I listen to a lot of podcasts. I have 23 of them on my iPhone that I listen to regularly and another 10-15 on my computer at home. I listen to them when I am in the car traveling to work, vacation, the store, where ever. I am a podcast junkie. I haven’t listened to the radio in ages. I include video podcasts in this catagory. I don’t watch them in the car, but while waiting for appointments or whatever.
I have learned a few things about podcasts. Some are good. Some are bad. And some are both.
Bad & Ugly
I am not going to list the podcasts here, but if you read between the lines you’ll figure it out.
It is NOT a podcast when you film yourself shooting a waterfall, birds, mountain landscapes or whatever and all the viewer sees is a waterfall, birds, or a mountain landscape with a camera firing off at 6-8 frames per second as the sound in the background. If you don’t have narrative about what you are shooting, why you are shooting it, or what you are trying to do with the camera, it is NOT a podcast. It is just a bad video.
You wouldn’t post or make public the images that you are not proud of, why do that with a podcast? Just because you can post something doesn’t mean that you should.
It is NOT a podcast when most of the material you talk about is a plug for your latest and greatest workshop or light modifier or whatever. It is an ad. There is nothing wrong with advertising, but not at the expense of most of your material.
You have thousands of listeners around the world and you’re plugging a workshop that has room for 15 people. Make your sales pitch and then move on to the reason we downloaded the podcast. If you tell everyone that you will be answering questions about photography, answer some. Or a lot. If your podcast is supposed to be an interview, then get to the interview. 15 minutes of interview and 45 of the workshop plug is not why we downloaded you.
It is NOT a podcast if you produce one every 6-8 weeks. It is a reminder that you are not doing what something on a regular basis. This is the reason I don’t produce a podcast. I don’t have the time to do it right on a regular basis.
It is NOT a podcast when you rebroadcast something you did for someone else. If you want to include it in your feed, fine, but don’t add it to your count and say it is a podcast.
There are some really good podcasts out there. They are done well, educational, and entertaining.
The Image Doctors
This is produced by the Nikonians.org website. Jason Odell and Rick Walker talk about Nikon equipment (obviously) and some of their shoots that they go on. But they include tips, ideas, and other information that can make you a better shooter. Their equipment reviews are honest; giving you both the things they liked as well as the things they didn’t.
Scott Bourne puts together some great guests and all they do is answer questions submitted by listeners. They always answer the questions in depth and from two points of view. It is a VERY educational podcast about photography. And the website that goes with it is one of the best photography oriented sites on the internet.
This Week In Photography is a well produced podcast about everything photography. Host Fredrick van Johnson along with co-hosts Alex Lindsay, Steve Simon, Ron Brinkmann, and Aaron Mahler talk about the past, present, and future of photography. They all have an immense amount of experience in photography and are very entertaining as they give tips, opinions, and insights on photography.
The Candid Frame
Host Ibarionex R. Perello interviews individuals in the photography world. Most of them I have never heard of, but they have some great insights and thoughts on ideas that make you think.
Thoughts On Photography
Paul Giguere has a great podcast on living a photographic life. He has interviews and thoughts on being a photographer and producing images that are interesting and tell a story.
Dave Warner interviews a lot of the iconic photographers using Canon gear. Yes, it is Canon, but we all know it is not about the gear, but the eye behind the viewfinder and you can hear what those great eyes have to say on this podcast.
Podcasts are a great way to learn about photography and lots of other subjects. If you are producing a podcast, take the time and effort to do it right.