What Are the Best Photography TV Shows Available Today? Check Out This List

What Are the Best Photography TV Shows Available Today? Check Out This List

Are you looking for something inspirational to watch during your editing sessions or maybe want to learn more about the history of photography and the big names in it? Here's a good list of a variety of shows, documentaries, and movies about photography.

Most photographers will know the feeling. You've got a big editing session ahead, your cup of coffee is already steaming in the mug next to your keyboard, but you've not prepared anything to listen to in the background to accompany you. Depending on the session I am editing, I switch between relaxing or upbeat music playlists, interesting podcasts, or TV shows and documentaries that don't require me to keep constantly looking at the screen they're playing on. 

Randomly, I came across a Netflix documentary "My Generation" which details the ins and outs of cultural revolution in 1960s England, and inevitably it touched on the "terrible trio" who shaped the fashion and portrait photography world: David Bailey, Brian Duffy, and Terence Donovan. As much as I enjoyed the documentary, I realized I don't actually know that many other TV shows or movies about photography as its main theme, which is when I came across this very helpful list compiled by Digital Camera World that will hopefully inspire you and get you through those long editing hours.

If you're a fan of competitive reality shows full of drama, there's "Top Photographer with Nigel Barker," but if you prefer to actually learn more about photography and the business, you may want to give "Sky Arts' Masters of Photography" a go. But let me warn you that it's still a rather subjective show and there may be times when you want to throw something at the screen as you listen judges' opinions that you may strongly disagree with. 

Reality TV and drama aside, other options include inspirational documentaries that follow various photographers and their adventures all across the world, such as "Tales of Light," "Wild Photo Adventures," "Chasing Ice," and more. If you're more a history buff like myself, you may be interested in documentaries, such as "Duffy: The Man Who Shot The Sixties," which is available to be viewed for free, "Everybody Street," or "Conflict" if you want to learn more about the devastating after effects of experiencing war and violence through a lens.

The list features several other titles that will catch your interest because there's definitely something for everyone. Take a look and let us know if you can recommend any other interesting movies, TV shows, or documentaries.

Lead image by Joanes Andueza via Unsplash, used under Creative Commons.

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9 Comments

Motti Bembaron's picture

If you want to watch a great TV mini series that will blow your mind in its cinematography, look for the show Maigret, staring Rowan Atkinson (Mr. Bean). The plots are very well written but the lighting and the color grading is superb.

Great inspiration for photographers and videographers in my opinion. Here is the trailer https://youtu.be/CpViacF-a0k

Anete Lusina's picture

Thank you for sharing this with us. The thumbnail image for this already looks great!

Gerald Bertram's picture

Yes, thanks for that! Looks beautifully shot. I will certainly check this out.

Lorretta Clarke's picture

I must say that i have struggled to find courses and films that cover the subject of why an artist, film maker or photographer makes a certain image. Maybe i am not looking in the correct places but if anyone would want to suggest anything. Feel free

Chad D's picture

Abstract the art of design !

amazing to watch as a creative and Platon is on there for the photography but all of it is good to watch

Joe Healey's picture

May I suggest:War Photographer a Documentary about photographer James Nachtwey
https://www.imdb.com/title/tt0309061/

I suggest watching War Photographer, about the life and work of James Nachtway

Raul Farfan's picture

Fantastic selection... I would also recommend "Abstract: the art of design". Platon: photography... I found this documentary very inspirational and emotional... Worth watching...

Lorretta, there is a great documentary called "What Remains" that interviews photographer Sally Mann about her Immediate Family exhibit and her Body Farm. On the CD, there an added 30 minute piece.