Whether you’re a budding photographer or a seasoned pro, creating a photography YouTube channel can help you get the word out about yourself and your work. YouTube videos are great for showcasing photography, and it makes it easy for people to share your stuff with their friends. Sure, you could just post your pictures on Instagram or a photoblog. But videos give you the chance to explain your work, demonstrate your expertise, and connect with the people who follow you. But before you start worrying about how much work this will require, check out this article to discover how to start and how to grow your YouTube channel.
Starting a YouTube channel about photography
Creating a successful YouTube photography channel might sound like a lot of work. And that’s because it is. But, like anything else, it’s much more manageable when you just take it one step at a time.
Step 1: Plan your concept and content
It’s always good to begin with a plan. That’s especially true when it comes to anything social media-related — including YouTube. Here are a few things to consider while you’re planning your channel.
What is your content about?
This refers not only to what types of videos you’ll create but also to the kind of photography you want to practice. If you hope to be hired to do landscape projects, create videos around that topic. Make sure to highlight your best landscape pictures and talk about what makes you an expert in this field.
How often do you want to post?
Figure out how often you want to post new videos and then schedule your content around that. A good content schedule will help you get into a rhythm of producing videos and help you figure out what each one will be about.
Step 2: Design the branding for your YouTube channel
Just like photography, filmmaking is all about aesthetics. Ask yourself what the brand and tone will be for your YouTube channel. Here are a few things you should start to think about long before you shoot your first second of video.
Channel name and description
Giving your YouTube channel a name that makes sense for the type of content you’re putting on there is important for helping people find it. And the same is true for your bio and channel description. It’s a chance to infuse a little tone and personality, but don’t forget to include keywords so that the YouTube algorithm will suggest your channel to future viewers.
Design your thumbnails
They say you only get one first impression, and that is definitely the case with YouTube. That’s why you should spend some time designing your video thumbnails. For most people, this is the first thing they’ll see from your channel. And giving all of your thumbnails a cohesive look will help your videos stand out on a very crowded homepage.
Step 3: Shoot the first batch of videos
While it’s exciting to be shooting for your first YouTube channel, it’s best to take a beat and shoot a couple of practice videos first. As you proceed through a handful of demo videos, you’ll naturally work out some of the kinks in content and production flow. When you’re shooting that first batch of videos, make sure you’re thinking about the following.
Make sure you have everything you need to film the best-looking and best-sounding videos. From cameras to lights, if you have any questions about how to improve the look of your video, there are a ton of YouTube tutorial videos that will help you figure out what you need.
Editing and post-production
Working on those practice videos can also help you figure out what software you’ll need to edit them all together. If you’re making simple and straightforward videos, you might be able to get away with just using iMovie. But if you want to get more involved with custom graphics and animations, consider some of the high-end apps available, like Adobe Premiere and After Effects.
Step 4: Create your YouTube channel
Next up is uploading your first video and creating your photography YouTube channel. Follow these steps to upload a video:
- Go to YouTube.com and log in with your Google account.
- Click or tap on your profile photo and select Your Channel.
- Hit Upload Video.
- Follow the prompts to finish uploading your video.
After you finish uploading, you can go back to your channel dashboard and click Customize Channel to edit things like your bio, your channel photo, and even the layout of your channel.
Step 5: Post videos and promote them
There’s a certain amount of truth to the statement, “if you build it, they will come.” But don’t rely too heavily on your mere presence. When it comes to YouTube, posting regularly can go a long way toward generating awareness for your channel. Sharing videos and posting about them on your other social media platforms can also help get views on your videos.
Popular YouTube photography channels for inspiration
Now that you have some tips for creating your YouTube channel, it’s time to look at what other photographers worth following are doing. Yes, this is for inspiration. But it’s also a means to figure out what your specific niche will be. While you’re going through these channels, ask yourself how you can do something just slightly different from what they’re doing.
1. The Art of Photography
Ted Forbes, the host of The Art of Photography, does in-depth videos about all things photography. Ted covers everything from lenses to editing presets, even getting into some career advice for photographers like yourself.
The Fstoppers channel is a useful resource for many reasons, but one that stands out is that this isn’t just one person creating videos. As any creative person knows, art is subjective. And the same is true of how you make art. So, Fstoppers gives you a well-balanced, well-rounded point of view on equipment, tips, and tutorials.
3. Thomas Heaton
The videos that Thomas Heaton posts fit very squarely into his particular brand of outdoorsy, landscape photography. His channel is a perfect example of playing toward your strengths and showcasing the types of pictures you want to capture.
4. B&H Photo
The popular photography store B&H Photo is also getting in on the fun. Their channel features a ton of insightful tutorials, equipment reviews, and even customer stories. A quick browse through some of their videos is sure to produce some inspiration for your next photo series.
5. Jessica K Photo
Who says your channel has to be all work and no play? Jessica K certainly doesn’t think so. When you first go to her channel, you’ll see many videos about working with models and real people. She’s excellent at capturing portraits and is more than willing to share all of her secrets, but she also has a series of reaction videos, giving her followers an insight into her personality outside of photography as well.
Creating and maintaining a YouTube channel is a lot of work. But it can be a lot of fun as well. Hopefully, after reading this article, you feel a little more empowered to go out and start your own channel now that you know your ideal first steps. And don’t get discouraged if the numbers aren’t what you expected them to be after uploading your first video. YouTube is very much about the long game. Keep posting content, and eventually, you’ll find your audience. Or, rather, they’ll find you.