Reading list for retouchers

Photo By Kari Sverriss for A2Z Magazine

As a true book maniac lover, I have a large list of books about retouching and photography, which I’d like to share.

Note: Here are the books which I personally have read and found them most interesting and helpful for high-end beauty and fashion retouching. I don’t suggest to read all these books, considering how fast the world is changing. Instead, I suggest to practice a lot and improve your artistic taste, but if you want to know more about some specific subjects, it may help.


  • Photoshop User Guide. Or any other software you use. Seriously.


  • Digital Retouching for Fashion Beauty & Portrait Photography, by Gry Garness
  • Real Retouching: A Professional Step-by-Step Guide Paperback, by Carrie Beene
  • Adobe Photoshop Restoration & Retouching, by Katrin Eismann & Wayne Palmer
  • Photoshop Masking & Compositing, by Katrin Eismann
  • The Complete Guide to Digitally Lighting, Photographing, and Retouching Faces and Bodies, by Lee Varis & Rick Sammon
  • Adobe Photoshop CC/CS6/CS5 for Photographers: A professional image editor’s guide to the creative use of Photoshop for the Macintosh and PC, by Martin Evening
  • Professional Portrait Retouching Techniques for Photographers Using Photoshop, by Scott Kelby


  • Professional Photoshop: The Classic Guide to Color Correction, 5th Edition, by Dan Margulis
  • Digital Color Management, by Jan-Peter Homann
  • Real World Color Management, 2nd Edition, by Bruce Fraser, Chris Murphy & Fred Bunting
  • Color Appearance Models, by Mark D. Fairchild
  • The Pantone Book of Color: Over 1000 Color Standards : Color Basics and Guidelines for Design, Fashion, Furnishings…and More, by Leatrice Eiseman
  • Chroma: A Book of Color Paperback, by Derek Jarman
  • Mauve: How One Man Invented a Color That Changed the World Paperback, by Simon Garfield
  • The Art of Color: The Subjective Experience and Objective Rationale of Color, by Johannes Itten


  • Vision and Art: The Biology of Seeing, by Margaret S. Livingstone
  • Art and Visual Perception: A Psychology of the Creative Eye, by Rudolf Arnheim
  • How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci: Seven Steps to Genius Every Day, by Michael J. Gelb
  • Gateways to Art: Understanding the Visual Arts, by Debra J. DeWitte, Ralph M. Larmann & M. Kathryn Shields
  • What Is Art?, by Leo Tolstoy


  • Photography as a, by Alexander Lapin
  • The Camera, by Ansel Adams
  • The Negative, by Ansel Adams
  • The Art of Photography: An Approach to Personal Expression, by Bruce Barnbaum
  • The Art of Boudoir Photography: How to Create Stunning Photographs of Women, by Christa Meola
  • Photographic Composition, by Tom Grill
  • Learning to See Creatively: Design, Color & Composition in Photography (Updated Edition), by Bryan Peterson
  • The Photographer’s Eye: Composition and Design for Better Digital Photos, by Michael Freeman
  • John Hedgecoe’s Complete Guide To Photography: A Step-by-Step Course from the World’s Best-Selling Photographer, by John Hedgecoe
  • The Book of Portrait Photography, by Jorge Lewinsky & Mayotte Magnus
  • The Zeltsman Approach to Traditional Classic Portraiture, by Joe Zeltsman
  • Studio Portrait Photography, by Jonathan Hilton
  • Nude photography.The art and the craft, by Pascal Baetens


  • Dynamic Light and Shade, by Burne Hogarth
  • Light & Shoot: 50 Fashion Photos, by Chris Gatcum
  • Master Lighting Guide for Portrait Photographers, by Christopher Grey
  • Light Science and Magic: An Introduction to Photographic Lighting, by Fil Hunter, Steven Biver & Paul Fuqua


  • Anatomy Lessons From the Great Masters, by Robert Beverly Hale
  • Bridgman’s Complete Guide to Drawing from Life, by George Bridgman


  • Bobbi Brown Makeup Manual: For Everyone from Beginner to Pro, by Bobbi Brown
  • About Face, by Scott Barnes
  • Makeup: The Ultimate Guide, by Rae Morris
  • The Art of Makeup, by Kevyn Aucoin


  • Tim Gunn’s Fashion Bible: The Fascinating History of Everything in Your Closet, by Tim Gunn & Ada Calhoun
  • Historical Fashion in Detail: The 17th and 18th Centuries, by Avril Hart & Susan North
  • Vanity Fair 100 Years: From the Jazz Age to Our Age Hardcover, by Graydon Carter
  • The Little Black Book of Style Hardcover, by Nina Garcia


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