Wherever you’re at in your photography journey, there’s always more to learn. Maybe you need to brush up on fundamentals, or dive deeper into a specific area like flash photography, or even find ways to make your photography business more lucrative. Fortunately, you have several high-quality options available online, and they don’t require a college tuition to access. The best online photography classes for you will vary depending on your learning style, your current skill level, and the time and resources you have to dedicate to your education. To help you find classes that will fit your needs and allow you to push through to the next level in your photography journey, we’ve put together a brief overview of a wide range of online photography course platforms.
Let’s get started!
Best Online Photography Classes for All Levels
- SLR Lounge Premium
- Lynda (now LinkedIn Learning)
1. SLR Lounge Premium
What kind of online educators would we be if we didn’t believe that our own workshops are the best online photography classes out there? With SLR Lounge Premium, we’ve taken all of the education we use to train our staff of shooters, editors, and sales, marketing, and admin teams and put them in a step-by-step, A-Z online video format. We supplement this education with exercise files and community support to round out the learning. What you get is a blueprint for real-world success in portrait and wedding photography.
Popular or Recommended Courses on SLR Lounge Premium:
- The Wedding Photography Training System
- The Flash Photography Training System
- The Photography Business Training System
- Lightroom Mastery
- Complete Posing Workshop
- Subscriptions range from $348/year to $999/lifetime
- Individual courses from $35
After making a workshop with Fstoppers and collaborating with their team on multiple projects over the years, we know first hand how much time and production value they put into their courses. It’s one of the reasons they’ve become a go-to resource for their community of 1.5 million-plus photographers.
Each Fstoppers course thoroughly examines topics like landscape photography, lighting, editing, and more in standalone workshops, with additional courses available to dive deeper into the subject. One series that utilizes this approach is called “Photographing the World.” The first course in the series opens with an overview of landscape photography and post-processing techniques before looking more closely at cityscape and astrophotography, as well as advanced editing techniques, in Photographing the World courses 2-4. The education is top-notch and the imagery is inspiring. What’s not to love?
Popular or Recommended Courses on Fstoppers:
- Perfecting the Headshot with Peter Hurley
- Photographing the World 1: Landscape Photography and Post-Processing with Elia Locardi
- How to Photograph Real Estate and Vacation Rentals with Mike Kelley
- Mastering Macro Photography: The Complete Shooting and Editing Tutorial with Andres Moline
- Individual courses from $74
CreativeLive is still offers some of the best online photography classes out there, as well as other creative courses. Within their library of 1,000+ photography and video classes, you can find in-depth courses on everything from posing and lighting setups to fine art photography techniques, all taught by handpicked industry pros like Sue Bryce, Roberto Valenzuela, Lindsay Adler, and even our own Pye Jirsa. One of their most popular photography courses, Fundamentals of Photography with John Greengo (which we’ll link below), has had over 131K students and boasts a 99% recommendation rate from those students. Those numbers speak for themselves. Definitely give CreativeLive a try.
Popular or Recommended Courses on CreativeLive:
- Fundamentals of Photography with John Greengo
- Newborn Photography Bootcamp with Kelly Brown
- 28 Days of Portrait Photography with Sue Bryce
- Adobe Photoshop CC: The Complete Guide with Ben Willmore
- Individual courses from $69 with bundles available for additional savings
- Subscriptions from $12.42/month (when billed annually)
Masterclass famously brings in leading experts and the best talent in their respective fields to teach specially designed courses. Want to learn to sing, take Mariah Carey’s class. Feel like learning to play basketball, say hello to instructor Steph Curry. Aspiring photographers can learn portrait photography from Annie Leibovits and pick up adventure photography tips from the one and only Jimmy Chin. These are easily two of the most well-known and respected photographers working within the portrait and adventure photography genres. Be sure to check out our review of Leibovitz’s and Chin’s courses via the links for more info.
A Masterclass membership will give you access to over 150 courses, each consisting of approximately twenty 10-minute videos and a detailed workbook. The production value is tops (worthy of the talent on screen), and while Masterclass doesn’t offer as many photography-centric courses as some of the other options on this list, what they do have still manages to make the list of the best online photography classes you can find. Plus, their library of courses continues to grow.
Popular or Recommended Courses on Masterclass:
- Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography
- Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography
- Tyler Mitchell Teaches Storytelling Through Portrait Photography
- Annual Memberships starting from $15/month for one device up to $23/month for six devices
When it comes to Photoshop, there is no better education than Phlearn. Founder and presenter, Aaron Nace, is a wizard when it comes to Photoshop, and his presentation and explanations are clear and concise. We particularly like the format of their education, as you get to see start-to-finish examples of each image with exercise files to follow along. You can also turn to Phlearn for solid courses in Lightroom and general photography. These classes go in-depth and some clock in at nearly 15 hours with step-by-step instructions that leave no detail behind. That said, the real plus on this site is the post-production education.
Popular or Recommended Courses on Phlearn:
- The Beginner’s Guide to Photoshop
- The Ultimate Guide to Lightroom for Desktop
- Photography 101
- Unlimited Access Subscriptions from $8.50/month
As they claim on their site, Photigy provides “advanced techniques, made easy to understand,” which comes in handy when diving into photography. When it comes to Product Photography, in particular, Photigy is the go-to source for high quality education. They even offer a product photography certification program, which also works well for wedding and portrait photographers. Whether you want to shoot jewelry, beverages, headphones, or a number of other popular commercial products, Photigy’s education library has you covered. Plus, new creative workshops are added monthly by a talented pool of working professionals.
Photigy also offers a perk you won’t find from many of its competitors. In addition to just providing a catalog of classes, Photigy also collects assignments for the monthly courses and offers personalized critiques to help you further develop your skills. This one-on-one attention is rare in the realm of online learning.
Popular or Recommended Courses on Photigy:
- Bundle Packs for Jewelry Photographers
- Liquid and Splash Photography Bundle
- 3 Courses Bundle: Product Retouching Series
- Individual courses from $35 with bundle options for additional savings
- Premium memberships for $390/year (or $39/month)
- Certification programs from $695-$1,495
7. Lynda (Linkedin Learning)
One of the original forms of online education, Lynda.com, since acquired by tech company Linkedin and now known as LinkedIn Learning), offers some solid education around photography. In fact, when we first picked up cameras back in the 2000’s, this was one of our first platforms for learning photography and Lightroom. You can find a wide range of courses that cover everything from lighting and composition to editing in Lightroom and Photoshop, with plenty of other classes to choose from along the way, including some designed specifically for capturing photos with an iPhone.
While some classes just dip their toes in terms of depth of coverage, like Natalie Fobes “Lighting for Photographers: Portraiture,” others like Deke McClelland’s “Photoshop One-on-One: Advanced” course goes all in with a run time of neary 19 hours. Whether long or short, however, all of the classes offer valuable insight that will help make you a better photographer. Also, you can complete specific certificates that can be added directly to your LinkedIn profile. Win-win.
Popular or Recommended Photography Courses on Lynda:
- The DIY Photographer with Joseph “PhotoJoseph” Linaschke
- Lighting with Flash: Capturing a Dancer in Motion with David Hobby
- Building Transparency in Photoshop with Steve Caplin
- Monthly subscription at $39.99/month
- Annual subscription at $29.99/month (collected annually)
KelbyOne, and its founder, Scott Kelby, are well known in the photography industry. As one of the forerunners of online photography workshops, Kelby helped pave the way for modern photography learning. Now, with a stable of big names like Peter Hurley, Lindsay Adler, Jerry Ghionis, and others at the helm of instruction, KelbyOne has established itself as a trustworthy source for quality online education.
This site accommodates pretty much all photographers, from beginners to longtime professionals, with courses that cover the fundamentals (the coverage is in-depth) to others that feature advanced, cutting edge techniques. In fact, the list of available courses is massive, so you can rest assured there will always be more to learn from KelbyOne, no matter which genre of photography you’re working in. The site design is clean and well organized, too, so you should be able to navigate the giant catalog of courses without too much difficulty.
Best Online Photography Classes on KelbyOne:
- Beginners Start Here with Scott Kelby
- Master Headshot Photography Lighting with Peter Hurley
- Top 20 Portrait Tips with Scott Kelby
- Shooting and Compositing Your Own Special Effects with Kirk Nelson
- Monthly plans from $9.99 to $19.99
Speaking of large course catalogs, Udemy also has a huge library of education, including photography and editing courses. Because anyone can upload courses to Udemy, however, there is little to no quality control for the courses. This is why reading the reviews is so critical. Still, rest assured that gems exist within this educational hub. And, if you are not satisfied with a course you purchased, you can “return” it within 30 days.
One cool thing about taking photography courses on Udemy, for those who like this sort of thing, is that you can collect certificates of completion when you finish a paid course. The classes are not accredited, but getting a certificate offers a tangible token of progress that could give you the momentum you need to push through to the next level of your photography journey.
Best Online Photography Classes on Udemy:
- Photography: Become a Better Photographer – Part One with Bernie Raffe
- Photography for Kids: Project-Based Beginner Photography with Phil and Anthony Ebiner
- Basic Food Photography with Andrew Olsen
- Individual courses from $14.99
- Monthly subscription for $29.99 (grants access to 6,000+ top courses)
Who better to learn how to use Lightroom and Photoshop from than the team who created the software? The juggernaut, Adobe, offers a set of free photography tutorials to learn how to use both Lightroom and Photoshop. If you’re just starting out, this is a great place to jump in with no financial obligations beyond what you’re paying to access the software. This isn’t just a basic hub for beginners, though. You can also find advanced or “experienced” tutorials for things like removing objects from your photos and so on. Most of the videos are short and to-the-point, clocking in at under five minutes (a number of the videos run longer than that), making it easy for you to dip in, learn something new, and then move on.
Popular or Recommend Photography Tutorials from Adobe:
- Get to Know Photoshop on Your iPad
- Use Curves to Dodge and Burn a Photo in Photoshop for iPad
- Remove Objects with Content-Aware Fill
- More Videos