Why Doesn't YouTube Show You the Best Photography Videos and How Can You Fix It?

YouTube is an incredible resource for those seeking to learn about photography, with endless tutorials and discussions about gear. However, if you’ve ever been frustrated that more meaningful content doesn’t reach your feed, here’s how to go about fixing it.

Alex Kilbee of The Photographic Eye has put together a short video that explains how the algorithm works and what you can do to tune it to your advantage, helping you to discover content that is more engaging and meaningful, improving your viewing experience. To a degree, we’re each responsible for what YouTube presents us with because the algorithm is designed specifically to respond to the videos that we engage with, so moaning about the abundance of superficial content is partially our own fault. That can be addressed by deliberately seeking out videos that dig a little deeper, driven by a photographer’s passion for a subject rather than a search for clicks.

We’re all guilty of getting distracted when YouTube suggests a video of some small creature being insanely cute. We might enjoy that moment of indulgence, but giving in to YouTube’s efforts to tease will slowly dumb down your viewing experience, and being a little stricter with what you watch will be beneficial in the long term.

What other tips would you add to Kilbee’s suggestions? Let us know in the comments below.

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19 Comments
Larry Chism's picture

Thanks

Tom Reichner's picture

At 9:13 in the video, Alex Kilbee says,

"People make content that gets views ..... they never, or very rarely, make content simply for the pure love of the subject that they are talking about."

This is, so sadly, true. Many YouTubers seem to be more interested in making an income than they are in sharing what they are most passionate about. They have "sold out" - forsaken truth and genuineness and traded it for the love of money.

There are several photography-related YouTubers who are an exception. They may make a few dollars via their content and the sponsorships that they gain, but they would be putting time and effort into their YouTube videos even if it would never result in a single dollar of income.

These special and genuine photography YouTubers are:

Morten Hilmer
https://www.youtube.com/c/MortenHilmer

Steve Mattheis
https://www.youtube.com/c/SteveMattheis

Ray Hennessy
https://www.youtube.com/c/RayHennessy

Wild & Exposed Podcast
https://www.youtube.com/c/WildandExposedPodcast

Bayou Josh
https://www.youtube.com/c/BayouJosh

Jamin Hunter Taylor
https://www.youtube.com/c/JaminTaylor

Chris Rogers's picture

T.Hopper is pretty good if your into film. Also if you watch Tyler Shields channel you can pick out some really valuable lessons as well as mike grays channel.

Tom Reichner's picture

I'm really only interested in wildlife photography, and videos that are specifically about photographing wild animals. But I will check out your recommendations to see if any of those 3 are wildlife-specific.

Chris Rogers's picture

Nope you might want to ignore them then haha. They don't talk about wild life photography at all. They are all film photographers but they all talk mostly about portraits.

Chris Rogers's picture

Maaaaaaaaaaan I press that "Not Interested" button all the time. I once spent 4hours clicking "Not Interested" just to test it and see if it actually did anything but it doesn't. I kept getting the sam exact videos. Over and over and over. What really sucks about youtube is that if watch ONE video on say puppies your whole feed gets contaminated with puppy videos. So like I said above you can spend 4 hours clicking "not interested" on those puppy videos but you will still get puppy videos in your feed. God help you if you click on video you never intended to watch that's of a subject you hate. Your feed is going to be permanently contaminated. I always recommend using a different browser/account when looking up vids of things you don't want permanently in your feed. Even clearing browsing history in youtube and your browser doesn't fix it. Clearing cookies doesn't fix it either. I have also tried clicking the option "Do not Recommend Channel" and it STILL shows me crap from those channels. you tube wants you watch what brings in the advertising dollars and that's only what it's going to show you until other videos get popular enough to bring in advertising dollars.

Tom Reichner's picture

Chris,

If all you are doing is watching videos that you do not like, and then clicking on the "not interested" button, of course it isn't going to work.

What you need to do to get it to work the way you want it to is to be positive instead of negative. You need to tell YouTube what you ARE interested in. The way you do this is threefold ... you watch a lot of videos that you are interested in, you subscribe to the creators of such content, and you click the thumbs up button for all of the videos that you were interested in.

Then, once YouTube has a record of a few hundred videos that you did like, it will fill your feed with similar content from similar creators ..... and there simply won't be enough room left in your feed for suggestions for videos that you don't like. It really does work!

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

1000% agree.

Chris Rogers's picture

I seeee. I'll try that.Reminds of how user reviews work. if the product or service is good and delivers whats it's supposed to most people don't submit reveiws. If the product or services is bad there is much more of a chance people will leave a negative review. I'll try the positivity approch and see how that goes.

Stuart C's picture

Thanks to the ‘not interested’ button I no longer have to see cranks like that Angry Photographer in his kimono inflicting themselves on my feed, it definitely works.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

I'm content with my YT Home content. I do queue quite a bit of videos (mainly from my subscriptions feed) that interest me and place them in several playlists and watch them while working, cleaning, cooking, etc. If there are outliers that pop up, they eventually drop off.

I disagree with Kilbee's suggestion that we like or watch videos of channels just to promote them. If they aren't producing content that interests viewers, then it is what it is. Survival of the fittest. :D

noviv drluotan's picture

The real question is how to keep fstoppers and petapixel out of my google news feed. These two just harvest content from yt and other sites by writing short articles linking to this other content. Cheap way to generate ad revenue without doing real work.

Tom Reichner's picture

Noviv Drluotan asked,

"The real question is how to keep fstoppers and petapixel out of my google news feed. "

The way to accomplish that is to never go to those websites. Ever.

If you go to a website, and create a profile and post comments there, then of freaking course that website is going to continually pop up on your Google news feed.

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

There are at least four options that are readily available to you:

1. The down-arrow key
2. The browser scrollbar
3. The mouse wheel
4. The swipe up

Happy to help!

Barry Strawbridges's picture

Youtube will show you videos that are 10 to 15 minutes long, where the unnecessarily hyper-enthused content creator starts off every video with "What's going on guys", verifies they get free stuff from a major company for this obviously coordinated scheduled launch, and swears it not a sponsored post.

This is followed up with "if this video gets X number of likes, I'll do some other virtual prostitution task" to keep me and my social media management company or traditional media conglomerate that represents me at the top of the algorithm.

Also click here for my "Top 10 reasons I don't get to the point until I mention you like and subscribe to my video or channel."

Lisa Nevets's picture

Sorry I posted incorrectly, Might I suggest a couple that I find entertaining and to the point? They are "The Lazy Artist" and "Trago".

Lisa Nevets's picture

Might I suggest a couple that I find entertaining and to the point? They are "The Lazy Artist" and "Trago".

Gary Bowen's picture

This was great. I really dig T .Hopper. Thanks for sharing!

Marko Danek's picture

Hey. In these cases, I don't rely heavily on YouTube or any other platform. I look for what works for me and save it on a playlist and a watch list. And to organize my time more quickly and without problems, I want to understand how much watching a video can take. Then I can turn to and it's actually very convenient.