The Art of Photography is a website maintained by Ted Forbes. The mission is to offer a 360° view of image making.
Starting as a podcast on iTunes in October of 2008, The Art of Photography was a video series I never expected to do anything with. I’d just started my job at an art museum and was asked if I knew how to do video production. I’d always wanted to make videos, but it used to be a fairly expensive process. Around this time HD cameras were finally affordable and Apple was making iMovie. I’d always had a passion for photography and figured I could learn video quickly so I said yes.
In the following weeks I realized I needed a project where I could work things out and make mistakes. So when I came to work I’d know what I was doing. I’ve always had a passion for photography and there wasn’t much on the internet in 2008 that was any good so I gave it a shot. I thought I’d produce 5 or 10 videos and that would be it.
After a few videos I realized people were actually watching. Then someone would email me and we’d have a conversation. So about 700 videos later, I’m still making them.
I started releasing Art of Photography videos on YouTube in 2009 or so but YouTube was much different then than it is today. There was a 10 minute limit and most of my videos were longer than this. I only had one video on YouTube for about a year until they lifted the 10 minute limit. I moved the entire archive to YouTube at the end of 2009.
By 2014 I had developed a following and I’d had sponsorships with several companies so I had income. That same year the museum underwent a major management change and my job got insanely crazy. It was a super strange time as I worked full time for the museum, I was a part time adjunct professor at a college and I was making these videos. Something had to change so I decided to take a leap of faith and make the videos full time.
This was a frightening move and probably pretty crazy. I gave up my pension and salary, but I felt this was the right thing for me to be doing. I’ve never looked back. I had saved up some money as a security fund just in case, but I’ve rarely touched it.
Over the next few years I built a brand, developed an audience and experimented with new ideas. I crowdfunded The Artist Series in 2015 as a video series on living photographers. Its now in its third season. I’ve gotten to work with and interview my heros in photography.
I’ve developed partnerships with the companies who make the cameras I love and use – Sony, Phase One, Hasselblad, DJI, Fujifilm, Canon and many others. I’ve gotten to travel the world and meet many of the people who watch the show in person.
For years this website simply duplicated my YouTube channel. This seamed like a waste of time and energy to keep up and after a massive server crash with no backup, I decided it was time to re-think the whole purpose of this website.
Video has been the hot item in online media for the past few years, but the reality is that there are different learning styles. Video is great for some people, but others prefer written word. So I decided to change it from just being a mirror site to more of a written example of the tutorials and reviews that I do on the YouTube channel. So on one hand its similar content, but on the other – its a new approach.
I’m excited for the future. The possibilities seem unlimited!