23 Best Online Photography Courses for 2020 📷

The amount of quality online photography courses has exploded in recent years.

It is now entirely possible to use these resources to take yourself to a professional level. However, choosing the right course out of the sea of options isn’t easy! We’ve arranged the best photography courses by subject for you to browse.

General Photography Courses 🔰

Just getting started out? Then you’ll need to know the fundamentals.

These courses will help you learn everything a beginner photographer needs to know. They cover the technical essentials like ISO, shutter speed, aperture, and more.

1. Fundamentals of Photography

With 107 videos, this Creative Live class, taken by John Greengo, is probably the most thorough all-in-one introductory courses you can take when diving into the world of photography. You will cover almost everything a beginner photographer could wish to know.

Although the individual price for this course is more expensive than the rest, there is an option to subscribe, which is much cheaper and offers you access to the other classes available on Creative Live.

John Greengo is an instructor and award-winning photographer, who specialised in travel and outdoor photography. Greengo has over three decades of shooting experience, all of which he has shared in his online classes. You can follow him over at johngreengo.com.

2. Introduction to Photography with Ben Long

Ben Long - Introduction to Photography

In this Linkedin Learning course, Ben Long explains the very basics of photography, covering setting up your camera’s settings, lenses, exposure, shooting, and post-production. Each episode in the class is quite concise, but all together, they give a thorough overview of everything you need to know.

As this course in on Linkedin Learning, you will have access to the rest of Ben’s classes, as well as the rest of the Linkedin Learning library, if you decide to subscribe. Ben has dozens of other courses in photography, so it provides excellent value for money!

Ben Long is a photographer, videographer, writer, and teacher. He has over a decade worth of experience in teaching photography online.

3. The School of Photography’s Complete Guide to Photography

The School of Photography Complete Course

This Complete Guide to Photography is hosted by The School of Photography and taken by Marc Newton. In this online photography course, you’ll learn from one of the most comprehensive beginner courses available. It consists of 58 videos and 16 PDFs and 12 bonus quizzes to test your knowledge.

You will learn how to make the transition from auto-mode to full-manual easily. Topics covered include focusing, composition, focal length, metering, ISO, aperture, depth of field, shutter speed, night photography, controlling movement, and more.

Marc Newton is a photographer, educational speaker, author, and teacher of photography. Together with his team, they have created The School of Photography. TSoP creates high-quality photography courses online, in person, and in books. They are also one of the leading providers of photography education to schools and colleges in the UK.

4. FroKnowsPhoto Beginner Photography Guide

FroKnowsPhoto Beginner Course

In this 3 hours online course, Photographer and YouTuber Jared Polin will teach you how to get out of auto-mode and take full control of your camera. You’ll learn all the essential basics, including shutter speed, aperture, ISO, focal length, depth of field, composition, and much more.

If you’re new to photography and want to master the basics, then Jared’s course is a fantastic place to start.

Jared Polin AKA FroKnowsPhoto is an American Photographer, YouTuber, and Educator. Over the past decade, Jared has taught millions of students online via his immensely popular YouTube channel. Even after all this time, he still posts multiple videos per week! You can keep up to date with Jared over on his Instagram @jaredpolin or on the FroKnowsPhoto Website.

5. Photo Essentials x Justin Bridges (III Part)

In this three-part Skillshare Original course, Justin Bridges covers everything a beginner needs to know to get started with digital photography. If you’re a beginner, this course will get you quickly familiar with the technical aspects of photography. You will cover the exposure triangle, information about camera gear, and the fundamentals of photo editing.

Justin Bridges is a former finance professional turned fashion and lifestyle photographer based in New York City. He has published and worked for the likes of GQ, Esquire, High Snobiety & Selectism, Complex Media, Hypebeast Magazine, Giorgio Armani, En Noir, Ovadia & Sons, and Alternative Apparel. You can follow Justin over on Instagram @freelancekills & @bybridges.

6. Photography Basics and Beyond

Photography Basics and Beyond Course

In this Coursera course provided by Michigan State University, teachers Peter Glendinning and Mark Valentine Sullivan offer a deep dive into all the things a beginner photographer needs to know. This course provides a significant amount of detail into the basic concepts of photography, making it an excellent option for people who want to understand each aspect thoroughly before moving on to more advanced topics.

Coursera’s program is one of the longer courses we have recommended here, and it does require you to enroll in the online classes. If you’re looking for a more comprehensive look at beginner photography, it’s worth checking out.

7. Introduction to Digital Photography

Introduction to Digital Photography Course

This free course provided by Alison is an excellent option for anyone looking to learn the basics of photography quickly. The course is relatively short and takes 1-3 hours to complete. As well as the typical photography course material, this course will get you to grips with the technical aspects of digital photography to give you a full understanding of the equipment you are using.

Being part of Alison, this course offers you the chance to take an assessment at the end. If you score above 80%, you will have officially passed the course and will earn a digital certificate.

8. Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography

Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography

Phil Ebiner, William Carnahan, and Sam Shimizu-Jones collectively under the banner of Video School Online Inc., have created this massive 332 part photography course available on Udemy. The course is 21 hours long and is amazing if you’re a beginner photographer looking to build a solid foundation in the discipline.

Phil Ebiner is a filmmaker, photographer, top-rated online course instructor, and the owner of Video School Online, which he has taught over 1 million students worldwide. Video School Online produces courses on a wide variety of creative subjects. You can check out their courses here.


Light & Lighting Courses 💡

Light and Lighting is a something outdoor and indoor photographers need to know about.

Lighting can drastically affect your photography, for better or worse. Expertise in this area gives you the chance to take your photos to the next level.

9. The School of Photography’s Guide to Studio Lighting

School of Photography Lighting Course

Hosted by The School of Photography, this course focuses on getting you up and running creating professional studio lighting. The course contains 31 videos and 17 downloadable PDFs covering over 50 lighting setups. To see a full list of everything you’ll learn, head over to the course description page.

Marc Newton is a photographer, educational speaker, author, and teacher of photography. Together with his team, they have created The School of Photography. TSoP creates high-quality photography courses online, in-person, and in books. They are also one of the leading providers of photography education to schools and colleges in the UK.

10. Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night

Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night

In his Skillshare Original Course, Chris shares his tips and tricks on how to shoot great outdoor photos at sunset, sunrise, and night. Something many photographers struggle with when they’re beginning. If you’re looking to get into travel and outdoor photography or maybe just want to improve, then this is a great course to get you going. Again, being on Skillshare, you’ll get access to the rest of the library of videos available.

Chris Burkard is a self-taught surfer, outdoor, lifestyle, and travel photographer based in Central Coast California. He is most well known for his amazing surf photography.

11. The Lighting Series with Felix Kunze

The Lighting Series with Felix Kunze

This Portrait Masters course hosted by Felix Kunze takes you through the art of managing studio lighting in any environment. The course consists of over 80+ videos lasting over 12 hours. You will learn: how to set up lighting in a variety of different scenarios, how to use a different combination of lights, how to shoot groups vs. individuals, and much more.

Felix Kunze is a german-born, US-based portrait photographer and lighting expert. Felix focuses on non-models in his work and enjoys highlighting “regular people in exaggerated situations that highlight an aspect of who they are.” You can follow Felix on Instagram @felixkunze and Twitter @felixkunze.


Portrait Photography Courses 🧑

12. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

In her first-ever online course, Annie Leibovitz shares her creative process when approaching portrait photography. This fifteen class series on Masterclass focuses less on the technical aspects and more on the conceptual and creative side, although some lessons do tackle it. Leibovitz’s Masterclass is excellent for any aspiring portrait photographer who already has the basics of photography down.

Annie Leibovitz is a world-renowned portrait photographer, and no doubt needs no introduction. Her incredibly successful career has seen her photograph people like John Lennon, Muhammad Ali, and Queen Elizabeth II. You can see her body of work over at Artnet.

13. The Fashion Series with Lara Jade

Lara Jade Fashion Series Course

This extensive fashion photography course hosted by Lara Jade focuses on taking your work to the next level. It’s perfect for wedding, portrait, family, or aspiring fashion photographers.

The course includes over 115 videos and 24 bonus downloads. The video content is over 18 hours long, but there’s the freedom to skip around to any lesson you like!

You’ll learn about fashion lighting, styling, and posing fundamentals. The ‘challenge’ section of the course follows Lara as she completes several different types of portrait projects. These include bridal, cover shoot, editorial, and more.

Lara Jade is a New York-based English fashion photographer. Her work has been featured in the likes of Vogue and Harper’s Bazaar, and she has worked for clients including Air France, Sotheby’s, Monique Lhuillier, and the May Fair Hotel. You can follow Lara over on her Instagram @larajadephotography or Twitter @LaraJade_.

14. Fundamentals of Portrait Photography: Using Natural Light to Create Drama

Fundamentals of Portrait Photography Skillshare Course

This Skillshare Original taken by Justin Bridges takes you through everything you need to know to get started with portrait photography. The course covers location, equipment, lighting, camera settings, types of shots, and editing.

Justin Bridges is a former finance professional turned fashion and lifestyle photographer based in New York City. He has published and worked for the likes of GQ, Esquire, High Snobiety & Selectism, Complex Media, Hypebeast Magazine, Giorgio Armani, En Noir, Ovadia & Sons, and Alternative Apparel. You can follow Justin over on Instagram @freelancekills & @bybridges.


Adventure Photography Courses 🚴‍♂️

15. Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

In his first online Masterclass, Jimmy shares everything he knows about adventure photography. The course assumes a basic knowledge of photography and focuses more on the creative and practical aspects of the trade. There are 20 video lessons in total, with chapters on the concept, research, and pitch, principles of narrative, editing, and gear.

Jimmy Chin is a professional climber, mountaineer, skier, film director, and world-renowned adventure photographer. In 2019, he won the Academy Award along with Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi, Evan Hayes, and Shannon Dill for Best Documentary Feature, Free Solo.


Wildlife Photography Courses 🐦

16. The Art of Wildlife Photography

The Art of Wildlife Photography Creative Live Course

This 24 lesson Creative Live course taken by Thomas Mangelsen offers a deep-dive into the world of wildlife photography. When taking this course, you’ll get exclusive insight into one of the world’s most renowned wildlife photographers’ workflow.

Chapters include; Tom’s Gear Bag; Lighting Exposure and Gesture; Locations and Animal Behaviour; Photographing Otters in the Field; Animals in Their Environment: Composition; Portfolio Critique, and much more.

Thomas D. Mangelsen is an incredibly influential wildlife photographer with over 40 years of experience. His work has appeared in National Geographic, BBC Wildlife, Life, Newsweek, Wildlife Art, and many other publications. Magelsen has had exhibits in the San Diego Natural History Museum, The Natural History Museum in London, and the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha, Nebraska. He is considered one of the most prolific wildlife and nature photographers of our time. You can follow Mangelsen’s work over at his website mangelsen.com

17. The Art of Photographing Birds

The Art of Photographing Birds Course

In this 22 lessons Creative Live course, award-winning photographer Frans Lanting teaches everything there is to know about photographing birds.

During the 5 hour course, students will learn to; Build the ideal gar kit for photographing birds; Set the proper shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for birds; Capture birds in different types of light; Understand bird behavior to get closer to birds, and much more.

Frans Lanting is a multi-award winning wildlife photographer. He has served as a Photographer-in-Residence at National Geographic and has published in numerous books, magazines, and exhibitions around the globe. For his work with wildlife Lanting has been inducted by Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands as a Knight in the Royal Order of the Golden Ark, that country’s highest conservation honor. You can follow Lanting over on Instagram @franslanting, on Twitter @LantingFrans, or his website lanting.com.


Product Photography Courses 💍

18. Learning Product Photography

Learn Product Photography Linkedin Learning Course

This Linkedin Learning course taken by PhotoJoseph aims to help you take professional product photography shots. Inside the course, you’ll learn how to set up both a scene and a softbox for your product. The lessons focus heavily on lighting, as this is a crucial factor in determining how good your shot will look. The final lessons cover editing tips and tricks to give your shots a professional clean look.

The course assumes a basic knowledge of photography, so if you’re a complete beginner, you can check out the Introduction to Photography course, which is also on Linkedin Learning. These will both be available with the subscription or free trial.

Joseph “PhotoJoseph” Linaschke is a Photographer and Educator. Joseph has been a keen photographer from the age of 7, and he’s been teaching the skills he’s learned for the past two decades on stage, online and in workshops. He has previously worked at Apple as the lead presenter, producer, and photographer for the Professional Applications division. You can follow Joseph and check out his work over on Instagram @PhotoJoseph.

19. Karl Taylor Product Photography

Karl Taylor Product Photography

Karl Taylor is a commercial and advertising photographer. He is also the owner of karltayloreducation.com, a subscription-based website that offers high-quality courses on various photography topics. Karl’s website has a tutorial page dedicated entirely to product photography, and it’s one of the most thorough resources if this is a niche you’re looking at entering.

Karl’s tutorials are a mixture of courses and live workshops, both of which you can access with the subscription. You can follow along with product photography classes on jewelry, watches, cosmetics, footwear, technology, and more.


Smartphone Photography Courses 📱

20. iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone

IPhone Photography Skillshare Course

In this 19 lessons Skillshare course taken by Dale McManus, you will learn how to create stunning photos with only your smartphone. The course is made specifically for the iPhone, but any smartphone can is suitable.

You will learn how to optimize your settings, how to compose shots, how best to edit, and much more. The skills you will learn in this course are easily transferable to photography with a DSLR or mirrorless camera. If you’re just getting started in photography, then this is a fantastic course.

Dale McManus is a professional videographer, photographer, and YouTuber. He has a Bachelor of Science degree in Film and over seven years of experience in the field. Dale primarily focuses on travel film and photography – something that he documents on his YouTube channel. You can follow Dale over on his Instagram or YouTube to keep up with his work.


Photo Editing & Manipulation Courses 🅿

21. Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course

Photoshop Essentials Course

This Skillshare Essentials Training Course, taken by Daniel Scott, will help students get stuck in with Photoshop in the fastest way possible.

Photoshop’s controls are similar to those used in other Adobe programs but are also different in many ways. A first time user will find it confusing. Scott takes viewers through the basics of the program, ensuring you create a solid foundation of knowledge.

Using this course will allow students more comfortable viewing for more advanced or specialist tutorials in the future. As always, with a Skillshare subscription, access to all courses and, therefore, the Advanced Photoshop Course is included.

Daniel Scott is a Digital Designer, teacher at BYOL international, UI/UX Expert, and Adobe Certified Trainer. Daniel brings his 14+ years of teaching experience to his online classes, where he has taught thousands of students software and graphic design skills.

22. Adobe Photoshop CC – Advanced Training Course

Photoshop Skillshare Advanced Course

In this Skillshare course, Daniel Scott follows on from his Essentials Training Course with this Advanced Photoshop course.

During the 13+ hours of available content, students will learn several complex techniques within Photoshop. Examples include advanced masking, removing objects from a scene, levels, and curves tricks, correcting ‘hard to fix’ images, parallax effects, and many more.

For those with a Skillshare subscription or free trial, both the Essentials Training Course and the Advanced Training Course are a great bundle to watch.

Daniel Scott is a Digital Designer, teacher at BYOL international, UI/UX Expert, and Adobe Certified Trainer. Daniel brings his 14+ years of teaching experience to his online classes, where he has taught thousands of students software and graphic design skills.

23. The Retouching Series with Pratik Naik

The Retouching Series with Pratik Naik

In this course hosted by The Portrait Masters, Pratik Naik takes you through his process and workflow of high-end retouching. The course consists of over 120+ videos, including 184 downloads. It’s nearly a full 24 hours of content!

You’ll have the opportunity to follow Pratik as he tackles the jobs trickiest problems, such as dealing with under eyes, unifying skin tones, contouring, minimizing rough skin, and more. You will also be able to watch Pratik to a full retouch from start-to-finish on several projects.

Pratik Naik, also known as the man behind Solstice Retouch, is a world-renowned retoucher. His focus is on commercial and editorial work in the fashion and industry. Naik’s work can be seen in the likes of Marie Claire, Elle, Harper’s Bazaar, and many more. You can follow Naik’s work over on his Instagram or his website solsticeretouch.com.


Are you looking to further your camera skills? Why not check out our Best Online Filmmaking Courses list!