Listen up! Whether you have a full-fledged career in photography, the pandemic got you exploring it as your side hustle, or you are just dreaming of taking your hobby to the next level, then look no further. These podcasts will educate, enthuse, and enable you to make your dream career of camera (and paycheck) in hand, come true.
Creative Business: Make Your Break Podcast
Hosted by the insanely successful destination wedding photographer and business coach Jai Long, this one is literally a must if you want to make a name for yourself in the wedding, elopement, portrait, family, or any other service-based type of photography business. In saying that, I am none of those things and regularly tune in to the podcast for Jai’s tips on goal-setting, mindset, and a big kick in the butt when I’m feeling really defeated by social media or low in motivation.
Jai Long and his team bring you interviews with fellow community members who have made their own break, whether that’s through Jai’s courses and coaching or just hustling and absorbing the free knowledge that is so abundant online now.
I will say not everything Jai preaches is applicable or realistic to us solo entrepreneurs with limited resources, time, and money, but I admire him for his “go all in” approach. While I'm hanging out or scrubbing my bathroom, Jai’s voice is a welcome reminder in my ear to strive for those unrealistic goals that make me want to ditch the cleaning and go chase my own photography business dreams!
My recommended interview episode is with Em Jensen, who is an elopement photographer shooting exclusively on 35mm film with a focus on creative couples looking for something a bit different. Em Jensen is a prime example of the attitude Jai promotes on his podcast and shows us all that anyone can come in and carve out a space for themselves in a saturated industry like wedding photography.
Start-up Creative Podcast
Kaylene Langford is an author, business coach and keynote speaker with a passion for helping young, up and coming creatives get their dream careers going. This podcast made it onto the list due to its valuable episodes covering topics we all can relate to, like self-sabotage, feeling stuck, and productivity guilt. These are complemented by more tangible, straight business advice, including marketing tips, diversifying your income, and building brand values.
All of Kaylene’s amazing anecdotes, interviews, and start-up stories will inspire you and give you an insight into what others went through to get their small business off the ground and flourishing. While this whole podcast isn’t strictly photography related, there is one episode that is a must-listen for all of you in the photo business. Rural photographer Chantel McAlister shares her story of pivoting from in-person workshops to going online post-COVID, an incredible story we can all learn from.
This podcast delivers in a spiritual way as well, drawing parallels and advice from other sources that you wouldn’t expect to find on a business podcast. Kaylene also has a book, “How To Start a Side Hustle”, that is beautifully designed and gets you off your device and doing some pen to paper work on how you can start, improve, or hone in on your side hustle to make it your full-time gig.
The Contact Sheet
This is a photography podcast brought to you by cinematographer, contemporary landscape photographer, and YouTube host Kyle McDougall. Kyle is well known in the analog community for being all about the process and the creative journey with his polished videos on the subject, courses on Skillshare, and this brilliant podcast.
How does this pertain to your side hustle, though? Well, Kyle is all about projects and building bodies of work, something us photographers are always either actively working on or ruminating on. This desire to connect with other artists uncovers many truths and pearls of wisdom that can be carried over into your journey, carving out a space for yourself in the photography industry.
Among the many talented and accomplished photographers interviewed on the Contact Sheet podcast, you will also find solo episodes wherein Kyle shares his current musings on photography. Topics like the importance of being patient, the question of ego holding you back, and just general thoughts on social media and image-making are mini lessons in mindset and realigning your focus, something we all need, whether we are side hustling or not.
A recent episode inspired me to tick off a to-do on my list that had been lingering for a while. Hearing curator and photographer Wesley Verhoeve talk about his new photo book and the success of his various projects really got me intrigued to find out more about his work. This led me to his newsletter PROCESS, which is a weekly installment covering all things photography, including building your own brand. Being aware of Wesley through the podcast led me to create my very own newsletter, proof that it drove me to take action and keep doing the work that is going to put me in front of more people to potentially connect with my content and photographic pursuits. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with Kyle McDougall and all the wisdom he has to offer.
My Daily Business Coach
When you listen to all the podcasts, and you really should, you may notice quite a few Australian accents coming through your headphones. Fiona Killacky, host of the My Daily Business Coach Podcast, is no exception when it comes to the Aussie twang. With two decades of experience in the marketing industry working for big businesses like Amazon and having published columns in reputable newspapers and magazines, Fiona is anything but short of tips, tools, and tactics on how to improve the daily running of your business, however big or small. She is also an accredited business coach to boot.
Fiona is offering oodles of value here all for free, and you would be just plain silly to not have a browse through the over 200 episodes she has available on her podcast. Every Tuesday, it’s a tip, every Thursday it’s a coaching episode, and once a month, you get an interview with a creative entrepreneur who tells you their story from idea to inception and how they scaled to where they are today. It’s really inspiring hearing stories of struggle that turn into success, and even though it’s not photography, we can align with these artists, makers, designers, and creatives who have believed in themselves and built the life they want and love!
If you are a person who likes things like frameworks, spreadsheets, and apps to help you organize your work, then the tip episodes are the ones for you. Fiona will walk you through various tech solutions, or sometimes it’s just a whiteboard and a marker to get your systems and processes orderly, efficient, and flowing with ease so you can get back to the fun stuff. A recent episode breaking down the buyer cycle (sometimes known as a funnel) will really help you to reflect on your last photography client and whether or not you fulfilled these all-important steps. This podcast is an addition to your weekly listening that will serve you well. Plus, gotta love an Aussie accent, right?
Apply What You’ve Learned
I am amazed at what I learn from all of these podcasts, but in saying that, it is easy to kind of tune out even though you are tuning in. In an age where information is literally at our fingertips every second of the day, it’s easy to let valuable advice go in one ear and out the other.
So, let this be a reminder to make some notes and take action on what applies to you. Let these podcasts be the daily push to improve or expand your current side hustle or maybe let it be the catalyst for finally taking that leap forward from hobbyist to paid photographer who is loving life!
If this list wasn’t enough listening for you, then check out my podcast interview with London-based photographer Sophia Carey to hear about her journey to going full time in the industry at just 25. Comment below with your favorite podcast in the photography or entrepreneurship category. I would love to listen.