry Ford, Andrew Carnegie, and Thomas Edison.  This book is SO powerful. This is how money is made in the world - and while he agrees that money doesn't buy happiness, having a measure of wealth and working toward wealth is not a bad thing. I always have felt that in order to implement any type of change in the world, money is super helpful!


3. Why We Buy - By Paco Underhill


If you sell ANYTHING... this book will help you. As a high-end photographer who focuses on selling heirloom art to my clients, this showed me how to better target my clients and sell the entire experience. There is an updated version to include online selling, but I haven't read that one yet!


4. The $100 Startup - By Chris Guillebeau 


I looooved this book. If you're just getting started, or even if you've been at it a while, READ THIS! I wish I had read it far sooner in my photography career. By utilizing some of his tips and just gaining confidence from all the stories he tells, you will learn that it doesn't take money to make money if you're smart about it!


5. The 4 Hour Workweek - By Timothy Ferriss


This totally opened my eyes to the possibility of a 4 hour workweek. As a service based business, I can't always get down to that coveted 4 hour week... but I have managed to get it down where I only work 5-10 hours. I highly recommend this if you desire to really cut down on wasted hours.


6. The Artist's Way - By Julia Cameron


If you're struggling to find yourself as an artist, this is a great book about developing your creativity. It's broken down into lessons, kind of like a course, so it's not one you want to "devour" in one sitting. 


7. Big Magic - By Elizabeth Gilbert


We chat about this book a TON in the Creative Course - during the month that we learn how to develop your style. I looooved this book so much! As a writer AND a photographer, there was just so much in here that really resonated with me. 

“So this, I believe, is the central question upon which all creative living hinges: Do you have the courage to bring forth the treasures that are hidden within you?” 

This is a MUST READ for any creative personality, or for someone who wants to discover their own hidden creativity!


8. Aspire - By Kevin Hall


I was introduced to this book by a dear friend while I was in Ghana, and it is literally one that changed my life.  The power of words and their meanings around the world, and the power to treat others AND yourself with love and respect. One of my top 5 non-fiction books I've ever read, and I've read A LOT!


9. Start Something That Matters - By Blake Mycoskie


If you want to focus your marketing on giving back - which is my favorite way to market - this is a great book. When your goal is to help others, the world will give back to you a thousand times over. Great read, with a lot of stories and motivation from a business that very nearly didn't happen. It's basically the story of the shoe company Tom's. 


10. The War of Art - By Steven Pressfield


I looove this book too! (Ok, I love all of these, that's why I'm sharing them!) 

This book will help you get through the Resistance you have about getting your artist's work done, as well as your business stuff. This is helpful if you struggle working through the blocks of your creative battles. 


11. The 80/20 Principle - By Richard Koch


This book transformed the way I market, and the way I separate tasks. I reference this book all the time when I talk to people about how I get so much done so quickly and effectively! Focusing on the stuff that gets the MOST results will increase your productivity and results faster than anything else you can do. This is SO important for any business owner!


12. Be Our Guest - By Disney


Written by Disney, this is a great book on how to elevate your customer experience. As a high-end photographer, my premium prices are supported by the entire experience I offer, NOT my products or photography alone. Learn from the best!


13. How To Win Friends and Influence People - By Dale Carnegie


I'm an extroverted introvert - so I struggle in situations when I'm not prepared to be social. This helped me really learn how to step out of my comfort zone and help create lasting relationships with my clients, as well as other people I meet. Highly recommended for introverted artists!


14. The 22 Immutable Laws of Branding - By Al Ries & Laura Ries


Super easy read... don't break these rules when you're branding your business.


15. The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing - By Al Ries & Jack Trout


Same as the previous book. Easy read... list of rules to follow when marketing. So helpful!


16. No B.S. Time Management For Entrepreneurs - By Dan Kennedy


If you can't tell, I'm a big believer in managing your time because TIME is MONEY! This will help you organize your tasks and activities so that you can be more productive.


17. Originals - By Adam Grant


 I love this book because it literally describes how my brain works. But the good news is that you can train your brain to work this way too!


"The most important possible thing you could do, is do a lot of work. Do a large volume of work."


I generate a ton of ideas, and I used to think that was bad. Now I know that it's the reason I've been so successful!!!


I want to challenge you to read one of these a month. And don't just "read" them. Implement the suggestions inside these books and within 12 months you will be SO much more successful than you were before!

Do you have favorite business books that have helped you? Tell me about them!