When I worked at my corporate marketing job, one question that people were obsessed with asking was, "who are listening to right now?". For some reason my answer of Norwegian Black Metal never passed muster. What they'd mean was, what podcast are you listening to right now? Once I figured that out, I would just say "My Favorite Murder" or "The Tim Ferriss Podcast" and suddenly my podcast game was strong.
But really, we all consume so much media on a daily basis that cutting through the noise is more important than ever. We love curated lists by influencers! I'm just as guilty, I follow Steph Curry on Instagram because I love NBA basketball and one day he posts about a band he's been loving now called Johnnyswim. Immediately, I pull up Spotify and start listening to that band and now I love that band. Seriously, they are one of my absolute favorites now. (h/t to Steph Curry!).
That being said, within the realm of photography there are definitely a few podcasts that you should be following because they are informative, funny, a source of healthy debate, or inspiring. Notice the title of the blog though, this isn't photography podcasts but rather podcasts by photographers because I think it's healthy to look outside your immediate sphere for inspiration. Enough of me taking, here are my current favorites.
I'm going to start with someone I've been following for years, I've chatted with Matt a few times through social media and he's a talented and entertaining host but his line-up for interviews are some of the heaviest hitters in the landscape photography game. I particularly enjoyed the one with Jack Brauer and both with Joshua Cripps. This weekly podcast is definitely worth a listen and the interview style really brings to life these photographers that I have been following for years on social media. Kudos Matt!
Many forget that Chase Jarvis is a really good photographer, I remember seeing Chase Jarvis when he was Freeskier Magazine's photo editor and I was trying to get published for my awful skiing photos. He's gone on to be a top influencer within the entrepreneurship and thought leader category, his podcast is really well done and probably has the highest production value of any I'm going to list. A few of my favorites are; #54 "How to Cut Through the Noise + Get Noticed" and #38 "How to be a World Class Creative with Joe McNally". His is a little more focused on building a business than photography, it's useful to be thinking about business when doing photography.
I had the pleasure of being on the Improve Photography Podcast several months ago and I'll be honest, I had never heard of his podcast prior to him reaching out to me. Now, several months later I can say that I'm a fan. Jim Harmer is a great host, he has good debate, good interviews, and offers a lot of advice through him and his guests. A great resource and really entertaining content make this one of my regular listens. You probably don't want to listen to the episode that I was featured on so a few of my favorites have been; The State of the Landscape Photography Industry (Tripod) and really any of his Photo Taco podcasts like this one.
This is a somewhat controversial choice because Scott Kelby is one of the most well-known photographers in the game right now but he's not really known for his photography anymore. That's not to say that he's not a really good photographer or that his choice to always wear a sport coat doesn't bother me, but The Grid is a really well produced digital talk show essentially. Scott has great personal skills, he's funny, and his guests are always on point. One of my favorite segments is where they would go to a photographer's website and critique it on the show. Great times! I don't listen to this one as much as I used to, but it's still a quality listen. Just bear in mind, you'll have to become a member of KelbyOne in order to watch any of the content.
PetaPixel is a great photography-focused news magazine in the same vein as Deadspin with less cynicism though. Their podcast is first and foremost, engaging as all get out. It's hilarious and not just for photo nerds, and the topics Mike covers are very relevant to photography. When I was writing this blog, his podcast about the upcoming Sony A7 III and if that will cause photographers to jump the ship to Sony is very timely, I have been thinking about making that switch. Give it a listen and best of all, they are pretty short episodes that can be listened to on your way to work or on the way to a shoot. Or if you're like me and drive 8 hours to go shoot something, you can listen to a whole lot of episodes until you want to drown out podcasts with some Johnnyswim.
Here's a little different focus for your average photography minded person, how about a dark room technique or news about film photography? How about reviews of Hasselblad latest medium-format digital camera? You don't find those in every photography show because those represent two of the most niche markets within photography; film and really expensive medium-format gadgetry. When I first saw the episodes, I immediately noticed that he loves to add lens flares to his thumbnails. Minor pet peeve aside, really good episodes and he's an engaging presenter too. One of my favorite episodes is the Canon lens vs., Canon Lens 16-35mm showdown. I was just talking about this to a friend the other day, it's good that there is content around these sorts of things.
And there you have it, there's my list of top photography podcasts according to me. Do you have a favorite? Leave it in the comments and if it's good maybe I'll write another one of these posts later this year, I could use all of the Google juice I can get at this point. One request, if you found any of these useful or helpful let me know in the comments what you liked about them. I would love to hear about what the people out there are listening to and why it was helpful.