May 27, 2020
Six photography podcasts you should listen to
We review 6 of the best photography podcasts that will educate, entertain and hopefully not annoy.
We’ve been doing a lot of walking recently. To keep me entertained, I like to listen to podcasts. I thought it would be good to let you know the top five podcasts that I subscribe to about photography. If you search for photography on whichever app store you use, there are hundreds to choose. My view is that a good podcast should educate and ideally entertain. I am going to score each podcast out of five for these two aspects. However, some of the presenters can be a bit ‘Marmite’. They could be annoying to some people while others will enjoy the presenting style. I’ll give a Marmite score to each podcast too – a score of 1 means they’ll be controversial, and 5 is an indication that anyone will get on with them.
Scott Kelby is the owner of KelbyOne, a photography education site. For an annual fee, you can get access to hundreds of training videos. As well as delivering the online sessions, Scott engages an array of great photographers such as Erik Kuna, Joe McNally and Moose Peterson. The Grid is a weekly show, available to everyone – not just members of Kelby One. It features many of the photographers that Scott works with and covers a variety of subjects. The podcast is available in both audio and video formats
There is usually a theme to each podcast based on the photographer in conversation with Scott. Some weeks, there are portfolio or website reviews. If you keep an eye on Scott’s social media pages, he announces the call for images so you may even get your photos reviewed during the session.
Remember, KelbyOne is a commercial training organisation, so you need to be prepared for the numerous adverts throughout the podcast. Of course, the benefit of a podcast is you can scroll forward and miss them out if you want to.
Kelby can be a fun presenter with a dad-joke style sense of humour. He can also be overly sentimental about his very talented iPhone photographer wife. Some will quickly get angry with his style, but he is well worth listening to if you can ignore it.
Education: 4 Entertain: 4 Marmite: 2
Martin Bailey Photography Podcast
I have travelled with Martin a couple of times. Once as a client on the Japan Winter Wonderland tour and as a second photographer on the Namibia trip. He’s an accomplished nature and landscape photographer as well as an expert in self-printing his work. His weekly podcast is a mix of photography and printing techniques, interviews with other photographers and business-related stuff.
The podcast usually lasts around 30 minutes, so it’s great to dip in and out quickly. Each episode is theme-based and extremely informational. Before moving into photography, Martin worked as a software engineer. Technical topics tend to be pitched at people who have an engineering way of thinking. However, when Martin is talking about the art of photography, he has an engaging style.
You can read the transcript of each episode on the Martin Bailey Photography website. Having the transcripts available makes it great to follow some of the demonstration type podcasts and refer back to concepts. Originally from the East Midlands of England, Martin moved to Japan where he now lives. This combination of cultures gives him a calm and soothing voice, so he scores well on the Marmite factor.
Education: 5 Entertain: 3 Marmite: 5
Fro Knows Photo
If you use Facebook and post photos, you’ll no doubt have seen adverts for Jared Polin. His trademark afro haircut led to the title of his several times a week podcast, Fro Knows Photo.
The podcast started as I Shoot Raw and was very much about taking and editing pictures. Particularly during the COVID19 crisis, it’s mutated into a personal diary that has a lot of photography content.
Jared has a certain style of communicating. He has an opinion – a strong opinion – on many things. He also wants you to know he has a view of these things. When a manufacturer launches a new camera, you can guarantee that it will be an honest opinion. His background as a photo-journalist and music photographer has allowed him to work under challenging conditions. As a result, he knows his stuff, and you’ll learn something. Be prepared that you’ll need to listen to several rants in the process.
Jared scores low, very low on the Marmite factor. Stick with it though because you’ll get the benefit of a hard-working photographers opinion.
Education: 4 Entertain: 3 Marmite: 1
PetaPixel Photography Podcast
One of the best photography websites for rumours, reviews and tips is PetaPixel. They produce daily content which is usually good quality. Amazing for what appears to be a team of three managing the website. One of the team is retired newspaper photographer Mike “Sharky” James. It’s Sharky that presents the podcast which comes out on an erratic schedule. When it does get issued, it contains a plethora of subjects in short 2 or 3 minute sound bites.
Each article during the podcast is delivered in a direct and informative way, often linking back to the PetaPixel website. In any given show you could hear about a new camera lens, a copyright infringement case and an update to an editing program. The end of each section is rounded off by Sharky’s inimitable ‘next’ statement. If you want lots of info about photography in a short time, this is the podcast for you.
The presenting style of the podcast takes you back to a time when snappers would have been sniffing out stories. Sharky’s delivery is sharp, short, and to the point with more than a touch of sarcasm thrown in for good measure. He can be full-on Marmite, but it’s worth it.
Education: 5 Entertain: 3: Marmite: 2
This Week in Photography
Presented by Frederick Van Johnson, This Week in Photography is one of the longest-running podcasts. Each episode is a long-form interview with someone connected to photography. The issues are a deep dive into a particular subject with some good questioning drawing out more and more detail.
The target audience for the podcast is enthusiastic amateurs and professionals expanding their knowledge. Because of this audience, the podcast can feel a little dry so it may be one of those that you dip in to see if it interests you and move on if it doesn’t. There’s nothing wrong with Frederick’s delivery; it’s easy-going and calming. The issue is that the format won’t make you want to listen if it doesn’t grab your attention.
Education: 4 Entertain: 2 Marmite: 5
Master Photography Podcast
The Master Photography Podcast is a strange one in that it doesn’t have a regular presenter. It describes itself as a roundtable. Brent Bergherm, Brian McGuckin, Connor Hibbs, Erica Kay, and Jeff Harmon take turns hosting a weekly roundtable episode where they sit down with two other members of the team to talk about the photography news and tips of all kinds.
I would say that the target audience for this podcast is the enthusiastic amateur that may be starting to do the odd paid job. Quite often the episodes give tips that your average pro would tut at. That doesn’t mean they aren’t valid tips! Like this blog, I often cover the mistakes I have made and learned from. By hearing what stupid things others have done may help prevent you from making the same ones.
It’s hard to give a marmite factor to this podcast as there are different presenters each week. However, the overall standard of conversation puts it in the not likely to offend category.
Education: 4 Entertain: 3 Marmite: 4
Have you got any other recommendations? Add them in the comments box below.
We are going to have an extended period of lock-down so it would be great to have suggestions for blog-posts that you would like to see. Don’t forget; I have set up a Virtual Classroom on the Edinburgh Photography Workshop website. You can book a personal one hour webinar to help you with any aspect of your photography, including camera advice, Photoshop and Lightroom tips or portfolio reviews.
If you’d like to buy one of my limited edition prints, they are available at richdysonphotography.com
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