Photography 101: BEWARE When Using YouTube

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Stephen F. Dennstedt

Social Media: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly. This post is specifically for photographers but I think it’s relevant for anyone who uses social media to learn and educate themselves. YouTube is second only to Google as a search engine and provides us with a wealth of information. I love YouTube for learning and use it all the time. But like all social media you have to be prudent, do your research and use caution.

There is a troll on YouTube (who has quite a following) that trashes everyone. He is the quintessential cyber-bully and I find him to be crude, lewd and highly obnoxious. He is provocative and I think that’s why he has some appeal to certain folks—I am not one of them. He has his own YouTube channel and vlogs consistently offering himself up as an expert in the field of photography. I don’t think he is because he refuses to link to any of his work (the proof is in the work).

For the most part I think the photography community on YouTube is pretty cool and I continue to learn many new aspects of photography as the technology progresses rapid-fire. I follow a number of photographers on YouTube and without exception the ones I respect and trust will link to their websites, Instagram and other sites where you can view their work. Most are working professionals that want to contribute to the craft they love so much. Chelsea & Tony Northrup, at Northrup photo, are a case in point—they have a huge YouTube following (650,000+ subscribers) and are great folks and photographers.

I have included a long video showcasing a YouTube personality I consider to be a fraud and a charlatan: The Angry Photographer. He does our community a disservice by ignorantly attacking photographers, YouTubers who command a larger media presence, brands, products and services. He has been caught misrepresenting himself, claiming credit for photos he didn’t take and making outlandish and untrue statements he can’t support. In this video a real professional photographer fights back after being attacked (and I applaud him for doing so). Use YouTube wisely and vet the various channels before trusting their advice.

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