Many people are interested in learning photography online, but not everyone is up for the commitment that studying for a certificate or degree would require. Fortunately, numerous online photography courses are available to insert between your desire and its fruition.
These courses contain everything from tutorials on digital photography basics to lessons on building a portfolio and charging clients accordingly. With them, you can be sure that you’re taking yourself down the path of becoming a professional photographer.
In this post you’ll learn about the best online photography course. You’ll also learn:
- What are the best online photography courses for beginners?
- What are the different types of online photography courses for beginners?
- How do online photography courses for beginners work?
- What do you look for in the best online photography courses for beginners?
Read on to learn everything you need to know about the best online photography courses and how they can help you become a professional photographer.
Our Top 5 Online Photography Courses For Beginners?
Photography requires unique and individualistic skills, so it’s important to invest in education that caters to your needs.
- Introduction to Photography and Related Media (Our Top Pick)
- R-Photo Class (Best Budget)
- Cambridge in Color (Best High End)
- Lectures on Digital Photography
- Lighting 101 by Strobist
What to Consider When Choosing Online Photography Courses For Beginners
There are numerous ways to pursue photography online and many ways to choose the right path for you.
The best way to start is by taking a look at your schedule, budget, and time that you have available. If you’re not sure what types of courses you’re interested in pursuing or where to begin, you must know where your interests lie.
Determine what type of photography lessons you want to learn from visual arts, sports, advertising, and wedding photography… the possibilities are endless. Once you’ve settled on your field of interest, you can explore the types of courses that appeal to you.
If your current photography skills are lacking in a specific area, it is best to seek guidance for that deficiency.
If your goal is to take on a new career path and move up the ladder, you might want to focus on courses that are geared toward becoming a professional. This can help you learn the ins and outs of monetizing photography and how to create your portfolio.
Budget is also important when choosing which online photography courses to enroll in. You might have the luxury of being able to afford classes full-time, but if this isn’t possible for you, consider taking classes when it’s convenient for you and at a lower price point. For example, if you don’t have the time or desire to attend classes at a university or college, consider taking a photography course online through the school of your choice.
Your time spent learning will make all the difference in the long run. Don’t allow yourself to become frustrated with your lack of progress if you aren’t able to enroll in (or complete) a course in one month. This is perfectly normal for any field of study; as long as you’re working towards reaching your goal, everything will turn out alright.
We highly recommend taking the time to research what types of courses are out there and which are the best, especially if you’re a beginner.
What Are The Different Types of Online Photography Courses For Beginners?
If you’ve decided to start your photography education online, it pays to know where to begin. Here are some of the most common online courses you’ll find online.
A portrait photography course will teach you everything from how to take the perfect picture of a person to lighting techniques and composition.
If you’re interested in more behind-the-scenes secrets of the camera, you can also look for online courses about “portraiture” that teach how to edit your photographs.
If you want to become a pro photographer traveling worldwide, you’ll want to enroll in a travel photography course.
These courses generally contain lessons on taking pictures of your surroundings and other travelers and how to make your pictures look professional when you’re not actually in them.
Wedding photography might be your calling if you’re more into documenting love than capturing landscapes.
These online photography courses teach you how to take pictures of people during their happiest moments and ensure that you capture the day’s romance for all eternity — while dealing with external pressure such as inclement weather and pushy in-laws.
Fashion photography is much more than just taking pictures of people in expensive clothes. The goal is to create elegant, artistic photographs that designers can use to show off their latest clothing collections.
Landscape photography is about getting the perfect shots of landmarks and scenic vistas. It’s a difficult type of photography to master, but with practice and a good online course, you’ll be sure to develop your skills in no time.
Success in sports photography is all about timing. You need to know exactly how to capture the perfect moment for your audience. In online sports photography classes, you’ll learn how to get the best pictures of your favorite teams and players — even if that player happens to be five years old.
You should look into online editorial photography courses if you’ve always wanted to be an editorial photographer. These types of photography courses teach how to take pictures that help tell a story besides magazine and newspaper articles.
Wildlife photography is the art of taking pictures of animals, both still and moving. Many wildlife photography courses will teach you how to get close enough to your subject that you can capture a powerful image.
If you want to become a professional architectural photographer, then look for an online course on architectural photography. These courses will teach you how to take professional quality photographs that architects can use to show off their latest creations.
Film photography courses exist to help you capture your world in beautiful, artistic photographs. This type of course will teach you how to develop and print films just like professionals, even if you’re using a digital camera.
These courses generally focus on how to take pictures with a film camera and develop the pictures afterward.
Street photography is a type of photography that focuses on taking pictures of people on the street.
Many street photography courses will teach you about taking pictures of everyday people and capturing the hidden emotion in their everyday lives.
If you want to enter the world of photojournalism, then look for an online picture journalism course.
This type of photography course teaches everything from the principles of photojournalism to how to edit photos for a publication that fulfills all ethical requirements of their industry.
How Do Online Photography Courses For Beginners Work?
Online photography courses for beginners are designed to provide students with the knowledge and techniques they need to master the craft of photography. These courses tend to start with the basics such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, and then move on to more complex lessons on composition and lighting.
Many of the courses are tailored for digital photographers and include tips for editing, restoring, and sharing photos. Some can even be taken for professional credit.
These courses aim to introduce the student to fundamentals, teach them how to build a portfolio and make them aware of where they stand before charging clients. With this knowledge under their belts, students can pursue work that meets their personal standards.
What Do You Look For In The Best Online Photography Courses For Beginners?
If you’re looking for the best online photography courses for beginners, you’ll want to consider the following:
Review The Instructors Photos And Feedback
Experienced professionals teach the best photography courses. If you see any samples of the instructor’s work, evaluate them to see if you think that their style matches yours.
If you think it does, you can look at the instructor’s feedback and star rating from former students. Those who give positive reviews are the best since they are likely reliable and genuine.
Check The Syllabus
The best online photography courses for beginners have a comprehensive syllabus that covers everything from the fundamentals of digital photography to fixing photos in editing programs.
The better courses will cover both these things and more, such as marketing techniques and how to work with clients.
Even better courses will also help you build a portfolio, schedule shoots with clients, and charge them accordingly based on their needs.
Look At The Course Schedule
If you need to see what works best for you, take a look at the course schedule. You can see how many hours of training each week they give and sample lessons they use in their courses.
Those that give their students the most focus and attention will be the ones to choose since they’re producing a high-quality product with professionalism and quality.
Look At The Price
The most important thing is finding an online photography course that fits your budget. Before you do anything else, figure out exactly how much money you can afford to devote to your education.
The best photography courses will also have payment plans or special offers that can save you money.
Is The Course Worth Your Time?
The best online photography courses are those that offer the most educational value. This means that you should look at the student reviews to see what people thought of the course and the instructor.
If they’re very satisfied with their experience, you can be confident that you’ll get your money’s worth out of their education.
Does The Course Offer A Guarantee?
The best online photography courses for beginners should offer a guarantee since they believe in the quality of their products.
If you’re not happy with your course, you deserve a refund from the instructor. The best instructors will also offer extra lessons and follow-up questions to ensure that you’re still on track to becoming a professional photographer.
If you follow these steps, you’ll end up with an online photography course that will help you build a professional portfolio, set up a proper schedule for your shoots, and charge clients appropriately based on their needs.
Best Online Photography Courses For Beginners Reviewed
If you’re interested in taking the first step toward becoming a professional photographer, consider enrollment in one of the following online photography courses:
1. Introduction to Photography and Related Media (Our Top Pick)
This course from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) is geared towards teaching you how to take the best possible photographs, regardless of your knowledge level up until this point.
As a result, its coverage starts with an introduction to photography, followed by a comprehensive survey of the various kinds of cameras, such as film cameras and digital SLRs, as well as related subjects like film scanning.
After that, you’ll learn about different kinds of lenses and how the optics of their design will affect your images. This is followed by lessons focused solely on digital cameras and how they differ from analog alternatives.
- Comprehensive coverage of the subject matter throughout
- Provided with assignments to teach you how to master the material
- Dozens of practice assignments that’ll prepare you for the real world
- You’ll have to be committed to this course for the entire duration
2. R-Photo Class (Best Budget)
The R-Photo Class is an online photography course for beginners. It covers the basics of digital photography and teaches you the fundamental skills you need to become a professional photographer.
For those interested in pursuing photographic art that isn’t just focused on landscapes or people, R-Photo Class also provides instruction on other types of photography, such as photographing animals and products.
The course’s lessons are designed to make learning about and applying these basic principles easier.
Since certified photographers and instructors have created the course, it uses real-life examples to help you grasp essential concepts that would otherwise be difficult or boring to understand.
- Takes you from the basics to an intermediate level of photography skills
- The course is laid out in a user-friendly way with lessons that are easy to follow
- The course instructors and creators have been certified for their expertise in the field
- The course is not available to download and can only be accessed online.
3. Cambridge in Color (Best High End)
Cambridge in Color offers tutorials covering everything from basic digital photography to building your own photography portfolio.
This course was designed to help photographers of all abilities develop their vision and craft. Expert photographers teach it, and its content is constantly updated to reflect current trends in photography.
This course also comes with several resources, including a blog, video tutorials, and podcasts. In addition, each lesson features an interactive quiz and a downloadable handout.
By the end of these lessons, you’ll be able to confidently fire off shots of your own as well as use your creativity to take unique images of everything from animals to cityscapes.
- The site is easy to read and straightforward in its layout.
- The lessons are completely ad-free, which makes them an excellent option for hobbyists.
- More than 40 high-quality courses are available to study.
- The course’s section on light is rather short and a bit spotty – it doesn’t cover many techniques.
4. Lectures on Digital Photography
“Lectures on Digital Photography” has earned a reputation for quality and the fact that it’s free. It is a full-length course from Professor Mark Levoy of Stanford University, who is widely recognized for his expertise in photography technology.
He and 17 others teach everything from the basics of photography to digital imaging, working cameras, and film cameras.
It’s also an excellent resource for beginners who are looking to see how digital photography differs from traditional photographing techniques. Topics include exposure, white balance, and various modes.
Each lecture is about 30 minutes in length and can be watched at your own pace. Self-testing quizzes are also available for each lecture.
- Access to a veritable expert in digital photography and mini-lectures on how to use each piece of photographic equipment.
- As an added bonus, video lessons are available at no extra cost.
- “Lectures on Digital Photography” is free, so there’s no reason not to give it a try.
- The lectures are only available through the website’s servers.
- The initial course is free, but additional courses must be purchased separately.
5. Lighting 101 by Strobist
This free online photography course is one of the several beginner’s education options available on the Strobist website, a site designed to help photographers learn more about lighting and its application to photography.
This particular course covers techniques to light common subjects such as portraits, landscapes, and still life, with lessons on creating multiple light sources, using natural light, balancing flash with ambient lighting, and creating a movement with light.
The course is short and easy to follow—making it perfect for those who are just starting out or returning to photography with a renewed interest.
The lessons are well-organized, with the site’s navigation tools allowing students to review the lessons at their own pace.
A highlight of this course includes a helpful glossary of lighting terms so newcomers can learn more about different light sources and their functions.
This online photography course is an excellent option for those who have been taking photographs for years but have never explored the world of lighting and flash.
- The website is well-organized, making it easy to follow the lessons
- The course is free, with guided navigation helping students review the lessons at their own pace
- The course covers everything from natural light to flash and beyond
- The lessons are short and quick to go through, which doesn’t have time to cover all of the necessary concepts.
Final Thoughts On Best Online Photography Courses For Beginners
The above is a compilation of the five best online photography courses that will help you learn how to start with photography and how to become a professional photographer. Additional courses can be found online too, but these are the ones we recommend.
These courses prepare you for the challenges of being a working photographer and equip you with techniques and skills that will pipe into your everyday life. You can use all the information above, come up with your own decision, research the course, and then choose one that suits your needs.