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How many times someone told us that we have to study something in order to become better at something? How many envious photographers criticized our work – to stop us flying – just because they were jealous? Which is usually the panacea they give us? It’s to read and to study master’s books…

Everyone of you heard something like this, at least once in your life, am I right?

Let’s take a look at 5 good reasons why this is an advice that no one should never give and no one should never follow.

Photobooks are damn expensive

Why we should spend money to get books when we can easily find the same photos on internet with our fancy smartphone? We can collect that money to raise up a nest egg and to pre-order the new model of our camera in the very moment it will be launched into the market.

Usually it’s about old stuff

Ok, ok, there’s some people that love vintage but, being honest, it’s not true that old stuff is always good stuff. Masters of photography put the basis of this art back then, but now-a-days…their works look like expired. Not to mention the awful quality of some pictures: tons of grain, crazy blur, not so straight horizon…today you can get better results even with your smartphone!

Books restrict creativity

What is the point of looking at other people’s pictures? Surely we will be influenced and in the end they will restrict our freedom and our creativity, addressing us to make trivial, unuseful photos. If we take a look at Alex Webb production (ok, he’s good but please lighten up the shadows and dodge all that blacks) we’ll end to be influenced from all those chaos, shadows and truncated people.

Books gather dust

A photographic book on the shelf could amaze our friend (Micheal Freeman’s books are great for that because of their graphic uniformity with a cool “encyclopedia-look”), but are we sure that is smart to buy a 120€ knick-knack? It’ll just gathers dust after the one and only time we take it out from Amazon packaging. And again…you can always find the same photos on internet! You will end needing – and paying – a cleaning lady for your stupid books!

Photo book are frequently story-less

When we buy a book we usually want to get lost inside its story. What is the point of reading a book where the story is weak – if there is one – and there’s not a definite connection between the plot itself and the images? Take a look, for example, at Robert Frank’s “The Americans”. Probably someone already told you to buy it. I was completely wrong and bought it – I was young and stupid! I was totally disappointed: there isn’t any color picture, no HDR, just random snapshots of strangers…but we can overlook all that things. The most absurd thing is that there’s not any logical thread between them: a cowboy, then a guy on a motorcycle, then a shoe-shine boy…is this rational? No way!

Dear reader, this was just the tip of the iceberg, but I think that is enough to fully understand how useless and dangerous is buying books. Now should be crystal clear that being anchored to such a “glorious past” could only stop the natural evolution of top photography. Brave innovators are welcome !