Online Photography Classes for Beginners and Pros

Photography is a hobby that can bring endless hours of fun and enjoyment. It also serves as a fantastic career choice with the opportunity to make a superb living.

To learn photography, it is possible to simply pick up a camera and start taking photos. Using this approach, however, you may miss some of the basics that can only be learned through photography tutorials. For example, how would you learn about important techniques such as the rule of thirds? Moreover, you may not learn fully how to operate your DSLR camera and use its advanced features.

This is why enrolling in online photography classes is a fantastic idea. Photography classes provide an excellent means of learning this discipline in-depth. You can gain superb insight into the techniques and processes involved. Furthermore, online photography classes allow you to get to know your camera and its settings.

Benefits of online photography classes

In ages past, photography classes were held at institutes, colleges or educational facilities. You would have to go to night school for example. Now, we have an amazing range of free photography classes and photography training online. Users can train from the comfort of their home and learn at their own pace. Furthermore, the photography courses can be accessed from anywhere – you are not confined to a physical location or classroom.

14 top online photography classes

Now that you understand why online photography school is beneficial, we can dive into the different photography tutorials available. There are a plethora of different photography training courses available. We have gathered a list of the top choices available.

These courses specialize in an introduction to photography – you will learn the basics. If you are looking for advanced photography classes or specialist learning these courses may not be suitable.

1. R-photo class

  • Class name – Introduction to Photography
  • Main areas covered – Cameras types, focal length, exposure, focus
  • Price – Free

R-photo class is one of the best online photography classes available. This superb class is completely free and simple to follow. This series of extensive photography tutorials are broken down into 8 sections – introduction, exposure, focus, using the camera, post-processing, vision, and conclusion. Each section has a myriad of different sub-categories.

The material is predominantly written – each section contains a detailed set of text complete with some stunning photographic examples. Furthermore, R-photo provides a myriad of useful links to other learning materials and inspiration for photos.

2. Udemy Introduction to Photography Course

  • Class name – Introduction to Photography
  • Main areas covered – Photography basics, technique, camera modes, etc.
  • Price – Free

Udemy is one of the top platforms for online classes. This platform offers a superb array of different classes including photography tutorials. The introduction to photography course is extensive and contains a wealth of information.

Within the course, you will look at live demonstrations, videos, and illustrations. Areas covered include basic camera setup and function, shooting techniques, camera modes, and compositional techniques. Moreover, there is a range of practical lessons too. If you want to further your photography knowledge, Udemy also offers a myriad of coursed extensions that are relatively cheap.

3. Photographycourses – Beginner Photography Course

  • Class name – Beginner Photography Course
  • Main areas covered – Composition rules, camera setup
  • Price – Free

These free photography classes actually contain 10 individual lessons. Each lesson contains a specific theme and delves into the subject in detail. This photography class literally takes you from the beginning right through to advanced techniques. To start with, students learn how to build a camera resource library and purchase the best model. They then progress to understanding the importance of light, the exposure triangle, and ISO sensitivity. Each lesson contains a perfect balance of written material, images and video.

4. Lynda: Practicing Photographer

  • Class name – A Complete Guide to Photography
  • Main areas covered – Various
  • Price – Free Trial

The Practicing Photographer is an excellent series created by author Ben Long. Students can preview this course for 30 days – after that, a subscription is required. The 30-day free trial is certainly worth it. Students can choose from a myriad of different courses including looking at the light, choosing a camera, street photography, reflections, and shooting techniques.

Students can learn basic techniques but anything through to advanced features and functions too. Furthermore, there is a full transcript and the photography classes can be viewed offline.

5. Annie Leibovitz Master Class

  • Class name – Annie Leibovitz Teaches photography
  • Main areas covered – Light, Camera settings, Portrait, Composition
  • Price – $140.00

Annie Leibovitz is a renowned photographer and has worldwide acclaim. Furthermore, the Masterclass website is well-known for creating exceptional classes in a myriad of different fields. Therefore, a masterclass with this photographer is clearly going to be excellent quality and value for money. This is one of the more expensive photography classes, but the content is amazing.

Within this class, students learn the following – portrait photography, working with light, studio and location photography, camera angles, and technical photography. Students will benefit from Annie’s awesome insight and skills. Moreover, there is a myriad of case studies too.

6. Kelbyone: Learn Photography, Lightroom & Photoshop

  • Class name – Learn Photography, Lightroom & Photoshop
  • Main areas covered – Practically anything
  • Price – $9.99 per month

KelbyOne is an online learning center founded by Scott Kelby. This platform doesn’t just provide one course – it offers a myriad of different lessons based on photography. Moreover, students can also learn post-processing techniques with programs such as Luminar and Lightroom.

Lessons students can enroll in include landscape, Lightroom, portrait, lighting, flash, drone photography, business & marketing photography, and camera gear. This is just a small selection – there is a great choice. Beginners could consider choosing the “Beginners start here” photography lessons. These lessons take you through the basics, from camera settings and exposure to basic color techniques. The KelbyOne teaching method is easy to follow and exceptional value for money.

7. Cambridge in Color Photography Courses<

  • Class name – Various
  • Main areas covered – Various depending on the class taken
  • Price – Free

Cambridge in Color is an online learning community for photographers. This community has a wealth of information and a series of awesome free online photography courses. The tutorials sections contain a myriad of different subjects and walkthroughs. Example walkthroughs include camera lenses, camera exposure, aperture, ISO, depth of field, histograms and using natural light.

Each course contains a myriad of written information combined with images and diagrams. The material is worded fantastically and the contents are easy to read. What makes the Cambridge in Color community such a great choice is the sheer volume of tutorials available. There is hundreds of different pages and material to browse through.

8. Harvard University Introduction to Digital Photography

  • Class name – Introduction to Digital Photography
  • Main areas covered – Digital camera function, photography styles
  • Price – Free

Harvard University is a renowned institute within the United States educational system. This university also provides a myriad of interesting classes for free. One such course is their photography school which presents an introduction to digital photography. The course is now provided by Alison, but the original material was created by Harvard University.

In total, students will work through 12 different modules. Each module includes a myriad of videos, written work, and practical studies. Examples of modules include the rule of thirds, photographic styles, a history of photography, and basic DSLR settings. Once a student has completed this extensive digital photography school, they will have excellent knowledge of DSLR cameras and how to compose magnificent photos.

9. Skillshare Photography Composition

  • Class name – Photography Composition
  • Main areas covered – Basics of photo composition
  • Price – Free

Skillshare is another renowned company that provides a plethora of useful classes. Their crash course in photographic composition is excellent if you already have an understanding of basic camera functions.

This is one of the best online photography courses because it is concise and contains important info. The composition is one of the most important aspects of photography – it is fundamental you must learn.
Within this photography class, users will watch 5 different videos – each of which is a minimum of 23 minutes long. Each video contains superb information relating to composition – from basic techniques to geometry and lines.

10. Creative Live: Fundamentals of Photography

  • Class name – Fundamentals of Photography
  • Main areas covered – Camera types, camera systems, shooting modes
  • Price – $99.00

Creative Live has developed possibly one of the best online photography courses in existence. This series of amazing photography lessons includes 107 different sections. Students are taken through the basics – from how a camera works, and different features; through to composition, photography rules, and camera settings.

Furthermore, users look at different photography nuances such as depth of field, aperture, focal length and subject zone. This is not an online photography degree, but it is just as extensive. The information contained within is fantastic and will give students an amazing insight into photography.

11. Shaw Academy Photography Course

  • Class name – Various
  • Main areas covered – Depth, composition, manual mode, colors, camera functions
  • Price – Dependant on the class chosen

The Shaw Academy provides a myriad of different technology-based classes. Their photography class actually provides a professional diploma and is quite cheap for the different lessons you receive. The class is split into four different modules starting with an introduction and progressing through to a proficient class.

12. Udemy – Your Road to Better Photography

  • Class name – Your Road to Better Photography
  • Main areas covered – lighting control
  • Price – $10.99

This is our second Udemy course and has a slightly different theme to their beginner’s guide. This course concentrates specifically on lighting. Lighting is a key aspect of photography – a student can learn how to operate a camera, but they must also learn how to use lighting to their advantage. The course includes 28 minutes of video, 4 individual articles, and several downloadable resources.

When taking this photography class, students will come to learn about the relationship between ISO, aperture and shutter speed. Moreover, they will look at how the three work together, and what happens when they change one setting. For just $10.99, we feel this course is excellent value. Furthermore, it teaches students valuable lessons about basic photography.

13. Craftsy – Basics of Digital photography

  • Class name – Basics of Digital Photography
  • Main areas covered – Camera features, lighting, and settings
  • Price – $37.16

Craftsy is an online community dedicated to tutorials relating to the arts and crafts. The Basics of Digital Photography is one of the best online photography courses we have seen. It costs just $37.16 which is fantastic value considering the information provided. Within this digital photography lesson, students gain 9 streaming video lessons, printable class resources and hours of instruction.

The 9 different lessons include – getting to know your camera, light & exposure, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, shooting modes, Lenses, Composition and, putting it all together. On completion, students will have an excellent understanding of photography basics and how to compose images.

14. Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual

  • Class name –Start shooting in Manual
  • Main areas covered – Manual shooting with a DSLR camera
  • Price – Free

This course from Go Create Academy is a little more advanced – this course is perfect if you already understand the basics and how to operate a camera. The class is completely free and contains over 4 hours of material. Jerad Hill leads the course – he is a photographer who has 6 years’ experience shooting professional wedding photos. If you want to use your DSLR camera to its full potential, Ditch Auto is an amazing and worthwhile course to enroll in.

Enrolling in a digital photography school could be the best thing you ever do. If you love photography, taking online photography courses can really help you learn the subject thoroughly.

Don’t forget that it is also beneficial to learn how to use post-processing software too. Once you have taken your photos, transforming them using processing software such as Luminar 3 can take your photography to the next level. You can actually try Luminar 3 now for free and see how this fantastic editing program works.