15 BEST Online Photography Courses [For ALL Skill Levels!]

Bradley Williams
Written By:
Bradley Williams
Last Updated:
April 7, 2023
This is the ultimate rundown of the best online photography courses currently available. Ranging in price and skill level, find the perfect one for you!
best online photography courses

Interested in becoming a better travel photographer?

Whether you’re aspiring to become a professional photographer, or simply looking to take better smartphone photos, there's a lot to learn from an online course.

Ranging from just one hour, right up to a full 10 week course, and everywhere in the middle.

There are courses geared towards all kinds of skill level, including:

  • Absolute beginners
  • iPhone/smartphone users
  • Professional DSLR users

There are also value-packed paid courses taught by the best photographers in the world.

And free crash courses for people who simply want to learn the manual functions of their new blogging camera

No matter what you’re looking for, there is an online photography course for you on this list!

But first up …

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4 Things To Consider Before Buying an Online Photography Course

1.  What type of photography do you want to learn about?

When deciding which online photography course to take, you’ll want to at least have some idea of what type of photography you want to learn about. 

For example, if you’re really interested in wildlife photography, then you should probably look for a course that specifically teaches that

The same process applies to other types of photography, including portrait, action, fashion, and travel photography, etc. 

However, if you’re not 100% sure exactly what type of photography you want to pursue, that’s okay- you can also take a general online photography course that covers the basics, and a little bit of everything. 

One way to go about it is to first take a general photography course, get a feel for the type of photography you'd like to do, and then take a more specialized course from there. 

2. How long is the course?

Not all online photography courses are created equal- some courses you can complete in less than an hour, others will take over a month! 

If you’re looking for more of a photography crash course, then you’ll probably want to opt for a shorter course. 

However, if you’re looking to get really in-depth, then there are plenty of long term online photography courses as well. 

Whatever you’re looking for, it's always a good idea to have a number of hours in mind that you’re willing to invest into the course. That way you get the most out of whichever one you choose. 

3. Does the course offer a certificate?

If you’re looking to get into the business side of photography, then you might consider taking a photography course that offers a certificate upon completion.

This can be an excellent resume builder, and also help you to get your foot in the door for some photography gigs! 

There are plenty of online photography classes that offer this but you'll want to check in advance before you buy.

4. Do you need to take a beginner, intermediate, or advanced course?

Another important factor to consider when choosing from the best online photography courses, is if you need to take a beginner, intermediate, or advanced level course! 

If you’re an absolute beginner, then you should take a photography course for beginners. You don’t want to get thrown into something you don’t understand yet by taking a course beyond your current skill set! 

On the flip side, if you’re an advanced photographer looking to hone in some specific skills, there are courses tailored to more advanced students, so you don’t have to recover the basics that you already know.

No matter your level of photography skill, it’s all about getting the most out of the online course you choose- and picking the right course for your skill level is the best way to set yourself up for success.

The 15 BEST online photography courses

1. Fundamentals of Photography - Best all around course for beginner photographers

Fundamentals of Photoraphy Online Course

The Fundamentals of Photography is a great choice if you're looking for the best online photography courses for beginners. It's perfect for those yet to pick up a camera!

This in-depth course teaches the technical basics of cameras and camera equipment, as well as how to take incredible photos manually with your camera. 

The course is taught by John Greengo, an award-winning photographer who not only teaches the technical aspects of photography in the course, but also an awareness of the difference between the human eye, and the camera, to make you an intrinsically better photographer. 

With how in-depth this course is, it’s also quite long, clocking in at just over 24 hours, so this is definitely a course you can take your time with!

Fundamentals of Photography Course Lessons and Instructor

Price: $$

Key Features:

  • 107 video lessons across 24 hours of class time
  • Teaches the technical basics of cameras and camera equipment
  • Teaches about shutter speed, aperture, and image composition
  • Covers how to work with beautiful natural light
  • An in-depth course for beginner photographers
  • Lifetime course access with purchase

2. The Outdoor Photography Experience - Great for learning about outdoor photography

The Outdoor Photography Experience Class

If you’re interested in outdoor photography, the Outdoor Photography Experience is an in-depth course taught by one of the world's best outdoor photographers, Chris Burkard. 

This photography course covers a lot, from the type of gear to bring on big photography trips, to social media, to the literal skills needed to take amazing outdoor photographs. 

Throughout the course, Chris Burkard covers how to shoot in a variety of different outdoor settings, including from the ocean, shooting stars and night photography from Glacier Point, and how to shoot from the water. 

The business aspect of photography is also touched on in this course! Chris shares how to market and sell your photography, use social media to promote your photos, and he even covers how to use Adobe Lightroom for post-processing images. 

Overall, this 11 hour course covers a LOT of different types of material, and will leave you with a pretty broad understanding of the ins and outs of shooting outdoor photography in a huge variety of settings.

The Outdoor Photography Experience Course Lessons and Instructor

Price: $$

Key Features:

  • 11 hours long with 29 video lessons
  • Covers shooting from the ocean
  • What gear to bring on photography trips
  • How to shoot stars and night photography 
  • How to market and sell your photos
  • How to use Lightroom

3. iPhone X: The Quick Guide to Great Photos + Video - Best course for iPhone photography

Iphone Photography Course

If you own an iPhone or similar smartphone, you already own a powerful camera that’s capable of taking extremely high quality photos- you just might not know it! 

This online photography course teaches you exactly how to use your iPhone to take amazing photos, and utilize your smartphone to its full potential. 

In addition to teaching you some technical aspects of photography, this course will also teach you some posing techniques for groups, kids, adults, and families, as well as how to take advantage of natural lighting for both indoor and outdoor portrait photography. 

It also covers how to take great landscape shots! 

The iPhone X course is only 1 hour long, so even if you don’t have a lot of time, this is a great course to completely up your smartphone photography skills.

Iphone Photography Course Lesson and Instructor

Price: $

Key Features:

  • 12 video courses totaling 1 hour of class time
  • How to use your iPhone’s photography features
  • Posing techniques for portraits
  • How to work with natural lighting 
  • How to edit your iPhone photos

4. Adventure Photography Pro - Great for intermediate photographers who want to master the art of adventure photography

Adventure Photography Pro Course

Adventure Photography Pro is an in–depth online photography course taught by Alex Strohl, an adventure photographer with a unique style. 

This course shares “what it takes to make iconic work.” 

With advice on gear (like best drones to travel with, and best GoPro/alternatives), tips on shooting in the field, and visual storytelling and editing.

Strohl covers a wide array of topics relevant to current or aspiring adventure photographers. 

Additionally, he covers how to edit your photos, and dives deep into the business side of adventure photography- making this a great online photography course for adventure photographers who want to make a career out of their work.

Due to the more advanced nature of the course, it's not suitable for people who don’t yet know how to use a camera.

If you’re a day 1 beginner but still interested in this course, consider taking one of the more beginner-friendly courses on this list first to get you up to speed so you can make the most out of this one!

Adventure Photography Pro Course Instructor

Price: $$$

Key Features:

  • 53 HD video lessons spread across 7 hours of video
  • Adventure photography
  • Covers visual storytelling, editing, and the ins and outs of shooting in the field
  • Teaches how to make a business out of adventure photography
  • Not for beginners

5. The Art of Wildlife Photography - Best online photography course for aspiring wildlife photographers

The Art of Wildlife Photography Course

Taught by Tom Mangelsen, one of the best wildlife photographers of this time, The Art of Wildlife Photography is a course for people who want to learn exactly how to capture animals in their natural habitat. 

This course first covers a bit about Mangelsen’s life and experience with wilderness photography to provide a little context. 

Then, it dives deep into what gear to bring when shooting wildlife, and covers the specifics of shooting over 6 different kinds of animals in their natural habitats. 

The course also covers a variety of portfolio critiques, in order to provide viewers with the skills needed to critique their own images.

Essentially, if you’re interested in learning how to ethically and responsibly find and capture wild animals in their natural habitat, this course is for you!

The Art of Wildlife Photography Course Instructor

Price: $$

Key Features:

  • Wildlife photography course for intermediate level photographers
  • Teaches where to find animals in their natural habitats and how to capture them
  • Covers what exactly it takes to be a wildlife photographer 
  • How to get your work in front of people

6. Travel Photography Course - Best long-term online photography course for all levels

Travel Photography Course Home Page

Travel Photography Course is one of the most in-depth and extensive online photography courses you can take. 

Over the course of 10 weeks, award-winning professional photographer Laurence Norah walks you through ALL the levels it takes to achieve remarkable photos. 

Because this course starts with the absolute basics and expands through some pretty advanced photography, it's suitable for all levels! 

This course starts with how to choose your gear, how exactly to use it, lighting and composition, and how to shoot specific scenes. 

In the advanced photography section, it covers astrophotography, how to shoot the moon, and even the Northern Lights

At the end of the course, the business of photography is covered, including how to build a website, market your work, and exactly how much to charge for your photos. 

One of the best things about this course (in addition to the material) is the lifetime access to an exclusive Facebook group where you have the support of thousands of other members.

Travel Photography Course Syllabus.jpg

Price: $$$

Key Features:

  • 10 week extensive travel photography course for all levels
  • Access to an exclusive Facebook photography group
  • Covers everything from how to shoot specific scenes to astrophotography and shooting the Northern Lights
  • Covers how to market your photos to pursue a career in photography
  • Suitable for all types of photography, not just travel

7. Beginners Start Here - Best short free online photography course for beginners

Beginners Start Here is an online photography course designed to take beginner photographers beyond shooting in Auto mode, and provide a better understanding of how to use a camera. 

Over the course of 9 video lessons in just under 2 hours, professional photographer Scott Kelby covers everything from camera settings and exposure compensation to lenses and the ideal F-stop recipe for any condition. 

If you’re an absolute beginner, this photography course is a great way to take your camera skills to the next level.

Beginners Start Here is also a fantastic option if you're looking for FREE online photography courses! 

Kelbyone Beginners Course Lessons

Price: Free! 

Key Features:

  • Free beginner photography course
  • Teaches how to shoot without using Auto mode
  • 9 video lessons over 1 hour 49 minutes

8. The Beginner Photographers Crash Course - Quick online photography course for beginners

The Beginner Photographers Crash Course

The Beginner Photographer’s Crash Course is just as the name suggests- an online photography crash course designed to teach beginners how to use and understand their cameras better than ever. 

The course instructor, Kara Plicanic is an enthusiastic professional photographer who is experienced not only behind the camera, but also with teaching! 

Throughout the course, she covers different camera settings, how to use all your camera's functions, what pixels are, different photo sizes and resolution, as well as how to download your photos and keep them organized. 

If you’re looking for a quick yet extensive photography course that will teach you your way around a camera, this is a fantastic option.

The Beginner Photographers Crash Course Lessons and Instructor

Price: $

Key Features:

  • 24 video lessons over the course of 5 hours
  • Teaches all the different functions of your camera
  • A great beginner photography course
  • Covers the significance of different photos sizes and resolution
  • Tips on downloading and storing your photos

9. The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop - Best course if you're looking to learn the ins and outs of Photoshop

The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop Course

Adobe Photoshop is an extensive editing program that can seem extremely daunting at first. The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop is a course that breaks down Adobe Photoshop into easy to understand chunks that will leave you feeling like a photoshop master upon completion. 

Over the course of 21 video lessons in 25 hours, this course will take you through everything there is to know about Adobe Photoshop. 

By the end of it, you’ll be able to “make ordinary images look extraordinary” with the skills taught in the class. 

Some of the specific topics taught in this course include how to use camera RAW, how to use layers and layer masks, color adjustments, and more. 

The course will also cover how to automate repetitive actions, in order to streamline the editing process and make you a more efficient photographer.

The Complete Guide to Adobe Photoshop Course Instructor

Price: $

Key Features:

  • Adobe Photoshop masterclass suitable for all levels
  • 21 video lessons spread across 25 hours
  • Will leave you feeling confident with Adobe Photoshop
  • Covers everything from compositing to masking to troubleshooting and more

10. Elevate your Photography - Teaches the artistic aspects of photography with a unique approach

Elevate your Photography Udemy Course

Elevate your Photography is an online photography class suitable for all levels, that takes a unique teaching approach from all the other courses on this list. 

This course studies 100 different photos and analyzes their success, and shows how exactly to apply the methods in the photos to your own photography. 

This course is really about the artistic side of photography- covering topics like lighting and intent, shadow, color, and movement. 

While this course is suitable for all levels of photography, it does not cover basic camera settings- those are best and easily learned in another course!

Elevate your Photography Udemy Course Curriculum

Price: $$

Key Features:

  • Studies 100 different professional photos and analyzes their success
  • Teaches the artistic aspects of photography 
  • Suitable for all levels (but does not cover basic camera settings)
  • 2 hours of videos
  • Suitable for both DSLRs and smartphones! 

11. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography - Best for portrait photography

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photograph Class

If you’re interested in learning portrait photography from the best, Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography is for you. 

Annie Leibovitz is an award winning photographer, known for her portraits of John Lennon, and also for being the first woman to become chief photographer of the Rolling Stones- to name just a few of her accolades! 

In this course, Leibovitz goes in-depth about the philosophy behind taking incredible portrait photos. Concepts like working with subjects, natural lighting, and photographing loved ones are all covered in this course. 

This course is best for photographers who already know their way around a camera, are interested in shooting portraits and want to improve their portrait photography. 

Price: $$$

Key Features:

  • 15 video lessons across 3 hours
  • Intermediate-advanced level course on portrait photography
  • Covers the philosophy of portrait photography 

12. Photography Masterclass - Excellent online photography course for absolute beginners

Photography Masterclass Udemy Course

If you’re looking for a truly well-rounded online photography course - consider taking the Photography Masterclass.

Geared towards absolute beginners, this course will take you from not even knowing your camera settings, to being able to shoot amazing photos! 

This course will take you through how to shoot a variety of scenes, including family portraits, landscapes, wildlife, products, aerial shots, and more

It will go over how to use lighting to your advantage, how to edit your photos, and even how to make money with photography! 

There is even a smartphone portion of the course- meaning no DSLR camera is required. You can apply everything in this course to taking great photos with your smartphone.

Photography Masterclass Udemy Course Curriculum

Price: $$$

Key Features:

  • 24 hour long course
  • Geared towards absolute beginners
  • Covers how to shoot in a variety of scenes, editing, and making money with photography
  • Course can be completed with just a smartphone

13. R-Photoclass - Best free course for beginners who like learning in a group setting

R-Photoclass Intro to Photography Class

R-Photoclass (also known as Reddit Photoclass) is a little different from other courses on this list. 

This completely free class consists of 30 modules that run you through the basics of camera settings, exposure, focus, post-processing, and more. 

Unlike other courses, this is not a video course! All of the lessons are for you to read through, with an assignment at the end to work through and actually practice what you’ve learned. 

This is a great option for people who don’t like the video learning aspect of other courses. 

What makes this class extremely unique, is that it's taught live every year on Reddit! Essentially, anyone who is interested starts the course on January 1st every year, and works through the lessons and assignments in a group forum, where they can get feedback from other professional photographers and fellow students. 

It’s a unique and great way to learn photography, and combines the accessibility of an online photography course with the beneficial learning environment of a classroom setting, all in one!

If you're looking for free photography courses then make sure you check this one out! 

Price: Free!

Key Features:

  • Free photography class taught through 30 readable modules
  • Every year a live version of the class is offered starting on January 1st
  • Covers everything from how to use a camera, to exposure, post-processing, and more
  • Assignments after every lesson

14. Master Mobile Photography Bootcamp - Online photography course for smartphone cameras

Master Mobile Photography Bootcamp

Master Mobile Photography Bootcamp is all about taking your smartphone photography to the next level.

In this course, you will learn to get the most out of your smartphone's camera and capabilities, including how to take professional level smartphone photos, edit your images, and learn about 3rd party camera apps. 

This course is suitable for beginner photographers, and photographers with any smartphone- not just iPhones!

Master Mobile Photography Bootcamp Instructor

Price: $

Key Features:

  • 19 HD video lessons across 3 hours
  • Smartphone photography class
  • Learn to take amazing photos and also edit them with your smartphone
  • Covers 3rd party camera apps 
  • Suitable for beginners with any type of smartphone

15. Foundations of a Working Photographer - Best for aspiring professional photographers

Foundations of a Working Photographer Course

If you’re interested in building a career as a photographer, Foundations of a Working Photographer is for you.

This online photography course starts with the basics: aperture, speed, and your way around a camera. 

It then dives deeper into photography: lenses, composition, your subject, and natural lighting and headshots. 

After teaching some technical aspects of photography, this course gets into the business of the art; how to build your photography portfolio, market yourself, and how to run a business as a photographer! 

While this course starts with some basics, you’ll get the most out of it if you’ve already taken a camera crash course. 

Foundations of a Working Photographer Course Instructor

Price: $$

Key Features:

  • 25 HD video lessons and 17.5 total hours of content
  • Covers everything from camera basics to lenses, subjects, composition, and headshots
  • How to build your photography portfolio
  • The ins and outs of photography as a business and marketing yourself

Photography course FAQs

Are online photography courses worth it?

Yes. Many professional photographers are self taught, or have learnt from online photography courses like these ones listed. 

How much do online photography courses cost?

Online photography courses range from completely free to a few hundred dollars. 

What online photography course is best?

It depends what you’re looking for! An absolute beginner photographer is going to want a different photography course than a more advanced photographer who wants to take it to the next level. 

There are plenty of online classes to choose from, but for beginners, the Fundamentals of Photography is one of the best courses out there. 

Can you learn photography online?

Absolutely. These online courses are designed to give you all the skills you need to learn photography!

What do you do in an online photography class?

While each course looks a little different, you typically watch a series of video lessons or tutorials, and at the end of each lesson go out and practice the skill you learned. 

Many lessons have “homework” or assignment prompts at the end of each lesson, designed to help you really learn what the lesson covered.

Which photography course will you go for?

That concludes our list of the best digital photography classes! 

Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or an absolute beginner, there is an online photography class out there for you.

Now over to you…

Do you have any more questions about online photography courses?

Which of these online photography courses are you most interested in?

Drop a comment and let us know!

Once you've decided, you can test out your new skills in some of the fantastic places that this world has to offer. We'd highly recommend Norway, Alaska, and Canada

If you've enjoyed this guide then we've got plenty more where that came from:

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Some images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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