Tired of listening to the same music at the gym or during road trips? Try a photography podcast!
These are the podcasts that I listen to for photography inspiration. Most of them are heavy on the philosophical & anecdotal side. While the tech is important, I ultimately believe that it’s the philosophy that will make you a better photographer. A $2,000 lens is only as good as the $50 photographer, right?
What these podcasts are not:
- Gear reviews. Listening to someone talk about MTF curves for 20 minutes puts me to sleep and won’t make me a better photographer. Yes, some of these podcasts do include the occasional gear-related episode, but for the most part, they’re not hour-long billboards.
- Chitchat and small talk. Again, there are only so many hours in the day. If you haven’t grabbed me in the first few minutes, I’m skipping to the next one.
- “Dead” podcasts. There are a number of excellent podcasts you should listen to that are no longer active. I wanted to include a lot of these, maybe I will someday in a later list, but the following podcasts are all still creating new content as of January 2018.
So without further ado, these are the top photography podcasts on my playlist, in no particular order
1. The Business of Photography
I told myself I wouldn’t have any business podcasts on this list. But this podcast really hits on the philosophical side of business and can be applied to any discipline of photography, pro or not.
These podcasts, brought to you by the folks who developed the popular Sprout Studio photography business suite, are each around 30 minutes. The tips they offer, intertwined with photography talk, will not only make you a better photographer but will also improve your measurable success as a photographer. If you wish to make money as a photographer, no matter what you shoot, you’ll get great insight out of this photography podcast.
Rob & Bryan often interview very successful photographers, and you’ll find podcasts titled, “5 things every business owner should be evaluating on a regular basis”, “How to deepen your creativity to connect better with your audience”, “The power of relationship building”, and “Tactics for photographers to elevate their perceived value.”
2. Photography Roundtable Podcast
This long-running photography podcast is a wealth of inspiration. It’s a mix of interviews with well-respected photographers, and inspirational stories provided by the host, David Johnston. The interviews are approximately 30 minutes and they get straight to the point. Each photographer explains lessons they learned in their journey to become a professional photographer, how they find inspiration, ways they can relate to subjects in a foreign land, and so on.
The advertisements are kept to a minimum, and so is the small-talk. New episodes come out every week.
Master photographer and educator Brooks Jensen records short, easily-digestible musings about the future of photography, philosophy on marketing, art, etc. Seriously, each episode only lasts a few minutes, but you’ll ponder the content for the rest of the day.
This podcast has been around since 2004 and claims to be the longest-running photography podcast ever. Actually, there weren’t even iPods when the first episodes came out so they were more of just mini audio blogs.
The other day he started talking about how he got in trouble with his wife for throwing away the chicken carcass as she was trying to make chicken soup, and not keeping it for the pot. Where is this going? Then he really got me thinking with what he said next. The carcass is the raw photograph. The soup is the finished photograph, stewed after years of experience, insight, and emotion, all things that give it the flavor it needs. He claimed that people who have been photographing professionally for a decade can probably stop, go through their old photos, let them stew, and never need to take another photo again. He’s probably right.
4. The Digital Story Photography Podcast
Derrick Story is a fun & easy photographer to listen to and is known as “the nimble photographer.” He packs light and specializes in low-footprint travel photography. Right up my alley!
Derrick features a wide range of practical tips about improving your photography. Every now and then he’ll venture into gear and current events, but overall he’ll leave you with some great ideas to ponder.
New episodes come out every week and run roughly 30 minutes in length.
5. The No Name Photo Show
This is a relatively new podcast and I hope it sticks around for a while! Hosts Sharky James and Brian Matiash keep things lively and have some great content.
Unlike Sharky’s other podcast, the PetaPixel Photography Podcast (listed below), this one can apply to almost all photographers across the board. They have inspiring guests, talk legal issues, wax philosophical about gear…and, well, a bunch of other stuff that can make you a better photographer.
Just a few I like to listen to that don’t quite fall into the criteria for this post.
PetaPixel Photography Podcast: This the other podcast hosted by Sharky James (No Name Photo Show). He’s a fun guy to listen to and runs down the latest news from the photography world and adds in some gear reviews. Entertaining and contains some useful information, but a lot of it is irrelevant to me so I skip through it. Still, I don’t miss an episode.
The Martin Bailey Photography Podcast: Another great photographer & teacher. I wish I could get into it more, but honestly, the monotone British voice puts me to sleep. Give it a try though, you might like it!
This Week in Photo (TWiP): The name may fool you. This podcast does feature a lot of current events, but he also has some great interviews and roundtable-style discussions. Some parts of certain episodes will really apply to you, while others won’t, so that’s why it’s not in the main list.
The Candid Frame: I’ve really tried to get into this podcast more. He has some great guests every now and then. But there is some chitchat, and the majority of episodes don’t apply to me.
Improve Photography: This show has a few different flavors of podcasts, and they’re hit or miss. When they’re a hit, they’re great. When they miss, I usually know within the first few minutes and skip it. Some of the interviews just fall flat on their face. But that’s the nature of interviews.
What are your favorite photography podcasts? Leave ’em in the comments below and I’ll check it out if I haven’t heard it.