8 YouTube photography channels to subscribe to
So, your interested in photography. You want to know more or just watch videos about photography. Well YouTube is stuffed to the brim full of photography content. Some are intentionally educational, some are fun, some critique peoples work (constructive or not) and most are just plain ol' crap.
Generally it does tend to be the popular ones which are the best, which is probably why they are the popular ones.
Here is a list of 8 of my favourite YouTube channels that I watch on a regular basis. Whether they are intentionally educational or not there will be plenty to learn just by watching how pro photographers (ProTogs) work, seeing their images or just how they see the world.
This list is not in any particular order although I do have a personal favourite.
1. Tony and Chelsea Nothrup
I love these guys. They really try to steer people in the right direction when it come to cameras and what to buy for what situation. They, like every other ProTog have their favourite cameras but use nearly every brand. They really are camera connoisseurs. However they don't push anything down your throat. They will quite clearly state the pros and cons of any camera. Their passion is wildlife photography however they delve into nearly all types of photography.
Their vids are a great mix between informative - technically and creatively, funny and interactive. Every so often they have live episodes which are normally about an hour long where they review peoples photos, which could give you style ideas, compositional techniques and possibly what not to do. Anybody could learn quite a good bit from these two. Also they are really nice, pleasant people as well and come across like that on camera.
2. Jason Lanier
Jason unfortunately doesn't make it on enough peoples lists of great YouTube channels. He is a fantastic portrait and wedding ProTog. Working 'on location' (not in studio environment) he gets fantastically beautiful portraits with wonderful backgrounds. He works with a Sony camera and talks about the advantages of Sony camera a lot, so if you are a Sony shooter or interested in getting a Sony camera then his channel will probably be interesting to you. Even though he does talk about Sony he does really put across that the camera brand you choose doesn't matter, hopefully it will make people realise this "brand war" going on online is unnecessary.
This is one guy who can teach you about lighting. Whether it be inside a building or outside, lighting is so important as it often dictates the mood of the photograph. He has great videos on High Speed Sync, which is important when outdoors on a sunny day to overpower the brightness of the bright sun.
Jason is sponsored by numerous companies like Sony and Rotolight and I think many people feel he pushes them a bit too much almost in a sales pitch kind of way. But this is just him being passionate about his sponsors as he loves the equipment...and it is really good equipment. He is definitely worth subscribing to.
3. Matt Granger
Superb portrait photographer and does some street photography as well. His channel is fun yet informative and has a very similar feel to Chelsea and Tony. So much so infact that he sometimes does live sessions with Chelsea and Tony on their channel. He does a great Budgetograpy series which basically shows that you don't need £000's to get started in photography as long as you know what your doing and have a creative imagination, it is what is behind the camera (you) that's important.
Recently just moved from Australia to New York so it is a great way to see how to a photographer builds a new studio and the work that goes into that. Also he does his own live sessions where he gives feedback to photos submitted. These are actually competition based with prizes which range from his online learning packages to sometimes really nice gear. A specific theme is chosen and the finalists will be shown on the live show with the winner and sometimes runner up getting prizes.
4. Digitalrev TV
Seemingly all but over now after Kai and Lok the two main presenters left but there are years worth of videos to flick through which is what i've been doing recently. Definitely has the most subscribers at about 1.7million.
More on the fun side of photography than anything else although they do have product reviews. So if looking just to have a easy video to watch then watch one of these. They did a great series of vids - pro photographer, cheap camera challenge. Give a ProTog an incredibly awful camera and see how they make the most of what they are given. There is a saying in photography "the best camera you have is the one you have on you". Well in the case of these videos "the one you have on you is still a piece of crap". They do however give an overall message of don't worry too much about your equipment it's more about how you use it.
5. The Art of Photography
This is a channel that really focuses on the history on photography and the creative side of imagery. Most people when they comment on a shot say " what camera did you use; what were your shutter speed/aperture settings?" Very rarely do people comment on the creative side of photography.
The artist series looks at a specific photographer and analysis their work and career. Definitely worth checking out if you are more interested in the history of photography.
6. Fro Knows Photos
Jared Polin has a fun channel, one huge FRO and he does know about photos. Does similar stuff to Matt and Chelsea and Tony. Live sessions, product reviews, photo critique.
The channel is very 'bruh' in its style and its humour sometimes, particularly in its RAWtalk section. However this is one of the best things that they do in my opinion. They talk about all the latest news in the photographic and gadget world which is always great to stay up to date on latest news and products.
The latest review he did on the Sony A9 was actually great. People comment on how he is against Sony but he seemed to be very into the camera, picked out some flaws but no camera is perfect.
7. ADORAMA TV
Adorama is one of the biggest photography stores in the USA. They created this YouTube channel as a learning platform for people wanting to learn about photography without paying money for lessons in a classroom or online. They got a bunch of great photographers on board to cover various aspects that they themselves are very adept at.
There is a nice mix between quick videos and proper tutorials and even a mini tv series called top photographer - a bit like Americas Top Model but for photography I guess. My personal favourite is Take & Make Great Photography with Gavin Hoey. He really goes into how to get great stylized photoshoots in a small studio, showing that anybody with not much space and a few simple objects can stylize their photos and get some great looks out of them.
8. Thomas Heaton
One for the landscape lovers. This British landscape ProTog will show you himself trekking and taking great landscape photography. Camping overnight on the top of mountains waiting to get sunrise pics. It really shows the dedication that is needed to really make it as a landscape photographer. A lot of people will get into photography because they love taking landscape photos. But if you want to take it to the next level and be great that requires a LOT of serious effort. It is completely dependant on weather. If you start a 2 hour trek and the weather turns then you either have to find a way to make the most of it or head back and try again some other time.
He will show the work that goes into planning out a trek and his vision when there of what he hopes to capture. I suppose it is more of a documentation of his trails and his thoughts. Check it out for some amazing photos.
So these are my recommendations for YouTube channels to subscribe to. There are plenty more out there like Slanted Lens, Fstoppers, Mike Brown, Zack Arias, The Snap Chick, Kai W. Technically these names push me over the 8 I allowed myself but check them out and search for others that grab your attention. Photography and learning in general should be enjoyable; so keep it that way.