I wanted to make a list of my favourite YouTube channels that I go to for a source of inspiration, knowledge and entertainment. Previously I made a list of my favourite Instagram accounts, which you can find here, so I thought it would be a good time to share what I enjoy watching to maybe inspire you.
Casey Neistat | 8,256,091 subscribers
I stumbled upon Casey Neistat because of his Snowboarding with the NYPD video (which you can see below) as it made the news around the world. Neistat isn’t so much a photographer as he is a vlogger and film maker, but what I find amazing about his content is his ability to be creative every single day. A short history on Neistat is that he started with next to nothing as a high school dropout moving to New York but began making movies. He made his first viral video in 2003, before it was easy to make a viral video on a platform like YouTube, called iPod’s Dirty Secret which criticized Apple about their battery life. After that and the success of another short film, Neistat was picked up by HBO to create a series before making more short films on YouTube including a 2011 short film about Bike Lanes before starting his daily vlog in 2015. He has also started his own video sharing app Beme, which was then sold to CNN for $25 million in 2016. He has most recently began Beme News which is a unique look at major events like Hurricane Harvey, the iPhone X battery test and open carry laws in Texas. Neistat even sent a crew to Calgary after the release of the Dunkirk movie to interview veteran Ken Sturdy who was at Dunkirk and was featured on Global News after he went to a local theatre to see the movie.
Watching his videos gives new appreciation to capturing moments and working hard to create content everyday, even if he is an extreme example. I think he is organized chaos but it is addicting to watch him capture the mundane and everyday occurrences in his life, sprinkled with some pretty amazing moments. Each one of his daily vlogs are carefully edited and presented which shows that putting time and energy into your creative content will eventually pay off. Most of his content is created in New York, which his style and the city seem to go hand and hand in his success.
Peter McKinnon | 1,371,593 subscribers
I want to say that the first time I checked out Peter McKinnon’s channel was because I was searching how to do something. McKinnon is a photographer/videographer that has seen a ridiculous growth in the last year or so of his channel, 1,000,000 subscribers in 9 months kind of ridiculous growth. Part of this massive growth is the combination of amazing photos, videos and instruction. Even amongst other phenomenal YouTube creators, McKinnon is seen as a top notch videographer, in fact he has recently been collaborating with Casey Neistat more often as well as some other great creators like food photograper Dennis The Prescott or fellow filmmaker/photographer Matti Haapoja.
Like Neistat, it is refreshing to see how McKinnon puts pro level time and energy into something like a vlog or a two minute tutorial. One of the biggest takeaways I have had from watching his channel is to try and put that effort into free work to showcase your talents to potential clients down the road. Always energetic McKinnon makes it easy to follow along in his tutorials and often talks about the things he has done to go from being a guy holding down part time job after part time job to becoming a full-time photographer, filmmaker and YouTuber. He is also Canadian so, support local.
Jared Polin (aka Fro Knows Photo) | 708,809 subscribers
The Fro was the first YouTube channel I can remember following along religiously and following along to try to pick up new and better ways to take photos. He is often a straight shooter regarding how he does things, how he feels others should do things and in his honest general opinions. Polin is in Philadelphia so there is a magnitude of things to be able to photograph corporate, landscapes, architecture and professional sports. All of which he has created tutorials on which include the camera equipment he is using, how he composes images, how he edits those images and how he delivers those images to clients. He has since evolved the channel to include more and more product reviews with regards to camera equipment as well as more photography news with things like a Fro Knows Podcast.
Thomas Heaton | 176,447 subscribers
Located in England, Heaton is a calm and methodical landscape photographer that is a stark contrast to the likes of Neistat, McKinnon and Polin. I enjoy landscapes, you can check out my personal Instagram account, @kriskush1, and Heaton is a fantastic landscape photographer. His approach is all about planning and preparation for only a couple of photographs versus taking dozens of images and praying for one to work out. Often you will find Heaton explaining his settings as well as reasoning behind the composition of the image he is looking for with the occasional video in a 'how to' approach. His landscapes are often breathtaking with the England landscape, and seascape, the subject of most of his photos but like most successful photographers, you can find him all over the world.
Adam Gibbs | 1,223 subscribers
Gibbs' YouTube channel is the most recent I have found and watch as much as I can. He is a landscape photographer who often visits local settings such as the Canadian Rockies as well as more recently the Vancouver area. Like Heaton, Gibbs plans, hikes and works for the right composition of an image or two before moving on. He seems to be incredibly particular in what he is looking for, as evident in one of his videos where he bypasses a shot in Johnston Canyon in the Banff National Park because he just wasn’t feeling it. Most people would still photograph the site because who knows when they will be back, but not Gibbs. It was the Jasper National Park videos that drew me to Gibbs’ channel as it would be amazing to be able to capture them in the manner he does.
The Camera Store TV | 288,891 subscribers
These guys are out of Calgary and are heavy into the show and tell aspect of photography gear. I find their videos where they showcase a new piece of camera equipment to be incredibly well done as they will photograph subjects that the average person or photographer might be shooting and give you a recommendation on the gear. They cover both photography gear as well as videographer capabilities of the camera equipment that they are testing for a decent all round review.
The Art of Photography (Ted Forbes) | 376,611 subscribers
Ted Forbes is the host of the Art of Photography which is an incredibly in-depth look at photography and the history associated with photography. You can instantly tell that Forbes is one of the brightest photographers around with a passion that is equal to that knowledge. Forbes has covered everything from film photography to new camera equipment impressions to motivation as a photographer to, as the name of his channel suggests, photography as an art form. Often Forbes will reference a photographer that makes you go “who?” but once you look up the photographer he is talking about or he shows you a piece of their work, you will more than likely recognize it.
Something very cool you can find on his channel is his Photo Assignment project. The idea would be a series of assignments that would help you as a photographer maybe break out of a creative funk or just get to rethink how you compose an image. Very cool as every week a new assignment would be walked through by Forbes and he would share submissions by his viewers for the previous assignment building his community.
Andrew Kearns | 88,861 subscribers
I used to watch Kearns' vlog daily as a source of entertainment more than anything. It was amazing to see this young fella roam freely across the Pacific Northwest area hiking and shooting throughout Washington and Oregon states primarily. His YouTube channel contained some great videos showcasing how he does what he does but it is mostly a daily vlog style channel, heavily influenced by Casey Neistat, where he takes you along on his journey. It is quite astonishing what a creative person who surrounds themselves with creative people can accomplish.
Thanks for checking out this blog post and it would be great to hear if you have any go to YouTube channels by commenting down below.