These Photography Podcasts Will Transform How You Make, Take and Market Your Work
From lighting tips and gear geekouts to head spinning photo history deep-dives, we compiled 15 of our favorite photography podcasts worth your listen
Podcasts are a great way to not only get helpful tips to improve your technique and grow your career as a photographer, but to learn about its history, evolution, and who — beyond just the showy gearheads — is making the biggest impact on the medium today.
But there’s a lot to wade through, and they’re often overwhelmed by self-proclaimed “influencers” looking to hear themselves talk or drop cringeworthy ad placements rather than share helpful advice. And in today’s nonstop sea of content, dipping your toes in the world of photography podcasts can feel a bit overwhelming.
With this in mind, the following collection of photography podcasts is curated for how helpful they are to photographers from a range of backgrounds — whether you’re trying to learn basic lighting, want advice on how to pitch the most discerning photo editors, or are getting your MFA and want some added inspiration.
Spend some time with these and consider your mind expanded. And if you’re reading this thinking “WTF — this is missing some totally significant podcasts” feel free to share a link in the comments.
Founded and hosted by photographer Mike Sakasegawa, Keep The Channel Open covers a range of creative processes like music and writing but has a heavy focus on photography. “Even if we’re very focused in our own practices,” Mike says, “I think that learning about other artists’ processes and approaches can unlock new ways of thinking about our own work, whether that’s photography or painting or fiction or poetry or even curating and criticism.” There’s a lot of inspiring content here, but one standout is Jess T. Dugan, who gets into her artistic process, how she approaches the empathetic craft of “making” (rather than simply “taking”) a portrait, and how her tools inform her work.
10FPS is a weekly podcast about photojournalism through the eyes of photojournalists, photo editors, and other professionals in the field. Hosted by Elena Volkova and J.M Giordano, and produced by Audrey Gatewood and John Devecka, the talks focus on the practice and heart of photojournalism — why, how and what drives photographers dedicate their lives to it. Recent highlights include Vice photo editor Elizabeth Renstrom on how to pitch your work, and acclaimed New York-based photojournalist Nolan Ryan Trowe, who discusses his photography before and after an accident that left him disabled.
The United Nations of Photography, a podcast series, and blog founded by Grant Scott and Sean Samuels, hosts conversations, debates, and discussions about key issues in contemporary photography and photo history. They cover a wide range of content –and I’ve admittedly only listened to a fraction of their podcasts so far — but one of my favorites is with UK photographer Jenny Lewis, renowned for her series One Day Young, thoughtful, empathetic portraits of mothers within the first 24 hours after giving birth.
The Audacious Babe, hosted by award-winning wedding photographer Magdalena Mahdy as an offshoot of The Rise and Shine Society champions women photographers around the world, helping inspire them to grow their businesses, artistic practices, and make money from their work. Content ranges from deep dives on developing brand strategy, profitability and cash flow, to “What is your why” — encouraging photographers to clearly articulate their goals, and how their passions can help focus and drive a successful career.
Led by self-proclaimed “photographer, art nerd and photoshop geek” Chamira Young, Pro Photographer Journey helps photographers of all levels navigate and expand their careers. It’s a mix of how-to’s and business strategy, but also includes testimonials of professional failures to help aspiring photographers learn from the mistakes of industry veterans. Out of all the podcasts covered on this list, Pro Photographer Journey is likely the most focused on advice for the business of photography.
The LPV Show has been on hiatus since 2016, but that shouldn’t stop you from digging through their archives. Started by veteran-photo-editor, photographer and content creator Bryan Formhals, the LPV show covered a gamut of documentary and fine art photographers talking about their work in a casual, approachable setting. Some highlights include Rachel Sussman discussing her decade-plus “Oldest Living Things in The World” series and Cait Oppermann, who shoots regularly for WIRED, Bloomberg Businessweek, BuzzFeed, and Uber, while finding the time to make compelling personal work. Spend a Sunday morning or late night binge-listening to this one.
Magic Hour, founded by Jordan Weitzman in 2016, is a podcast interview series with some of today’s most influential photographers, curators, editors, and other photo professionals. Featured photographers include icons like Danny Lyon and Alec Soth as well as rising stars like John Edmonds and Erin Jane Nelson. Weitzman’s interview with New Yorker Magazine photo editor Siobhán Bohnacker is particularly insightful. The most recent episode, recorded in October 2018 hosts Farah Al Qasimi, whose works focus on identity, beauty, surface, and representation in the United Arab Emirates. Best overall quote? Alec Soth saying “Photography is the most anti- ‘Zen’ activity.
Fans of Richard Renaldi, Diane Arbus and Brandon Stanton’s Humans of NY will love this one. Everyone Else is produced by Eva Krysiak, an audio producer from London who found herself chasing people in the street to take their portrait. The podcast consists of a single, consistently compelling portrait of a stranger, paired with the person narrating a story about their life. “They seek to capture something permanent in strangers,” writes Krysiak, “and to make us stop and notice the people we ride the bus next to, buy our milk from or hurry past every day.” The last update was back in August — we hope they’ll resume publishing soon.
The Candid Frame’s host Ibarionex Perello offers thoughtful, empathetic conversations with photographers about their practice and what makes them tick alongside the layered stories behind their work. Perello’s interviews get personal — he asks the right questions, getting photographers to open up more than other hosts.
His interview with Melissa Spitz, for example — who TIME Magazine declared Instagram 2017 photographer of the year and has been published in Aperture, TIME, VICE, and the Huffington Post gets the photographer opening up about her documentary series on her mom’s struggle with mental illness.
Perello also has one of the calmest voices of any photography podcast host, a breath of fresh air from many of the blaring sports-announcer style approach all-too apparent in many of today’s most popular podcasts.
The PetaPixel Podcast, run by the popular photoblog Peta Pixel, is a twice-weekly podcast covering everything related to photography. It combines news, opinions, humor, and real-world experience, as well as super-current updates on what’s going on in the photo industry. While it can occasionally feel a bit sponsor-heavy, its tips are consistently helpful, and its hosts are bold enough — in the case of the recent podcast with photographer Jill Greenberg — to address controversial issues like gender inequality in commercial photography.
While Modern Art Notes covers a range of issues in contemporary art — not just photography — this episode with American landscape photographer Victoria Sambunaris makes it worth adding to the list. For the past two decades, Sambunaris has travelled the United States, photographing places were geology, industry and American culture intersect — almost entirely with a large format camera — shooting one sheet of film at a time. Her work on the US-Mexican border fits into timely discussions around US immigration policy. In contrast to today’s rapid-fire digital approach to photography, Sambunaris’ slowed down approach is a breath of fresh air and her episode on Modern Art Notes is worth a listen.
Ben Smith’s podcast, A Small Voice features long-form interviews with established and emerging photographers, discussing their lives, work, and process. What’s great about this one is its diversity of genres, mixing hard-hitting documentary photography and photojournalism alongside smartypants conceptual photography. It’s also much more gender-balanced than many of the dude-centric “bro-tography” podcasts. One of my favorites is Maggie Steber, who’s photographed in 67 countries around the world, focusing on humanitarian and social issues. (Her TED talk made it to our recent list of inspiring Ted Talks on Photography ) In Steber’s episode, she discusses everything from how to “flush out your subconscious” and how working as a photo editor helped her own work, to the single photo that changed her career.
Around the Lens is a weekly, visual journalism show created by David J. Murphy and Zach D. Roberts that started as an audio-only podcast in 2015, and has grown into a live-streaming show on YouTube and as a podcast. Each week visual journalists discuss industry news, gear and career advice. What do they mean by “Visual Journalism”? This includes both photojournalism and documentary filmmaking, and their guests include people who have tacked it in various aspects of their careers and in their personal work. While this is all incredibly useful — especially the recent talk with Alaskan fishboat photographer Corey Arnold — my favorite episode, which ran this Halloween, was a history of ghost photography.
“There’s a common misconception that artists have a monopoly on creativity,” says photographer, entrepreneur, and CreativeLive founder Chase Jarvis. “But the very act of making anything in any profession or career is a creative one.” In his weekly podcast, Jarvis nails down what moves some of the world’s most productive creators. This is probably the least photography focused podcast of everything we’ve listed, but the learnings on creativity, business, and just — do-it-ness, alongside Jarvis’ success as a commercial photographer, are invaluable.
Hosted by commercial and editorial photographer Alex Gagne, whose client list includes ESPN, Popular Science and The Wall Street Journal, The Photo Banter provides in-depth — rarely less than an hour– conversations with dynamic and successful art, commercial and editorial photographers working today. Gagne does a great job getting photographers to talk about the stories behind their work and their career journies. Some highlights include Larry Fink discussing his path from hanging out with the Beat Poets to becoming one of the most influential social documentary photographers of our time, and Gina LeVay who talks about her personal project Sandhogs, which documented the lives of underground miners in New York City.
Photographer Martin Bailey‘s travel and wildlife-heavy podcast and blog covers everything from basic camera shooting modes for those just starting out, to developing a personal style. It’s a mix of art, creativity and technical topics, interviews, gear reviews and travelogue style episodes.