Online Photography Courses & How To Become A Photographer

Your Guide To Online Courses & Classes

If you love taking pictures and want to improve your skills without going to a photography school, there are courses that you can take.

Or perhaps you want to get a degree in photography? You can choose from hundreds of these courses online that focus on different aspects of photography.

You can learn all about wedding photography, underwater photography, fashion photography, food photography, and any other areas that you want to specialize in.

Don’t waste your talent and hone it by taking an online course. Now, the chance to turn ordinary pictures into breathtaking stills that are worth treasuring in your album is within your fingertips. All you have to do is click on that website offering an online course.


If you think you don’t have enough time to study a full course when you still have to prepare meals for the family, take the kids to and from school, or work all day, you’re mistaken. With an online class, you can take it only when you have free time. It all depends on your preferred pace. You can dwell on a certain section for as long or as quickly as you need to learn all the photography tricks from it, but we’ll go through all the pros and cons further down.

how to become a professional photographer

Online photography classes are also perfect for those who want to turn their hobby into a profitable career. Think about all the target markets that you can cater to with your photography skills. You can even get into it without spending too much on your schooling and training.

These online courses for aspiring photographers will allow you to develop your photography skills, profit from it, work on it and hone it in your own time. You can schedule your classes around your family, work and personal schedules, instead of the other way around. You don’t even need to compromise your existing schedule just to fit in some study time in your pursuit for enhanced photography skills.

Which Photography Courses Online Are the Best? Our Review

Looking for the best online photography courses? There are hundreds to choose from, so where do you start?

Here is a list detailing some of the best we’ve reviewed:

Course/School NameSpecialtyOnline/On LocationLearning FormatCertificate On Completion?Prices From
New York Institute of PhotographyAllOnlineEmail/WebsiteYes + accredited.$39
Fodor’s Travel PhotographyTravelOnlineArticles/BlogsNoFree
Digital Photography SchoolAllOnlineBlogsNoFree
BetterPhotoAllOnlineEmail/Members Area/InteractiveNo$49 /year
The Perfect PictureAllOnline + On LocationMultimediaYes but non-accredited$169

More details on each school/course/site:

  • New York Institute of Photography. The school offers Professional Photography, Video Making, Photoshop, Beginners, and Marketing for Photographers, as of April 2014. It is the oldest and largest school of photography, with their lasting power showing how effective they are. Their courses also prepare photographers to handle the business component of the industry and their rates are great. You can even pay monthly and all your assignments will be assessed by working professional photographers.
  • Fodor’s Travel Photography. This offers free online courses focusing on travel photography. This is one of the most trusted names when it comes to travel guides, so you’ll know that you will learn about composition rules, classic vacation shots, lighting, and other tricks from the experts.
  • Digital Photography School. This course is made of articles instead of coursework. It has Tips and Tutorials, Post Production, and Cameras and Equipment. You can read a lot of articles under each section and photographs can be uploaded to the site, with possible discussion in a community forum.
  • BetterPhoto. This school offers more than 80 photography courses that last for two, four, or eight weeks. Those who prefer emails over live chat may love this online school because instructions are given via email.  Instructors also provide feedback and students have to follow a structured weekly program. The school also provides a money back guarantee.
  • The Perfect Picture: School of Photography. They offer four- and six-week courses, such as Travel Photography, Canon Flash Photography, and more. There are two instructors. Students have to download the lesson for the entire week and they will be given 10 days to finish their assignment. Photos must be uploaded for review and critique. Free video tutorials about Photoshop are also given. A money back guarantee is also provided.

These online photography courses are among the answers on how to be a professional photographer. They are among the top schools offering courses for aspiring photographers online.

There are free online courses out there if you simply do a Google search. is a great resource for any course you can think of, not just on photography.

Photography Courses Online

5 Best Tips On How to Become a Professional Photographer

If you decide to become a photographer, you can do it step-by-step. What’s important for now is that you are firm in your decision to become one. This will be the ultimate source of motivation for when you are required to put in a lot of hard work to submit assignments and realize your dream. This determination will help fuel your desire in becoming a professional photographer.

Here are 5 easy steps on becoming a photographer:

1. Determine what type of photographer you would like to become.

Look deeper into your interests and talents and find out where your real passions lie when it comes to taking pictures. Determine the subjects that you really like to photograph. There is no point in trying to take a picture of things that you don’t understand and that do not capture your interest.

The most common types of photographers include the following:

  • Photojournalists. These are news photographers who take pictures for newspapers, TV stations or magazines.
  • Scientific. These photographers take pictures of different subjects that show or record scientific and medical information.
  • Fine arts. They take high quality photographs that can be distributed as fine artwork as a result of their technical proficiency, creativity, and artistic talent.
  • Industrial and commercials. These photographers take pictures for different media, such as books, advertisements, reports, catalogs, publicity brochures, and more.
  • Portrait. These photographers mainly operate from their studio, although they may also be hired to travel to and take pictures in private homes, offices or schools.

2. Enroll in an online photography course.

For those who want to know how to get into photography, taking an online class is a must-do. If you’re from the U.S., make sure to visit the website of the US Department of Education Database of Accredited Postsecondary Institutions and Programs to know which online schools are accredited. Also check the courses listed above. Take note that there are diploma mills online that offer their students degrees that do not even teach real lessons and only require little to no work at all on the part of the students.

3. Shoot as much as you can.

They say practice makes perfect, and that’s exactly true in photography. This will boost your confidence and help you find what tricks work best for you. You can do it every time you are free. Just be out and about as frequently as you can.

Look at many famous photographs and study them. Visit photo sites and magazines constantly. Compare your work to published photos and learn from the masters’ work. Take hundreds of photos and let your family, friends and colleagues review them. Ask them what they like and don’t like about your photos. Learn from their criticisms.

4. Read photography books.

While you may have the raw talent and have taken the course under the tutelage of expert photographers, don’t stop there. Read books and learn even more. Go to online photography blogs that aim to guide people on how to start photography.

5. Build your portfolio.

This is the most critical step in your bid on becoming  a professional photographer.  Start a blog and feature your photos as a way to display your portfolio and making it accessible by anyone in the world.

Take as many pictures as you can and start submitting them to contests and magazines. Send them to advertising agencies, magazine editors, or art directors. Promote them, share them, and tell the world about them. Be creative!

Find your voice through your photos. Be a perfectionist in editing them. Do all of these and be ready to accept the response of the people. Don’t stop improving yourself and know how to become a successful photographer.

Types of Photography

Here’s a list of the different types of photographers and photography for your information:

Wedding Photographer

Wedding photographers learn the mandatory gear to bring, the importance of white balance, exposure, and other elements, how to take bridal portraits, how to meet with potential clients, how to light a reception, how to take pictures of the wedding items, and how to edit the pictures.

Fashion Photographer

Fashion photographers learn about shooting in the studio or on location, lighting techniques, setting up for a shoot, directing the models and the rest of the team, the impact of dynamic composition, editing images to fit layout publication, and finishing the images for a great portfolio.

Sports Photographer

These types of photographers learn about stopping action, taking pictures in low-light conditions, automatic exposures vs. manual mode, depth of field, shooting vertically and horizontally, and more.

Travel Photographer

As a travel photographer, you’ll go through the history and modern innovations in travel photography and equipment such as flash units, filters, and tripods. They will also learn about camera settings, camera composition and other elements, editing, how to get paid, and how to prepare for an assignment, among others.

Wildlife Photographer

Finding wildlife subjects and how to get close to them, taking wildlife portraits and using the right lighting techniques, macro photography, and capturing the action.

Maternity Photographer

More common nowadays is maternity photography. Maternity photographers take photos of seven to eight month pregnant mothers and sometimes with the father and other children for a family shot.


Students will learn how to take pictures for news and PR, travel and wedding media, and stock agencies, which usually employ freelance photographers. They will learn about key lighting principles, digital photography basics, and copywriting skills, as well as self-promotion, negotiation skills, and getting a suitable workspace.

The Pros & Cons of Online Photography Classes

There are advantages and disadvantages in taking online courses. Knowing each one will help you weigh your decision on where to take your classes.


The most obvious advantage is that it’s more convenient, since you can take your classes at your own pace. You can choose a class schedule that will fit your existing schedule, especially if you have a job and a family to take care of. You don’t even need to drive to school to listen to lectures when you can simply engage in a live chat or receive instructions via email from your instructors and submit assignments by uploading them online.

Everyone can take online classes, both young and old, without feeling intimidated. If you think you’re too old to learn, you can sign up for a class and confidently finish it at home.

If you don’t adapt well to traditional educational settings, these online courses are perfect for you.


There are also drawbacks in an online arrangement. For one, students don’t get to interact with their instructors, being left alone to do their assignments on their own, and trust that these will be submitted on time.

Hands-on training is not provided, which would have been the perfect opportunity for the students to improve their work.

Photography is still about expressing one’s self and there’s no better way to do it than face-to-face interaction.

Students online may also miss out on the valuable experience of interacting with people who share the same interests as they do.

Online photography classes are also not ideal for those who need constant supervision to finish their work.

However, there are excellent photography courses online these days with a curriculum that ensure constant feedback and criticisms of their students’ work, even if these reviews are given online. You just need to choose a reputable school known for giving students the right balance of interaction and feedback to guide them as they master photography.

So Should You Take An Online Course?

If you think about all the things that you need to learn, from the terminology, technical equipment, camera settings, accessories, shooting and lighting techniques, and other factors, taking photography to the next level might be a daunting task, indeed. But you can make it easier for you.

You’ll learn how to become a good photographer by getting lessons from the best in the field and modelling others who have succeeded. You also need to brace yourself from all the disappointments and frustrations that you might feel when you first start taking photos. They don’t have to be instantly perfect, but they will definitely get better over time and over thousands of pictures being taken. As the saying goes “you don’t have to get it right, you just have to get it going”.

Like anything else, there is a learning curve in photography. Think about how master photographers also started out like you as amateur photographers. So if you’re wanting to become a better photographer, review the courses outlined in this article which caters to your needs. You don’t need to know how to do everything at once. Slowly but surely, you will get there.

Taking these courses and classes is a good way to start your education in the art of photography. You can enjoy them at home and at your own convenience as you set the pace of your learning. Work hard in submitting your assignments if required. Be sure to apply what you learned in these online classes and apply them in the field. Take great photos and learn with every click of your shutter. Practice as much as you can. And most of all, have fun and express yourself through your photos.