Peter McKinnon is a Canadian YouTuber who makes tutorial videos for photography and film enthusiasts. He was able to amass over a million followers in just one year, after creating his channel back in 2010. As of 2021, Peter McKinnon’s net worth is estimated to be $2.7 million.
Peter’s content mainly revolves around teaching his viewers about photography and cinematography. He uploads vlogs regularly and is also an illusionist. He released a DVD of illusions called Lock Stock & Riot.
Peter McKinnon was born in Toronto, Canada on October 28, 1985. He currently lives there with his wife, Janice, of 10 years, and their daughter.
Peter didn’t complete his college education even though he was only one credit away from getting his diploma – but in the end, having a college certificate didn’t really matter to him all that much. Over the years, he’s worked at many different places, doing many different jobs. He was employed at a skateboarding shop, at State Farm selling insurance (which he got fired from following the probationary period) – he even worked in a circus.
But Peter always had an interest and a keen eye for photography. After having the chance to take photos at his sister’s wedding, he ended up taking some great macro shots of blades of grass at the event – and it was at this moment that he realized how interested he was in the art of film. So, he decided to take up photography as a hobby. But it didn’t take long before Peter quit his job and pursued photography full-time.
His photography skills improved over time, and he started a YouTube channel where he would upload videos and provide guidance related to photography and cinematography to his viewers.
Now with over 5 million subscribers on his YouTube channel and 2.8 million followers on Instagram, Peter is an internationally-acclaimed creator and digital entrepreneur, using his platform to help others pursue their passions. Peter’s editing tutorials offer visually stunning bits of educational advice – proving his own theory that by “taking your passion and putting it first, everything else follows.”
Before Peter envisioned making a career out of YouTube, he worked at a magician company for 15 years. He would travel with magicians, film their magic tricks, and break down their tricks in a tutorial format for viewers to understand them better. He would also teach the magicians how to be camera ready, hold their cards in a way that could be filmed properly, and so on. Thanks to these tutorials, he developed the ability to teach people how to be on camera, ultimately preparing him for his future as a YouTuber.
Peter broke all traditional beliefs about being a YouTube star. He launched his YouTube channel in 2010 and his very first video (detailing a photoshoot), kick-started his social media career. He reached his first million subscribers in 9 months – an achievement that most YouTubers can only dream of.
As Peter created his YouTube channel and started uploading tutorials, he started growing his loyal fan base. His followers appreciated his content because he gave them something they couldn’t get anywhere else: quality photography tutorials.
While there were plenty of photography enthusiasts on the Internet, no one managed to teach the tips and tricks to getting the perfect shot quite like Peter.
The video that really put Peter on the map though was his video titled “8 Camera Hacks in 90 Seconds.” The video currently stands at over 8 million views, almost 5 years after it’s release.
He found a formula that worked, so he stuck with it. Some of his other popular tutorials include:
As Peter’s online video catalog grew, so did his following on social media. 11 years after he created his YouTube channel, Peter has now earned more than 5.4 million subscribers.
In the early years of his social media career, Peter shared photography tutorials, cinematography tutorials, advice on lighting, equipment, cameras, hardware, and filmmaking. But now, his video offerings have expanded to include business advice, vlogs, reaction videos, and video editing tutorials.
When Peter joined YouTube, there weren’t many videos that taught people skills in photography. Even when there were, they were too monotonous, impersonal, and weren’t engaging enough. So he filled this niche gap that was high in demand.
What sets Peter apart from his contemporaries (and what led him to start monetizing his videos) is that Peter made content that was clickable. He weaved his photography and cinematography skills into his content, which eventually made it go viral.
For example, he created several inspirational and motivational videos titled “You decide your own future,” “Motivation to keep going,” and “The act of doing.” All of these featured scenic visuals, including mountainous landscapes, oceans, lakes, etc. While these aren’t his most popular videos, it kept his audience hooked and built his loyal fan base.
Peter proved that he had the skills he was teaching his viewers – and he showed them his expertise could be trusted.
McKinnon’s skills as a visual story-teller eventually led him to branch out into other areas as well. His creative talent took him across America and Europe, and got him featured on The Discovery Channel, MAXIM, and Gizmodo.
He was also invited to create a multi-page article about cinematography that later earned him the opportunity to present at North America’s largest magic convention.
Peter McKinnon’s net worth and follower count received a major boost when he launched his Plaid Chair Series – where he demonstrated his unparalleled skills in manipulating elements of a photograph. It was a project that took his fame to the next level and even got him featured in BuzzFeed and National Geographic.
At the 11th annual Shorty Awards (which honor the best of the best in the social media and digital industries), Peter McKinnon won the award for Breakout YouTuber of the Year. He has also been featured in several major magazines, including Magic, Popular Photography, and Ellusionist.
Since giving up the 9-5 lifejobs and following his true love of photography, Peter McKinnon’s net worth has grown to an estimated $2.7 million.
One of Peter’s many talents is his strong ability to understand how YouTube works, and laying out content accordingly. He also ensures he diversifies his income streams and does not rely solely on Google Adsense (unlike most YouTubers).
Peter McKinnon’s YouTube channel gets more than 11 million views each month, and since monetizing his channel, Peter has been able to earn anywhere between $3-$7 per 1000 video views – increasing his revenue to $46,000 monthly/$698,000 annually.
On Instagram, Peter has an excellent engagement rate. His posts receive over 100,000 likes on average. With 2.8 million followers, he’s estimated to earn anywhere between $5,000 and $10,000 per Instagram post – meaning he has the potential to bring in an extra $2 million a year, if he were to share one sponsored post every other day.
Peter McKinnon’s net worth has also been significantly impacted by his simple choice of industry. Through creating content around videography and photography, he’s been able to partner up with many different equipment brands and get affiliate links to share with his followers.
By putting these affiliate links to high-priced gear in his video descriptions, he will earn a percentage of any sales generated by people following that link. In addition to this, Peter also sells his own merchandise and digital products such as sound effects.
Peter also teamed up with NOMATIC to create a camera pack. The pack, tagged Peter McKinnon X NOMATIC, capitalized on Peter’s online celebrity status and his ability to convincingly market on YouTube – and in turn, has generated income to contribute to Peter McKinnon’s net worth overall.
Peter is one of the few YouTubers who has managed to combine two of his passions into one lucrative income stream. As a YouTuber, he makes the majority of his money from channel views and ads.
If you weren’t already aware, the main source of revenue for YouTube content creators comes from viewers watching the ads placed on their videos. Unfortunately for YouTubers, only 40%-80% of views convert to income generated – which is why diversifying your income like Peter has, is so important.
Peter has proven to be a successful YouTuber and has taken advantage of the creator economy to build a significant net worth for himself – all while helping aspiring photographers and creators expand their capabilities.
But Peter could take it a step further and substantially add to his net worth by turning his knowledge and photography skills, that he’s already teaching, into an official, online course.
Since he has attracted such a niche audience over the years, a valuable online learning opportunity that goes into more depth about his knowledge and allows an interactive experience with him directly, would significantly help those aspiring creators that look up to him and want to become great filmmakers.
Peter could teach creators how to stay ahead of the game, and help brands and businesses diversify their reach. Creating fresh and relevant content while actively engaging with his followers has proven to work well for Peter.
But creating a cohort-based, interactive learning experience would be the perfect next step to help him reach new audiences, boost his online presence, and support the creator economy as a whole — all while generating a potential 6 or 7 figures in extra revenue and taking his net worth to new heights.
Becoming an educator and making your knowledge accessible to the world, can prove to be an advantage for both you as a creator and to your audience. And Peter’s successful transition from a 9-5 job, to living his passion is sure to help inspire his followers to chase their dreams, and do what they love too.
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