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10 Online Courses that Will Make You a Better Photographer

Marianne Stenger
31st August 2018

Although pursuing a formal education isn’t strictly necessary in order to succeed as a photographer these days, there are still some important technical and practical skills you’ll need to develop if you want to take your photography to the next level.

Fortunately, there’s a multitude of affordable tutorials and learning programs available online that will teach you the basics and also help you develop more advanced photography skills like studio lighting, flash photography, and using editing software effectively.

So if a traditional photography degree isn’t an option for you due to time or financial constraints, here are ten online photography courses that will help you become a better photographer.

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

Whether you’re a total newbie to photography or already have a good understanding of the basics, this photography masterclass will provide you with a strong foundation to build on.

The course includes 21 hours of on-demand video as well as downloadable resources that will teach you how to photograph in a variety of scenarios both indoors and outdoors, light your subjects using flash and natural light, compose strong images, and edit them professionally.


2. Introduction to Digital Photography, Allison

If you’ve just purchased your first serious DSLR and are wondering where to start, this free course is a great introduction to the basics of photography and will help you make the most of your camera’s features.

Aside from helping you understand all the buttons on your new camera, Introduction to Digital Photography will teach you the origins of photography and help you understand different photographic styles and the work of well-known photographers.


3. Seeing and Shaping Light, Creative Live

Photography would be nothing without light, so gaining a better understanding of how to work with and manipulate light is essential to your development as a photographer. Seeing and Shaping Light is taught by successful fashion photographer Lisa Adler and will help you understand the science behind lighting, including the direction, length, and depth of shadows, and the most important considerations for working with natural light.


4. National Geographic Masters of Photography, The Great Courses

This course, developed by some of National Geographic’s top photographers, provides an insight into the process used by NatGeo photographers, from researching your subject to putting it all together and getting the shot. Masters of Photography will also guide you through the essentials of composition and lighting, including techniques for action shots, silhouettes, and portraits, as well as harnessing the light at different times of day.


5. License your photos online: Create photographs that sell, Udemy

If you plan to sell your images, whether through stock photography, printed and digital copies, or photo books, this course can help you build a strong portfolio and start earning a passive income through your photography. License your photos online covers the dos and don’ts of selling your work online as well as setting up and managing your online portfolio.


6. Photoshop for Photographers, New York Institute of Photography

A big part of creating a strong photograph is editing it skillfully, and this course from the New York Institute of Photography is a great guide to the most popular photo editing software. Photoshop for Photographers will teach you how to get the most out of your photographs with guided tutorials that cover everything from cropping and sizing to retouching and masking.


7. The Art of Mobile Photography, Udemy

Many of us now use our mobile devices for majority of photos we take, so if you’re looking to improve your mobile photography and simultaneously build your social media following, this short course could be just what you need. With the Art of Mobile Photography you’ll brush up on your photography basics and also develop creative techniques that can be applied to your mobile device.


8. Lighting with Flash: On Location from Close Up to Portrait,

Flash photography can be a tricky even for more experienced photographers, but this course can help you understand that basics and also encourage you to start experimenting with different methods. Lighting with Flash will teach you how to use flash in a variety of situations and introduce you to various flash lighting techniques, from strobes and umbrellas to soft boxes.


9. Photography Composition & Portrait Photography Masterclass, Udemy

If you want to learn more about how to compose your photographs and create striking portraits, the Photography Composition & Portrait Photography Masterclass is an excellent option. You’ll learn how to see more creatively, how light can affect your photographs, how to compose stronger images, and how to create images in colour and in black and white.


10. Design - Applying Design Principles, Alison

If you’re hoping to start designing your own photo books, whether your goal is to sell them, use them to show off your best work, or just preserve your family memories, this course can help. Applying Design Principles will introduce you to important design concepts such as composition, balance, contrast, and hierarchy, and prepare you to tackle your own design projects.