With the best online photography classes, you can gain the skills you need to take better pictures, whether professionally or just for fun as a hobbyist.
There’s a lot that goes into taking eye-catching photos.
Understanding lighting, cameras, angles, and editing are the building blocks of becoming a good photographer. You can have the best equipment in the world, but if you don’t truly understand how to use it to master the art of photography, you’ll never take truly great pictures.
The good news is there’s no need to drive miles to take expensive photography classes. These days, you can take some great online photography classes from the comfort of home or anywhere you’d like.
Of course, there are tons of photography courses online. How can you tell which ones are worth taking (and spending your money on)?
We’ve reviewed and ranked the best online photography courses available in 2023 based on a variety of critical factors, including quality of the curriculum, instructor credentials, student reviews, cost, and more. From free online photography courses to paid options with certifications, we have choices for everyone.
Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links, meaning at no additional cost for you, we might get a commission if you click the link and purchase.
How We Chose the Best Photography Courses
With literally hundreds of photography courses online, how did we come up with a list of the 10 best?
We looked at dozens of different photography courses and assessed them based on the following:
- Curriculum Quality: We looked for courses that offer a well-structured and comprehensive curriculum covering essential photography concepts, photography styles, techniques, and genres. We also gave preference to photography courses that had hands-on assignments and practical projects to reinforce learning.
- Instructor Credentials: We researched each instructor’s background and qualifications in photography. We particularly looked for professional photographers with relevant experience. We also read reviews or testimonials from previous students to gauge the instructor’s teaching effectiveness.
- Resource Materials: We thought it was important to check if the course provides supplementary resources such as eBooks, tutorials, or downloadable materials to support your learning.
- Equipment and Software Requirements: Another factor we considered was if the course required certain equipment. Some photography courses may cater to beginners with basic gear, while others may require more advanced equipment.
- Duration and Time Commitment: We also considered the duration of the photography courses and the estimated time commitment per week. It’s important for students to ensure it fits their schedule and availability.
- Cost and Value: We compared the course fees with the value it offers. Some photography courses may be free or low-cost, while others provide extensive resources and personalized instruction at a premium price.
- User Reviews and Ratings: We spent time reading reviews and ratings from other students who have taken the various photography courses we looked at. Honest feedback can provide insights into the course’s strengths and weaknesses.
What are the Best Online Photography Classes?
Here are our picks for the top online photography courses to take in 2023…
15 video lessons, 3+ hours
In this powerful online course, famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shows you how to take stunning, iconic photos. The course is great for those working in any photography genre.
During her iconic career as a staff photographer shooting portraits for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair, Annie has taken some of the most famous images in the world—capturing legends such as John Lennon, Queen Elizabeth, LeBron James, and countless others.
Throughout taking the course, you’ll learn all about Annie’s philosophy, creative process, and the skills she uses to capture her amazing photos.
What you will learn
- How to develop concepts
- How to work with subjects
- Tips for shooting with natural light
- Editing tricks to bring images to life in post-production
Best for: Anyone who wants to learn the creative process of a world-class photographer.
The 365 Days of Photography Course is perfect for photographers of all skill levels -- from beginners looking to learn the art of photography to experienced pros wanting to sharpen the skills they already have.
365 days of bite-sized video lessons
With the 365 Days of Photography Course, you can take your photography skills to new heights with daily bite-sized lessons aimed at helping you incrementally improve each day.
Whether you’re a first-time camera owner or a long-time photographer, this year-long course will help you master the basics of photography and beyond.
The class is taught by award-winning photographer Kevin LJ, who shares his knowledge and insights gained from his 30+ years of experience.
Each day brings a new lesson to help you improve your photography skills, and by the end of the year, you’ll be ready to launch your own successful photography business if you want to.
You can access the course on your computer or through their mobile app, so you’re able to learn wherever you go!
What you will learn
- The basics of your camera and how to get the most from it
- How to improve your camera-operating speed and accuracy
- How to understand lighting to create the best photos
- How to properly compose your photos
- The best time to take your pictures
- The right approach for different styles of photography, from portraits to action shots
“A wonderful course made by a passionate instructor. Kevin’s love for photography is very evident in this course, and he keeps things simple enough for me to understand but also fascinating enough to keep me coming back for more. Every day I look forward to waking up and learning something new. I also feel the daily challenges have changed how I think and work with my camera. Testing what I learn every day has been life-changing. The bite-sized videos, the community of like-minded photographers, and the valuable feedback is a wholesome learning experience. I recommend this course to everyone I know.”
Best for: Mastering the basics of photography as well as some advanced skills
Skillshare offers a 1-Month Free Trial. After that, the price for an annual membership is $165 per year, which works out to $13.75/month averaged out.
1 hour 20 mins(12 lessons)
Skillshare provides a wide range of online video courses to try out at a very reasonable price. It also provides a one-month free trial, which is enough to complete two or three of the best online photography courses for free.
This course is designed to help you with your camera and some tutorials on Photoshop and Lightroom.
You can learn everything from street photography to portraits with this class. These lessons also include a sharing option where you can compare your projects with others and learn through their experiences.
This course is great for beginner photographs.
It will inspire you to get up and take some beautiful street photos.
You will get to know how to balance shutter speed and ISO for the perfect click.
You will be learning camera settings, manual mood shoots and will be able to create next-level photos that you always imagined taking by yourself.
It is not about what is the object in front of the lenses, it is about how you capture it, the angle you choose, and the editing skill you have.
This online photography course will help you to adjust things like exposure, contrast, clarity, shadow, and all other tools, which you will need for the perfect editing.
What you will learn
- How to balance the three elements of the exposure triangle to capture different levels of moments
- How to learn to shoot in manual mode and panning the camera with the motion of the object.
- How to opt for the right camera and lenses
- How to adjust and set ISO ranges and shutter speed
- How to freeze and blur motion
“Excellent DSLR Course! I have learned a lot from this course. Simply just amazing. I can recommend this course unreservedly to all who are interested in wanting to try their hands on DSLR Photography. Justin Bridges will be able to walk you through ALL the REQUIRED STEPS that you need for your first RAW Photo Shoot & All the necessary TWEAKINGS that you may need to do via the Editing mode.”
Best for: Mastering both photography and photo editing; aspiring photographers
Just getting started in photography? This 101 course is perfect for beginners looking to master the basics and get on the path to becoming a great photographer.
1 hour 30m (13 lessons)
If you want to learn photography basics but don’t have a lot of time, this course is for you.
It has all the information about essential basic skills of photography in just 90 minutes.
This course is not only about basic photography skills, but it will give you tips and tricks that you need to become a prominent photographer.
If you have an interest in capturing the true essence of nature and if you are fond of traveling and strive to capture the scene with your camera, this class is the best fit for you.
This course will help you capture emotions and storytelling content with your camera.
Most of the content in these videos is related to travel and lifestyle photography, and you will grow as a lifestyle and traveling photographer within a few days.
Like any other good online photography course, this course is also designed for beginners, who have little or no knowledge and who want to improve their photography skills.
The course will help you with all the basic tricks and tips that will help you to capture the best scenes, making unforgettable images.
It will also teach you how to find the best angle for the image and how to control the lighting environment.
You will learn
- How to use the best camera setting and camera modes to nail the perfect composition.
- How to do the best editing for the image captured.
- How to manage social media platforms and tips for the photographers
- How to find the best angles and lighting environment to capture the moment.
- How to get a crisp focus in every photo
- How to edit the photos with precision
- How to work with manual mode and manipulate your environment
“I learned so much from this course. Sean is such an engaging teacher and explained everything so clearly, with great use of example images to illustrate the points being made. I can’t wait to get out and put what I have learned into practice!”
“The classes were genuine and practical, which in conjunction with Sean’s great work, makes this an adaptable course for beginners.”
Best for: Beginner and intermediate-level photographers
This free photography class from Udemy teaches some of the very basics to beginners just getting into this hobby.
Free (Udemy pricing varies by course)
If you are a beginner and want to start from the basics, this short video-based Udemy course is for you.
This free online photography course starts with the basics, like managing autofocus modes, lenses, depth of field, etc.
This free course is not only about camera settings but it also covers compositional concepts and covers topics from the very basic to specialized niche topics.
Having prior camera skills or photographic skills is not required to start this course, because it starts with the fundamentals, and you will learn a lot in a short span of time.
Even some of the accomplished photographers commented that they still learned a lot from this course.
It doesn’t matter what kind of camera you are using, because this course is not limited to any specific type of camera or brand. A wide range of terminologies is included in this course to help you out with any kind of camera.
The mode of study in this course is very easy to understand because of the simple language and no usage of complex theories or jargon.
The aim of this introductory course is to inspire and make enthusiastic beginners understand the fundamentals of photography.
You will learn
- How to apply the right techniques required for the perfect click
- How to frame up photos by using the rule of leading lines and thirds to cover everything
- How to control exposure, brightening, or darkening of photos
- How to understand aperture and depth of field
- How to work with different shutter speeds, ISO settings
“The course has filled in a lot of gaps in my knowledge when it comes to understanding the ‘why’s’ and the ‘what’s’ of settings of the camera I have used but couldn’t fully explain to myself. The presenter is honest and gives practical advice that I can relate to from my own photographic experiences.”
“This is a great course. After following along with the videos, I had a much better sense of how to control my camera and how to compose better shots. I was shooting underwater in Cuba. I was not used to shooting with so much natural light. Initially all of my pictures were blown out, but with Chris’s training, I was able to make quick changes and get some great shots.”
Best for: Beginner photographers who are learning for the first time
This online class focuses on close-up, macro and focus stacking, getting you on the path to shooting great macro photos in no time at all.
Regularly $64.99 with 30-day money-back guarantee (price may vary)
3 hours on-demand video
If you have a DSLR and want to capture the amusing world around you, then a Macro photography course is the best way to help you to get the most from your camera.
This course will help you to learn the techniques, like lighting, optical, and more to capture some of the best photographs of nature like birds, insects, flowers, and much more.
The aim of the course is to help you with your DSLR skills and mirrorless cameras with their macro-capabilities in a very reasonable way.
By spending a few dollars, your ordinary lenses can be turned into amusing macro lenses, because this course will help you with some of the best techniques with small changes in your camera settings.
Once you are one with this course, you will excel in focus stacking techniques, and you will have much fun with photoshop.
You will learn about all kinds of close-up shots, extreme macro, and reverse lenses techniques in a simple and easy-to-digest manner.
You will learn
- How to select the right lenses, cameras, and light sources such as LED, fiber optic, etc.
- How to understand the concept of focus stacking and images in photoshop and helicon focus
- How to capture stacks of images by using a computer.
- How to use a wide range of lenses, attachments to take close-up photos.
- How to work with exposure, white balance, and depth of field
- How to set up the Helicon Remote
“Coverage of the subject is extensive and presented with practicality in mind. Getting into macro photography can be expensive but doesn’t have to be. The experience of the instructor clearly shows. I will be returning to these videos many times.”
“I really enjoyed the course. I wanted to know more about macro photography and this course provided all the necessary information. Excellent tutor. No messing about, straight to the point!”
Best for: Advanced photographers interested in close-up and macro with a DSLR
Looking for a comprehensive photography class that will help you take your skills to the next level? This Udemy class is a great place to start!
Regularly $99.99 with a 30-day money-back guarantee (price may vary)
23.5 hours on-demand videos
As the name shows, Photography Masterclass is a complete guide for capturing the best photos.
This course is designed to help with everything that you grow your photography skills and take them to the next level.
If you are keen to take photos of nature, people, animals, or birds, you must know how to light it, edit it or compose a short.
If you excel in these skills, you can make huge money, and make a career in photography.
This course will add to your knowledge about photography and enhance your earning chances.
This online photo course starts with the basics like tackling your camera, gives knowledge about types of lenses, and other equipment that you need to accomplish a bigger goal.
You will not only learn how to use your camera but also your smartphones and tablets to take and edit pictures.
After taking online classes of this course, you will end up being a brand yourself and you can earn through starting a business in photography, because by the end of the course, you will be a confident photographer.
You will learn
- How a camera works in a true sense.
- How to compose and edit images
- How to work in natural and artificial light
- How to balance symmetry, composition, backgrounds, and angles
- How to take the best pictures with smartphones and tablets.
- How to photograph different scenarios such as portrait, landscape, aerial, wildlife, etc.
- How to brighten up your subjects with flash or natural lighting
“This is an excellent, cost-effective and very comprehensive course and I’m so glad to enroll in the class. Even though I don’t have any more equipment than my iPhone 7 Plus, I’ve learned so much from the basics that I might choose to have a DSLR or mirrorless camera in the future. I am extremely grateful of the fact that all three instructors were committed throughput and conveyed their knowledge diligently. Once again, this course is highly recommended!”
“One of the most detailed and beautifully structured courses on photography that takes us from the basics to the advanced lesson with so much ease. Thanks to the mentors for putting in all their efforts for this wonderful course.”
Best for: Aspiring, professional photographers
$99 individually purchased or available with “The Creator Pass” subscription for $13/month along with a 7-day trial period
24h 30m of class content
If you want to be one of the best photographers, you must master the basic technicalities of the camera that you are using.
You must have knowledge about the kind of equipment that you need.
The Fundamentals of Photography is an online photo course that will help you boost up your creativity in photography and teach you the essentials of the camera.
These lessons are not ordinary photography classes, but they aid in experiential learning and quality visuals.
These lessons are not only designed for the basic understanding of the photographs but also encourage practicing and experimenting with them.
When you start doing photography and experiment with it, you will feel the need of knowing different ideas and approaches to add more to the beauty of the picture. This course is here to fill the gap and teach these ideas and approaches.
This photography class will help you with different styles of cameras, post-processing, modes in cameras, focusing and lightening techniques. It covers a lot of things that you need as a photographer.
You will learn
- How to corroborate shutter speed, aperture, and image compositions.
- How to use natural lighting for maximum advantage
- How to choose the right gear
- How to work with two different sensor sizes ( basic and compared)
- How to use different lenses such as Fisheye and Tilt & Shift lenses
- How to use various exposure settings ( bracketing, values)
- How to work with pixel shift, noise reduction, selective cloning, and time lapse
“John is one of the best teachers I have ever had. He has a methodical approach and explains things slowly without becoming boring. His experience is very helpful and the material he created for this course is spot on. I could tell years of thought went into every section of this course. Before taking the course, I thought it was going to be out of date but that really was not the case. Everything taught is still very relevant.”
“I’m hooked, John’s presentation was sincere, passionate, personable, and natural. His introduction left me with a desire to learn more. I love the concept of his teaching technique through his own story.”
Best for: Outdoor and travel photographers
$74 individually purchased or available with “The Creator Pass” subscription for $13/month along with a 7-day trial period
Approx. 14 hours
Portrait photography is one of the distinguishing skills of any photographer, which is more demanding than many other types of photography.
As humans, we are fond of reflecting on ourselves and on the people we love, and portraits photography is one of the best skills that you can use to take pictures of people that you cherish.
This skill can be used for your business, where you can use portrait portfolios.
Portrait Photography Bootcamp will help you establish a strong foundation for any kind of portrait photography.
It will start at the very beginning and help you establish a foundation for all styles of portrait photography.
This course is one of its own kind, which will help you boost up your portrait skills and it will cover all that you need to know to make an excellent portrait shoot.
It will not only assist you with making portraits, but it will help you with the basic camera settings, like lens selection, lighting, angles, and posing techniques for all kinds of photos.
You will learn
- How to make a good portrait
- How to manage the light environment, expressions, posing, etc.
- How to work with shooting doors, windows, stairs, nature, or your studio with full instructions.
- How to use modifiers and speed lights
- How to shoot full-figured objects (couples, fashion models)
- How to apply studio lighting
“This has been, by far, the best, most helpful course I’ve ever done. Lindsay is amazing and helped me to understand lighting and posing in such a simple, straightforward way that is easy to remember. I would highly recommend this class!”
“Lindsay’s Photography Bootcamp is an answer to my prayer. All lessons are relevant. She is so easy to understand. I am so excited about my photography journey.”
Best for: Professional photographers willing to expand their skillset
Learn how to create photographs you can be proud of on everything from a DSLR to your phone in this great class.
6 months (4 hours per week)
This in-depth class helps you pave your way toward a career in photography.
These complete online photography classes will help you understand basics of compositions, on any photo capturing device, like smartphones, DSLR, mirrorless models, etc.
It will help you to build your skills by giving you creative concepts and tips to make the best photos that you always wanted to capture.
This course will not only teach you to make the best photos, but it will also give you a certificate of specialization from Michigan State University that will add to your credentials in the photography field.
All in all, this is one of the best free online photography courses out there.
You will learn
- How to develop a final project of photoshoots
- How to work with frame and vintage points to click old subjects in new, improved ways
- How to use strobe lighting
- How to use focus effects with the help of depth of field
- How to apply the principles of post-photography image management using Adobe Lightroom
- How to use content in photography such as fact to fiction or purely documentary to expressive
“This course was very informative and provided just the right amount of challenge for me to stretch my creativity and newly obtained knowledge. I enjoyed it and I am looking forward to the next course”
“It’s a very good course for beginners and I got to learn a lot and improve my photography in every way possible! I recommend it to everyone who’s interested in Photography and wants to do more with it”.
Best for: Becoming an all-rounder photographer who makes money
A Final Word on Online Photography Classes
The above are some of the best online photography classes you can benefit from as they provide a lot of knowledge about photography skills.
These online learning classes have made our lives easier by providing lessons instantly with one click, but the real thing is the craze and eagerness to learn photography. These classes are going to increase your motivation towards learning photography skills and excel in the field.
But remember, there’s no such thing as a single “best online photography class.” What’s best for one budding photographer might not be a great choice for another. It depends on where you are on your journey, what level your skills are at, and even some personal preference.
Our advice? Take advantage of the free trial offers these online course websites offer and test out some different classes on this list to see which you prefer.
Soon, you’ll be on your way to becoming a photographer!
Have any questions about taking online photography classes? Drop a comment below and we’ll lend a hand.