/ / / Learn How To Take Perfect Photos With 2021‘s Top 17 Best Online Photography Courses & Classes

Learn How To Take Perfect Photos With 2021‘s Top 17 Best Online Photography Courses & Classes

Top 17 Best Free Online Photography Courses & Classes
Best Free Online Photography Courses

Are you keen to start learning photography skills or improve your existing creative and technical skillset? If so, you’ve come to the right place!

In this article, I have gathered the best online photography courses for 2021 that will take you into the world of professional photography.

You will learn about the importance of the type of camera and lens, what happens when you vary exposure, how do factors like light metering, focus, and composition affect picture quality, and much more.

Armed with these skills, you’ll be ready to start your own career as a professional photographer and capture the infinite beauty of this world. So, let’s get started!

Top 17 Best Online Photography Courses In 2021 [Free + Paid]


1. Fundamentals of DSLR Photography (Skillshare)

1. Fundamentals of DSLR Photography (Skillshare)

First up is a top-rated online photography class that has been taken by 80,000 students and counting! This beginner-level course will teach you the basic theory you need to know for taking memorable and incredible photographs.

Your instructor for this course will be Justin Bridges, a fashion and portrait photographer based in New York City. Justin has provided his services to big names of the industry like GQ, Esquire, Giorgio Armani, and Amazon. So you know you are in expert hands!

In just over an hour of online lessons, Justin will teach students how to get into manual mode’ and learn how to strike the right balance between shutter speed, aperture, and ISO to get on-point exposure, how to play with motion through shutter speed, edit photos quickly, and much more!

Hosted on Skillshare, the global online learning platform, this course is a great introduction to the photography skills you’re looking for! You’ll gain access to more than 27,000 other courses on the platform, a 2-week free trial, and access to over 200 student projects.

  • Beginner level
  • 1 ¼ hour long
  • Taught by a renowned professional photographer
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

2. Fundamentals of Photography (CreativeLive)

12. Fundamentals of Photography (CreativeLive)

While it might look simple, photography is a complex art. If you’re keen to learn the fundamentals no matter what level you’re at, this online photography course is a great choice!

John Greengo, a veteran photographer with over 30 years of experience in the field, will be teaching you in this photography class. John is a specialist in travel and outdoor photography and brings his massive amount of high-quality experience about his craft to his online courses.

In just over 24 hours, this course will take students through fundamental concepts they need to know, from the simple to the more advanced. Students will learn about the characteristics of photographs, types of cameras, how the shutter system works, balance exposure, and much more.

GET 20% OFF THE CREATOR PASS WITH CODE CREATIVELIVE20 THRU 10/31!

You can find this course over at CreativeLive, an online education platform. If you buy the Creator Pass (which is available at a 20% discount), you’ll get access to all the courses on the platform, along with loads of other features!

  • Beginner/Intermediate/Advanced level
  • 24 ½ hours long
  • Taught by a photographer with 30+ years of experience
  • 50% off on the Creator Pass

3. Outdoor Photography: Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night (Skillshare)

2. Outdoor Photography Shooting at Sunset, Sunrise, and Night (Skillshare)

People tend to underestimate the role lighting plays in elevating photo quality to a professional level. So if you want to explore the basics of lighting and learn how to take good pictures at any time of the day, this course can’t be missed!

For this class, you will be taught by Chris Burkard, a self-taught Staff Photographer at Surfer Magazine. Chris is also a renowned wildlife and adventure photographer who has gained a following of 15,000+ students on Skillshare.

Through 14 video lessons, students will learn the art of taking stunning pictures in various lighting conditions, with Chris providing expert guidance on topics like how to take pictures during sunrise, sunset, and nighttime, how to choose between different cameras, how to take long-exposure photographs, and much more.

Skillshare gives you access to all course content and gives you a certificate of completion once you’ve finished. Not only that, but you can sign up for a free 2-week trial! Overall, a great photography course to further hone your skills!

  • Intermediate level
  • 1 hour long
  • Taught by experienced adventure photographer
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

4. Introduction to Photography (LinkedIn Learning)

3. Introduction to Photography (LinkedIn Learning)

If you’re finding yourself getting lost in all of the different DSLR camera settings while using it for the first time, this popular beginner-level photography course will remove the confusion and teach you to shoot like a professional!

Ben Long, a photographer and senior editor at Macworld magazine, will be teaching you in this online course. Ben has worked for industry giants such as 20th Century Fox and Blue Note Records, and has authored over two dozen books in the field of photography, so you are in great hands!

During this 2-hour photography course, Ben will start by teaching students about the importance of choosing the right camera and lens before going into topics like how to set the right exposure for each photograph, how to work with autofocus, shoot excellent portraits, make use of form and geometry, and much more.

Hosted on LinkedIn’s online learning platform, this course comes with continuing education credits, downloadable resources, and a certificate of completion. You won’t want to miss this valuable online photography course to learn all the technical tips and tricks you need to get started!

  • Beginner level
  • 2 hours long
  • Taught by a veteran professional photographer
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access for new LinkedIn users

Activate 1-Month FREE Trial

5. Street Photography: Capture the Life of Your City (Skillshare)

4. Street Photography Capture the Life of Your City (Skillshare)

Are you keen to capture your city at night through photography that really does it justice? You won’t want to miss this great online photography course produced in collaboration with VSCO. You will also be joining over 35,000 students who have already taken this popular class.

Trashhand,’ a nomadic photographer based in Chicago, will be teaching you in this intermediate-level lesson. Trashhand specializes in capturing urban environments and includes the likes of Google, Adidas, Prada, and Timberland in his star-studded list of clients, and he brings all of that experience to this online course.

Through 1 ½ hour of video lessons, Trashhand will take his students through the techniques he uses to capture magical photographs of Chicago’s cityscape and nightlife. Students will learn about taking authentic candids, conveying motion through blur, discovering brilliant angles, taking photographs at night, and much more.

Skillshare is where you will find this online photography course, giving new users a 1-week free trial (cancel anytime), which includes all class materials, on-demand video lessons, and access to 27,000+ other classes!

  • Intermediate level
  • 1 ½ hour long
  • Taught by an expert professional photographer
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium
  • Community of 35,000+ students with 370+ projects

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

6. Photography 101 (LinkedIn Learning)

5. Photography 101 (LinkedIn Learning)

Next up is a value-packed online photography course that is great if you’re a beginner who wants to understand all the DSLR buttons and settings.

Your teacher for this course will be Joseph ‘PhotoJoseph’ Linaschke, an experienced photographer with over 20 years of experience. Joseph worked at Apple for 8 years as a lead photographer before stepping into the world of freelance work, so you’ll be getting plenty of relevant industry insight.

During this 2-hour online class, Joseph will take students on a tour through the insides of a DSLR, giving them the concepts behind settings such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, as well as guidance on the right way of holding a camera, using autofocus to their advantage, and much more.

If you’re keen to enroll, head over to LinkedIn Learning, where you will be able to access this course for free if you are a new LinkedIn user, and earn a certificate of completion to share with your network! Overall, an excellent introductory class to equip you with the knowledge you need to build up your photography skills!

  • Beginner level
  • 2 hours long
  • Taught by a photographer with 20+ years of experience
  • Free access for new LinkedIn users
  • Certificate of completion

Activate 1-Month FREE Trial

7. Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography (Udemy)

6. Photography Masterclass A Complete Guide to Photography (Udemy)

If you’re looking for a complete masterclass teaching you all you need to know about photography to get you shooting in no time, this extensive photography course can’t be missed!

You will be instructed in this course by the trio of Phil Ebiner (filmmaker), William Carnahan (a freelance photographer), and Sam Shimizu-Jones (photographer and filmmaker). Together, they have taught over 3 million students on Udemy, so you will be in great hands!

Across a whopping 22 ½ hours of video lessons, students will learn everything it takes to become a professional photographer, no matter if you’re starting at a beginner level or already have some skills up your sleeve. The expert instructor trio leads students through topics like exposure, composition, focus, camera anatomy, lighting, mobile photography, and much much more.

Udemy is one of the most popular online learning platforms that give people training in any kind of skill you can think of through more than 150,000 on-demand courses, with many acupressure courses just like this one. Overall, this course is one of the most comprehensive online photography courses available!

  • Beginner level
  • 22 ½ hours long
  • Taught by a trio of experienced photographers/filmmakers
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Udemy.com

8. iPhone Photography: How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone (Skillshare)

7. iPhone Photography How to Take Pro Photos On Your iPhone (Skillshare)

Did you know you can take professional photos with just your iPhone? This online photography course will show you that you don’t need to spend $1,000s on an expensive professional camera when, with the right amount of skill, an iPhone can deliver the results you’re after!

As for your instructor, professional photographer Dale McManus will be teaching you in this course. Dale has over 7 years of experience in the field and is an expert at using iPhones to take professional-quality photographs to ensure high-quality photography is accessible to anyone.

Covering 1-hour of on-demand lessons, Dale shows his students how to use shot composition to take stunning pictures, which settings to use on the iPhone camera to bring out the best in photos, how to add depth to a portfolio, how to leverage the unique powers of lighting, and much more.

To learn more, you can also see my full guide on the top iPhone and smartphone photography courses! Overall, this is a fantastic class for those who want to learn photography without investing in pricey equipment.

  • Beginner level
  • 1 hour long
  • Taught by photographer expert at using iPhone
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium
  • Community of 87,000+ students

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

9. Digital Photography for Beginners with DSLR cameras (Udemy)

8. Digital Photography for Beginners with DSLR cameras (Udemy)

If you’ve invested in a DSLR and are keen to unleash it to its full potential, this online photography course is a great choice!

Villiers Steyn, a professional photographer, and owner of Vision Photography, will be teaching you in this online course. Villiers has a master’s degree in Nature Conservation and works as a freelance travel, event, and wildlife photographer.

Through 2 hours of on-demand video lessons, Villiers will teach students many important topics when it comes to using DSLRs, such as how to use the camera equipment, which settings to play with and how to master them, the role of lighting in photography, how to get the perfect composition, and much more.

Overall, a fantastic introduction to photography, with a certificate of completion at the end!

  • Beginner level
  • 2 hours long
  • Taught by a professional photographer who has presented on Nat Geo Wild
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Udemy.com

10. Lifestyle Photography: Capturing Inspiring Visual Stories (Skillshare)

9. Lifestyle Photography Capturing Inspiring Visual Stories (Skillshare)

Photography is as much about the technical aspects as it is having the artistic vision and creative thinking to tell inspiring visual stories, which is what this photography class aims to achieve!

Your instructor for this course will be Marte Marie Forsberg, a self-taught lifestyle and food photographer based in Norway. She has published The Cottage Kitchen, a cookbook that includes 100 recipes and beautiful images, all shot and compiled on her own.

In just half an hour, this compact photography class will teach students the art of storytelling through elegantly shot photographs, with guidance on the concepts of visual storytelling, tips and tricks to achieve this, the basics of dynamic still-life photography, how to work with lighting, focusing on the details, and much more.

All in all, a fantastic online photography course for beginners! Just don’t forget to take advantage of the free trial!

  • Beginner level
  • ½ an hour-long
  • Taught by self-taught food and lifestyle photographer
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium
  • Over 250 entries in the project catalog to go through

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

11. Photography Foundations: Composition (LinkedIn Learning)

10. Photography Foundations Composition (LinkedIn Learning)

If you like to get dive deep into your learning, you are bound to love this comprehensive beginner-level photography course. Taken by close to 30,000 students, this online class will teach you both basic and more advanced concepts of photo composition.

As for your instructor, you will be taught by Ben Long, a veteran photographer based in San Francisco. The long list of Ben’s heavy-weight clients includes the likes of 20th Century Fox, Blue Note Records, and the Pickle Family Circus, so you will be receiving incredible industry insight!

In this detailed 5 ½ hours long online course, Ben will teach his students a variety of concepts related to perfecting the composition of their photographs, with topics including knowing when to use black and white, how to vary the focal length, camera position, and depth, how to use the rule of the thirds, and much more.

Jump on over to LinkedIn Learning to access this online photography course for free if you are a new LinkedIn user, and earn a certificate of completion to share with your network!

  • Beginner level
  • 5 ½ hours long
  • Taught by veteran photographer
  • Certificate of completion
  • Free access for first-time users

Activate 1-Month FREE Trial

12. Portrait Photography: Working with Natural Light (Skillshare)

11. Portrait Photography Working with Natural Light (Skillshare)

Coming up next on my list is a short and instructive online photography course that will teach you how to take stunning portrait photographs in natural and studio light. Over 21,000 aspiring photographers have taken this intermediate-level course, and you can join their ranks!

As for your teacher, Benjamin Heath, a Portland-based photographer, will be instructing you in this course. In his exceptional career, Benjamin has worked for clients like Burberry, Uber, National Geographic, Nike, Levi’s, and General Electric. You’ll want to hear what he has to offer!

Through 7 on-demand video lessons, students will learn the essentials of shooting amazing portrait photos by going over topics like how to plan a shoot, set up the studio, get the technical aspects of lighting right, perform small edits that turn a photo from a good one to a great one, and much more.

All in all, these principles will help you take your portrait game to the next level regardless of the equipment you use!

  • Intermediate level
  • ¾ of an hour-long
  • Taught by a renowned and successful photographer
  • Free 2-month trial of Skillshare Premium

Activate FREE Skillshare Trial

13. Introduction to Digital Photography (Alison)

13. Introduction to Digital Photography (Alison)

If you’re looking for a free online photography course that teaches the fundamentals of using a digital camera without going into too much detail, this free online class is a great choice. Taken by over 180,000 students on the platform, the course has a rating of 4.2 stars and comes highly recommended.

Instructors for this photography class will be provided to you by Advance Learning, an IT skills training company that has been developing training solutions for its corporate clients (like Microsoft) since 1998.

Over a period of 3 hours of on-demand video, students will get to understand the basic concepts underlying the craft of photography, including the rule of thirds, the anatomy of a camera (SLRs and DSLRs), the function of each setting that may be countered, key equipment needed for a photo-shoot, and much more.

Hosted on the online learning platform Alison, you can access this online photography class for free, or you can choose to pay a nominal fee to get a framed certificate delivered straight to your doorstep as well!

  • Beginner level
  • 3 hours long
  • Taught by instructors from Advance Learning
  • Free access to course contents
  • Paid certificate of completion

Visit Alison.com

14. Learning Portrait Photography (LinkedIn Learning)

14. Learning Portrait Photography (LinkedIn Learning)

If you’re keen to give portrait photography a go and build up your skills in this area, you won’t want to miss this specialized beginner-level online photography course!

Your teacher for this online class will be Levi Sim, a professional photographer who has worked with many companies on commercial projects. Levi frequently contributes to Photofocus.com and has co-authored several Adobe Lightroom books.

In this 1 ½ hour-long photography course, students will be introduced to the basics of portrait photography and taught a wide range of topics that include how to find a good spot to take a portrait, mold the lighting in any situation to suit their needs, optimize your camera settings for portraits, and much more.

You won’t want to miss this online photography course to get started with portraiture!

  • Beginner level
  • 1 ½ hour long
  • Taught by an experienced professional photographer
  • Free access for new LinkedIn users
  • Certificate of completion

Activate 1-Month FREE Trial

15. Photography Basics (Pluralsight)

15. Photography Basics (Pluralsight)

If you’re after a short yet comprehensive introduction to the world of photography, this beginner-level online photography class is an excellent choice with an average rating of 4.5 stars from over 200 students!

In this online course, you will be instructed by Joshua Samson, a filmmaker who has a B.S. and M.F.A. in Film Studies and has produced work that has been screened all over the world. Joshua has published 8 courses on Pluralsight, earning an instructor rating of 4.4 stars, so you are in capable hands.

Through 1 ¾ hour of learning material in this online course, students will get comfortable using a professional camera by going through topics like selecting the right composition, how to manufacture perfect lighting conditions, and how to bring the ‘subject’ into focus, and much more.

You can access this online photography course on Pluralsight, offering a free 10-day trial during which you can access hundreds of courses other than this one and earn a certificate of completion! All in all, a fantastic photography course to go ahead and enroll in.

  • Beginner level
  • 1 ¾ hour long
  • Taught by highly qualified filmmaker
  • Certificate of completion
  • A free 10-day trial of the platform

16. Mastering Architecture and Real Estate Photography (Udemy)

16. Mastering Architecture and Real Estate Photography (Udemy)

Architects and real estate business people consistently need high-quality photos of their work and buildings to win over clients. After taking this online photography class on Udemy, you’ll be ready to establish a business delivering stunning pictures of interiors and exteriors!

As for your instructor, Charlie Borland, a professional photographer with over 30 years of experience, will be teaching you in this online class. Charlie has worked for a wide range of clients, including Fujitsu, Mentor Graphics, and Texas Instruments, bringing that wealth of experience to you.

In this intermediate-level online photography course lasting 13 ½ hours, students will learn how to perfectly capture buildings inside and out by covering topics like how to light interiors, get a strong composition, deal with shadows and highlights, track the light quality, and much more.

Students can find this course on the Udemy platform, which also has over 150,000 on-demand online courses available for all levels and provides a certificate of completion at the end. Overall, a great online course to choose to further hone your photography skills!

  • Intermediate level
  • 13 ½ hours long
  • Taught by a photographer with 30+ years of experience
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Udemy.com

17. Food Photography: Capturing Food in Your Kitchen (Udemy)

17. Food Photography Capturing Food in Your Kitchen (Udemy)

Rounding out my list is an exciting online photography course on Udemy that is ideal for food bloggers or anyone who loves to try new kinds of food. Taken by over 90,000 students, this beginner-level online course will get you taking better pictures of your food in no time.

William Carnahan, a professional photographer who has an M.F.A. degree in Film and Television Production, will be teaching you in this online course. William has published 24 courses on Udemy, teaching over half a million students in the process, and now you can join them!

In this short hour-long online photography class, William will teach students techniques to take amazing pictures of food, including picking the best location for a shoot, food styling, choosing the right camera settings, and editing photos to bring out their magic, and much more.

You can find this course on the online learning platform Udemy, offering over 150,000 other online courses for you to take advantage of, plus you’ll receive a certificate of completion at the end. You won’t want to miss this value-packed online course for learning photography!

  • Beginner level
  • 1 hour long
  • Taught by a professional photographer and popular Udemy instructor
  • Full lifetime access
  • Certificate of completion

Visit Udemy.com

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