Image via Strobist.com

If you have a photographer in your life–spouse, child, friend–giving them a photography related gift is a challenge. They might want a new camera or lens but those are expensive and there’s a good chance you won’t get what they want.

Here’s an idea: get them a book.

David Hobby (Strobist) has released a list of seven books for lighting photographers, and any of these would make a good gift for the photographer in your life. A good photography book has a better return than a piece of gear since it gives the reader a window into another photographer’s mind and process. When you see a picture and wonder, “How (or, more importantly, why) did they do that?”, a book offers insight.

I own and have read the two Joe McNally titles on David’s list and just got the new portrait book by Greg Heisler. The McNally books are more “how to” in their approach. The Heisler book is full of gorgeous images and thoughtful commentary.

In addition to David’s seven, I’d also recommend Zack Arias’ Photography Q&A and Michael Grecco’s Lighting and the Dramatic Portrait. Zack’s book is great for beginners and veterans alike while the Grecco book is better suited to those who’ve mastered the basics of photography and lighting.