We here at the UNP produce a weekly podcast, A Photographic Life, and we have been included in a number of ‘best of’ lists that are aimed at photographers. It is always nice to be selected for such lists, but with the exception of perhaps one or two other podcasts on these lists we have no interest in those podcasts devoted to photography from the aspect of kit, photoshop, marketing or ‘guy chat’!
We want a podcast that is going to further our knowledge about what to photograph, what to read, what to listen to and what stories to tell. We may be alone in this but just in case we are not we have complied a list of the podcasts we would like our podcast to be included in. One not just for photographers!
These are listed in no particular order:
1. The Art Weekly Podcasts
A weekly podcast although they took the summer off! This is a podcast focused on breaking news, art world’s big stories and insider insights to exhibitions and events around the world, created by the editorial team at The Art Newspaper with the informed and engaged the help of special guests.
2. A Word in Your Ear: The Word Podcast
Although this podcast could definitely be accused of being middle-aged ‘guy chat’ the level of conversation raises it above the ‘two men in a pub’ or ‘two men drinking coffee’ format of so many photography podcasts. Coming from the editorial team behind the now defunct The Word magazine, it is recorded upstairs in a pub and focuses on writers of music related books. A treasure trove of stories, characters and popular culture references it is a touch stone for lost and forgotten recent history narratives.
3. The Secret History of the Future
Journey into the past, and you’ll discover the secret history of the future. From the world’s first cyberattack in 1834, to 19th-century virtual reality, The Economist’s Tom Standage and Slate’s Seth Stevenson examine the historical precedents that can transform our understanding of modern technology, predicting how it might evolve and highlighting pitfalls to avoid. Discovering how people reacted to past innovations can also teach us about ourselves. That’s the makers description of what this one is about but it is more than that as it is also accessible to ‘non-geek, non-tech’ people like us! In a medium so impacted by technology it would be strange to not want to have at least some idea of where we are going and why!
4. Anything But Silent: A British Library Podcast
Produced from the The British Library’s extensive archives of both written and oral accounts plus new interviews with writers, archivists and academics this podcast focuses on the importance of writing and communicating. Two aspects essential to any photographer creating visual narratives.
5. How To Fail With Elizabeth Day
This is a podcast that celebrates the things that haven’t gone right. Every week, a new interviewee explores what their failures taught them about how to succeed better, sometimes people you may have heard of including novelists, athletes, musicians, cooks actors and politicians, predominantly woman but with the occasional man thrown into the mix. We don’t think we need to explain why this podcast is so helpful to so many people, fear of failure is endemic today and within the subjective world of photography a constant discussion point.
6. People’s Landscapes
Not all podcasts are weekly or monthly serials, some are short and sweet! That is the case with this four part documentary series created by the National Trust in which the hosts explore how geology and landscapes have influenced the communities and cultures of the British isles. From what connects ice-age floods, and the dialects we speak, and how pre-historic geological events, can form the bedrock of community, or become the driving force behind neighbourhood feuds. One not just for the landscape photographers, fascinating stuff also for those documenting our changing cultural and physical environment.
7. 13 Minutes to the Moon
The title gives this one away and despite my having no interest in anything to do with space, this long format documentary format is fascinating and succeeds in getting someone not interested in the subject, interested! The perfect template for any story teller, showing how to work around a story and bring what may appear to be fringe players into the central focus of the narrative. Created by the BBC World Service.
8. Mag Culture
The magazine has long been a showcase for photography and the decline of advertising revenue over the past decade has seen many titles close and commissioning budgets slashed. Former art director and creative director Jeremy Leslie fly’s the flag for the magazine in this podcast created under the brand of his London based magazine shop. Essential listening for any photographer who wants to understand the current editorial environment.
9. The Penguin Podcast
As you can probably see by now this list is based on the idea of listening to experts to learn and that’s why we are recommending this one. The Panguin podcast contains conversations with some our their leading authors and creative thinkers, speaking with them to seek understanding on how they write and where their ideas come from. It also has a nice feature where guests bring to the interview a handful of objects that have inspired their work. As visual storytellers it makes sense to hear from fellow storytellers.
10. A Photographic Life
As we may never get included in such a list compiled by others, we decided to put ourselves in this list. Whatever your level of engagement with photography The Photographic Life weekly podcast explains the realities of working with and learning about the medium, but it also deals with the realities of life. Created by UNP founder Grant Scott as an arm around the shoulder for creatives it takes photography as a starting point and explores tangents that come from those discussions. Each week a different photographer contributes an audio no longer than five minutes in length in which they explain what photography means to them and every episode ends with the suggestion to “take care”.
https://soundcloud.com/unofphoto on iTunes https://itunes.apple.com/gb/podcast/a-photographic-life/id1380344701 on Player FM https://player.fm/series/a-photographic-life and Podbean www.podbean.com/podcast-detail/i6uqx-6d9ad/A-Photographic-Life-Podcast