Photography is a wonderful way to capture the world on camera and relive moments over and over again. It allows you to document events and experiences and tell stories, allowing you to preserve memories in physical form.
It can also transcend into an art form, which is why it is one of the most popular visual arts.
If you’re interested in taking up photography, you may find that many courses from the top photography schools are often very expensive.
You also need to invest a dedicated amount of time in finishing the course and mastering camera basics and techniques.
Fortunately, there is a wealth of fantastic online photography classes that can help you learn on a budget and at your own pace. These online courses teach you how to capture stunning images and use post-processing techniques to enhance them further.
If you’re looking for the best online photography course, here we have listed the top 10 online photography classes to help you get started. Check them out below.
10 Best Online Photography Courses
Below is our list of ten online courses on photography you can immediately sign up for. Some of them are even offered for free.
1. Fundamentals Of DSLR Photography
Fundamentals of DSLR Photography is one of the best online photography courses on Skillshare for those who wish to learn all about DSLR cameras.
This introductory photography class offers easy-to-follow lessons that help learners master the basics of DSLR photography and get up to speed quickly.
Renowned photographer Justin Bridges teaches the course. He will educate you on balancing shutter speed, aperture, and ISO manually to get just the right exposure.
This helps you become a pro at using the manual mode and capture eye-catching photos with your DSLR camera.
You will learn to get ready for a photo shoot, use the right camera and lenses, control shutter speed to freeze and blur motion, and use the aperture to reduce background blur.
You’ll also learn to take better photos by balancing the three different elements of the exposure triangle and adjusting other aspects like contrast, shadow, clarity, and more.
What’s more, the handy photo editing tips and tricks included in the course will help you learn to edit photos in under five minutes. Justin will also share his favorite camera settings, essential gear, and recommendations for the best budget DSLR cameras.
This course is great for amateurs and beginners in photography who seek basic training on using DSLR cameras. It also helps you learn street photography and portrait photography.
Its sharing option lets you compare your photography projects with that of your peers and learn from them, too.
Skillshare offers a one-month free trial during which you can easily complete this online class along with a couple of others for free.
However, if you still need more time to complete it, you can simply sign up for the monthly or yearly membership plans and keep learning.
- One-month free trial
- Monthly plan: $15
- Annual plan: $99
- Duration: 1 hour 19 minutes
- Platform: Skillshare
2. Become An Amazing Photographer In 7 Days
Become an Amazing Photographer in 7 Days is a wonderful course for aspiring photographers at Nas Academy.
This fun, engaging, and hands-on course from reputed portrait and dance photographer Jordan Matter will help you learn photography with interactive exercises.
It is designed to help you bond with your loved ones by going on photo adventures with them to take their pictures. Its fun video lessons and Zoom sessions will help you learn to take portraits, nature shots, and more.
You’ll not only learn camera basics but also phone photography so that you can take great pictures with your iPhone.
Other subjects that you will learn in this course include street photography, underwater photography, and creatively using spaces to capture unique pictures.
It also delves into photo editing and offers useful suggestions for social media posting. This can help you become a professional photographer with many followers and fans.
Overall, this video course is great for people who want to learn to sharpen their photography skills while enjoying themselves. It also offers a certificate of completion that you can share with your professional network.
- Price: $149
- Duration: Seven days
- Platform: Nas Academy
3. Introductory Photography Course
For those who are just getting started with photography and do not wish to invest a lot of money in learning, Introductory Photography Course is a fantastic option.
This free online photography class on Udemy helps beginners save money and focus on acquiring basic photography skills.
It gives them a head start in the world of photography to start capturing eye-catching photos.
The course offerings include photography basics like using lenses, autofocus modes, aperture, depth of field, histograms, white balance, and so on. You’ll also learn to use shutter speed and ISO settings to your advantage.
You’ll learn not only learn about basic camera settings in this free course but also about compositional concepts and specialized niche subjects.
You will even learn about applying the correct photography techniques to get the perfect shot, controlling exposure, using the rule of thirds and leading lines to frame photos up, and brightening or darkening photos.
This free photography class includes a broad range of terminologies to help you master any kind of camera. So you do not need to worry about the camera you’re using, as this course is not restricted to a particular camera type or brand.
It also uses simple language without any complex jargon or theories to make it easy for you to understand. Its video lessons are also useful to help you learn a lot quickly.
Its emphasis on photography fundamentals makes it one of the top free online photography courses for individuals with no prior photography experience or skills. Some of the most celebrated photographers have highly recommended this course.
- Price: Free
- Duration: 2 hours 37 minutes
- Platform: Udemy
4. Photography Essentials: Understanding The Basics
Photography Essentials: Understanding the Basics is one of the best online photography classes on Skillshare.
This digital photography course is great for anyone who wants to take their photography skills and knowledge to the next level and capture better photos.
So whether you’re a beginner with zero or little experience or a professional photographer who wants to understand foundational photography concepts better, this course is perfect for you.
Professional travel and lifestyle photographer Sean Dalton teaches the course.
In this Photography Essentials: Understanding the Basics course, he delves into all the important information you need to know to help you capture stunning images.
He’ll teach you the fundamental lessons of photography and share practical tips and tricks to help you cement your place in the world of photography.
The course dives into finding the perfect angle for capturing the best photos, nailing the right composition, selecting the best camera settings and modes, and controlling the lighting environment. This will help you get sharp photos every time.
You’ll learn about the functions of various digital cameras, including DSLRs and mirrorless cameras. You will also learn useful photo editing and social media tips to help you improve your skills.
The video tutorials in the course also focus on lifestyle and travel photography. This makes it great for those interested in this niche.
The best part about this course is that it will help you discover your distinctive photography style. This will help you stand out from the crowd and generate one-of-a-kind photos.
- One-month free trial
- Monthly plan: $15
- Annual plan: $99
- Duration: 1.5 hours
- Platform: Skillshare
5. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography is a fantastic portrait photography boot camp. Portrait master Annie Leibovitz teaches the course.
She shares examples and insights from her own career to help you gather nuggets of her vast wisdom. She talks about her diverse portfolio and also explains how a Vogue photoshoot is done.
More than the technicalities of photography, this digital photography course focuses on helping you learn to conceptualize and shoot images using natural light. It also then delves into how to bring those images to life in the post-processing stage.
- Learn from the best!
- New classes added every month
- 180+ classes to choose from
"Bored of TV, check out this Incredible content and cast"
With high production values and a wealth of knowledge on offer, this course is surely one to reckon with.
You can read our full review of this course here.
- Price: Monthly membership plan: $15
- Duration: 3 hours 4 minutes
6. Macro Photography & Focus Stacking Made Easy
Macro Photography & Focus Stacking Made Easy is one of the best online photography classes for budding and advanced photographers who wish to learn close-up and macro photography with a mirrorless or DSLR camera.
It helps you quickly learn to click amazing macro photos and get the most out of your camera.
This short yet intensive course teaches techniques and educates you on lighting, optical, and support gear that you’ll need to click photographs of the natural world with sharp focus and excellent exposure.
You will learn about different equipment like macro and reversed lenses, bellows, and close-up attachments.
This digital photography course also covers all kinds of close-up shots, including extreme macro. It also delves into how you can enhance your camera’s macro capabilities on a budget.
For example, you’ll learn to convert your regular lens into a high-quality macro lens or an onboard flash into a macro flash for only a few dollars.
Additionally, this course discusses focus stacking techniques and processing stacked images with Adobe Photoshop and Helicon Focus.
You will also learn how to choose the best camera, lenses, attachments, and light sources and capture stacked images with your computer.
All you need to get started with the course is a Mac or Windows computer with Adobe Photoshop installed. If you don’t have the software on your desktop, you can download its free trial version and start learning.
Once you complete the course, you will receive a certificate of completion that you can show to your clients.
- Price: $84.99
- Duration: 3 hours
- Platform: Udemy
7. Learn Landscape Photography
Learn Landscape Photography is one of the top online photography courses for those who wish to learn about dynamic landscape photography.
It goes beyond the idea that landscape photography is all about clicking holiday pictures outside famous landmarks.
Instead, it dives deep into the niche subject and helps you master essential photography techniques and get the right gear to capture the perfect shot.
It enables you to find your way around basic camera settings and features and use your DSLR and accessories to get the most from the outdoors. This gives you the confidence to go on location and snap beautiful photos.
The course also teaches you to plan and execute coastal landscape shoots, determine the depth of field using aperture settings, and understand composition concepts like the rule of thirds and symmetry.
Its short photography lessons, videos, and downloadable PDF guides make it one of the best online video courses available on the market.
It also includes a fun quiz that you can solve to test your memory recall.
Learn Landscape Photography is well-suited for beginners and intermediate photographers who want to learn on a budget.
- Price: $9.99
- Duration: 1-hour
- Platform: Udemy
8. Exposing Digital Photography
Exposing Digital Photography is a free online photography course from Harvard University that you can access via the OpenCourseWare (OCW) program.
You can find it on the free certified online learning platform ALISON and start learning without having to enroll at the university. All you need to do is sign up on ALISON.
Exposing Digital Photography caters to photography enthusiasts with different skill levels. It explores digital photography’s basics, techniques, and artistic aspects and helps you improve your skills. You will also learn to use editing software.
Its 12 video lessons, recommended reading list, hands-on projects, and critiques delve into the different technical aspects of photography.
These aspects include optics, exposure control, light quality, depth of field, composition, patterns, perspective, aesthetics, color science, digital cameras, and more.
This course also discusses other disciplines related to photography, such as video and film. This helps you expand your knowledge and skill set, making this course one of the most well-rounded free courses on photography.
- Price: Free
- Duration: Approximately 10 hours
- Platform: ALISON
9. Photography Basics And Beyond: From Smartphone To DSLR Specialization
Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization also makes it to our top online photography courses list.
Michigan State University offers this course. It teaches learners how to use different kinds of cameras, including smartphone cameras, DSLRs, mirrorless cameras, and compact cameras.
It delves into fundamental photographic principles such as exposure control, composition, and creative concepts. It also explores the basics of documentary photography, making it great for budding documentary filmmakers.
The five-course specialization includes the following photography courses:
- Cameras, exposure, and Photography
- Camera Control
- Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production
- Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing
- Photography Capstone Project
All the lectures in these photography courses are designed to help you progress quickly from the beginner level to the advanced level.
They also include practical lessons, quizzes, and plenty of extra learning resources. In the Capstone Project, you’ll have to make a final project of photographs, helping you gain real-life experience.
Once you complete the entire course, you will earn a Certificate of Specialization from Michigan State University that you can add to your resume.
If you don’t want the certificate, you can access the content in these photography courses for free. Or you can subscribe to a membership plan, explore all the courses, and get the certificate.
The Photography Basics and Beyond classes are available in various languages, allowing it to cater to more people worldwide.
- Free (without certificate)
- One-month subscription plan: $48
- Three-month subscription plan: $32 per month
- Six-month subscription plan: $24 per month
- Duration: Approximately 6 months
- Platform: Coursera
10. Lectures on Digital Photography
Lectures on Digital Photography is a wonderful course on digital photography from Marc Levoy, a professor at Stanford University. The complete course has 18 videos of about an hour each that you can find on YouTube.
In these videos, Levoy explains many of the topics in a comprehensive yet easy-to-understand manner. He also provides links to assignments that you can work on to develop your skills.
This class is one of the best online classes for intermediate and advanced photography enthusiasts who want to dive deeper into the subject and build on their skills.
- Price: Free
- Duration: Approximately 18 hours
- Platform: YouTube
Can Beginners Learn Photography Online?
Beginner photographers can easily learn photography online. You can check out several great online photography classes to improve your photography skills.
They teach you everything about the subject—from the basics of photography to more advanced lessons covering technical aspects like inverse square law and more.
You can also learn about the history of photography, the impact of photography on society, and the career paths that are available to you.
These online courses are highly valuable to budding photographers who don’t have the time to attend a live class or the budget to pay for it. Such photography classes are also usually self-paced and allow learners to learn at their convenience.
But keep in mind that while learning photography online, you should also put your knowledge to the test regularly and practice your newfound skills in real life. It will help you learn better and progress faster.
Tips To Choose The Best Online Photography Course
The right photography course can help you learn photography quickly and save time and money. To find the best photography course for you, it is important that you consider the following aspects:
Before enrolling in an online photography course, it’s crucial to read its reviews. It should have plenty of good reviews from other students and perhaps some well-known professional photographers.
Be wary of entrusting your money to a learning platform that makes tall promises that no one has heard of.
Find Your Niche
Take some time to identify your niche before picking a course. Different photography courses teach different kinds of photography, such as commercial photography, flash photography, fashion photography, and so on. Choose a niche that catches your interest.
Also, make sure to analyze the industry growth potential and career prospects of that niche.
Research The Course’s Instructor
The quality of the photography course is largely determined by the quality of the instructor. So research the course instructor, their experience, knowledge, and specialization.
A good photography teacher will guide you well throughout your learning journey and help you easily grasp difficult concepts. They will also provide an excellent course framework while incorporating innovative learning methods.
The official website of the learning platform will most likely have information on the course instructor. You can also discover more about them by reading student reviews.
Finally, make sure that the course you select teaches photo editing. It is no use learning about photography without knowing how to make your photos stand out and look stunning with the right editing tools.
Online photography courses are a great way to master photography skills and techniques. They allow you to learn from the comfort of your home or anywhere you prefer.
All you need is a computer or a mobile device and an Internet connection to start learning. It is best to have your camera on hand to help you practice.
Our 10 best online photography course list caters to people of different skill levels.
So there’s something for everyone, from photography beginners who wish to learn the basics to professional photographers who want to brush up on their skills. Choose a course that suits your photography learning needs and get started.
We hope you thoroughly enjoyed reading our comprehensive guide on the best online photography classes. If you found it useful, head to our website and explore our other articles and blog posts. Happy reading!