Here Are the Top Photography and Filmmaking Channels on YouTube and Why You Should Be Following Them in 2020

Here Are the Top Photography and Filmmaking Channels on YouTube and Why You Should Be Following Them in 2020

With over 20 million YouTube channels on the platform in 2019, it's important to stand out. Check out a selection of my favorite YouTube channels in the photography and filmmaking category that you should be following today. 

We are in the heart of the social media generation, and it seems like just about every person you talk to wants to start a YouTube channel. The fact is, anybody can start one, regardless of your age, gender, or culture. That being said, with so much content being released everyday, it can be challenging to know where to find the most reliable answers to your specific questions. In this article, discover the channels who are making a splash in the industry today. Below is my list of personal favorites, but if there are other people you think should be on this list, leave their links in the comments.

The Channels

Fstoppers

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There's a reason Fstoppers is on the top of my list of people to subscribe to this coming year, and it should be on yours too. I can confidently say, if it wasn't for the Fstoppers YouTube channel, I would not have been the photographer I am today. Rewind eight years ago to when I first picked up my camera and wanted to start learning about photography, I didn't know where to start. That's when I was lucky enough to discover the Fstoppers YouTube channel.

I quickly realized that it was the one-stop shop for everything I needed to get off the ground in my photography. From business tips and behind the scenes of photoshoots to in-depth Photoshop tutorials, this channel really has it all. If you know anyone who is just starting out with photography or filmmaking, be sure to share this channel and help jumpstart their career today. 

Lindsay Adler Photography

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Lindsay Adler is an established fashion and beauty photographer known for her graphic, bold style and her creative way of shaping light and color to consistently churn out striking images. Whenever I scroll through her Instagram feed or website, I am constantly blown away by what she creates and always wonder how she photographed her images or what lighting technique she used.

My favorite thing about her channel is an ongoing weekly series Adler started called "Photo Deconstruction." In this inspiring series, Adler dives deep into the details of her favorite photos and breaks down how those images were shot, edited, and the inspiration behind them. If you haven't seen her channel, I highly recommend go checking it out! You will walk away inspired to go out and be creative. 

B&H

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B&H: it's the camera store we all know and love. Just like their headquarters in Midtown Manhattan is like the Charlie and the Chocolate Factory of anything photo or video-related, so is their YouTube channel.

The B&H YouTube channel is the first place I go to see the latest and greatest gear in action and to hear from the photography masters in their premier series called "The B&H Event Space." With a host of informative videos ranging from the best settings to use for shooting video to extensive gear breakdowns, you might just not want to leave.

Cody Wanner

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Cody Wanner is an upcoming YouTube star who started his channel just two years ago. Through relentless work and dedication, Wanner began to gain traction and build an audience. Cody's channel is centered around entrepreneurship in the creative space and inspiring the next generation of doers.

One of the things that keep me coming back to Cody's channel each week is his growth-centered mindset and his overall positive attitude toward the community around him. One of the most notable things about Wanner's channel is the #NoSmallCreator movement that he started. The No Small Creator mindset he adopted has helped encourage the creators out there without big subscriber counts to keep creating and uploading. I instantly resonated with this sentiment, and watching his channel helps remind me that my voice is important and encourages me to start creating the life I want to live today. 

Dan Mace

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Dan Mace is one of the most innovative and creative filmmakers in the YouTube space. On a consistent weekly basis, he uploads thought-provoking, original films about the topics he cares about: climate change, giving back, and breaking stereotypes. 

The thing that stands out to me about Dan's work is his inventive and unique style of editing. In all of his videos, he maintains the perfect balance of classical storytelling techniques and uses his talent in music and animation to bring the audience along the journey with him. I never know what to expect from his channel, and that's what keeps me coming back week after week. A must-watch series on his channel is "The Not Normal Show," where he asks people around the world to send him ideas they need help making a reality, and he makes their dreams come true. He is an example of not only a great filmmaker, but also a great person. 

Aputure

https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2019/12/15/screen_shot_2019-12-15_at_2.13.09_pm.pngIf you're in the market for new LED lights, the Aputure lights are typically at the top of someone’s wish list because of their price, reliability, and power. Not only is Aputure one of the top manufacturers of LED lighting, it also ranks on the top of my list for YouTube channels to look out for.

My favorite thing about this channel is the weekly series they started, "The 4 Minute Film School." In this insightful series, instructors from Aperture’s A-team team up with today's top industry leaders in cinematography and lighting to break down how they light certain scenes and use light to enhance their storytelling. This channel is a must-follow for anyone interested in taking their lighting skills to the next level. 

Film Riot

https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2019/12/15/screen_shot_2019-12-15_at_2.14.26_pm.pngFilm Riot is at the heart of most DIY builds. The channel is run by the film buffs, the Connolly brothers, and with thirty years combined in the film business, they have a wealth of knowledge to share. Through their entertaining and humorous weekly videos that cover a diverse range of topics like how to use After Effects to make special effects or insightful behind the scenes looks into some of their biggest productions, Film Riot continues to stand out.

My favorite thing about this channel is their DIY builds. From the very beginning of my filmmaking career, Film Riot has always been the first places I go to utilize what I already have and become a storyteller. This channel is a must-follow for anyone interested in improving their filmmaking skills and looking to show their story in a unique and innovative way.  Go take a look at this channel, and start becoming a better filmmaker today. 

Mango Street

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In the modern age of social media, our attention spans are shrinking at a rapid pace. Unfortunately, on YouTube, more often than not, there is a host of videos that are mere fluff or clickbait. However, when I discovered Mango Streets' channel, it was a breath of fresh air. When you arrive at the channel YouTube banner, it says it all: Mango Street makes photo and video-related tutorials that don't waste your time. 

My favorite thing about this channel is their concise and engaging way of relaying information to the audience. After watching any of their videos, I always walk away with a fresh dose of knowledge to improve my photography and filmmaking without spending extra time behind my computer. If you're an amateur or a seasoned pro, this channel is for you! 

This Guy Edits

https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2019/12/15/screen_shot_2019-12-15_at_2.19.15_pm.pngAs a professional in this business, I am always looking to expand my skillset, and editing has always been one of those things I wanted to learn. I just didn't know where to start. Recently though, I discovered Sven Pages' channel, and I am so glad I did.

Sven is truly a master of his craft. With over 20 years in the business and having cut films for James Cameron, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and James Franco, he has a wealth of knowledge, and he isn't afraid to share it. He takes you in depth to his project timelines, breaks down classic scenes, and brings the audience into the cutting room of some of the industry's leading editors to hear about their processes. Editing is an art form, and Sven is the master artist. I encourage you to head to his channel, and start learning how to piece together the stories that mean the most to you. You will be glad you did. 

PiXimperfect

https://cdn.fstoppers.com/styles/full/s3/media/2019/12/15/screen_shot_2019-12-15_at_2.25.30_pm.pngPiXimperfect, hosted by Unmesh Dinda, is the first channel I think of when I hear the word Photoshop. PiXimperfect is a channel that serves as a completely free hub for you to learn the ins and outs of Photoshop and Lightroom. On an almost daily basis, Umnesh uncovers the deepest secrets that this powerful software holds and relays them over to his audience in entertaining, easy to watch tutorials.

His teaching style is truly one of a kind. I not only walk away learning a new tool in Photoshop, but learn the why behind it as well. Unlock your imagination and take your images to new heights. Subscribe to the PiXimperfect YouTube channel today. 

Over to You

Which YouTube channels do you subscribe to for constant inspiration and guidance? Share your favorite photography and filmmaking YouTube channels and why you follow them in the comments below. 

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43 Comments

Robert Nurse's picture

DEFINITELY PiXimperfect!! But, FStoppers? Who are they? :D

Here's one you might find interesting. https://youtu.be/qJYnNIq5_-A

Robb Armstrong's picture

Sean Tucker is a must for me. He just seems very down to Earth when compared to a sea of YouTube influencers:

https://www.youtube.com/user/seantuckermerge/featured

Robert Nurse's picture

Oh, yes! His featuring of other photographers is a joy to watch as well as his own experience and advice!

Daniel Medley's picture

All of the mentioned photography based channels have been useful for me. But Peter Coulson's channel has been an absolute game changer for me. How he interacts with models, sets up his lighting, seamlessly transitioning between artificial and natural light, etc.

The only downside,however, is that you need to have an account on his website and pay to get the really in depth and detailed stuff. But well worth it.

heikoknoll's picture

I totally agree. I especially enjoy watching his Q&A live streams.

Adam Lee's picture

Indy Mogul for their great interviews with cinematographers and directors talking about how they shot certain scenes and how to budget for creating stuff like music videos. Kai W for his somewhat quirky perspective on photography and gear. Deity Microphones for their insight on audio in film making

Dana Goldstein's picture

I really enjoy Indy Mogul and I’m not even a videographer!

16mm Camera's picture

Dan Mace is losing more subscribers a month than he's gaining, he isn't a filmmaking channel either. His film style hasn't evolved beyond the hypercut which you watch one video you've seen them all. Cody Wanner broke through from a Peter Mckinnon shout out, but again look at his stats and you'll see he's not as influential without the bigger influence. #nosmallcreator is a rally call for those aspiring to be their hero's, nothing more.

This Guy Edits, Lindsey and Film Riot are smart choices. They're showing you actual craft and reasoning behind it.

This list isn't that great IMHO.

I like "Theoria Apophasis" aka "The Angry Photographer" for daily opinions on various cameras, photography, and stuff.

Probably the biggest source of disinformation about photography of the internet, seriouisly stay away from that channel for your own good :D

16mm Camera's picture

I don't understand it, there are much better and more dynamic channels in that same space he somehow occupies.

Stuart Carver's picture

Mainly Landscape channels from me.

First man photography (my favourite channel)
Thomas Heaton
Gary Gough
Adam Gibbs (the best photographer I’ve seen so far)
Fototripper
Gareth Danks (great content)
Serge Ramelli for editing tips
Henry Turner
Ian Worth
Lynn luxton Jones

We need more female photography content on YouTube though, the girls from Wex and TCSTV are both decent.

Mark Edridge's picture

That is, apart from two, my exact list! I like Sean Bagshaw and Micheal Shaneblume too.

Stuart Carver's picture

Ah yeah I’ve watched MS on Gavin Hardcastle’s videos, I need to watch him too.

Henry Turner is rapidly becoming one of my favourites.

My favorite and best 5 list would be:
1. Steve Perry
2. Mortin Hilmer
3. Mark Smith
4. OnSportsPhotography with Peter Read Miller
5. David Oastler

I have to go with CameraConspiracies https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCwxgo62w72LxZDA1fTibdYg
It is good to maintain a sense of humor..

I can't believe he and Gerald Undone didn't make the list.

16mm Camera's picture

Believe it. He's a technical spec sheet, he's not showing you the art of the craft.

Eh, that's debatable.

I'll take my list of real photographers who are down to earth with their knowledge and production over slick productions and flashy content YouTubers.
Adam Gibbs, Adorama, Andrew Marr, Andy Mumford, Ben Horne, Denae & Andrew, Diego McCartney, EduardoPavezGoye, First Man Photography, fototripper, Ilford Photo, Joe Allam, Lucas Wiman, Mastin Labs, Matt Day, Matt Kloskowski, Morten Hilmer, Nate Photographic, Nick Carver, Nick Page, Nigel Danson, Omar Gonzalez, Pushing Film, Scott Graham, Sean Tucker, Simon Baxter, SmugMug, Steve Mattheis, Steve O'Nions, The Art of Photography, Thomas Fitzgerald, Thomas Heaton, and Tony and Chelsea

Stuart Carver's picture

I watch most of them but avoid the Northrups as its too gear related and too much misinformation, i removed all channels of that ilk some time ago.

Jeff McCollough's picture

Can we make a list of the ones we don't like?

publishes entire friends list including plugging their own channel. film riot and dan mace i do follow. but why should i follow FStops affiliate partners ? its like following the home shopping channel. but just dont follow tony northrop or jared, are they no longer friends of fstopprs ?

Owen Wood's picture

Cinecom is a must watch if you are into video, listening to Jordy’s voice/pronunciations is worthwhile even if you hate video!

you should hear him talk in his own language, you will be pissing yourself laughing. but you do have to understand it.

Definitely Steve Perry, some of the higest quality stuff and useful tips you can find.*
Gallery speaks for himself https://backcountrygallery.com/wildlife/

https://www.youtube.com/user/backcountrygallery

Brendan O'Neill's picture

Indie Film Hustle is a good YT channel

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