YouTube started out as a place where people uploaded videos that had more in common with clips from America’s Funniest Videos than they did with anything educational. Trust me, that part is still there, but YouTube has turned into a tremendous learning and information resource for almost any topic you can think of, especially Photography. Vloggers have risen out of obscurity to become brand ambassadors for large camera companies and the face of online campaigns.
To help you sort through the detritus we’ve created our list of Top 10 Ten Photography YouTubers You Need to Be Watching in 2018:
Kai Man Wong made a name for himself as a camera vlogger and presenter on DigitalRev TV which is the online YouTube channel for DigitalRev Media, a Hong-Kong based photography retailer. In 2016 he started his own channel and it’s always worth a watch. Kai is a devourer of tech. He’s become so well known in the world of photography that all the major camera manufacturers invite him out to play with their latest gear. That’s really where Kai shines, he doesn’t sugar coat anything. So many Vloggers or journalists want free gear and never give a proper critical review for fear that they’ll stop getting free stuff. Kai doesn’t care who made it, if there’s a flaw with it, he’ll tear it apart and that’s refreshing. He’ll also show you the advantages and highlight the changes made from the current model to the previous generations. He’s also obsessed with Bokeh and will steer you towards lenses that will help you achieve that goal. If you love new gear, Kai is one of the best Photography YouTubers out there.
Peter is like the cool professor you always wanted in school. He’ll teach you fun things for both still photography and cinematography. He’s fiercely loyal to Canon, but only because he thinks they make the best cameras and they fit the best with how he shoots. One of the most cinematic Photography YouTubers, he’ll try every new camera that comes out and will be completely objective, but he won’t just switch to a new model because everyone is switching. He shoots with what works for him. He teaches you fun camera hacks for both DSLRs and smartphones. He also focuses heavily on Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials to help make your images pop, which can be a game changer for an amateur photographer.
Matti Haapoja focuses mostly on video. High-end DSLRs and Mirrorless cameras are all becoming workhorse quality video cameras as well and most photographers just hit record and then wonder why their videos look different than their still images. As identical as the camera components are, the cameras photography and video functions are completely different and it’s helpful to have someone help you get those basics down. Matti is more than that though with his tips on gear for stabilizing or editing tips to help you sort through all that new media you just shot. It’s a good resource for the inner filmmaker inside all of us.
The fro knows photo, and he’s willing to share that knowledge with you. Jared Polin is a photographer who shares his knowledge and love of the craft with his over 700k YouTube subscribers. He’s constantly reviewing new lenses, cameras, and software to help you get the most out of your pictures. He posts photoshop tips and hacks and gives real-world reviews of products. What I mean by that is, it’s easy to say the Sony A7 R III is a great camera based on its specs, but what is it like as a daily shooter? If you’re in the market for a new camera or lens, it’s not just about the product’s capabilities, it’s how does it fit with how you shoot. It’s a great blog for any camera lover.
Landscape photography is a different animal altogether from any other kind of photography. Some may think it’s easier as your subject is still and you can just snap as many as you want. That may be true, but there are other real challenges with landscape photography, primarily, location and time. If you really want to take stunning landscape images you have to go out there where the stunning landscapes are… which is usually in the middle of nowhere. You’ll also have to be there when the sun rises, which means getting to the middle of nowhere either in complete darkness, or camping out the night before. Thomas Heaton will show you tips and tricks about lighting and location, but he’ll also provide you with a peek into the life of a world traveling landscape photographer, which sounds glamorous… until you see how hard it really is.
Fashion photography is a world unto itself. Everyone has a different eye and everyone sees beauty differently. My favorite series that she does by far is her PHOTOGRAPHERS SHOOT THE SAME MODEL series.
She’ll pair herself up against two or three other photographers and they’ll all get the same model who’s wearing the same outfit and they’ll each take their own pictures. It’s instantly more apparent at how differently we all see the world. She also shows you the challenge of taking images in not so ideal locations and situations and show you behind the scenes of how she created a great photo. It’s definitely worth a watch.
Irene is a French Canadian photographer who is a breath of fresh on YouTube because she isn’t afraid to show you her failings. Often times you only get the see the perfect side of professionals on the internet. They only post what went right. Irene posts what went wrong just as often as she posts what went right. The old saying “learn from others mistakes” also applies to photography. She’s great for tips and tricks and the pitfalls of becoming a photographer.
Tony and Chelsea Northrup
Tony and Chelsea (Chelsea and Tony) are content machines. They churn out videos like three times a week and are almost always informative. They do news, rumors, camera tips, and product reviews. Their page is a hodgepodge of everything camera related. It’s refreshing to have two people on screen talking as it can help with viewing fatigue, but it’s also refreshing to get both male and female perspectives on a new product or camera techniques. It’s like getting a peek into the lives of the couple who owns a local camera store in a small town.
Sometimes people just sound like they know what they’re talking about when they speak with a boisterous English accent and Mike Browne embodies that sentiment. His photography is actually stunning, but he takes you in and shows you how he gets these amazing images and why he shot them a certain way. It really feels like you’re watching a PBS show about photography and that’s not a bad thing. His videos are concise and to the point, which is what photography videos should be, especially if you’re posting a lot of them.
This is an odd one because the channel is, well… kind of odd. Almost all the images are taken by an Englishman named Mark — who’s never on camera. His models and his partners all do the talking. The main reason this Vlog is on this list is that Mark shoots with a Canon EOS 550 which in the US is a Rebel T2i. That’s not an expensive camera. Their tutorials (which coincidentally look like they were shot on a Rebel) are incredibly helpful to those who are just starting out and want to get dramatic portrait looks. When you see the final images they produce on the channel, you’re actually stunned at how good they look. This is a great place to be inspired, knowing that you don’t always need a three thousand dollar camera to produce great images.