Top 33 Paid & Free Online Photography Courses

Online Courses On Screen

If you’re looking to sharpen your photographic skills, it helps to learn from professionals, or at least mentors with an extent of experience in the field.

We’ve made our picks here of the best online photography courses out there, both free courses and paid courses.

Paid Courses:

  1. Udemy: Photography Masterclass, A Complete Guide to Photography
  2. Masterclass: Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
  3. Masterclass: Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography
  4. Udemy: Photography – Become a Better Photographer Part I
  5. Udemy: Photography Beginners, DSLR Photography Camera Settings
  6. Skillshare: iPhone Photography, How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone
  7. Skillshare: EasyDSLR, Master Your Digital Camera in Less Than 30 Days
  8. Creativelive: Fundamentals of Photography
  9. Creativelive: Adobe Photoshop CC, The Complete Guide
  10. KelbyOne: Comprehensive Photography Guide
  11. Masters of Photography Courses
  12. Coursera: Seeing Through Photographs, by Museum of Modern Art
  13. New York Institute of Photography: Professional Photography
  14. New York Institute of Photography: Fundamentals of Digital Photography
  15. Nikon Online Photography School
  16. Leica Academy Online Classes
  17. Olympus Online Sessions
  18. Professional Photographers of America Online Courses
  19. Magnum Photos Online Courses

Free Courses:

  1. Alison: Introduction to Digital Photography
  2. Alison: Diploma in Digital Photography
  3. Skillshare: Frame A Great Shot, Exploring Photo Composition
  4. Skillshare: Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print
  5. Lynda: Photography 101
  6. Lynda: Learning Portrait Photography
  7. Lynda: Introduction to Photography
  8. Coursera: Photography Basics and Beyond, Smartphone to DSLR
  9. Shaw Academy: Online Photography Courses
  10. Reddit Photoclass: Introduction to Photography
  11. David Molnar: Your Photography Mentor
  12. Cambridge in Color: Digital Photography Tutorials
  13. Marc Levoy’s Stanford Lectures on Digital Photography
  14. Harvard’s Digital Photography Course


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

Course Type: Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Udemy’s Photography Masterclass course is a complete A-Z run through of the photographic industry and the skills you’ll need to begin making money.

You’ll start with learning the basics of a camera, what kind of camera and lenses you might need, and any other relevant equipment. From there, you’ll learn about all the different styles of photography to get you thinking about which niche/s you may want to specialize in.

The course also dives into camera settings (DSLR, mirrorless, or others), and even includes teaching you shooting in manual mode. Everything from lighting a scene to mastering stabilization tools are all covered in the course.

With over 40,000 reviews and an average rating of 4.7/5, this complete course is a fantastic resource for both beginners and advanced photographers looking to learn something about photography in general, or a specific niche.

2. Masterclass: Annie Leibovitz

Screenshot of Masterclass: Annie Leibovitz

Course Type: Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Portrait Photography

What better way to learn a new skill than learn directly from one of the all-time-greats.

In this course, Annie Leibovitz, the first ever woman to be named chief photographer for Rolling Stone, outlines all the nuances and details that go into taking incredible images, with a focus on portrait photography.

The course covers a range of topics from the concept of the photo, to how to work and collaborate with your subjects, to how to master natural light.

This course is especially unique because it’s not your average black and white course curriculum. It’s more of a genuine narration from one of the all-time-greats about what to look for and how to take incredible photos. As such this course could be considered more organic, compared to some of the others on this list.

You’ll learn the technical side of photography, the ethical side of photography, and even the personal development side of photography – concepts most other courses don’t teach.

3. Masterclass: Jimmy Chin

Screenshot of Masterclass: Jimmy Chin

Course Type: Beginners, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Adventure, Portrait, & Nature Photography

While Annie Leibovitz’s photography is basically confined to the studio, Jimmy Chin’s adventure and nature photography means the course is geared to being out in the field.

This course takes you on location to teach you his personal techniques for taking incredible photos. Not only that, you’ll learn creative approaches for taking commercial style photos, editorial spreads, and even passion projects.

It’s rare that a course and instructor are out on-site showing you how to handle your camera, yourself, as well as how to work with your subjects, and what to be looking for. It is this ‘on-site’ style that makes the Jimmy Chin’s Masterclass course especially unique.

You’ll not only be learning from a proven professional, you’ll also get to see exactly how he does it, as he walks you through the stories he’s documented.

4. Udemy: Photography – Become a Better Photographer Part I

Screenshot of Udemy: Photography - Become a Better Photographer Part I

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Portrait & Wedding Photography

This course is a set of 50 tutorial videos, each examining a specific DSLR compact camera photography tip.

You’ll be learning composition techniques, understanding lighting, working with natural light, controlling depth of field, avoiding camera shake, and many more fundamental photography concepts.

The course is hosted by instructor Bernie Raffe, an award winning wedding and portrait photographer – so some of the concepts are going to be slightly geared towards these photographic niches.

Another great thing about this course is that it’s only 5.5 hours worth of video content, meaning you can get through the majority of it in a single day (though you’ll need to leave room for practicing). Upon completion, you’ll also receive a certificate to share or use as part of your accreditation.

5. Udemy: Photography Beginners, DSLR Photography Camera Settings

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any style using DSLR cameras

This course aims to develop your photographic confidence in knowing what settings to use on your DSLR camera and when.

You’ll be covering some of the most basic and straightforward concepts of photography such as aperture, ISO settings, and shutter speed. If you’re already familiar with these concepts, this may not be the course for you.

This course however does have requirements, notably that you own a DSLR camera with interchangeable lenses. The course topics all pertain to DSLR photography so if you’re also looking to shoot with a different set of equipment, this course won’t cover some of those other specifics.

6. Skillshare: iPhone Photography, How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone

Screenshot of Skillshare: iPhone Photography, How to Take Pro Photos on Your iPhone

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any style using iPhone and smartphone cameras

This photography course will go over everything you need to take professional photographs using nothing more than an iPhone (or any smartphone with equivalent camera properties).

The course covers the basics of photography as well as tips and tricks showing you how to leverage the power of your smartphone for taking incredible photos.

Through this, you’ll be learning how to optimize your camera settings, creating depth of field, how to use surrounding light, and even how to edit images professionally, all on your phone.

Naturally this course is geared towards beginners and photographic enthusiasts looking to improve their photographic skills without investing in higher quality equipment. If you’re a casual but keen photographer, this just might be the course for you.

7. Skillshare: EasyDSLR, Master Your Digital Camera in Less Than 30 Days

Screenshot of Skillshare: EasyDSLR, Master Your Digital Camera in Less Than 30 Days

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any style using DSLR camera

To truly take incredible photographs, as this course on SkillShare outlines, you’ll need to master the settings of your DSLR camera beyond just auto-mode. To do this, there are a few essential photographic principles you’ll need to be conscious of.

This course is designed to provide you with the basic knowledge of DSLR camera settings and how to apply them to begin taking better photographs.

This includes exposure fundamentals (ISO, aperture, shutter speed), understanding composition techniques, autofocus basics, manual focus basics, and flash photography.

If you’re looking to develop a comprehensive knowledge of your DSLR camera and its settings, this course will help you get there.

8. Creativelive: Fundamentals of Photography

Screenshot of Creativelive: Fundamentals of Photography

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Outdoor & Travel Photography

With over 107 video lessons, each catered to teaching a specific photographic technique, setting, or concept, this online photography course offers a comprehensive overview of photography fundamentals.

Beyond just learning basic concepts like aperture, shutter speed, and image composition, you’ll also be be given non technical advice. This includes what gear to buy and how to develop an efficient photographer workflow.

These last concepts are rarely addressed as they’re not technical and can be a little biased. Nonetheless, hearing advice on these topics from professional photographers will help give you a sense of what equipment others are using and what might work for you.

You’ll also learn to think critically about your personal motivation as a photographer, helping you to develop your photographic process, goals and vision for what you want to achieve.

9. Creativelive: Adobe Photoshop CC, The Complete Guide

Screenshot of Creativelive: Adobe Photoshop CC, The Complete Guide

Course Type: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Taking photographs in many instances is only a part of the photographic process. There is of course the supplementary process of photo editing which doesn’t always receive much attention. In light of this, we’ve identified an effective course for covering all the basics of how to use Adobe Photoshop CC to help you take your images to the next level.

In this course you’ll learn basics like how to edit using layer masks, understanding how blending modes can create cool effects, and how to use filters and do color adjustments (just to name a few fun settings you’ll cover).

Adobe Photoshop CC, once mastered, is an incredibly powerful photo editing tool that can propel your images from amateur status to professional. If you’re looking to dive into these technicalities, this is the course for you.

10. KelbyOne: Comprehensive Photography Guide

Screenshot of KelbyOne: Comprehensive Photography Guide

Course Type: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Worthy of a quick mention, KelbyOne is not a single specific course but rather a collection of over 800 courses covering the photographic industry.

Name any photographic style or software, and KelbyOne has a course dedicated specifically to that area.

We’ve posted a link to the entire site instead of a specific course, because the monthly premium that you pay entitles you access to all 800+ courses. Thus, you’ll be paying for access to their entire archive, as opposed to any single course.

This makes KelbyOne a great platform for photographers looking to experiment with learning new concepts or new photographic styles that you otherwise wouldn’t go out of your way to learn about.

All the courses are taught by professional photographers, so rest assured the information they give is backed up with decades of experience and know how.

11. Masters of Photography Courses

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Similar yet different to the famous Masterclass series, this Masters of Photography set of online photography courses features lessons taught by four prolific professional photographers.

The four photographers are Albert Watson, Steve McCurry, Joel Meyerowitz, and David Yarrow. Each gives insights and lessons into their respective photographic styles. David Yarrow predominantly does black and whites of wildlife and nature photography while Albert Watson and Steve McCurry do a little more portrait photography and storytelling. It’ll be up to you to decide which photographer’s course you sign up for based on your personal photographic style.

While the courses brand themselves as being friendly to photographers of all capabilities, many fundamental photographic concepts are not addressed. For this reason, we’d suggest you have a basic understanding of photography fundamentals before embarking on these Masters of Photography courses.

12. Coursera: Seeing Through Photographs, supported by Museum of Modern Art

Screenshot of Coursera: Seeing Through Photographs, supported by Museum of Modern Art

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Studying photography as a medium and art form

While the majority of the other courses listed here cover topics regarding technical photographic concepts, this course is especially unique in that it aims to address the gap between seeing and truly understanding photographs.

The course is taught by looking closely at 100 photographs from the Museum of Modern Art collection – learning about the photo’s history, meaning, and conceptual framework. You’ll learn about personal anecdotes of successful photographs and ultimately develop a stronger understanding of photography as an expression of art, a tool of science, an instrument of documentation, and a way to tell stories.

As we already mentioned, this course addresses the more macro principles of photography (learning about photography as a medium) rather than the specific technicalities of taking photos. Having said that, by analyzing the great photographs of all time, you will naturally uncover technical insights like image composition and use of lighting.

The instructor of this course is Sarah Meister, the curator for the department of photography at the Museum of Modern Art.

13. New York Institute of Photography: Professional Photography

Screenshot of New York Institute of Photography: Professional Photography

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

This online photography course hosted by the New York Institute of Photography is a comprehensive course that covers everything from introductory to advanced photographic concepts.

The course aims to turn beginner, enthusiast, and passion chasing photographers into qualified professionals. This means teaching you basic technical photographic concepts like exposure, lighting, and lenses and eventually teaching you more advanced topics for building your career like creating a workflow, marketing your work, and finding clients.

More than that, this course covers the basics for virtually all photographic styles. Thus, if you’re a photographer who’s still uncertain of what you want your style to be and you want to learn what’s out there, this course will help you dip your toes in the water, so to speak.

14. New York Institute of Photography: Fundamentals of Digital Photography

Screenshot of New York Institute of Photography: Fundamentals of Digital Photography

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

As outlined in its title, this fundamentals of digital photography course covers, well, the fundamentals of digital photography.

The course aims to transition you from an auto-mode DSLR camera user into a manual mode DSLR camera user. By learning the basic functions of digital cameras, you’ll learn to take higher quality images.

Throughout the course you’ll also work on several projects to help you practice the skills you’re learning. Unlike most other courses, mentors in this course actually provide you with feedback on a lot of your images in order to help you improve your images and figure out exactly what you should be trying to work on.

Thus, if you’re looking for an introductory course that’s hands-on and gives you the chance to interact directly with the instructors, this might be the course for you.

15. Nikon Online Photography School

Screenshot of Nikon Online Photography School

Course Type: Beginner, Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

The Nikon online photography school features a collection of 10 instructional courses each taught by a different photographer. Each course focuses on a different set of photographic principles, styles, and/or techniques.

Thus, the collection in its entirety is fairly comprehensive with courses catering to enthusiastic beginners as well as avid professionals. There are courses covering fundamentals of photography, exploring dynamic landscapes, and even courses covering complex pieces of equipment like the Nikon SB-5000 Speedlight.

As the course is provided by Nikon, its no surprise that all the equipment used in the course is of the same brand. Thus, if you’re a Nikon camera equipment user, many of these courses are perfectly suited for you.

16. Leica Academy Online Classes

Screenshot of Leica Academy Online Classes

Course Type: Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Leica camera oriented

These Leica Academy online courses feature a range of courses that cover mostly intermediate and advanced photography concepts. The courses do cover some basic concepts like exposure and image processing, however keep in mind all the courses are specifically designed for the Leica camera – so these courses make most sense for Leica users.

While most the other courses we’ve featured on here are listed at fairly reasonable prices, the first and starkest difference is that these Leica Academy online classes are not particularly cheap. For this reason, we suggest only signing up for these courses if you have serious interest in advancing your photographic career and have extensive knowledge of photography in general.

If you don’t find yourself falling into this category, there are several other courses listed here you may find better value for money.

17. Olympus Online Sessions

Screenshot of Olympus Online Sessions

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Nature, Wildlife, Portrait, Landscape Photography

The Olympus online sessions classes have have 15 courses that are geared towards understanding both photography concepts, and photography concepts in relation to Olympus cameras specifically. Thus, there are several courses that are applicable to not just Olympus camera users, so even if you use a different set of equipment, there’s applicable teachings here.

Interestingly, Olympus online classes are one of the only set of courses that offer courses in some less popular photography niches. This includes underwater, bird, and starry sky photography – photographic genres that don’t typically receive much love. So, if you’re looking to learn about some fascinatingly nuanced photography genres, this Olympus’ collection of courses might be right for you.

18. Professional Photographers of America Online Courses

Screenshot of Professional Photographers of America Online Courses

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: All Photographic Styles

The Professional Photographers of America course collection is one of the most comprehensive and interesting on this list.

What most courses teach you are the technicalities behind mastering your camera for a given photographic style. What these courses primarily focus on, in contrast to most other courses we’ve listed, is how to navigate the business, social, and marketing side of things. For example, when it comes to say, child photography, how does one build relationships with your subjects, how should you create a positive environment. These courses address everything behind the scenes that you need to get right before you even begin to look through your lenses.

For this reason, you won’t necessarily learn too much about the basics of photography, but you will learn the fundamentals of how you turn your photography into a stable business by growing your brand, understanding the marketplace, and other concepts not typically taught in most photo courses.

19. Magnum Photos Online Courses

Screenshot of Magnum Photos Online Courses

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Photographic Storytelling & Street Photography

Magnum offers a few online courses into advanced photography concepts. The most notable courses Magnum Photos offers includes one course hosted by Alec Soth regarding photographic storytelling and another by a collection of 7 photographers surrounding street photography.

Magnum Photos is a photographic organization that needs no introduction – an institution with decades of deeply seeded roots in photography and itself a brand that stands by genuine quality. For this reason, the reputation that proceeds the agency carries itself, and we thus regard these courses as being extremely high quality.

These courses aim to develop your photographic voice by helping you find the right mindset, framing the unexpected, and mastering the editing process. All of the above are fairly intermediate and advanced concepts, so if you are new to the world of photography, you might be better suited getting started on a course more rudimentary.


Free Courses


20. Alison: Introduction to Digital Photography

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

If you’re looking for a free course that’s going to get you going on all the basic principles of photography, look no further. Alison’s Introduction to Digital Photography online course is free to learn from and covers most of the basic photographic concepts.

This will include identifying the different photographic styles, understanding basic DSLR settings, working with the rule of thirds, and what gear is necessary versus not.

At the end of the course, there is an assessment to help you quantify your learnings. The entire course is covered with 2 modules, that in total have an estimated completion time of 1.5-3 hours. By virtue of not being a particularly extensive online course, don’t expect to learn everything there is to know about photography. This course is simply meant to introduce photographers whom are just starting out into basic photographic concepts.

21. Alison: Diploma in Digital Photography

Screenshot of Alison: Diploma in Digital Photography

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

If you’re looking for a good, free, comprehensive course in digital photography to get you started, Alison offers a complete package with its digital photography diploma.

As an extension of the previous course we highlighted from Alison, this course covers 10 models compared to the just 2 in the former. You’ll dive into working with your camera, how to do image processing and editing with Photoshop and Lightroom, and how to master focal distances (to name just a few of the tens of concepts you’ll learn about).

There are multiple assessments along the way to help you buckle down on a lot of the concepts and ideas you’ll learn about, as well as a certificate of completion. Whether you’re looking to learn photography for the first time or simply quiz your knowledge of photographic concepts, Alison has what you need.

22. Skillshare: Frame A Great Shot, Exploring Photo Composition

Screenshot of Skillshare: Frame A Great Shot, Exploring Photo Composition

Course Type: Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

As proposed in the title, this course from Skillshare focuses primarily on compositional techniques. The aim of the course is to take your photographs from good to great, or, from mediocre to professional. This makes it the perfect course for intermediate photographers looking to gain new insights.

The course covers concepts like finding the right environment, exploring the unexpected, controlling your background, finding cleanliness among chaos, and adding layers and visual elements.

The course’s mentor and instructor is Porter Yates, winner of EyeEm’s Photographer of the Year – so rest assured you’re being taught by someone who know what they’re talking about. The course is only 1 hour in length, so even if some of these concepts are familiar to you, it wouldn’t hurt to revisit and refresh your memory of them.

23. Skillshare: Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print

Screenshot of Skillshare: Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Photographic Storytelling

Of all the courses we’ve featured here on this list, this may the most concise quickest to run through. It’s 25 minutes long and covers what you’ll need as part of your preparation for exploring, a few shooting tips and what to look for, and selecting the best photos for telling the story you want to tell.

The course aims to help you see the ways that you can transform simple exploration trips into opportunities for documenting fantastic stories.

The course is taught by Dan Rubin, New York based photographer, so a lot of the advice and topics are also referenced in the context of the city.

24. Lynda: Photography 101

Screenshot of Lynda: Photography 101 online photography course

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Lynda’s Photography 101 course is as rudimentary as it gets. It covers all the introductory concepts into photography to get you familiar both with your camera, and what it means to be a photographer.

The course covers a range of topics including some as basic as how to hold your camera to the more technical concepts like how to adjust aperture, shutter speed, and ISO settings on your camera. You’ll also learn how to properly use flash and how to begin thinking creatively like a photographer.

The course is only 2 hours long and has been viewed by as many as 900,000 people, making it an almost staple course to run through for making sure you understand the basics of photography.

25. Lynda: Learning Portrait Photography

Lynda: Learning Portrait Photography free online photography course

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Portrait Photography

In this course you’ll learn about all the techniques that go into taking a quality portrait photograph.

This will include how to go about finding a good spot for taking the photo, making great lighting, the kind of cameras you should choose to use, and even how to make your subjects feel comfortable. After the course is complete, you should have a good idea of what it takes to make people look better in photos and how to keep them comfortable during the process – an often overlooked dynamic that comes with working with people as the subjects of your photos.

Because this course is entirely catered to the portrait photography style, it makes sense you have some interest in the area before engaging with the course. Though, the course is only 1.5 hours long, so there isn’t much to lose by engaging with it.

26. Lynda: Introduction to Photography

Screenshot of Lynda: Introduction to Photography

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

In this 2 hour course, you’ll run through all the basic photographic concepts. The course is strictly designed for beginners to give them a solid grounding in what skills and tools they’ll need to succeed as digital photographers.

The course deals with technical details like light metering, focusing, and composition, as well as some of the theory behind these concepts. You’ll even be reviewing good portraiture photography and how to enhance images through image editors.

If you’re new to the photography space and need a comprehensive introduction, this course will have everything you need.

27. Coursera: Photography Basics and Beyond, From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization

Screenshot of Coursera: Photography Basics and Beyond, From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Documentary Photography

Whether you’re the kind of photographer who shoots with their smartphone or with a pro-grade DSLR camera, this course will be running you through the photographing basics (exposure, composition, and understanding creative concepts) in complete detail.

While other courses on this list, and especially in the free section, tend to be shorter and more brief online courses, this course, being provided by Michigan State University, takes roughly 6 months to complete (at a pace of 4 hours per week). This might be important to keep in mind as the course is designed to give enough time to practice the concepts you learn online.

By completing the course, you’ll receive a Certificate of Specialization from Michigan State University – to add to your resume of accreditation.

28. Shaw Academy: Online Photography Courses

Screenshot of Shaw Academy: Online Photography Courses

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Shaw Academy has a comprehensive catalog of online photography courses that cover everything from the basics to image processing and editing. A one-stop-shop if you will, loaded with courses to cover any photographic concept you’re looking to experiment with to see if it interests you.

The most obvious pro of enrolling in a course catalog like Shaw Academy’s is the opportunity to explore new photographic styles and risk-free software. When you’re already paying access to this diverse range of learning material, it doesn’t hurt to try something new. The flip-side is that these courses will likely be generic walk-throughs, so you won’t be getting to engage with your digital mentors on a personal level.

If you’re new to photography and want to learn everything there is to know about everything – best start somewhere like Shaw Academy where you’re free to roam the plains of photography information.

29. Reddit Photoclass: Introduction to Photography

Screenshot of free online photography course Reddit Photoclass: Introduction to Photography

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Now, if you’re in the market for an online photography course that’s a little more community focused, that is, a course not designed, owned, or supported by any photographic institution, this Reddit Photoclass just might be what you’re looking for.

The Photoclass has been running since 2010, when it was first requested on the popular community forum Reddit. Photographers were requesting an all inclusive online course that gave a breakdown of photography for any beginner looking to penetrate the space.

One photographer, Alex Buisse, who’s shot for many popular name brands, designed this 30 module course in response to popular demand. It has since been massively attended and highly touted by other photographers. For this reason, Alex’s course has earned a spot on our list.

30. David Molnar: Your Photography Mentor

Screenshot of David Molnar: Your Photography Mentor

Course Type: Beginner Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

David Molnar, a once successful commercial photographer for several household name brands, designed this photography course to cover all the fundamentals of photography for new shooters.

The course focuses on 3 core areas. Mastering your camera, mastering the image editing process, and mastering natural light. By exploring each of these 3 areas in depth, the course gives you a thorough understanding of the fundamentals of photography to help improve your images’ quality.

The course has received positive reviews from the majority of its participants, earning it a mention on our list.

31. Cambridge in Color: Digital Photography Tutorials

Screenshot of free online photography course Cambridge in Color: Digital Photography Tutorials

Course Type: Beginner & Intermediate Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

If you’re looking for a course that covers the photography basics in clinical fashion, this might be the resource for you. You’ll learn about photography terminology, concepts, equipment, editing, post processing, printing, styles – getting you a complete and thorough overview.

Compared to many of our other courses featured on this list, this course provided by Cambridge in Color is almost exclusively text based. That is, the course is entirely communicated via on page text (as opposed to audio or visual lessons). While there’s nothing wrong with this approach, keep in mind that to go through all the courses will mean a lot of reading. As a result, this course is the one that feels most like a university grade researching resource.

If you don’t mind reading and what to learn everything surrounding the basics of photography, you’re just one click away from doing so.

32. Marc Levoy’s Stanford Lectures on Digital Photography

Screenshot of Marc Levoy's Stanford Lectures on Digital Photography

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

Ex-Google principal engineer and Standford lecturer Marc Levoy, recorded all his lectures on photography and has featured them here on Youtube for free. An incredible outline of photographic concepts and how they work.

Now, this is literally a university level course. You will be diving into comprehensive detail on several photographic concepts, like shutter speed, and learning about, almost to a fault, everything there is to know about each concept. Will you ever need to know the physics behind why cameras work they way they do? Or even the functions behind calculating aperture? Probably not.

So, while this course goes into a deeper level of detail and understanding than any other course on this list, it may in fact be too much information for you with little example of real world application. We thus only recommend this course for intermediate and advanced photographers.

33. Harvard’s Digital Photography Course

Screenshot of free online photography course Harvard's Digital Photography Course

Course Type: Intermediate & Advanced Photographers

Photographic Niche: Any photographic style

There is a growing trend among top universities to offer some of their courses to the public at no cost in the name of bettering society and furthering the knowledge and understanding of certain topics. This online photography course put out by Harvard back in 2015 covers a range of intermediate photographic concepts.

The course offers PDF text versions, as well as narrated videos via Youtube – depending on the kind of learner you are. The course covers the artistic aspect, scientific foundations, and techniques of digital photographing.

You may have never attended Harvard or had the chance to learn photography while you were there, but nonetheless, here is your chance to see what you might’ve missed!


Written by Leighton Emmons

Featured photograph by Nick Morrison

To read more helpful articles on photography, check out our blog page.

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