In my very brief time learning photography, one of the best resources I have found for expanding your knowledge in an easy-to-digest way is podcasts. Podcasts put you directly in touch with working photographers and stories of their experiences in the industry. It’s also a great way to stay up to date with what is happening in the industry. And most importantly of all, it’s completely free (or at least the ones I listen to are).
Podcasts are like episodes of photographer’s lives, and you can get them sent straight to your smartphone. I listen to them on my commute or at the gym. You can also listen online or on a tablet. I use Apple devices, so I downloaded the podcasts app and use iTunes to manage downloads.
I wanted to share with you my favourite podcasts so that you can enjoy them to. The ones I have selected are all a bit varied, some more about learning, others about finding out more about photographers processes.
So in no particular order:
Jim Harmer is the owner of Improve Photography which I find is an excellent resource for helping you to take the next steps in your photography. On the site there are hundreds of articles explaining in good detail, but also clear language, how to take better pictures. The podcast has taken various forms in the time I have been listening (I think I’ve heard them all). In the beginning Jim was working with another photographer called Dustin Olsen, and I loved their conversational style of answering listener questions. By about episode 40, Dustin left Improve Photography and Jim continued on his own. For a period, he was answering listener questions, and also had a slot a week where he was interviewing other photographers. I must admit I found his interview style to be a little plain, rarely pushing into new territory for these photographers. Of late, Jim has hired a new photographer called Darin Mellor, and they have returned to a more conversational style which suits the podcast better, although I find Darin to be a little dry in the podcast, and doesn’t transmit his enthusiasm as well as Jim does.
As is usual with this sort of podcast, Jim sometimes plugs his photography courses at photoclasses.com, which are reasonably priced video courses on photography and photography software. Jim is also a blogger and runs a podcast on how to monetise your blog called Income School.
Presenters: Jim Harmer, Darin Mellor.
Type: Listener questions, educational
Duration: 30-45 minutes
Rick Sammon and Juan Pons are the voices of the digital photo experience present this excellent podcast based generally around interviews, listener questions and photo reviews. Rick and Juan are both seasoned photographers and have lots of useful advice on shooting. They usually interview one or two photographers on the podcast, getting into detail about what they shoot and how.
Presenters: Rick Sammon, Juan Pons.
Type: Interviews, Listener questions
Derrick Story presents the digital story podcast with a different format to the others. Usually Derrick reviews or talks about new gear or software. Derrick is a proponent of using small, mirrorless cameras or even just an iPhone, and runs a website called The Nimble Photographer. You’ll often hear him rate cameras and accessories with his nimbleosity rating. He also runs a monthly photo competition with a prize, and also is often a guest on the TWiP podcast. This is a good podcast if you only have a short commute, but I must admit I get a tad frustrated by the amount of time he talks about sponsors compared to how long he talks about photography. Fortunately, the sponsor messages are kept to the end so you can skip them if you want.
Presenter: Derrick Story
Type: News, information.
Duration: 20-30 minutes.
4. This Week in Photo (TWiP)
Frederick van Johnson is the enthusiastic host of This Week in Photo, a great podcast where Frederick sits down with two guests and picks their brains about the latest gear and news in the photography world. They also do listener questions, recommended gear, and often Frederick will interview another photographer in a separate part of the podcast. I find Frederick to be an excellent host, who manages to keep a very conversational style with his guests while exploring other topics which may arise, without getting too sidetracked. Frederick also runs mediabytes.com, a marketing website for photographers, and alongside Doug Kaye they run All About the Gear where Frederick usually interviews Doug about a new camera that he has been trialling.
Presenter: Frederick Van Johnson
Type: News, conversational, information, listener questions, interviews.
Duration: 45-75 minutes.
Martin Bailey is a British born, Tokyo based photographer whose weekly podcast is distinct because it is an enhanced podcast, allowing you to view pictures on the screen as Martin describes them, which is a nice touch. The podcast is usually a brief description of a photography related topic, from printing to lighting set ups and software. Martin has some excellent ebooks on Craft and Vision and also regularly sits alongside Frederick van Johnson in TWiP.
Presenter: Martin Bailey
Type: Miscellaneous, very varied
Duration: 15-45 minutes
Ted Forbes presents an excellent video podcast on the art of photography, where typically Ted will talk about a photographer’s work and review some of the pictures using Pinterest. Ted has an interesting insight into people’s work and has great enthusiasm for beautiful photography.
Presenter: Ted Forbes
Type: Photo review
Duration: 25 minutes
Ibarionex Perello presents some of the best interviews with photographers I have had the pleasure of hearing. Ibarionex has a silky smooth voice and an instinct of where to steer the conversation to get the best from his guests. He does this consistently well regardless of the type of photographer he is interviewing. Ibarionex is more interested in the place an artist needs to be to produce good work than the type of gear used. Ibarionex is also a contributor at The Phoblographer which is another great resource for photographers, with news, reviews and artist conversations.
Presenter: Ibarionex Perello
Duration: 45 minutes
Brian Caporicci hosts the sprouting photographer, a podcast dedicated to talking about the business of photography. A recent but valuable addition to my podcast deck, Brian is a wedding photographer with a passion for marketing and the psychology of sales. Brian interviews photographers about how they progress their business, but also interviews non photographer marketing specialists to see where they can pick up tips from outside the industry. Brian also sits down every two weeks for some brilliant conversations with co-host and wedding photographer Robert Nowell. Recently, Skip Cohen has started doing Weekend Wisdom, an interview with a photographer about their life story from how they got started to the challenges they face day to day.
Presenter: Brian Caporicci
Type: Interview, knowledge
Duration: 45 minutes
Josh Rossi presents bite sized interviews with photographers and asks them a set of similar questions. These interviews are meant to get full time photographers ideas on marketing and how to build a business quickly. He produces one podcast every week day which amazes me and I struggle to keep up. One thing I would say is that the format can get boring quickly, as the interviews can get similar very quickly because of the nature of the podcast.
Presenter: Josh Rossi
Duration: 20-30 minutes.