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How to Learn Photography Online: Best Options for Beginners

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By Scott Winstead

how to learn photography

Looking for info on how to learn photography, but don’t know where to start? 

The good news is learning photography is easier than ever before, and you don’t have to spend a fortune enrolling in expensive photography classes or buying a ton of expensive gear. You can learn the basics with just a camera, your computer or mobile device, and some basic accessories.

These days, there are thousands of courses, video tutorials, guides,  and other resources available online to help you learn the basics and beyond. But with so many options, it can be difficult to know where to start.

You just have to know which resources to trust, and which to avoid.

No matter what kind of photography you want to learn — portraits,  nature, wildlife, real estate, street photography, or something else — you can learn the basics of the art form online from the comfort of your home.

You can easily learn about lighting and composition, camera settings, and other basics.

And once you feel comfortable with the fundamentals, there are plenty of resources available to help you master advanced photography concepts. The sky is truly the limit!

In this article, we’ll share some of the best options for learning photography online, whether you’re a complete beginner or you just want to brush up on your skills. Before you know it, you’ll be taking your own photos with your own style like a pro.

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.


Why Learn Photography?

If you log onto social media, it’s impossible to scroll for more than a few seconds without coming across a meme.

Photos and videos are dominating the internet, all thanks to the rise of social media. From personal blogs to corporate Twitter accounts, everyone is using visuals to communicate.

And it’s not just personal use; businesses are quickly catching on to the power of visual content marketing. In fact, according to Content Marketing Institute, 74% of surveyed marketers said visual assets were core to their strategy.

With the advent of digital cameras and smartphones, it has never been easier to take pictures. Anyone can point and shoot. However, Photography is more than just taking pictures. It is an art form that requires talent, creativity, and technical skill.

A good photographer must be able to see the world differently from everyone else and capture it in a way that is unique and memorable. In addition, they must have a strong understanding of composition, lighting, and exposure in order to create striking images.

For these reasons, learning photography can be extremely rewarding. It can help you to see the world in new and exciting ways, and it can also give you the opportunity to share your own vision with others. Whether you want to pursue it as a hobby or a career, learning photography can be a truly enriching experience.


Can You Learn Photography On Your Own?

In the past, if you wanted to learn photography, the best option was to enroll in a local class or take a course from an experienced photographer. This could cost a significant chunk of change, and it also required you to be on someone else’s schedule.

Today, however, there are plenty of free and cheap online resources available for those who want to learn photography on their own.

From tutorials and video lessons to digital guides and e-books, there is no shortage of ways to get started with photography.

By taking advantage of quality resources (more on where to find those in a bit) and putting in plenty of practice, you can become a better photographer without having to spend an arm and a leg on professional training.


Online Courses Offer the Best Way to Learn Photography

At first glance, it may seem like learning photography would be best done in person. However, there are a number of advantages to taking courses online.

  • You can learn on your own schedule: One of the great things about taking classes online is that you can learn at a pace that works best for you. This is especially beneficial if you are already busy with work or other commitments. You can study when it is convenient for you and fit it into your schedule.
  • You can choose from a range of courses/resources: With so many courses available online, you are sure to find one that is perfect for your skill level and needs. Online courses also give you access to a wealth of resources, this includes video tutorials, articles, and e-books: In addition to the actual course content.
  • You can learn from wherever you want: Another advantage of online courses is that you can learn from anywhere in the world. All you need is an internet connection. This makes it very convenient for people who travel or who do not live near a college or university.
  • You can access course materials 24/7: One of the best things about online courses is that you can access course materials 24/7. This means that you can study when it is convenient for you. You do not have to work around a class schedule. You can learn how to take better photos any time you want.


Where to Learn Photography Online

Now that we have discussed some of the advantages of learning online, let’s take a look at some of the best online schools for learning photography online.


MasterClass MasterClass

With MasterClass, you can learn from some of the world's most recognized experts and celebrities. Classes include business, cooking, photography, acting, design, and so much more.

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What if you could learn photography from an award-winning staff photographer for Rolling Stone and Vanity Fair who has taken portraits of icons like John Lennon, Queen Elizabeth, LeBron James, and countless others?

That’s what Masterclass offers.

Masterclass is an online education platform offering world-class courses in a wide range of subjects taught by renowned professionals and A-list celebrities, like Natalie Portman, Gordon Ramsay, Bill Clinton, Serena Williams, Mariah Carey, and countless others.

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography (Masterclass) Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography (Masterclass)

Step into Annie Leibovitz’s world and learn the secrets of capturing amazing portraiture that tells a story!

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Their best photography class is “Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography” where famed photographer Annie Leibovitz shows you how to take eye-catching photos.

This online class gives you insights into Annie’s philosophy, creative process, and the skills she uses to capture her amazing photos.

You’ll learn things like:

  • How to develop concepts
  • How to work with subjects
  • Tips for shooting with natural light
  • Composition techniques
  • Editing tricks to bring images to life in post-production

Masterclass also has a photography session taught by Petra Collins, the renowned artist who has worked with brands like Gucci and Adidas.

In all, Masterclass offers over 180 online courses in an array of categories, all taught by recognized industry leaders and celebrities, and you can access them all with a subscription that starts at only $15 a month, billed annually.

Click here to get started with Masterclass today.



Great Choice
Skillshare Skillshare

Skillshare is the ultimate website for learning just about anything imaginable. You can explore 30,000+ online classes across countless categories, from business to hobbies and more.

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Skillshare (free 30-day trial) is an online learning community with courses taught by the world’s best practitioners. Their courses range from creative to business and technology skills. What makes Skillshare unique is that its focus is on providing high-quality, engaging, and inspiring content.

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, there’s a course on Skillshare for you, and that includes plenty of online photography classes.

Here are some reasons why you should learn photography with Skillshare:

First, Skillshare has some of the best photographers in the world teaching their courses. You’ll be learning from the best of the best, which is a huge advantage.

Second, all of Skillshare’s courses are online and can be accessed from anywhere. You can also learn photography at your own pace and in your own time.

Third, Skillshare offers a variety of courses for all levels, so you can start with the basics and work your way up. You can learn everything from actual photography techniques like understanding how much light you need in a shot and proper shutter speed to mastering photo editing software.

Finally, Skillshare’s courses are very affordable. You can get a yearly membership for less than the cost of one photography workshop.

Visit our Skillshare review to learn more.

Click here to try Skillshare free for one month.


LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning LinkedIn Learning

LinkedIn Learning offers over 18,000 online courses in a wide range of subjects, and it's a great platform for professionals looking to gain valuable new skills.

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If you’re like most people, you probably think of LinkedIn as a site for job networking. And while that’s certainly one of its uses, LinkedIn is also home to a massive online learning platform called LinkedIn Learning.

With over 13,000 courses covering everything from business to creative skills, there’s a good chance you can find something useful on LinkedIn Learning no matter what your interests are.

If you’re looking at photography as a way to make money, or simply want to improve your photography skills, LinkedIn Learning is a great option.

When it comes to photography, LinkedIn Learning has a number of courses that can help you. For example, there’s a course on photography basics that covers everything from exposure to composition. And if you want to get more specific, there are courses on portrait photography, landscape photography, and more.

Our LinkedIn Learning pricing guide has more info on the platform’s plans and features.

Click here to try LinkedIn Learning free for 30 days.


Coursera Plus

Coursera Plus Coursera Plus

Coursera Plus gives you unlimited access to over 7,000 courses from the world's top universities and organizations.

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If you’re passionate about photography, learning the ins and outs of photography can be a fun and rewarding experience. With Coursera Plus (free 7-day trial), you can take your photography skills to the next level with online courses taught by world-renowned photographers.

Coursera Plus is an ongoing subscription that gives you unlimited access to over 7,000 of Coursera’s best online courses. That means you can take as many courses as you want!

As one of the world’s largest online learning platforms, Coursera has a vast catalog of courses covering everything from business to computer science. What makes Coursera Plus unique is that it gives you access to courses from top universities like Stanford, Yale, and Princeton.

Plus, Coursera Plus gives you access to exclusive features like course certificates, quizzes, and project reviews.

Whether you want to take a beginner-level photography class or something more advanced, there’s something here for you.

You should check out our full Coursera Plus review for more info.

Click here to try Coursera Plus free for 7 days.


More Tips for Learning Photography

While online courses will give you the basics, there are a few more tips that can help make your photography journey easier. Here are some of our favorites:

  • Get familiar with your equipment–Before you can become a true master of photography, you need to take some time to read the manual and practice with your camera. You can also watch YouTube videos that are specific to your camera and photography gear as this is a great way to get some specific tips for making the most of your setup. That way, you’ll be more comfortable when it comes time to taking pictures.
  • Find inspiration–There are a lot of great photographers out there whose work can serve as inspiration for your own. Take a look at what they’ve done and think about how you can apply some of their techniques to your own work. Spend time browsing online portfolios and follow photographers on whatever social media platforms you use.
  • Talk with other photographers–Talking with other photographers is a great way to develop your skills and learn new tricks. You can join online photography forums, attend workshops and conferences led by professional photographers, or simply chat with friends who are also passionate about the art form.
  • Enter a photography competition–Taking part in a photography competition can be a great way to challenge yourself and get some feedback on your work. Look online for competitions that are relevant to the type of photography you do and don’t forget to read through the rules before submitting your entry.
  • Always be practicing–This is probably the most important tip of all, especially for beginner photographers. There’s simply no substitute for actually getting out there and taking photos, so make sure that you’re keeping up your practice. Try different techniques, experiment with different camera settings, and keep learning new things. The more experience you have under your belt, the better photographer you’ll become!


A Final Word on How to Learn Photography Online

Photography can be a rewarding hobby or even a career for many. With the right photography skills, you can tell stories, evoke emotions, and document important moments.

There are many ways to learn photography. You can attend a workshop, take an online course, or even watch YouTube videos. Which option you choose will depend on your budget, schedule, and learning style.

The best part is you can become a photographer without a degree with today’s online learning opportunities.

No matter what option you choose, make sure you find a course that covers the topics you’re most interested in. And don’t be afraid to experiment. Learning photography is all about trial and error. The more you practice, the better you’ll become.

Whether you want to pursue it as a hobby or build a career, photography is a great way to express your creativity and capture memories.

Have any questions about how to learn photography? Leave a comment for us below.

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