Best photographers on YouTube

YouTube Videos To Get Started In Photography

(Particularly The Sony Alpha Mirrorless Series)

This year – 2019 – has been my ‘learn photography’ year. I’ve always been a photographer in that I’ve always taken a heap of photos, but it’s only as of this year that I finally decided to buy a half-decent camera. Namely, the Sony A6000 mirrorless camera.

I went on to subscribe to the Adobe Photography plan (info on plan options here) so that I could have Photoshop and Lightroom. I use Photoshop daily for work but have only now come to understand the power of Lightroom; not just for photo editing but also for photo organisation and backup. It’s now my absolute ‘go to’ for keeping track of – and backing up – my photos.

So, to make the most of my new toys and justify a higher investment, I’ve been trying to teach myself how to get the most from my camera and finally learn about functions such as aperture, shutter speed, ISO and the difference between shooting in RAW and JPEG.

It’s been a great year to take this step as there are now truckloads of resources out there to help you get started.

This has also finally given me a reason to pay attention to Facebook Groups. Facebook actually has some decent people out there who know their stuff and are keen to help others learn. Who knew? It’s not just people who have nothing better to do but complain about whatever vehicle you’re trying to promote today (sorry, I work in automotive and social media is a minefield for this topic).

As part of those groups, one common question is ‘Who knows of any decent YouTube channels to help get started in photography?’.

I spend a lot of time on YouTube and have come across some awesome channels, so here are my top picks. Some of these are particularly good for Sony mirrorless camera owners, such as myself, and especially in the ‘6000’ series (as this is the more entry-level camera), but others are simply fantastic resources for photography advice as well sa help on using software like Lightroom and Photoshop.

hikyletaggart (20k Subs)

Kyle (his channel name means ‘Hi Kyle Taggart’) is a massive Sony A6k series fan. He’s not the most subscribed-to YouTuber in this list, but that’s probably because he’s more of a niche market, almost entirely dedicated to the A6k series camera.

That’s good news if you own one – his videos are amongst the easiest to watch here and provide great advice on owning and making the most of a Sony A6000.

Along with camera gear buying advice, he also has a fair few tips on what he calls ‘camera hacks’. For example on the A6000 the sensor that determines whether your eye is at the eyepiece (and so automatically turning off the main screen) is far too sensitive. Kyle has a hack in the form of putting tape over half of the sensor. It still works but is much less sensitive. Great hack!

Summary:

  • Almost exclusively Sony A6000 content
  • Camera and gear reviews
  • Advice on camera settings
  • Includes videos on camera hacks

Videos to get you started:

Arthur R (112k Subs)

A professional portrait photographer with a Sony A6000 series camera. Arthur’s channel is heavily focused on lens reviews, with the odd bit of extra gear thrown in.

He’s published a few videos that rank his favourite lenses, but do note he’s biased towards portraiture. Arthur spends a lot of time in Lightroom, zoomed into his photos to carefully compare the results of various lenses (particularly sharpness, chromatic aberration, bokeh, consistency across the image, etc.).

I pretty much wouldn’t buy a camera lens until I’ve seen Arthur’s review of it, they’re that in-depth.

Summary:

  • Camera and gear reviews, particularly lenses for Sony A6k series
  • Detailed comparison videos
  • Plenty of ‘top lenses’ and ‘best lens’ videos

Videos to get you started:

Christopher Burress (28k Subs)

I haven’t been a subscriber to Christopher Burress’s channel for long, but already I’ve learned some valuable stuff from him with regards to camera gear, particularly lens for the Sony A6000 series.

Christopher’s pretty engaged with his audience and appears to respond to most comments with helpful advice.

Summary:

  • Camera gear reviews
  • Particular focus on comparing/reviewing e-mount lenses
  • Various other

Videos to get you started:

That 1 Camera Guy (92k Subs)

That 1 Camera Guy is a photographer and videographer with a passion for reviewing and discussing gear, as well as providing in-depth tutorials for using that gear.

While he covers a few different camera, a lot of his videos are dedicated to the Sony A6k series, including A6000 and A6500. He’s great at explaining the various settings as well as demonstrating functions in real world settings.

Summary:

  • Camera, lens and accessory buying advice (mostly Sony A6000)
  • Tips on using gear, plus understanding settings
  • Advice on event photography
  • Videography advice

Videos to get you started:

Benjamin Jaworskyj (290k Subs)

Benjamin is a German photographer who produces some videos in English and others in German. His videos are largely aimed at helping you figure out camera settings, demonstrating the difference in shutter speed and aperture and the like, intermixed with shooting tips, help with software, and more.

I like this guy as he’s straight up and adds a touch of humour to his guides and demonstrations which is enhanced by his not-so-perfect grasp of English. Benjamin on camera modes: “P is for Penis. No. Of course it’s not. It’s for Program.”

Summary:

  • Camera settings and demonstrations
  • Lens and accessory advice
  • Lightroom editing and workflow tips
  • Photography business advice

Videos to get you started:

Nigel Danson (140k Subs)

I have quite a soft spot for this guy. He’s a slightly awkward Brit who isn’t quite a natural video presenter, and yet he’s so passionate about what he does that it really rubs off on you, and he has a fantastic eye for a good shot combined with a willingness to share that with his audience.

Nigel’s channel is dedicated to his love of landscape photography. His videos are all about teaching you to be a better landscape photographer, plus a few extra videos on things like Lightroom organisation tips, photo backups, and more.

Nigel does a lot of screencasts of his Lightroom work along with plenty of videos of his time in the hills. He’s awesome with a drone as well.

Summary:

  • Shooting & creative tips (landscape)
  • Lightroom & Backup techniques
  • Sells prints and calendars, plus provides training classes

Videos to get you started:

Thomas Heaton (350k Subs)

Another Brit, Thomas Heaton is an exceptional photographer. His channel is dedicated to his work as a professional landscape photographer and features a large number of tips when it comes to choosing camera gear (including accessories) as well as excellent advice when it comes to using that gear.

If you’ve ever used Flickr and seen the hero shot with a green tent on a hillside, then you’ve already seen his work!

Thomas can occasionally come across as a little judgemental of more amateur photographers and can be quite critical (even of himself) but his work and his advice is very good.

Summary:

  • Camera, lens and accessory advice
  • Shooting & creative tips (landscape)
  • Lightroom editing and workflow tips
  • Photography business advice

Videos to get you started:

Peter McKinnon (3.8m Subs)

Canadian photographer, videographer and award-winning YouTuber Peter McKinnon is one of the most popular guys in his field with almost 4 million subscribers on his channel. His videos are a mix of photography and video shooting advice, tips for software such as Lightroom, Photoshop and Premiere Pro, and information about gear. Some of his videos can be quite long (except for his ‘2 Minute Tuesday’ series), but they’re very watchable.

He’s a fantastic resource for ‘all things professional photography’, including all sorts of studio equipment, tips on how to make money through what you do, building your brand, and more.

I’ve saved the best till last. While I’d watch the other videos specifically when I want information and advice, I’d watch Peter’s for general entertainment. It’s just a bonus that you also get tutored along the way.

Summary:

  • Shooting & creative tips (urban, portrait, landscape)
  • Lightroom & Photoshop techniques
  • Photography, video & audio
  • General life inspiration!

Videos to get you started:

Missing any?

This isn’t an extensive list and the list itself will change over time. Newcomers will arrive on the scene and the guys above may move onto other things. So if you have any other suggestions, feel free to let me know on the comments.

On that note, I’ve also realised the above are exclusively male. Any good female photographers on YouTube out there?

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