Benefits / Resources / Articles
June 30, 2023

The Summer Palette: Vibrant Books for Photographers

Summer is as good a time as any to check some titles off your to-do list! We reached out to PPA members on theLoop to discover the books gracing their shelves this summer and the responses have been truly inspiring! Alongside a selection of cherished titles from PPA, we present to you a summer reading guide for photographers. Plus, we provide valuable tips on setting targeted reading goals and successfully achieving them.





Real Artists Don't Starve: Timeless Strategies for Thriving in the New Creative Age
Acclaimed author and creativity expert Jeff Goins dismantles the misconception that creativity hinders success. Instead, he illuminates how embracing an artistic temperament can be a formidable advantage in today's competitive marketplace.


Captivate: The Science of Succeeding with People
As a human behavior hacker, Vanessa Van Edwards created a research lab to study the hidden forces that drive us. In Captivate, she shares shortcuts, systems, and secrets for taking charge of your interactions at work, at home, and in any social situation.


You Are a Badass at Making Money: Master the Mindset of Wealth
Jen Sincero combines her hilarious personal essays with bite-sized "aha" concepts that will help you unlock your earning potential and get real results. 



Photography: A Cultural History
Immerse yourself in this all-encompassing survey that captures the essence of photography's rich history, providing valuable insights into the journeys of photographers throughout time. 

From its early development to current practice, this book provides a focused understanding of the cultural contexts in which photographers have lived and worked throughout, and is an essential text for anyone studying photography. 


Photo Therapy Motivation and Wisdom: Discovering the Power of Pictures
Rick Sammon has spent his life dedicated to the art of photography, spanning back to the late 1950s when first began developing pictures in his parents' basement. In this book, he shares his wealth of knowledge acquired through his diverse and extensive involvement in various forms and styles of photography. 


Julia Morgan: An Intimate Biography of the Trailblazing Architect
This new biography—featuring over 150 archival images and full-color photographs printed throughout—introduces Julia Morgan as both a pioneering architect and a captivating individual. Perfect for history buffs and aspiring creatives in all fields.


The Aesthetics of Shadow: Lighting and Japanese Cinema
This term, "aesthetics of shadow" was coined by the production designer Yoshino Nobutaka, and refers to the perception that shadows add depth and mystery. In this revealing study, Daisuke Miyao focuses on the understudied element of film lighting and treats cinematographers and lighting designers as essential collaborators in moviemaking, offering a complete rereading of Japanese film history.


Light It, Shoot It, Retouch It: Learn Step by Step How to Go from Empty Studio to Finished Image
Scott Kelby teaches the three aspects of what it takes to create stunning portraits-- and hint: it's not just about the lighting!


Click: One Novel, Ten Authors
Indulge in a captivating blend of photojournalism, travel photography, and a heartfelt coming-of-age tale with this remarkable novel penned by ten different authors. Immerse yourself in the extraordinary journey of an aspiring artist as they navigate the realms of photography, infused with the essence of personal growth and self-discovery.



The High 5 Habit 
Mel Robbins is back with science-backed wisdom, and real-life results that you can use to create healthy habits in your life. Make believing in yourself a habit!


The Four Agreements
Code of conduct based on Toltec wisdom that advocates freedom from self-limiting beliefs that may cause suffering and limitation in one’s life. 


Historical Fiction

The Mercury Visions of Louis Daguerre
Dominic Smith’s The Mysterious Visions of Louis Daguerre provides captivating insight into the life and last days of the famous inventor of the Daguerreotype. Louis’ mercury-imposed illness led to the strange and intriguing world that Smith displays for the reader. This account delves beyond a biography by weaving eclectic characters including French author Charles Baudelaire into the plot.


Page Panic? 

If you’re having a little hesitation building a summer reading list, keep a few things in mind. A great place to start is by exploring what interests you in terms of genre, author, or subjects that grab your attention. Seek recommendations from friends and mentors and get acquainted with online reviews, but also feel free to leave some room for spontaneity. Embrace a new genre or pick up that title you’ve had on your radar for years. Prioritizing the books you’ve been meaning to read can feel like a great achievement as well. 

Here are some more tips on how to set specific reading goals – and actually accomplish them!


  • Hone Your List: It doesn’t have to be big, but once the momentum is there, it’s always nice to have another book ready. Keep adding to your list as interesting titles come along and find great deals on used books online!
  • Mark Your Start: Chose your day to begin reading and decide how many pages you’d like to commit to. If your goal is to read 10 pages a day, divide the number of pages in your book by that number to get an idea of an achievable goal for finishing your first book.
  • When and Where: Schedule a time for your reading and figure out (through trial and error) the best place in your house to get your deep reading done. Set a reminder for your daily pages quota on your phone, but be sure to hide your phone before you begin. Eliminate distractions!
  • Savor & Share: With all these new books you’re enjoying, you’re going to want to talk about them. Are there any book clubs, online chat rooms, or occasions where you can discuss your new interests? Inspire others to read by sharing how much you enjoy it!

PPA's Education Platform has curated a valuable collection of recommended reading materials encompassing branding, marketing, entrepreneurship, work-life balance, and more! And if you need a break from words, there’s the entire online library of educational video content. Happy reading!