PHLEARN MagazineThe Best Podcasts for Photographers

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The Best Podcasts for Photographers

Making a living as a photographer is notoriously difficult. You’ve got to build a client roster, keep your gear up to date, master multiple editing programs and make enough money to eat along the way. Hustling is everything, and if you’ve ever felt defeated or overwhelmed, you’ve probably turned to the Internet for some sort of inspiration, whether it be optimistic quotes and expressions or vague listicles about chasing your dreams.

That’s where the best photography and creative podcasts come in. A great podcaster matches your passion with an intimate, relatable and reliable show that speaks directly to your interests. It will teach you something new and inspire you to keep going. Audio is the most personal medium – someone speaking directly into your ear – which makes it arguably the best for getting involved in a creative field.

But if the hustling life is difficult for photographers, it’s even more challenging for photography podcasters, who have to balance workloads with a (free) audio show that will usually suck up at least a full day of work every week or month. For this reason, many photography podcasts fall off the map. Others keep going with shoddy, peaking audio quality. Finding the best photography or creative podcasts takes time.

That’s why we did it for you.

We’ve divided this list into two sections: one for podcasts specifically about photography, and another (shorter) part for great podcasts geared more broadly toward creatives. That second group will feature interviews with designers, cinematographers, illustrators, and writers, but the themes and challenges of working independently in a creative space are universal. After all, the reason we listen to podcasts in the first place is to feel less alone.

The Best Photography Podcasts

Bokeh

With professional audio quality and a clear command over conversational flow, Bokeh is a terrific, regularly updated podcast hosted by Nathan Holritz. In the hour-long interview format, Holritz comes off a little cheesy sometimes, but his industry knowledge and interviewing skills are top-tier, and the subject matter ranges from broadly philosophical (“How to Leave a Mark on the World”) to pragmatically specific (“How to Up-Sell Your Wedding Packages”). Since Bokeh has been running for nearly 300 episodes, it’s a mystery why it hasn’t yet reached the popularity of today’s leading photography podcasts. It deserves to rank among the best.

Six Figure Photography

Host Ben Hartley built a six-figure photography business and wants to teach you how to do the same. He digs deep into details, specific numbers, digital marketing techniques, and brand-building exercises, peppering in personal inspiration along the way. It’s fundamental stuff for photographers who want to learn how to run a successful business. (Recent episodes discuss gathering Facebook leads and LinkedIn marketing techniques, hinting at the importance of social media marketing and outreach when building your business.)

Master Photography Podcast

This roundtable-style rotation of five different photographers is ideal fodder for lengthy commutes. Brent Bergherm, Brian McGuckin, Connor Hibbs, Erica Kay, and Jeff Harmon take turns hosting the show while gabbing about the industry, swapping war stories, and talking shop at length, offering different perspectives on niche subjects for hobbyists and professionals. The Master Photography Podcast Network has more shows than just the main roundtable, but for interested newcomers, the flagship show is probably the best place to start.

Photo by Holger Leiter

B&H Photography Podcast

One of the most no-nonsense podcasts on the market, the B&H Photography Podcast comes from the team behind the renowned Manhattan photography store, B&H. This name recognition also makes this show one of the more popular ones on iTunes, which helps funnel in more money and prestige than you’ll find in basement-set passion projects. That means greater production quality, high-profile guests (like Vince Aletti, Nat Butler, Jay Maisel, and Art Streiber) and up-to-date knowledge about the latest gear and industry news. With higher production quality and less of a DIY basement vibe, this show is more aspirational than relatable, making it an invaluable resource in its own right.

This Week in Photo

This is a photo hobbyist’s dream show – excited, detailed, and openly geeky about gear. Host Frederick Van Johnson has an infectious optimism and curiosity, and his interview style lets guests breathe and chat at length about very niche subjects, like switching from a Lumix MFT camera to an Olympus. Casual photographers might get bored at the hyper-specific discussions, but die-hard photo nerds will love every minute of it.

The Digital Story

Derrick Story’s hosting abilities are inviting and inspiring. His approach is more personal than actionable, rarely inviting guests on, instead preferring to research and narrate The Digital Story himself. He culls tips from his lengthy career in the photography industry, updating his website daily and backing up every podcast episode with informative notes, links, and updates. It’s a very thorough project that’s garnered thousands of fans around the world.

The Business of Photography Podcast

The name says everything about this high-quality podcast. Bryan Caporicci and Rob Nowell, primarily wedding photographers based in Canada’s Niagara region, translate their career experience into amiable, well-produced, and tightly edited episodes that deal with the nuts and bolts of running a studio business. They talk taxes, incomes, marketing strategies, and client relationships. It’s critical listening for professional photographers, but also useful for self-employed artists of any stripe.

The Art of Photography: Off Camera

A somewhat newer entrant on the list that began in late 2018, Off Camera is still working out a few quirks: the audio level is too quiet; distribution is limited; the schedule is irregular. Even the name was a misstep – “Off Camera” is also the name of a way more popular podcast hosted by Sam Jones, a world-renowned celebrity portrait photographer who’s shot Barack Obama, Bob Dylan, and Sandra Bullock for the likes of Vogue and Vanity Fair. (That podcast deals with celebrities’ lives and so is not featured on this list, though aspiring celebrity photographers may dig that one, too.) But none of that gets in the way of the genuinely fun chemistry that hosts Ted Forbes and Jaron Schneider share, as they gab about new camera gear and career highlights. At the end of the day, personality is what carries a great podcast, and they’ve got it in spades. Here’s hoping they solve everything else with time.

The Candid Frame

Artistic photographers might already know The Candid Frame, hosted by the deep-voiced (and wonderfully named) Ibarionex Perello. This is the interview podcast you’re craving if you want the photographer’s version of literary deep dives like the Longform podcast and The New Yorker’s fiction podcast. Leisurely, jazzy, contemporary, and intimate, The Candid Frame simultaneously focuses on artists’ careers while zooming out to examine the people and places they shoot. You won’t find too many practical tips here, but the anecdotes and storytelling give it a broader universal appeal that will appeal to non-photographers too.

Pro Photographer Journey

Like the name implies, Pro Photographer Journey is an actionable, optimistic show that teaches amateur photographers how to make the leap into the professional world. Peppering “Marketing Moments” (short episodes pushing a single helpful piece of advice) in between longer interviews with pro tips, host Chamira Young offers up different perspectives, exercises, and opinions about the transition phase. It sounds like a niche audience, but even full-time professionals could learn a thing or two.

Photography Tips from the Top Floor

Host Chris Marquardt is an unabashed photography geek, and his passion comes through in Photography Tips From the Top Floor, a general photography podcast focused on community engagement. Listeners are encouraged to submit to regular photo challenges and send in questions via the Slack channel, which fosters a tighter-knit community of engaged photographers than a broad Facebook page or Twitter. Targeted listeners are hobbyist photographers looking for a community to motivate them to dive back into what they love – a nice, supportive idea that gives the podcast a noble purpose.

Photo by Cathy Haglund

10 Frames Per Second

The tagline for 10FPS says it all: “A podcast about photojournalism, with photojournalists, for everyone.” The niche topic gives hosts Elena Volkova and J.M. Giordano a great starting point to create a truly unique podcast, interviewing photographers who take a different, often more daring route than commercial and wedding photogs. Both Volkova and Giordano are pro photojournalists, which helps guide the hour-long interviews in a specific direction that showcases the career paths and inspiration global photojournalists bring to their trade.

Photobomb

Fans of talk radio will love Photobomb, hosted by friends Booray Perry and Gary Hughes. These guys are great, distinct radio personalities, bantering quickly, unafraid of getting sidetracked by oddball personal anecdotes and funny observations from their careers. But central to the show is photography, and listeners who want to hear two photography dudes chat somewhat aimlessly will be glad to listen along for an hour.

He Shoots, He Draws Podcast

This one’s a relative newcomer on the podcast scene from Glyn Dewis and Dave Clayton, creative friends who’ve known each other for nine years. One’s a photographer, the other’s a graphic designer, and together they chat with guests and swap industry stories. The fact that they come from different backgrounds makes it a more compelling conversation, since they actually learn from each other and attract a different audience than the other shows on this list, which are almost 100 percent photo-centric. With an upbeat tempo and professional quality, you get why their dedicated fanbase tunes in every week.


Creative Podcasts for Photographers

Not all photographers want to hear other photographers talk shop, however – plenty hear enough from the blogs, vlogs, and friends they already have. For something a little different, photographers may find podcasts geared toward general creatives more refreshing.

With that in mind, here are some of the best creative podcasts for photographers:

Being Freelance

It’s tough being a full-time freelancer. The work is so diverse, so dependant on client experiences and personal work ethic, that many freelancers feel alone in the world, unable to relate to others’ experiences or understand the broader industry. Are you charging too much or too little? How do you find clients? How do you market yourself? Podcast host Steve Folland has been working as a freelancer for years, and on Being Freelance, he interviews other freelancers about their self-employed lives, diving into exactly the kind of practical issues that freelancers of any sort might hope to learn.

Creative Life Show

Joanna Pieters is a self-described “creativity coach” who helps others release their inner creativity and act on their artistic dreams. In her podcast, she interviews people who might help folks on that journey, including artists, thought leaders, philosophers, mentors, and anyone else who contributes to the broadly defined world of “creative life.” If it all sounds a bit airy, well, it is – but the tips and interviewees are indisputably worth hearing out for photographers who need an extra push to follow their dreams. A sleek website and ample resources help round out the experience for committed fans.

Make It Happen

This simple, stripped-down podcast is hosted by creative coach Jen Carrington, who packs in a lot of smart advice and contextualizes creative journeys in a broader world of competition, psychological barriers, and work-life balances. The overarching rules are perfect for photographers, focusing on conversations and storytelling, while also allowing for personally defined success and what she dubs “intentional seasons” (e.g. giving yourself periods to slow down and reflect, rather than pushing yourself 365 days a year).

Go Creative

If any photographers out there are thinking about a life of cinematography, this podcast is for you. Creative director and host Ben Consoli is engaged, knowledgeable, and genuinely interesting, and while his show is geared toward “creative professionals in film, video, music, and television,” his episode lists are divided by industry. Cinematographers fill most episodes, but smaller sections exist where you can listen to photographers, business developers, audio techs, and others in film and TV production. This is definitely better for industry fans than photography tips, but the quality of his guests are a big enough draw on their own – recent interviews include the cinematographers behind Stranger Things, The Lion King remake, Mr. Robot, and Spider-Man: Far From Home.

Design Life

For anyone who sees photography as a side project, know that the hosts of Design Life, Femke van Schoonhoven and Charli Prangley, are here for you. They’re two women working in the tech industry who view artistic design as side gigs, and aim to balance those less lucrative creative projects with full-time employment. While the topics and interviews relate mostly to the idea of maintaining a creative side gig, the hosts offer a refreshingly female perspective on both the creative and tech industries.


Even More Podcasts

Not satisfied yet? There are dozens more photography podcasts out there, and plenty more that could have made this list.

There are a bunch of industry-specific podcasts for niche photographers, including:

And here are some other solid podcasts that didn’t quite make our top list for one reason or another – mostly due to small issues like sound quality or the fact that the content overlaps with shows we highlighted above.

A great photography podcast does more than just educate you about a topic. It can inspire listeners, provide insight into the inner workings of the industry, tell hilarious and relatable stories, or simply help you pass some time among friends. If nothing else, when you pop your earbuds in and press play, the podcast host will help you feel a little less alone during a job that can often feel lonely. It’s not just you and your camera – there’s a whole community of folks out there who care about photography just as much as you do.

Michael Fraiman

Michael is a journalist who often disguises his social discomfort in public by hiding behind a camera lens. He’s lived in four cities on three continents, but calls Toronto home.

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