I frequently find myself spending countless hours assisting other photographers achieve the best camera settings to editing and retouching in the best way I know how. From the simple photoshop tools, to actions, background replacements and most of all skin work. I have no claim to being great, or even good in the retouching world as I am continually learning something new myself. So I decided to make a list of where the vast majority of my photography education has come from. You guessed it YouTube, while there are far more advanced options to purchase the majority of content on YouTube is completely free and there is a solution for just about any question. I have never attended a college or even a high school course on photography, in today’s technology driven age most of the information needed is right at your fingertips.
This is my list of who to follow, not just for the how to’s but also for the why we do it and some inspiration along the way.
Number 1 on my list is by far my most watched channel. With over 850,000 subscribers and 45 million views, I am not alone. His quirky style and simple, clear and precise tutorials make this a must watch channel for me. He posts 4-5 times a month and has seemingly hundreds of videos to occupy your time for the next few months. Average tutorial is around 15 minutes, stay tuned to the end of each video as he usually includes some outtakes showing that he is human and not just a photoshop wiz.
Number 2 on my list comes from the largest camera store in the US and possibly the world. B&H Photo, located in New York City, is a world class company offering anything and everything photography and video related. I enjoy watching their recorded speakers and a couple of those who have spoken there will show up later in this list. The seminars are 1-2 hours in length and their featured speakers are incredible to listen to and watch. From inspiration to how they accomplished a specific image to how they started their own business or gained that once in a life time opportunity.
Number 3 on my list is Matt Granger. As a Nikon shooter he was my go to when I first found that you could find tutorials spoken at a very beginning level on YouTube. He posts once a week and travels the world along with his own made for YouTube show where he interviews other photographers and asks them the questions you would likely ask if you had the opportunity. His older videos and the educating Tina series are great for someone just starting out in photography. His books and dvd’s “Public Bodies” and “the Business of Photography” are also highly recommended.
Number 4 on my list is The Fro, Fro Knows Photography, Jared Polin. At first when I would see his face pop up as a suggested watch I would just skip right past him, but as I grow I have learned to enjoy his rants, podcasts, gear reviews and interviews. He shoots it straight no warm fuzzy feeling after watching him, but his critiques are genuine, his suggestions are an absolute must if you want to reach that next level in your work.
Number 5 on my list is the newest addition to this list by far, Nino Batista. A multitude of publishing and awards make this guy more than credible to give advice. Another straight shooter yet not quite as harsh as the Fro. He has his own show called the Backyard and has a different take on the entire team concept more than just himself or just a computer. Sure you will find those tutorials as well but I enjoy that he includes everyone who helped achieve a look or image.
Number 6 on my list has slipped a couple of spots because he hasn’t been posting as much lately, None other than the Wedding Master, Jerry Ghionis. His sense of humor and gentle demeanor will draw you in instantly and the hours will fly by while you laugh your way through his productions. He did invent the icelight so expect and ad or two for those but he is worth watching. I really enjoy his posing everyone seminar along with all of the continuing productions in the icelight society. Truly someone to emulate.
Number 7 while not for everyone, Karl Taylor tells it like it is. Recognized as the worlds top product photographer, his studio tours alone will make your mouth water. He gives you the why more than the how to, which is probably more important than the typical set your light at this angle with this power with this lens etc, you get the idea. His work is absolutely stunning and the behind the scenes style of his productions are great to watch for inspiration. With nearly 200 videos he has something for everyone.
Number 8 is more of a community than an individual, Fstoppers and its founders have created something different. From product reviews, however unrealistic they may be as a photographer does pull ups from a camera strap is a great source of general information and a touch of humor. The guys are real down to earth and give great advice in general, how to is the name of their game along with interviews with those in the “know”.
Number 9 is my favorite dutch man, Frank Doorhof. He has a gentle approach and his own style completely along with a large following. He shoots for camera companies like Canon and Sony along with the largest camera store chain in Europe. He is fun to watch and gets lost for words as English is his second language, do not be surprised if you find yourself quoting him in a bad accent after watching. His use of strobes, color, smoke, props and models make him more than worth watching.
Finally in at number 10 is Adorama TV. Most of their tutorials are short and simple but they do have seminars similar to those found on B&H as well. While there are hundreds of useful channels choosing just ten I had to include the channel that holds dozens of presenters all in one place.
Bonus links below contain other channels that I follow as well. Most of them do not post as frequently or the content the do post is only relevant sparingly with product reviews, posing and many many other topics covered depending on the channel.