Looking to improve your photography skills? In this guide, we’ve covered some of the best online photography courses & tutorials to help you get started.
The internet offers a wealth of resources at our fingertips, with one of the more notable being classes in every area imaginable. When it comes to photography tutorials, there’s quite a considerable amount. This means that many budding photographers may be overwhelmed by choice.
However, choosing an online photography course doesn’t have to be so difficult. There are a few that stick out from the crowd, regardless of whether you’re a beginner or a pro. Once you know what you’re looking for, then you’ll be in the right place to determine which class is the right one for you.
From beginners to pros, many photographers could still use a few extra tips and tricks. This is true regardless of whether you’re using the camera as a hobby or looking to establish a business with it. This doesn’t mean that you’ll need to go back to college, however.
Instead, online photography tutorials may be the best choice for you, as they offer a greater degree of flexibility while covering the same lessons. This has lead to an overwhelming number of classes and course being available on the internet, leading to confusion as to which to choose.
There are a few specific online classes that you should consider, as each offer many of the resources that you’ll need to become a pro.
1. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography (MasterClass)
School: Master Class
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Annie Leibovitz has been prominent in the photography community for decades. She was the last person to photography music legend John Lennon, while also being the first female chief photographer at Rolling Stone.
Through the class, Leibovitz focuses on teaching storytelling through photography. Putting aside the technical aspects of the profession, she instead focuses on philosophy. This includes working with subjects, developing a concept, and bringing pictures to life in post-production.
Throughout the course, students will learn the differences between shooting in a studio and on-location. This also brings in the topic of natural light and how to use it to your advantage.
There’s also somewhat of a history lesson in how Leibovitz goes through traditional film photography when compared to digital cameras. This provides skills in both areas while helping to illustrate the advantage of both.
Past students have noted how in-depth the course is, with the MasterClass being rated highly.
- Various case studies to illustrate points.
- A look at how loved ones may be the best people to photograph.
- How to get the best out of a live subject in natural lighting.
2. Photography Basics and Beyond from MSU (Coursera)
There is a range of devices available for taking photos, ranging from smartphones to DSLRs. Each could need their own approach to creating images, which is what this online photography course looks to teach. Through this, students will learn each of the fundamentals associated with creating high-quality images.
Composition and creativity play a large role in taking pictures, which is reflected in the prominent places they make in the Photography Basics and Beyond class. As it’s focused on the basics, the course starts with highlighting what students need to know about their camera, with everything being built upon this.
As this is a Specialization from Coursera, there are several classes includes. Students will be able to pick and choose which ones they want to start with and skip the ones that they don’t need. A final project allows students to show off the skills that they learned to their fellow students.
The course is backed by Michigan State University, with instructors including both Professor Peter Glendinning and Associate Professor Mark Valentine Sullivan.
- Hands-on project to develop experience.
- Knowledge of photography across several devices, from smartphones to DSLR.
- Discounts on a variety of photographic equipment.
3. Introductory Photography Course (Udemy)
Budding photographers will want to have as much control over their camera as possible, as it’s one of the keys to crafting beautiful images. This is what Udemy’s Introductory Photography Course covers. Taught by Chris Bray, the class features a variety of tips and tricks for moving from Auto to manual mode.
As it’s one of the more basic online photography tutorials, there are few requirements needed, with the only notable one being a camera. Much of the class focuses on how to properly set up a camera depending on the lighting and other requirements of a particular shoot.
With an in-depth approach, the class explains how to change each of the settings on a camera, while highlighting what might work best under certain conditions. Past students have noted how detailed and clear the class is, with much of this being focused at teacher Chris Bray.
- Easy to understand camera set up.
- Terminology and explanations that can be used across all camera brands.
- Well-paced teaching that benefits both new and advanced photographers.
4. Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography (Udemy)
While many people will be able to master the fundamentals of photography quite quickly, becoming a pro can take much more effort. This is where this class shines, as it highlights the basics of the craft before moving on to creating images that a student will be able to monetize.
In contrast to any other online photography course, this goes through each of the various genres that photographers work in. This includes the obvious of portrait and landscape photography through to aerial, architecture and even wildlife.
The class is taught by Phil Ebiner, Sam Shimizu-Jones, and Will Carnahan, each of whom have made their living in the craft for decades between them. Former students at the class have noted how clear and easy to understand the lessons are, as jargon is kept to a minimum.
- Covers an assortment of cameras, from smartphones upward.
- Covers the entire process, from camera set up to working with a subject to post production.
- Highlights the differences when taking black and white vs color photographs.
5. Fundamentals of Photography by Creative Live
School: Creative Live
Mastering the basics of photography is essential for everybody looking to break into the field. This includes knowing the ins-and-outs of your camera, which is what this course offers. Alongside this, it teaches you how to bring your creative ideas into reality.
Taught by John Greengom, an experienced professional in the niche, the class offers a hands-on approach to learning. By doing so, it allows students to understand what goes into creating a camera. During the course, students will be taught to think critically about their pictures, why they’re taking them, and how they can be improved.
Greengom also helps to elaborate on how people see the world versus how cameras do so. By going through this, he allows students to overcome the game between these areas to create high-quality images.
Former students in the course have noted that it was clearly taught, while it also helps to provide a solid base from which to build on. Despite being short, it’s packed full of information.
- Explains the fundamentals of camera work, such as shutterspeed.
- How to develop a workflow to create beautiful images.
- Basics of choosing the right equipment and settings for a specific photoshoot.
By going with one, or more, of these photography tutorials, you’ll be able to quickly and easily improve your skills with ease. That doesn’t mean that you’ll have to pick just one online photography course. In contrast, it’s recommended that you go with a few.
Knowledge can be the key to success, and all of the above with give you everything you need. It’s recommended that you start with the basics and work your way up. Regardless of whether you’re a hobbyist or aiming to launch a photography business, you’ll be able to find many of the above classes useful.