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Our Five Favorite Photography Educators That Are Masters In Their Field

You know everything you want to know about photography.

Is this a true statement for you?

Even with all my years in photography, I still can’t say this. There is always something else to learn! If you’re like me, you’ve already spent your fair share of time in YouTube university classes. Ready for a few more ideas?

Here are a few of my favorite photography educators that I can testify are masters of their field. I love learning how they do things and I think you’ll benefit from their knowledge as well!

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1. Jessica Kobiessi

Jessica Kobiessi is an Arab-American photographer from Detroit. She has over 650 videos on YouTube with a plethora of interesting information for photographers. From tips for beginning photographers to walkthroughs of her techniques on a photo shoot to editing tutorials, her videos are a rich source of photography information.

She tends to focus on fashion and portrait photography but many of her tips are applicable to most photographers. She does a fabulous job of showing you how to interact with your subject to get their most flattering angles. This is a huge help when you’re photographing people who aren’t professional models — which happens all the time for brand photographers.

Personally, I love her use of light and her simple explanations for how you can use light in the same way. And I just love her dry sense of humor.

2. Peter Hurley

Peter Hurley is the headshot king!

If you want to know how to get anyone to look good in a headshot, Peter Hurley is the educator for you. From simple information like how to position the subject’s jaw or how to get their eyes to “squinch,” he’s got tons of tips that will take your headshot images from zero to hero in a flash.

In addition to his posing tips, he explains how to use light in the studio to properly illuminate your subject’s face.

Many of his videos are collaborative efforts with other folks who offer different perspectives. You’ll also find him featured in B&H Photo videos as well as the FStoppers and Photo Pros Weekly by Westcott Lighting.

3. PHLEARN

Want to up your Photoshop and Lightroom editing game? Watching videos from the Phlearn YouTube channel is the way to do it!

Each video describes step-by-step how to perform a certain technique in Photoshop or Lightroom. Try the overview course “30 days of Photoshop” to get a basic introduction to Photoshop in general. Or learn how to dodge and burn, color with gradient maps, and retouch the skin among hundreds of other techniques.

And I’m not kidding, Phlearn has over 830 videos up on their YouTube channel! If there’s something you want to know how to do in Photoshop, you can probably find a tutorial on it in Phlearn’s library.

Think Photoshop isn’t necessary? In family and wedding photography, Photoshop isn’t strictly necessary. However, as you journey into commercial photography, you’ll find that there are a lot of images that require techniques that Lightroom just doesn’t handle. Phlearn makes the learning curve a lot less confusing.

4. Pye Jirsa

Want to learn everything about your DSLR camera? Pye Jirsa with SLR Lounge is a great educator to follow.

He talks about everything from lighting and composition tips to how to edit your images for the best results. Watch as he takes you on location to a park or other locations and shows you how to work with the available natural light. His method of explaining is simple and easy to follow.

Haven’t dived into manual mode yet? Get a thorough understanding with his Photoshop 101: Master Manual Mode series. Curious about artificial lighting? Try the Lighting 101: Best Way to Learn Flash Photography playlist.

Beyond the basics, he also talks about how to use cheap objects (such as a $30 reflector) to improve your images. He offers gear reviews and comparisons as well as BTS photos and tutorials on specific types of photography like landscape photos or Hollywood-style evening portraits.

With over 1,100 videos on his YouTube channel, you’ll find plenty of content to keep you busy for a while.

5. Peter McKinnon

Aside from all his great photography knowledge, Peter McKinnon is just plain interesting to watch. His growth on YouTube was quite explosive and he has over 5.76 million subscribers!

Once you watch a video or two, it isn’t hard to see why. Not only does he know his stuff, but also he has a personality as colorful as his tattoos. His flair for storytelling makes his videos delightful to watch.

To get an idea of what you can learn, check out his short films and documentaries. This guy really knows what he’s talking about when it comes to filmmaking.

He has a lot of video content that shows you how to create interesting and professional-looking videos. He also has a bunch of cinematic B-roll videos which are really fun to watch. Plus, his creative product photography hacks and tips are perfect for budding brand photographers.

He also has quite a few “real talk” videos where he discusses some of the feelings and frustrations that many of us photographers deal with.

Finally, he has a slew of out-of-the-ordinary Photoshop tutorials so you can learn how to fix up your photos. Plus, you’ll learn how to create interesting effects that will take your images to the next level!

Follow Along for More Brand Photography Tips

With just these 5 YouTubers, there are literally thousands of hours of content that can help you improve your photography. Check them out and see if any of them resonate with you!

And don’t forget to follow my Instagram account @kassadygibson. I’m dedicated to offering tips and information like this that you can use in your journey into brand photography!

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