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Martin Barrett
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How To Study Photography Online For Free

How To Study Photography Online For Free (Updated 2023)

Regardless of whether you are a beginner photographer just beginning to understand your equipment and the fundamentals of photography, or whether you’re a skilled photographer who can perfect the manual aperture settings in your shots, studying your craft (or leisure activity) deeper is a lifelong endeavor.

Luckily, this article has some of the best free online photography courses you can join and tips on how to best study photography even when you are busy or have other commitments.

The courses included are suitable for photographers of all levels and ages that use a diverse range of camera equipment ranging from a DSLR camera to a point-and-shoot camera and even those fantastic phone cameras.

So read this article to know that how to study photography online for free.

The Best Free Photography Courses Online


Udemy is a popular online education platform that offers a wide range of courses, which would include some dedicated to photography skills.

These courses contain the fundamentals, such as the Introductory Photography Course, however, Udemy also has classes that are unique, such as Green Screen Photography.

You can also discover nature photography or street photography if any of that interests you.


Alison is a virtual education spot that provides a diverse selection of photography classes, both for beginners and advanced photographers.

Introduction to Digital Photography or Advanced Digital Photography, for instance, features varying levels of expertise while including blocks that go through every single detail; from composition tricks to exposure, depth of field, and histogram reading.

All courses include the choice between receiving a virtual, print, or framed diploma.


If you are an experienced or intermediate photographer who is seeking information that is somewhat distinct compared to what you’ve seen on other platforms, CreativeLive is a good place to start.

Nearly every single day, the website provides consistent classes that are live-streamed online. CreativeLive also has a library of pre-recorded courses that cover a wide range of subjects.

An example of that is “In Focus: Can We Be Objective Observers?” which examines the way people and photographers, in particular, perceive the things they photograph.


Try this course when you are just getting started in photography. This course is among the most comprehensive you will find for the beginner with minimal to zero photography knowledge.

It is important to note that this is a course that’s using only text, though, so if you prefer videos this is probably not for you.

This course was initially introduced as a response to a demand on Reddit.

The class was once reproduced live on the R-photoclass subreddit, where participants could get input from the lecture and communicate with other aspiring photographers, but it seems that the most recent live session dated back to 2017.

Lectures On Digital Photography

The Lectures on Digital Photography course from Stanford University seems to be a standard course that does, however, go far beyond the fundamentals.

This 18-lesson course covers optical effects in the natural environment, scope and point of view, sequencing and noise, and numerous other topics.

The teacher of this course is Marc Levoy, a Stanford Professor Emeritus and a Google Principal Engineer. Therefore, if you decide to take this class, prepare for a great deal of information about the computational aspects of the activity.


You might already have heard of Skillshare when discussing other training courses, but the website also provides a great collection of specialized photography courses, including some that are free.

Nightscapes: Landscape Astrophotography or Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print are just some of the examples of the courses available.

Exposing Digital Photography

This photography course, which began in the 2015 fall semester at the Harvard Extension School, is perfect for newcomers who desire to understand why and how things really work instead of simply learning the fundamentals.

The course includes a significant deal of arithmetic but also focuses on giving students a clear idea of the complexities of photography.


You definitely watch YouTube multiple times per week, but have you considered that it could be an excellent place for free photography courses? Because it really is.

There are plenty of brilliant photographers around who are eager to impart their knowledge to you. All you are required to do is discover them.‘s Jared Polin is a great example. He provides numerous classes on various elements of photography development.

A further favorite is First Man Photography, which has lots of simple photography tutorial videos.

One important thing to remember about YouTube is that the clips featured serve more as quick tutorials than full-fledged courses.

Videos are typically 15 minutes to 2 hours long and concentrate on a specific element of photography.

The Benefits and Drawbacks of Photography School

Even though you are probably looking for free courses since you are reading this article, we believe it’s good to have a look at the benefits and drawbacks of paying for a photography school.


  • A deeper understanding of the craft, its legacy, and its evolution.
  • The chance to hone your innate abilities and gain knowledge from those who have achieved success in business.
  • Learn about lighting and composition strategies in depth.
  • Connect with people during your studies that will assist you in your future career.


  • The cost of attendance is expensive, and estimated yearly pay rates are minimal, so repaying your student debt might take years and years.
  • The price of a camera lens, camera, and gadgets is also prohibitively expensive, making it difficult to adjust the cost of studying with the equipment costs.
  • Jobs are not guaranteed, and even more so given the limitations of art and photography degree courses.
  • If your photography working life does not prosper, you may need to return to college to pursue further academic achievements.

Zeal, Perseverance, And Hard Work

Do you have any chances to succeed without the certainty of the college classroom if you pursue your passion?

Can determination, a thick skin, and perseverance suffice to obtain skill sets, big bucks, and strong ties? Yes, for certain people who don’t give up.

Tips For Honing Your Camera Skills

Whatever your goals are for your photography, below are a few quite certain methods for honing your skills without the need for a bachelor’s.

Get To Know Your Camera

I hear what you’re saying: I’m not going to read the camera handbook. However, it is a fantastic tool for mastering your selected model.

It’s not that you must go through all 300 pages from line to line; of course, you can skip over paragraphs with things you are aware of or save various parts for later.

However, the original camera manual is more important than you claim. Investing time in researching your kit is critical for two basic reasons:

  • You must be familiar with all aspects of your camera.
  • Nobody knows the camera better than those who designed it.

Spend Time Watching Online Tutorials

You have the option of using the web to educate yourself if it has made manuals look as if they are relics to you.

There are numerous clips and vlogs on how to operate the camera you’ve chosen, particularly for people who have a hard time reading things or have a short attention span.

This is advantageous when searching for feedback from individuals who have already used the camera.

Have a look at well-known channels like Mango Street or Peter McKinnon for simple video content with feedback, advice, and indications for photographers. Make sure to apply into practice everything you learn!

Explore The Book Material (And Online Portfolios)

Reading a great book or browsing an e-portfolio will benefit you as you will be able to take in information in resourceful, colorful, and fun ways.

How To Study Photography Online For Free (1)

These books and portfolios will motivate you and assist you in determining areas of interest in which to experiment.

Portfolios are often a source of considerable distress when you’re still studying because you see what other people have accomplished and strive to replicate it.

But do not be discouraged because, like any fine art medium, it requires time to become proficient.

Never Stop Practicing

There isn’t anything that beats expertise in the field, so carry your camera anywhere you go and take photos of every single thing that interests you or catches your eye.

You can enroll in hundreds of photography classes, devour all the books focusing on lighting and exposure, and engage in conversations around photography every minute of your life.

Still, practicing your shooting skills is the only thing that will help you discover your own aesthetic and raw talent.

As thousands of images accumulate on your memory card, you will notice what must be changed and the areas in which you thrive.

It is also a wise idea to keep a record of your initial mistakes along the way so you can reflect back and appreciate how far you’ve come!

Meet More People And Make Connections

It really is essential to study, browse, and ogle photographers’ projects and sayings, yet you also have to get out there and meet fellow photographers and people working in the industry.

Connections and referrals allow you to learn important techniques and grow your clientele if you are looking to earn a living.

Networking revolves around determining which people you really ought to meet and how you’ll develop strong relationships with them.

  • Because photography is an extremely personal profession, networking allows you to meet new people.
  • Making yourself recognized as an individual rather than just a photographer helps you with customer retention.
  • In contrast to other promotional activities, networking is inexpensive.
  • No entrepreneur can prosper without strong relationships.

Find A Mentor Or A Traineeship

Mentorships and traineeships are an unexpectedly underutilized way to break into the photography industry.

Numerous popular self-taught experts will admit to working their way up through the ranks at a traineeship, as that is where they first learned the ropes.

But here’s a pro tip: do your homework on who you’ll be working for. You must make contact with an individual who is accommodating with their expertise and inspiring in their demeanor.

Wrong encounters can lead to you spending the whole day in the office, filing papers, and answering the phone.

Participate In A Training Session

Moving on from the previous point, attending a training course or some workshops is another excellent method of learning.

Workshops are especially beneficial for individuals who wish to attend photography school but are unable to dedicate 3 or more years and spend a lot of money.

We are not suggesting that workshops are not costly; a few are quite pricey—but when compared to a bachelor’s, they’re a steal.

Workshops are also inclusive of a lot of the topics we’ve already talked about—they’re fantastic for building and strengthening relationships, discovering internship opportunities, and exploring styles/niches you’re interested in.

Participate In A Photography Forum

Photographers enjoy having conversations around photography; where do they let loose? Forums.

Whether you’re looking for an authentic review of your works, want to understand more concerning a specific style of photography, or simply have a query about your gear, forums will almost always have the solution.

However, don’t always take what somebody else says on a forum as the word of God; it’s generally a smart option to substantiate assertions with additional research.

Write A Photography Checklist For Yourself

Is there anything better than putting together a list of destinations and working through them until there are none left? No, we don’t believe so.

This can also help your photographic adventure. Goal setting or creating a photography “wish list” can assist you in becoming more energized to go out there and take some photos.

The Bottom Line

This article presented you with some of the best online photography courses for people who wish to learn or develop their photography skills online.

However, photography is an art that takes more than good academic knowledge. To enhance your skills and excel, you need to practice, learn next to professionals by taking on a traineeship, and network.

So, if you are determined to follow your passion and wish to do so online and for free, start today and follow our advice!

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