6 Best Online Photography Courses for Beginners

Photography can be a daunting subject to study, especially for beginners. Taking in-person classes is sometimes unfeasible with work schedules and daily life. But, with the best online photography courses for beginners available at your fingertips, you can now learn from the best. And, from the comfort of your own home.

From photography fundamentals to learning how your camera works. These courses cover everything you need to know in order to get started in photography. These six best online photography courses for beginners have opened up a world of possibilities.

man holding a DSLR

Image Source: YouTube

1. The Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide

This free online course from Lifehacker includes 5 parts. And, it contains the fundamentals necessary for even the earliest beginner. From the basics of how a digital camera works to composition and editing, this comprehensive course is perfect for beginners. One benefit to this course is that it’s available anytime so you can go at your own pace. And, it’s free!

However, this course is mostly in text form with a few videos. While this is great for the visual learner, it may not be as beneficial to the auditory learner. It also does not offer a certificate.

Certificate: No.
Exam: No.
Cost: Free!

2. Your Road to Better Photography

This photography course for beginners is offered by Udemy. And, it’s also free! It includes 10 lessons with over 30 minutes of video taught by celebrity photographer Corey Reese. And, this course has great reviews. It also has lifetime access so you can go at your own pace.

This course is for beginners and covers some fundamentals. But, it focuses primarily on understanding how to control lighting in photography. All you need is your own camera to get started with this class.

Website: Udemy.com.
Certificate: Yes, this course includes a certificate of completion.
Exam: No, but there are field assignments to complete.
Cost: Free!

3. Creative Live-The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners

Every beginning photographer needs to learn about his camera. Looking at all of the buttons and options available can be daunting. But, Creative Live offers courses specific to a wide variety of cameras. The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners in particular is taught by John Greengo. And, the class covers the basic principals and terminology that every beginner needs to operate their camera. The course includes 17 video lessons. And, with lifetime access, you can learn at your own pace. Download files to access offline on your device.

Website: Creativelive.com.
Certificate: No.
Exam: Yes, quizzes and tests are part of this course.
Cost: $49.

4. Fundamentals of Photography Course

Also taught by John Greengo, this course is an excellent first step for the absolute beginner. This course covers the fundamentals to taking a good picture. It includes 122 video lessons and lifetime access so you can learn at your own pace.

While this course does cover the basics, it does not delve into the details of special techniques or understanding lighting. So, you would need to take an additional course to specialize in these areas.

Website: Creativelive.com.
Certificate: No.
Exam: Yes, quizzes and tests are included in this course.
Cost: $199.

5. Fundamentals of Digital Photography

This course is offered online by the New York Institute of Photography (NYIP). NYIP is the largest online photography school in the world, making this course one of the best online photography courses for beginners. It is an excellent course for beginners wanting to master a digital camera. The student forum and mentoring from professional photographers makes this course ideal for the student needing interaction.

One potential downfall is that you only have up to 18 months to finish the course. So, this is not a learn-at-your-own-pace course. Rather, you need to make sure you can invest the time and effort to complete this course within the 18 month time frame.

Website: NYIP.edu.
Certificate: Yes, a certificate is given at the end of the course from the NYIP and graduates can also be certified by the PPA (Professional Photographers of America).
Exam: Yes, there are photo projects throughout the class to assess learning.
Cost: Cost is only $599 if you pay in full and $749 if you make monthly payments. You also have a 14-day refund period if you decide the class is not for you.

6. Academy of Art University

This list of the best online photography courses for beginners would not be complete without a degree program. If you’re looking for more than just a certificate, this online university offers an accredited Associate of Arts or Bachelor of Arts in photography programs. So, you can start out as a beginner but end with a degree in photography. You can also take specific classes if you are just looking to learn about photography without earning the degree. These classes include one-on-one mentoring from professors at one of the leading photography universities in the United States.

This would be the most costly route to learn photography online. However, it does offer a degree, or you can take individual classes if you’re not wanting to earn the degree.

Website: Academyart.edu.
Certificate: Yes, this university offers degree programs.
Exam: Yes.
Cost: $873 per unit (most classes are 3 units each).

 Summing Up

From free online courses to degree programs from the nation’s leading universities, these top six best online photography courses for beginners are perfect for those looking to delve into the world of photography. Learn everything you need to know in order to take that perfect photo every time. All you need is your camera.