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Opinion: The Problem with Many of the ‘Photographers’ on YouTube


Professional event photographer and photography teacher Mik Milman recently published a video that’s bound to receive some mixed reactions. In it, Milman laments the dearth of experience of many photographers who pass themselves off as “experts” on YouTube, earning thousands of followers and possibly misleading beginners by offering bad advice and unqualified critiques.

Controversial as the topic might be, Milman does a good job of keeping the video from turning into a “get off my lawn” rant. He’s simply pointing out that people should be wary of all of the folks passing themselves off as “experts” on social media. A large following or YouTube success does not always correlate to skill, knowledge, or useful experience.

“What I am concerned with is when you have people who are presenting themselves as experts, who really don’t know what they’re talking about,” explains Milman. “Their education is YouTube. They watch other YouTube channels, they regurgitate it, they remake their own version of those videos […] that’s dishonest, it’s not authentic, and I think as viewers we need to ask ourselves, ‘who are we listening to?'”

The other type of video that he’s concerned about—the type that actually inspired him to film and publish this response—is the “critique” video that amounts to nothing more than opinion.

“That is not what a critique is meant to be. It’s not just you giving your unqualified opinion on something,” says Milman. “I ask myself, what happened to mastering a craft before you attempt to teach it?”

What do you think? Have you felt that, as Milman describes it, people seem to just jump in these days and “teach” others as they go? Have you ever been misled by a YouTuber who came off more experienced than they actually are? Watch Milman’s full video above, and then let us know your thoughts in the comments.