Which online photography course is the best?
Photography is a fulfilling hobby and, for some people, a great way to earn extra money on the side or as a full-time profession. However, if you are just starting out, finding the best online photography course can be difficult. After all, there are a lot of things to consider, like the skill level required and the types of photography covered in the course. If you are a beginner who wants to learn photography from the basics, check out the Complete photography: 21 courses in 1 [Beginner to Expert] on Udemy.
What to know before buying an online photography course
When it comes to taking a photography course, there are countless subjects available. Some courses teach you how to set up and use different types of cameras, including the one on your smartphone. Others focus on how to create a complete composition.
More comprehensive or advanced courses delve deeper into the basic concepts of the art as well as the types of lenses you should use depending on the types of photos you want to take. There are also courses that teach you how to edit photos with graphic design programs or expert-level techniques for taking photos in low-light or fast-paced environments.
Ask yourself what you want to learn before signing up for a course. If you’re not sure, make a list that includes everything you think might be interesting. For example, you might want to learn the technical side of the job and camera angles, or you might want to focus on shooting sharper images. Once you have an idea of what you want, check out the course’s online syllabus to see if it’s right for you.
Some online photography courses only teach theoretical concepts, but many require students to have at least a basic camera. Generally, the requirements will be listed in the course description or in a separate online tab. Even if the course does not require a camera, it is a good idea to have a smartphone or a basic DSLR camera so you can practice what you learn and hone your skills.
Besides equipment, you may also need to understand the basics of photography before taking a course. Some online instructors build multiple courses on top of each other, which means they expect students to understand previous source material before taking a more advanced course. That said, you can always try different courses until you find one you really like.
Learning photography takes time and practice. The course should indicate how long it will take, on average, to complete. However, most courses usually don’t factor in practice time, so be prepared for that.
Websites like Udemy will list the total number of lectures, individual sections, and total course duration. The duration varies by course, but many photography courses will last five hours or more. On the plus side, you can usually go back and listen to previous lectures as often as you like and at your own pace.
Most online courses are in video format, although some have downloadable PDFs or audio files you can listen to instead.
What to Look for in a Quality Online Photography Course
Many online courses, including photography courses, list the level or difficulty right below the title or on the main page. Levels generally range from beginner to intermediate to advanced. Some classes are kid-friendly and tackle simpler concepts in a more relaxed and fun way. Read course details before purchase to ensure it matches your current skill level.
Modules and courses
Coursera and Udemy, as well as similar online educational sites, have a section where you can view course content divided into modules and lessons. Each module will typically reference a key concept and then be broken down into smaller lessons that flesh out that concept.
For example, if you’re taking a basic photography course, the first module might be about navigating a camera’s settings and features. Within this module, there could be separate lessons for settings, features, etc. Read the different modules and lessons to better understand the whole course.
Depending on the platform, there may be certification or college credit available with the photography course. However, most sites will require payment or membership first. If you want to take a course so you can advertise your skills on a professional site like LinkedIn, a certificate might be ideal for your profile or resume.
How much you can expect to spend on an online photography course
Some courses on Coursera are free or come with a free trial, but they don’t include a certificate. If you want a certificate through this platform, expect to pay $59 per month. Udemy courses cost between $10 and $200.
Online Photography Course FAQs
If not, how can I learn photography?
A. Read books or watch YouTube tutorials on photography and camera operation to supplement your skills. More importantly, go ahead and start practicing. You can also join or form a party and work together to improve your skills. If you want more of a challenge, consider hiring a professional mentor to teach you more advanced photography techniques and concepts.
What equipment do I need for photography?
A. If you’re just starting out, you need to have a camera, tripod, camera bag, and some suitable lenses to take different types of photos in different lights. You can find a decent entry-level camera with a lens kit that includes an 18-55 millimeter lens and a standard zoom feature.
What are the best online photography courses to buy?
Best Online Photography Course
What do you want to know: This massive online course offers a comprehensive view of photography and has several sections that will teach you about key photography concepts.
What you will love: This course covers everything from the basics of photography to learning about HDR photography and Adobe Photoshop. He also teaches different types of photography, including landscape and portraiture. Along with this there is a module on different ways to make money from photography.
What you should consider: It’s a long course with over eight hours of videos, but it comes with lifetime access. The sound is sometimes weak.
Or buy: Sold by Udemy
Best online photography course for the money
What do you want to know: Designed for beginning photographers, this course details the basics of taking photos and preparing your camera for future shots.
What you will love: With approximately 19 hours of content, this course offers separate readings, quizzes, and videos. It’s the first of five courses, so it lays the groundwork right from the start with lessons on camera settings, viewpoints, and framing your photos.
What you should consider: The quizzes are simple and the course is aimed primarily at beginners.
Or buy: Sold by Coursera
Worth checking out
What do you want to know: If you are interested in a short course on landscape photography, this course is for you.
What you will love: With 45 minutes of content, this online course teaches the basics of landscape photography. The course is divided into sections, including one on camera settings and another on how to create a composition.
What you should consider: Those taking the course should already own a DSLR camera and understand the basic settings and features.
Or buy: Sold by Udemy
Register here to receive the weekly BestReviews newsletter for helpful tips on new products and great deals.
Angela Watson written for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their buying decisions, saving them time and money.
Copyright 2022 BestReviews, a Nexstar company. All rights reserved.