Photography Courses Online

Top 24 Photography Courses Online

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Photography Courses Online have become an essential resource for aspiring photographers. Learners/prospective photographers can now, at the comfort of their home, learn what they are most passionate about, photography.

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Why Study Photography?

Photography courses are beneficial for various reasons, including learning industry skills, gaining qualifications, and being creative.

Some established photographers have qualifications on their CVs, which can be required when applying for jobs.

Courses also encourage creativity and adding to your portfolio. Freelance photographers can earn between $30,000 to $100,000 a year, and teachers can understand current ways to make money through photography.

List of the Top 24 Photography Courses Online

Below is a list of the top 24 photography courses online:

Top 24 Photography Courses Online

1. Udemy: Photography Masterclass, A Complete Guide to Photography

  • Cost: $139.99
  • Duration: 20 hours

The Photography Masterclass on Udemy is a comprehensive course designed for both beginners and advanced photographers.

It is created by Phil Ebiner, William Carnahan, Video School, and Sam Shimizu-Jones, and it  covers a wide range of topics related to photography.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Understand how cameras work and what gear you need.
  • Master shooting in manual mode and understand your camera.
  • Learn to photograph in different scenarios like family portraits, landscapes, aerial, product, and more.
  • Compose images beautifully using basic photography rules.
  • Light your subjects with flash and natural lighting.
  • Edit your photos professionally.
  • Discover how to make money with photography.

Whether you use a smartphone, mirrorless camera, or DSLR, this course will help you take amazing photos and stand out from the crowd.

2. Masterclass: Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

  • Cost: $180 for an annual subscription
  • Duration: 20 lessons, each lesson is approximately 12 minutes long

Annie Leibovitz, the renowned photographer, offers an online photography MasterClass where she shares her expertise on portraiture and storytelling through images.

In her class, you’ll learn about working with subjects, shooting in natural light, developing concepts, and enhancing images during post-production. 

3. Masterclass: Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

  • Cost: $180 for an annual subscription
  • Duration: 20 lessons, each lesson is approximately 12 minutes long

Jimmy Chin, the renowned National Geographic photographer and climber, offers an exciting MasterClass on Adventure Photography.

In this course, he shares his techniques for planning, capturing, and editing breathtaking photos during outdoor adventures.

Key topics covered in the course include:

  • Shooting on location
  • Composition
  • Gear and lenses
  • Editing techniques

4. Udemy: Photography – Become a Better Photographer Part I

  • Cost: $19.99
  • Duration: 2 hours

“Photography – Become a Better Photographer – Part I” on Udemy is a fantastic course for amateur photographers.

It offers over 50 video tutorials covering specific DSLR or compact camera photography tips.

What you’ll learn

  • To explain camera settings
  • To demonstrate easy tips for getting sharp images
  • To show how an understanding of light and composition is worth more to you than a whole bagful of camera accessories.
  • Raise awareness of the possibilities for taking great photos
  • To demonstrate easy ways of taking amazing outdoor portraits
  • To show some great ways of getting better landscape photos
  • To provide tips on getting better flash photos indoors
  • To show how to take better photos in specific environments (e.g snow, indoors by a window etc…)
  • To help understand image quality, resolution and the different camera types.
  • To realize the great potential, you have for becoming a great photographer.

5. Udemy: Photography Beginners, DSLR Photography Camera Settings

  • Cost: $19.99
  • Duration: 1 hour

 This course covers essential photography settings, including adjusting aperture, ISO, and shutter speed.

You’ll gain confidence in using your DSLR camera and capturing beautiful photos in various lighting conditions.

What you’ll learn

  • Finally feel super confident with your camera and what photography settings you need
  • Know your photography settings for beautiful photos when it’s bright and sunny
  • Have confidence choosing the right photography settings for low light situations
  • Know how to adjust your photography settings to make the background blurred for lovely portraits
  • Be aware what photography setting to change when you want to photograph more than one person
  • Enjoy creating photography effects like the motion of water while photographing waterfalls.
  • Know how to use a flashgun for indoor photography at night.

6. Skillshare: iPhone Photography, How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone

  • Cost: Free with a 7-day trial, then $15/month or $99/year
  • Duration: 1 hour

“iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone” is a fantastic Skillshare course by Dale McManus, a professional photographer and cinematographer.

In this class, you’ll learn essential techniques to capture stunning photos using just your iPhone.

This course is designed for:

  • Beginners that have little to no experience and want to become a skilled photographer without spending thousands of dollars on expensive camera equipment.
  • Anyone that wants to develop a more impressive portfolio or social media account (i.e. Instagram).
  • Anyone that wants to turn digital photography into a career. 

Here’s some of what you will learn:

  • How to take stunning photos by utilizing shot composition.
  • How to optimize your iPhone camera settings for taking the best photos.
  • How to create depth in your photography
  • How/Why the best photographers tell stories in their photos.
  • How to utilize surrounding light to properly light your subjects
  • How to professionally edit photos in Lightroom (free) on your iPhone.
  • Tips, tricks, and much more!

7. Skillshare: EasyDSLR, Master Your Digital Camera in Less Than 30 Days

  • Cost: Free with a 7-day trial, then $15/month or $99/year
  • Duration: 4 hours

“EasyDSLR: Master your Digital Camera in less than 30 days” is a comprehensive course taught by Kenneth Schultz, a photographer and instructor.

In this class, students will learn essential principles and techniques to take good photos with their DSLR camera.

The course covers topics such as:

  • Introduction to DSLR cameras
  • Essential items
  • Composition tricks
  • Exposure fundamentals (ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed)
  • White Balance (WB) Basics and setting custom WB
  • Autofocus basics
  • Manual focus
  • Understanding Depth of Field
  • Flash photography and the use of diffusers

The class consists of 14 lessons totaling approximately 4 hours and 15 minutes.

8. Creativelive: Fundamentals of Photography

  • Cost: $149
  • Duration: 24 hours

“Fundamentals of Photography” is a comprehensive course taught by seasoned photographer John Greengo on CreativeLive

Students will learn about the different aspects of photography and how they contribute to capturing high-quality images.

They will learn about the technical aspects, such as understanding camera settings and controls, as well as the artistic aspects, such as composition and visual storytelling.

They will also learn about different techniques and tools to enhance their photography skills.

9. Creativelive: Adobe Photoshop CC, The Complete Guide

  • Cost: $149
  • Duration: 16 hours

Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide is an extensive course led by Ben Willmore on CreativeLive. 

In this class, students will delve into the world of Adobe Photoshop CC, a powerful program perfect for photo editing.

After this class you will be able to:

  • Use layer masks to manipulate your images and edit photos.
  • Understand how Blend Modes can help you create cool effects.
  • Learn about the various tools and panels.
  • Discover the secrets of smart objects.
  • Use filters to fix problems and create eye-catching effects.
  • Learn about color adjustments, such as hue, saturations, and lightness.

10. Coursera: Photography Basics and Beyond, Smartphone to DSLR

  • Cost: Free with a 7-day trial, then $49/month or $499/year for Coursera Plus subscription which includes access to all courses on Coursera platform
  • Duration: Approximately 22 hours

“The Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization on Coursera” is designed to help students build a solid foundation in digital photography.

This Specialization covers a broad range of fundamental principles in photography, from camera control to principles of composition and creativity, providing students with a foundation for growth in making photographs they will be proud to share.

Upon completion, students will receive a Certificate of Specialization from Michigan State University. Plus, subscribers who finish the entire specialization, including the Capstone, will enjoy substantial discounts on photography equipment and accessories through industry partners.

11. Coursera: Seeing Through Photographs, by Museum of Modern Art

  • Cost: Free with a 7-day trial, then $49/month or $499/year for Coursera Plus subscription which includes access to all courses on Coursera platform
  • Duration: Approximately 14 hours

The Seeing Through Photographs” course offered by The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) on Coursera delves into the fascinating world of photography.

In this course, students will closely examine 100 photographs from MoMA’s collection, gaining insights into their creation, context, and impact.

Through original films and audio interviews, students will explore the diverse roles photography has played over its 180-year history: as art, science, documentation, storytelling, and communication.

What you’ll learn

Understand artists’ processes and the choices that inform a photograph’s making, including experimentation and responses to technological innovation.

Learn how context influences the production, circulation, and reception of photographic images.

Understand the relationship between a photograph’s subject and meaning, and the differences between photographs as objects and photographic images.

Gain confidence in looking at and talking about photography and find inspiration from photographs all around you.

12. New York Institute of Photography: Professional Photography

  • Cost: $1,599 (or $199/month for 8 months)
  • Duration: Approximately 12 months

This online photography course is a comprehensive program that teaches students how to take control of your camera.

Students also get to learn the secrets of exposure, lighting and lenses.

Students will receive training on proper composition as they learn how professional photographers create the perfect shot in all conditions.

The course offers an introduction to a wide variety of different photographic genres – weddings, nature, landscapes, wildlife, portraits, studio, still life and more.

13. New York Institute of Photography: Fundamentals of Digital Photography

  • Cost: $699 (or $87/month for 8 months)
  • Duration: Approximately 6 months

The Fundamentals of Digital Photography course offered by the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) is designed to help students master your digital camera.

In this beginner photography course, students will learn the basic functions of your camera, enabling you to shoot in manual mode and capture higher-quality images of people and places around you.

Professional photographers will guide students in seeing the world through a photographer’s lens, whether they’re just starting out or have been taking photos for years.

14. Nikon Online Photography School

  • Cost: Free

Nikon Education offers a range of online photography courses for both beginners and advanced photographers.

Whether you’re looking to master new techniques, understand your camera better, or enhance your photography skills, Nikon has you covered.

You can watch lessons on your computer, tablet, or smartphone and learn at your own pace. 

15. Harvard’s Digital Photography Course

  • Cost: Free

Harvard University offers a Fundamentals of Digital Photography course that covers the essentials of photography.

The course is designed for students who want to master the technical aspects of photography.

The course delves into topics such as exposure, optics, digital cameras, color, and more.

16. Professional Photographers of America Online Courses

  • Cost: $27.99/month or $299/year

Professional Photographers of America (PPA) offers an extensive collection of over 350 HD, educational photography videos and webinars.

Whether you’re interested in marketing strategies, lighting techniques, or other aspects of photography, PPA has an online course for you!

As a PPA member, you can access these resources anytime and watch them as many times as needed.

Additionally, PPA provides curriculums to help photographers create a more profitable and sustainable business.

These curriculums cover topics such as entrepreneurship, branding, and the psychology of sales.

17. Alison: Introduction to Digital Photography

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 10-15 hours

Alison’s free online course, “Introduction to Digital Photography”, is a fantastic resource for mastering the technicalities of photography.

In this course, you’ll learn how to:

  • Discuss the origins and early history of photography.
  • Describe different photographic styles and identify works by famous photographers.
  • Define the ‘Rule of Thirds’.
  • Identify the parts of a DSLR camera and understand their functions.
  • Appreciate the importance of good file and photo management.
  • Explain the role of the ‘Creative Commons’ icon in photography.
  • List key equipment needed for a photo shoot.
  • Understand how sensors work in a DSLR and the difference between ‘full frame’ and ‘crop sensor’ cameras.

18. Alison: Diploma in Digital Photography

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 10-15 hours

Alison’s Diploma in Digital Photography is a free online course that covers the art of digital photography and how to refine your photographs using Adobe Photoshop.

Course Content:

  • Introduction to Digital Photography: Explore the history of photography, different photographic styles, and camera basics.
  • Working with Your Camera: Understand command modes, the relationship between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO.
  • Introduction to Photoshop and Lightroom for Photographers: Learn navigation, image management, and basic preferences in Photoshop and Lightroom.
  • Refining Your Photographic Techniques: Dive deeper into concepts like depth of field, focus, and hyperfocal distances.
  • Refining Your Photographs Using Photoshop: Post-production techniques including cloning, removing objects, and using filters.

19. Skillshare: Frame A Great Shot, Exploring Photo Composition

  • Cost: $19/month or $99/year
  • Duration: 1 hour 11 minutes

Frame a Great Shot: Exploring Photo Composition is an inspiring one-hour class on Skillshare, taught by Porter Yates, EyeEm’s Photographer of the Year.

In this class, Porter shares insights and tips on capturing images that evoke intrigue, whether you’re shooting digital, film, or Instagram.

The topics covered include:

  • Finding the Right Environment
  • Exploring the Unexpected
  • Controlling Your Background
  • Adding Layers and Visual Elements
  • Making the Viewer Ask Questions

This class isn’t about technical camera settings; it’s a creative exploration to help you develop your eye for compelling imagery and enhance your photography skills. 

20. Skillshare: Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print

  • Cost: $19/month or $99/year
  • Duration: 1 hour 7 minutes

Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print is a Skillshare class taught by Dan Rubin, a designer and travel & lifestyle photographer.

In this class, Dan shares insights on capturing everyday moments and turning them into compelling visual stories.

Here’s what you’ll learn:

  • Prepping to Shoot for the Day
  • Shooting in Soho
  • Selecting Your Photos
  • Editing Your Photos
  • Printing & Digitally Publishing Photos

21. Lynda: Photography 101

  • Cost: Free with a LinkedIn Learning trial
  • Duration: 2 hours 51 minutes

Photography 101 is a course that helps you understand the fundamentals of photography.

It covers topics like adjusting aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, controlling autofocus, using buttons to change focus and shooting modes, and even creative aspects of photography.

The course aims to make you more comfortable with your camera and improve the quality of your photography.

22. Lynda: Learning Portrait Photography

  • Cost: Free with a LinkedIn Learning trial
  • Duration: 2 hours 30 minutes

Led by Levi Sim, a renowned portrait photographer, this course covers techniques for creating extraordinary portraits.

It focuses on identifying light, helping people look their best, and maintaining a comfortable atmosphere during portrait sessions.

23. Marc Levoy’s Stanford Lectures on Digital Photography

  • Cost: Free
  • Duration: 18 hours

Marc Levoy, a renowned computer graphics researcher and professor, delivered a captivating series of 18 lectures on digital photography.

These lectures were part of his Stanford course CS 178 and were recorded at Google in Spring 2016.

The topics covered scientific, artistic, and computational aspects of digital photography.

24. Cambridge in Color: Digital Photography Tutorials

  • Cost: Free

Cambridge in Colour offers a comprehensive collection of digital photography tutorials that cover various aspects of photography.

These tutorials emphasize concepts over procedures, making them valuable for both beginners and advanced photographers.

Here are some key topics covered:

  • How Your Camera Works
  • Digital Camera Sensors
  • Camera Exposure (Aperture, ISO & Shutter Speed)
  • Camera Metering
  • Depth of Field
  • Camera Lenses (Focal Length & Aperture)
  • White Balance
  • Autofocus

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there any free online photography courses available?

Yes, there are free photography courses available online. Some platforms offer free courses or trial periods for paid courses.

Do I need expensive camera equipment to take online photography courses?

Not necessarily. Many courses are designed to be accessible to those with basic camera equipment, including smartphones.

How long do online photography courses typically last, and can I learn at my own pace?

Course durations vary, ranging from a few weeks to several months. Most online courses allow you to learn at your own pace, which is one of the advantages of online learning.

Do online photography courses offer certificates or credentials?

Many online courses offer certificates upon completion. These certificates can be valuable for your portfolio and resume, especially if you're considering a career in photography.


Many online courses include discussion forums, live Q&A sessions, and instructor feedback which provides students with opportunities to engage with instructors and peers.

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