Whether you want to start a career in photography or just enjoy it as a hobby, one of the best online photography classes can help. There are quite a few things to learn about photography. From shooting the actual pictures to editing to the camera you choose, it’s a lot to learn.
Before you decide to take an online photography class, you should know why it’s a good option. Let’s look at a few of the reasons to take this type of class, and then discover some of the top online photography classes to consider.
3 Top Reasons to Take an Online Photography Class
1. Learn Your Camera
If you’re new to photography, one of the best reasons to take an online photography class is to learn your camera. There are several courses out there very specific to a certain type of camera. Others might help walk you through the basic features of any camera and help you take better pictures.
2. Learn the Rules of Photography
While photography is an art form, there are some rules to this field. When you want to take excellent pictures, you’ll want to learn the rules and when to break them. Typically, a beginner will follow the rules of photography, while a more advanced photographer will start to break the rules.
3. Help Develop a Unique Style
As you learn more about photography, you will start to develop your own style. With the right online photography classes, you can develop a more unique style. It can also help you see more photogenically.
Top 12 Online Photography Classes
1. Udemy Introduction to Photography Course
While this course from Udemy might not be the top course for you, it’s one of the best choices for beginners. If you want to learn the basics of photography, this online course is a great place to start. It’s advertised as “the fastest way to get off ‘auto’ mode and unlock the creative potential of your camera.”
Learning everything you need to learn how to take good pictures is the first step. This course from Chris Bray will teach you the top 10 tips for framing your pictures, along with how to use your brightness settings, control exposure, and so much more.
It’s a free course that can help you learn many of the basics of photography. The material is presented in an on-demand video format and covers a little more than 2.5 hours of content.
2. Photography Masterclass 1.0: A Complete Guide to Photography
After completing the basic course, you can move on to this Udemy offering. This is a Photography Masterclass that offers one of the top ratings on Udemy. It has a 4.7 out of 5 stars and it’s a bestseller. More than 280,000 students have taken this masterclass.
The course includes 24 hours of on-demand video, 63 articles, 33 downloadable resources, assignments, and even a certificate of completion. It’s $159.99 and provides everything you will need to become an excellent photographer. You don’t need a fancy camera to take this class. Some students have even taken it with a smartphone.
3. Introduction to Digital Photography
Another great online photography class for beginners, this one comes from Advanced Learning. In this Introduction to Digital Photography class, you will learn some of the most important techniques for taking incredible digital images. It’s an accredited course with a very high rating.
When you choose this online photography class, you will learn the history of photography, photographic styles, the rule of thirds, framing, creative commons, and so much more. This course is free and provides the stepping stone for more advanced photography courses on Alison.com.
4. Nikon School Online
The Nikon School Online offers many options for those with Nikon cameras. If you plan to use a Nikon camera, this might become your main source for online photography classes.
The school offers professional photographers to teach the courses, easy-to-follow lessons, and the ability to master new techniques. You can take the courses from your computer, tablet, or smartphone.
Courses offered by Nikon School Online include:
- Food Photography
- Better Holiday Photos
- Creator’s Mindset: Creating Video Content with Z 50
- Getting Started with Your Nikon DSLR
- Beyond the Fundamentals of Photography
- Discovering Macro Photography
- Exploring Dynamic Landscape Photography
- The Art of Making Music Videos
- Environmental Portraiture
Courses range in price from about $15 to $40. While you don’t need a Nikon camera for each course, they will feature this camera brand throughout.
5. Fundamentals of Photography
If you want to learn all the fundamentals of photography, this is the class for you. It’s found on CreativeLive.com and offers an option where you can subscribe to get 2,000+ classes or buy the class on its own. The course is 100% recommended by students and has been taken by more than 128,000 people.
You will get 107 video lessons covering more than 24 hours of content. There is bonus content, as well and you can get lifetime access to the course.
With this online photography class, you can build a foundation for your photography practice. If you want to become a professional photographer, this is a great place to start. John Greengo is the instructor and he’s an award-winning photographer. His specialties include outdoor and travel photography.
6. Magnum Learning Courses
If you want a good set of online photography classes, Magnum Learning offers just what you need. They provide world-class instructors with exclusive lessons you won’t find anywhere else. You can access the content anywhere, anytime with on-demand options.
- Courses offered by Magnum Learning include:
- Gregory Halpern: Documentary Sur/Realism
- Matt Black: The Documentary Commitment
- Jonas Bendiksen: Curiosity in Practice
- Bieke Depoorter: Chance Encounters
- Alec Soth: Photographic Storytelling
- The Art of Street Photography
Each course is $99. Magnum Learning also offers events, such as workshops and seminars for those serious about photography.
7. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
Learn from one of the top photographers in the world through MasterClass. This course comes from the first woman to become the chief photographer for Rolling Stone. Annie Leibovitz was also the last person to get a portrait of John Lennon.
In this course, you will get 15 lessons covering more than 3 hours of content. You will learn the philosophy used by Annie, how to work with your subjects, shooting with natural light, and so much more.
MasterClass offers different membership options to give you access to all the classes they offer. You can pay $15 to $23 per month (billed annually) to get a membership and take this course. Along with this online photography class, you can take more than 150 other courses on MasterClass with your membership.
8. Shaw Academy Photography Course
The Shaw Academy offers an online photography course you can try for free and take if you like it. They have more than 3 million total graduates. This basic course will help you better understand lens types, how different camera modes work, using light, and more.
While you can try the course for free, a $69.99 per month membership is necessary to take the full course. You will also gain access to many other courses through Shaw Academy with your membership.
Another great choice for your photography courses is KelbyOne. They offer many different courses split into different categories. You can take courses from a variety of categories to learn about all types of photography.
The categories offered from KelbyOne include:
- Adobe Creative Cloud
- Automotive Photography
- Aviation Photography
- Camera Gear
- Commercial Photography
- Drone Photography
- Family/Children Photography
- Fashion Photography
- Food Photography
- Landscape Photography
- Macro Photography
- Photo Retouching
- Photography Basics
- Plug-ins, Apps, & More
- Portrait Photography
- Sports Photography
- Travel Photography
- Wedding Photography
- Wildlife Photography
All of these categories feature courses you can take with a membership to KelbyOne.
They offer two different membership options. With the KelbyOne Plus Monthly, you gain access to more than 400 total courses with new content added every month. This membership is $9.99 per month.
You can also upgrade to the KelbyOne Pro Monthly membership for $19.99. This membership provides access to 900+ courses with a new course added each week. You also get more than 20 guided learning tracks, an interactive community, member discounts, and more.
Both memberships will give you plenty of content to enjoy as you take your journey to become a better photographer.
10. Fine Art Photography
Another online photography class found on CreativeLive.com, this one comes from Brooke Shaden. It’s a great course for those looking to learn about fine art photography specifically. It’s not the best option for beginners or for those in any other area of photography, however.
With this course, you will learn about storytelling, universal symbols in stories, how to use details, elements of imagery, and more. It comes with 138 total lessons.
You can subscribe to get this course and many more for as little as $13 per month. This course is also available to be purchased by itself for $199, often discounted to $99.
11. The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop
One of the most common editing tools used by photographers is Photoshop. If you want to learn how to use this very powerful tool, this course from PHLEARN is the right choice for you. It’s taught by Aaron Nace and provides 13.5 hours of content over 46 total videos.
The course has a five-star rating. You can take this course and many others through PHLEARN with a membership. The cost is $12.99 per month or you can pay $99.99 for an entire year. This membership will give you courses in photoshop, lightroom, and photography.
12. A Crash Course in Photography Composition
Taught by Frank Wang, this course offers lessons in photography composition. You will learn all types of things, such as using geometry and lines and other visual elements in photography. The course is perfect for beginners and offers a little more than two hours of content.
SkillShare allows you to start for free and gain access to all their courses with a membership. If you want to learn photography composition, this is a good place to start.
There are many online photography classes to consider. You may need to take more than one to gain the skills you desire. Some are better for specific types of photography, while other courses will get you started with using your camera properly.
With some of the options on this list of the best online photography classes, you can pay for a membership. This gives you access to more than just one course. If you’re serious about photography, a membership might be the best option.