Top Online Photography Courses: Beginner's Guide
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 8 min read


  1. What is an online photography course?
  2. How to choose the right course
  3. Top online photography courses for beginners
  4. Benefits of online photography courses
  5. Recommendations for advanced courses
  6. Free vs. paid courses
  7. How to make the most of your course

Snapping a stunning shot involves more than just pointing and clicking a camera. It's a combination of understanding light, composition, and the magic of the right moment. If you're eager to improve your skills and take your photography to the next level, the best photography online courses for beginners are an ideal place to start. Let's dive into the world of online photography courses and discover how they can help you capture the world through your lens.

What is an online photography course?

An online photography course is a digital class where you get to learn the art and science of taking great photographs. These courses offer the perfect mix of convenience and knowledge, making it easy for beginners to start their journey into photography. They cover a wide range of topics, from the basics like understanding your camera and lenses, to more advanced techniques such as composition and lighting.

One of the best parts about online photography courses is that they're open to everyone. You don't need to own the latest, top-of-the-line camera gear to start; even your smartphone will suffice. All you need is an interest in photography and a willingness to learn.

So, what can you expect from the best photography online courses for beginners? Here's a quick rundown:

  • Understanding Your Camera: This usually involves learning about different types of cameras, how they work, and how to use them effectively.
  • Composition Basics: This involves learning how to frame your shots, use different angles, and leverage the rule of thirds to create visually appealing images.
  • Lighting Techniques: Knowing how to use natural and artificial light can drastically improve the quality of your photos. This typically includes lessons on how to work with shadows and highlights.
  • Editing and Post-Processing: Once you've taken your photos, you'll need to learn how to edit them. This might involve color correction, cropping, and other adjustments to enhance the final image.

Remember, the best photography online courses for beginners are designed to be engaging, informative, and—most importantly—fun! They're all about helping you discover the joy of photography, one click at a time.

How to choose the right course

With so many online photography courses available, choosing the right one might feel a bit like finding a needle in a haystack. Don't worry, though—with a little bit of guidance, you'll be able to find a course that matches your needs perfectly.

First, think about what you want to learn. Are you interested in mastering the basics, or are you more drawn to a specific type of photography, like portrait or landscape photography? Knowing your goals will help you narrow down your options.

Next, consider your learning style. Some people prefer a more structured approach with assignments and deadlines, while others might find a self-paced course more suitable. This is an important factor to consider as it can greatly affect your learning experience and the progress you make.

Finally, don't forget to check the credentials of the course instructor. It's always a good idea to learn from someone who not only has a deep understanding of photography but also knows how to teach it effectively.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind when choosing the best photography online courses for beginners:

  • Course Content: Ensure the course covers all the basics you want to learn. Check the syllabus or course outline for details.
  • Instructor's Expertise: Look at the instructor's background and reviews. It's best to learn from someone who has both practical and teaching experience in photography.
  • Learning Pace: Determine whether the course is self-paced or instructor-led. Choose what suits your learning style and schedule.
  • Cost: While there are free courses available, some might require a small fee. Be sure to consider this in your decision.

Remember, the goal is to find a course that will help you grow as a photographer. With the right course, you'll be capturing breathtaking shots in no time!

Top online photography courses for beginners

So, you've decided you want to dive into the world of photography and you're looking for the best place to start. No worries, I've got you covered. Here are some top-notch online photography courses perfect for beginners.

If you're looking to get a solid foundation, "Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR" by Michigan State University might be a good match. This course is part of a special program but you can also take it individually. It covers everything from understanding how your camera works to the principles of composition.

For those interested in more artistic aspects, you might find "Seeing Through Photographs" by The Museum of Modern Art intriguing. This course is not about camera settings or editing techniques. Instead, it's about using photographs for artistic expression.

If portrait photography piques your interest, "Natural Light Portraits" could be the course for you. This course focuses on how to use natural light to take stunning portraits, a great skill for any budding photographer.

Lastly, if you're looking to capture the beauty of our world, consider the "Landscape Photography" course. This course will teach you how to use your camera to bring out the magic in the world around you.

These are just a few examples of the best photography online courses for beginners available. Each course has its unique approach and focus, so pick the one that resonates with your interests the most. Happy learning!

Benefits of online photography courses

Let's talk about why online photography courses are such a great way to kick-start your journey into photography. There are several key benefits that make these courses a great option for beginners.

Flexibility: One of the biggest advantages of online courses is that you can learn at your own pace. You don't have to rush through a lesson because the class is ending, nor do you have to wait for others to catch up. You can pause, rewind, or revisit any lesson as needed. This is perfect if you have a busy schedule or if you prefer to learn at your own speed.

Access to Experts: Many online courses are taught by seasoned professionals who have been in the field for years. They share their expertise, tips, and tricks, which you can leverage to improve your skills. It's like having a personal mentor, just a click away.

Variety: The internet is filled with a vast array of photography courses. Whether you're interested in landscape, portrait, wildlife, or even astrophotography, you'll find a course that suits your interests. This wide variety ensures that you can find the perfect course for your unique photography goals.

Affordability: In comparison to traditional classroom courses, online photography courses are often more affordable. Some are even free! This makes it easier for beginners to start learning without breaking the bank.

So, as you see, online photography courses offer numerous benefits, making them an excellent starting point for anyone looking to delve into photography. Remember, the best photography online course for beginners is the one that aligns with your interests, fits your learning style, and meets your budget. Happy shooting!

Recommendations for advanced courses

Once you've mastered the basics and are ready to take your photography skills to the next level, it's time to dive into some advanced online courses. Here are a few recommendations to help you continue your photography journey.

MasterClass: Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography: This course is a fantastic opportunity to learn from one of the most influential photographers of our time. The class covers a wide range of topics, from creating concepts and working with subjects to shooting with natural light and post-production editing.

Creativelive: Advanced Techniques with Lindsay Adler: Adler is a renowned fashion photographer, and her online class focuses on advanced lighting techniques. You'll learn how to create bold, dynamic images that stand out.

Udemy: Adobe Lightroom Classic CC & CC: Photo Editing Masterclass: If you're ready to dive deep into photo editing, this course is a gem. It covers everything from organizing your photos to advanced editing techniques.

The Great Courses: National Geographic Masters of Photography: This course features lessons from various National Geographic photographers. It's a fantastic opportunity to learn various styles and techniques from some of the best in the field.

These are just a few of the many advanced courses available online. Remember, the best photography online courses for beginners are just a stepping stone. As you continue to grow and develop your skills, there are endless resources available to help you on your journey.

Free vs. paid courses

So, you've decided to explore the world of photography through online courses, but you're not sure whether to opt for free or paid ones. Let's take a look at the pros and cons of both to help you make an informed decision.

Free Courses: As you can guess, the biggest advantage of free courses is that they're easy on your wallet. You can learn at your own pace and try out different aspects of photography without making a significant monetary commitment. For instance, websites like Coursera and Khan Academy offer free photography courses that give you a good understanding of the basics. The downside? Free courses may lack depth, and often don't offer any form of certification or feedback from instructors. They're great for getting your feet wet, but might not offer the comprehensive knowledge that paid courses do.

Paid Courses: On the flip side, paid courses often provide a more in-depth learning experience. They usually come with experienced instructors, detailed course materials, student forums, and sometimes even one-on-one feedback. Websites like MasterClass and Udemy offer some of the best photography online courses for beginners, where you can learn from world-renowned professionals. However, these courses can be somewhat pricey. But remember — investing in your education is never a bad idea, especially if you're serious about pursuing photography.

The decision between free and paid courses ultimately depends on your personal goals, budget, and how far you want to take your photography skills. Whether you choose a free or paid course, there's no doubt that the best photography online courses for beginners can provide a solid foundation for your photography journey. Happy snapping!

How to make the most of your course

Alright, you've picked one of the best photography online courses for beginners. Now, how do you ensure you're getting the most out of it? Here are some tips to help you maximize the benefits of your course:

Plan Your Time: Online learning offers flexibility, but it also requires self-discipline. Set a schedule, stick to it, and try to keep up with the course pace. A regular study routine can help you absorb the material better and keep you motivated.

Participate Actively: Many online courses provide student forums or discussion groups. Don’t be shy—join in! It’s a great way to learn from others, share your work, and get feedback.

Practice Makes Perfect: Photography, like any other skill, improves with practice. After each lesson, take your camera and start shooting. Try to apply what you've learned and experiment with different techniques.

Ask for Feedback: Don’t hesitate to ask your instructors or peers for feedback on your work. Constructive criticism can help you identify areas for improvement and enhance your skills.

Use the Resources: Many courses provide additional resources like reading materials, video tutorials, and quizzes. Make the most of these to deepen your understanding of the course content.

Have Fun: Last but not least, enjoy the process! Photography should be fun. Embrace the learning process, don't be afraid to make mistakes, and celebrate your progress.

No matter which of the best photography online courses for beginners you choose, remember that the key to success is your commitment, practice, and passion. So go ahead, dive into the wonderful world of photography and create some magic!

If you're eager to start exploring the world of photography and want to learn from a seasoned professional, we highly recommend checking out the 'Introduction To Photography' workshop by Adam Thomas. This comprehensive beginner's course will guide you step-by-step through the essentials of photography, helping you develop your skills and take stunning photos in no time.