I spend quite a bit of time on YouTube. Like most people, I suppose. I typically watch content that pertains to my interests. I really don’t watch cat videos or lifestyle videos.
Being an avid photographer I tend to watch mostly photography related content and I recently took a good look at my subscription list – which was at 67 different photography related YouTube channels. I unsubscribed from about 20 of them that I no longer watch at all, and that got me to thinking; if I had to narrow it down to only five, which ones would make the cut?
First I need to establish some criteria – what, exactly makes for a good channel?
This is what I came up with:
- Quality content. More than just reviews of the latest and greatest gear. Gear reviews can be good, but they get old real fast. Content related to technique, composition, history, and style is much more interesting in my opinion.
- Engagement. The host needs to be engaged in the practice of photography (or videography) outside of just YouTube content creation. Be a working photographer and create projects – for pay or personally it doesn’t matter just actually be a creator outside of YouTube and share with your audience.
- Non-controversial. If they have strong opinions – great. Don’t just create controversy for clicks and please try to minimize the click-bait titles. Really, the online photo community can be toxic enough without this.
- Have an engaging personality. Be genuine and personable. Be someone that I might like to go out and shoot with and maybe have coffee with. Be confident and knowledgeable, and present in an interesting way.
So there are the four points I used to cull out what I think are the five best YouTube photography channels in 2019 and here are my picks for “The 5 Best YouTube Photography Channels in 2019”. Click on the titles below to view their content.
The Art of Photography – Hosted by Ted Forbes who has a serious background in art, education, and photography/videography. He is fairly humble yet funny and puts out quality, informed content with a few gear reviews sprinkled in. His CV includes producing “The Artists Series” , a series of long form documentaries about some of the great photographers of our time. The series is, of course, available on his YouTube channel, and on Amazon Prime which gives it some pretty solid credibility.
Three Blind Men and an Elephant – Hosted by Hugh Brownstone who has a solid background in photography and video. He currently runs a production company, of the same name with his wife Claudia, that creates commercial video and photography projects, and hosts workshops on street photography. He is an Alan Rickman lookalike with a buttery smooth narrators voice who is a genuine pleasure to listen to as he exudes a rare and seemingly heartfelt enthusiasm for his subject matter. He currently produces two short form documentary series available on his YouTube channel Called “What were you Thinking” and “Good World Gone Bad”.
Sean Tucker – Not as prolific a creator as the two above, but certainly no slouch. Very few gear reviews for the sake of clicks. The majority of his videos that I’ve seen so far are very much long form videos that are either educational or documentary in nature. He has a great “on camera” presence and seems extremely knowledgeable in the subject matter. His videos are produced to a very high quality standard and are informative while, also, very enjoyable to watch.
Mattias Burling – This eponymous channel is mostly gear reviews, but done in a way that doesn’t seem like gear reviews. Watch for the production quality and the interesting choices in gear to review— and the dog. Not to mention he creates some pretty amazing street photography. Really, this Swede, who is employed in the creative arts, has an amazing channel with a strong following that is entirely controversy free and well worth watching.
Steve Huff – This photographer from the Phoenix Arizona area is a pleasure to watch, though sometimes a bit longwinded. He has a seemingly amazing ability to acquire just about every new high end camera for testing so, he is primarily a gear channel. But, I watch for his personality and (cough, Leica) content.
Jared Polin – “Fro Knows Photo ……..dot COM! Sarcastic, sanctimonious, and opinionated, no one can create controversy like Jared. From his pedantic preaching about shooting RAW to arguing with other YouTubers, you will either love him or not. Granted this Philly native is pretty brash and “in your face” but watch for the content and his personal photography projects like “Six Degrees of Photography”. He is also a professional concert and music photographer that has been published in Rolling Stone.
So there you have it, my choices for the 5 best Youtube Photography channels in 2019 and a bonus choice.
Feel free to add yours in the comments.
Thanks for reading.