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15 Best Free Online Photography Courses

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In this day and age, learning photography has never been easier. Thanks to today’s near-unbridled access to online education, aspiring photographers can learn the craft on their computers without having to spend a single cent. We’ve rounded up some of the best free online photography classes that will teach you everything you need to know. From image composition and camera settings to lighting and photo editing techniques, there’s an advanced or introductory course for you. No matter your skill level, we’ve got you covered! Here are 11 of the best photography courses offered for free online.

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Here are some of the most popular and highly rated online digital photography courses for beginner photographers and intermediate photographers. Most are available all year round and allow you to learn at your own pace. Others are available for a short period of time and offer more advanced lessons at a small price. We’ve also labeled them according to your skill level, so you can easily find the right course/s for you. Then, refer to our list as you level up.

Top Free Online Photography Courses Available Now:

1. basics of photography: the complete guide.

Level: Beginner

This comprehensive, mostly-text tutorial by Lifehacker starts off with three sections that explain how a digital camera works, its automatic settings, and its more advanced manual settings like shutter speed, aperture, and more. The last two sections provide helpful information on compositional techniques and how to edit your photos during post-processing.

The course also offers additional digital photography resources for extended learning on each topic. And with a couple of videos included, it’s an easy way to gain a much better understanding of cameras and imaging before finally venturing into the world of digital photography.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Camera settings and how it works
  • Photo composition
  • Photo editing

2. Introduction to Photography and Related Media

The course, which is freely available to anyone through the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) OpenCourseWare initiative, features video lectures from a semester-long undergraduate-level course at MIT. With the help of four photography teachers, you’ll learn the fundamentals of photography, and technical aspects of working analog and digital SLR cameras.

The tutorial also covers lessons on film imaging—particularly film exposure, film development, and darkroom techniques—aside from digital imaging and studio lighting .

  • Fundamentals of cameras
  • Film development and darkroom techniques
  • Studio lighting

Photographing a model with studio lighting

3. Your Road to Better Photography

This free Udemy course aims to make photography “simple”. It uses 10 lectures and a total of 31 minutes of instructional videos. Celebrity photographer and cinematographer Corey Reese provides in-depth information about shooting in natural light and understanding manual camera settings (like aperture and shutter speed) for a wide range of photography applications. As with most digital photography courses, you’ll need a DSLR or mirrorless camera to be able to maximize the lessons.

  • Natural light photography
  • Manual camera settings
  • Basics of camera

4. Lighting 101 by Strobist

Level: Beginner to Intermediate

This free Strobist online course is for photographers looking to learn more about how to control and use light. You’ll learn from a trained and professional photographer who has completed 10,000-plus assignments and mastered the power of light.

Finally, you’ll learn off-camera flash, how aperture and shutter speed settings help in light control, and manual camera controls.

  • How to use your off-camera flash
  • Power of lighting
  • How to control light

5. Commercial Photography: Still and Moving Image

Level: Intermediate

This free FutureLearn online course is for aspiring commercial photographers or assistants who are hoping to develop their skills and knowledge in new media. This involves exploring still and moving image photography. You’ll get to tackle topics on filmmaking as well as the use of CGI, animation, and more. It will also help you learn how to create winning commercial yet personal and individualized work for clients. All of this will be useful if you’re pursuing advertising, fashion, or editorial photography.

Based on certain elements of the photography courses at Norwich University of the Arts, these lessons allow you to learn from expert academics, as well as leading commercial photographers like Andy Earl and Tim Flach.

  • Benefits of personal work
  • How to develop creative work and get paid
  • How to create video for commercial projects

Photographer framing model

6. Photography Essentials: Understanding the Basics

Understanding the fundamentals of photography is essential to beginning the craft. The instructor, Sean Dalton is a professional lifestyle and travel photographer. Additionally, Sean gives a 90-minute intro to photography and will introduce you to countless tips and tricks to get you started. 

By learning some essential pieces of photography such as, focusing, in-camera settings, exposure, composition, and even editing, you can get your photography hobby, or even career, going with this class. If you are a beginner photographer and want to find a way to get a head start without breaking the bank, this is the class for you. 

  • Understanding your DSLR
  • Camera settings 
  • Finding a unique photography style
  • Getting the best composition 

7. CreativeLife On-Air Classes

CreativeLife mostly sells online photography courses, but they also have a wide range of free on-air classes (at least one per day). These classes cover topics such as video, art and design, music and audio, crafts, and others—including photography, of course. The site allows viewers to RSVP to different classes, which can easily be viewed by more than 50,000 students from around the world. Make sure to take note of the date and time of the on-air class you want to take. There are many different courses each day.

Finally, should you consider trying out their paid classes, you can catch celebrity guests and instructors like world-renowned wedding photographer Jasmine Star.

  • Photography styles
  • How to find a creative flow
  • Building a creative career

8. Alison Free Online Courses and Online Learning

Level: Beginner to Advanced

Alison offers free online diploma and certificate courses in a wide variety of disciplines, which includes a handful of photography courses designed to help shutterbugs of varying skill levels take their photography to the new heights. Alison currently has certificate courses for beginners, intermediate-level photographers, and advanced shooters, as well as a diploma course on digital photography. If you want to learn more about exposure settings, composition techniques , or post-production tools, this is a good place to start.

  • Composition techniques
  • Digital photography

Modeling with mixed lighting and double exposure

9. Documentary Photography and Photojournalism: Still Images of a World in Motion

One of the best free online photography courses for aspiring photojournalists, this MIT course from 2016 (also available on MIT OpenCourseWare) helps you hone your photographic “eye” and skills by exposing you to the work of some of the most successful shooters in the field. And by the end of the course, you will have gained expert knowledge in capturing the essence of a scene. Then, you’ll effectively convey meaningful messages despite the obvious limitations of a still photo. If you have a passion for extraordinary images that tell a story, this course is for you.

  • Finding your photography “eye”
  • History of documentary photography & the work of famous documentary photographers
  • How to make your own documentary photo

10. Professional Family Portraits by Kirk Tuck

The course offers advanced yet very doable strategies for taking flattering portraits as well as tips on how you can make your subjects (young and old) behave in front of the camera. However, you’ll need to have a pretty good understanding of how cameras work in order to understand other lessons on image composition, exposure techniques, lighting equipment, and post-processing. The goal is for you to have a very good idea of how you can execute a pictorial—whether indoor or outdoor—for an entire family. In the end, you’ll produce a final product that they would hang in their living room and treasure for years or generations to come.

  • How to do in-home photo shoots
  • Ambient lighting techniques
  • Locations for family photos

11. An Introduction to Photography by Karl Taylor Education

In this free class, Karl Taylor will take you through some easy tips and tricks to improve your photography. By expanding your technical and creative education, you can take your craft to new heights.

Karl starts out by simply walking through your camera, covering proper settings such as ISO, aperture, shutter speed and anything else that will allow you to shoot in Full Manual Mode. In this class, you will cover composition, understanding the use of light, depth of field, which lenses to use and when, and much more.

  • Which lenses to use and when
  • Understanding composition
  • Manual Mode
  • Depth of field
  • Megapixels and sensor sizes

12. Stanford’s Digital Photography Course

Skill Level:  Beginner to Intermediate

Dive into the multifaceted world of digital photography with Stanford’s comprehensive course. This course, taught by esteemed professor Marc Levoy, covers the scientific, artistic, and computational aspects of photography, along with a touch of its historical context.

Although the course is older than most, the content remains current. Throughout the 18 lessons, learners engage in hands-on projects, specifically tailored for those with minimal to zero background in photography or coding, yet having a basic understanding of elementary mathematical principles. This structure of the course delves into an array of subjects, all structured to provide a holistic understanding of your camera and its functionalities, empowering you to take more captivating photos.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Everything to do with lenses and how they contribute to the overall look of your photographs.
  • Key image processing and editing techniques, along with an introduction to computational photography.
  • How to compose strong photos by studying the work of famous photographers and implementing practical assignments.

13. Introductory Photography Course by Chris Bray

Skill Level:  Beginner

Chris Bray’s Introductory Photography Course is the ultimate practical guide for beginners looking to understand their camera and elevate their photography skills. The comprehensive 10-part YouTube series covers camera operations, exploring composition, exposure, aperture, shutter speed, ISO, lighting, lenses, and more.

Christ presents the course in an easy to understand way that encourages participants to switch from shooting in auto mode to gaining full control of their camera settings in manual mode. While the contents and terminology for beginners can be daunting this has been addressed with plenty of practical examples to further increase your knowledge on the subject.

  • Fundamentals of camera operations, including understanding AF mode, AF points, resolution, and techniques for perfect exposure.
  • Techniques to enhance photo composition, such as the rule of thirds , leading lines, and background selection.
  • Comprehensive knowledge about lenses, lighting, shutter speed effects, and ISO, along with tips on managing post-production and breaking into the industry.

14. Photography: Ditch Auto – Start Shooting in Manual by Jerad Hill

Professional wedding photographer, Jerad Hill presents a comprehensive and user-friendly guide, crafted particularly for those who own a DSLR or an advanced point-and-shoot camera but have yet to harness its full capabilities. This course demystifies the often-intimidating manual mode , turning abstract terms such as shutter speed, ISO and aperture into practical, understandable concepts. Spanning just over 4 hours, the course provides a solid foundation in DSLR photography, explaining the operation of manual mode in an easy-to-grasp manner. Through this course, Jerad encourages participants to learn with their cameras in hand, facilitating a hands-on experience that makes complex ideas more concrete.

  • The basics of DSLR Photography and the intricacies of shooting in manual mode.
  • How to think like a professional photographer, training your brain to leverage your camera’s features optimally.
  • Skills to shoot photos confidently in various situations, which will be particularly beneficial for those considering photography as a profession.

15. The Reddit Photoclass

The Reddit Photoclass, curated by professional adventure photographer Alex Buisse, is a self-paced, comprehensive course offering 30 accessible lessons on all facets of photography. From understanding the basics of a camera to delving into depths of exposure, shutter speed, and ISO, the course thoroughly covers technical aspects. It also explores creative areas like composition, breaking rules, and sharing work.

Each lesson includes assignments for practical understanding. Although there is no formal grading or feedback provided by the instructor, participants can benefit from peer feedback through select subreddits. In addition photographers can find various helpful links to a myriad of resources to further their education online.

  • Gain the knowledge and confidence to adjust your settings manually.
  • Advanced concepts like levels and curves, layers and masks, film vs. digital, and manual vs. scene modes.
  • Elements of composition, creative expression through breaking rules, inspiration, sharing work, and methods to further enhance your photography skills.

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Tips to Choose the Best Digital Photography Course for You

With so many digital photography courses and workshops available these days, digital and in-person, free and paid, you may feel overwhelmed when searching for the ideal opportunity to expand your photography skills. Here are a few ideas to help you find the best options:

  • Start small . If you’re just starting out, the best online photography course for you may be very simple and focus on a few key photography tips.
  • Ask around . Talk to your friends and family who are interested in photography and have the same basic experience level as you. They may be able to recommend the perfect class or workshop.
  • Consult the local library or community center . Many local public spaces offer beginner photography classes to help you get started.
  • Read reviews . There are so many online photography classes available. To find the best courses for your interests and experience level, it’s a good idea to read reviews from previous students.
  • Get the right experience . Make sure the class you intend to take is at the right experience level. You don’t want to end up in a class for advanced photographers if you’re still learning the fundamentals of photography. Reach out to the instructor for clarification or placement questions.
  • Learn editing . Find online photography classes that focus on Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom. Learning how to shoot is only part of the experience. Learning how to use programs like Lightroom and Photoshop will help you polish your work and solidify your photography techniques.
  • Research the course’s instructor . Professional photographers usually know their stuff and have lots of insights to add to the experience.
  • Find your niche . Find out if the classes you’re exploring teach the type of photography you want to learn. Landscape and nature photography lessons won’t typically be taught in the same course as portrait photography. If nature photography is your focus, find a dedicated nature photography opportunity.
  • Go hands-on . When you’re ready to advance beyond free options, consider a travel workshop with a professional photographer for mastering advanced techniques in the field. These hands-on experiences will help you get comfortable not only with the fundamentals of photography, but also with more advanced photography skills. One-on-one photography lessons are a great way to develop your skills further.

Regardless of the digital photography course you choose, becoming a photographer requires having the right equipment. We recommend looking into a DSLR or mirrorless camera such as a Canon EOS R5 , Sony Alpha a7S III , or even a Nikon D500 . Having the right equipment will ensure you can grow as a photographer as your skills develop.

How to Find a Photography Class Near You?

As things open back up post-pandemic, more and more institutions are returning to the classroom setting. This gives students an opportunity for a hands-on approach to concepts like shutter speed, aperture, and proper exposure.

Attending a weekly class in person will reinforce new techniques as you dive deep into the principles of photography to develop your creative eye. Photography gets easier to learn and understand the more consistently you do it. If you’re interested in growing as a photographer, signing up for an in-person class is a great first step.

When you’re ready for in-person classes, check out the available options at local community centers, arts centers, and independent photography schools. Beginner photographers will benefit from introductory classes and the ability to work directly with their photography teachers, who can answer your questions and troubleshoot any issues.

Additionally, if you’re having trouble finding a class near you, reach out to local community colleges and other academic institutions. They can advise you or even set you up with an ideal photography teacher for private lessons.

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Is Going to School for Photography Worth It?

Learning photography is easier in an academic setting. Experienced photography teachers know how to make concepts understandable. They can teach beginners in a way that helps you advance toward your creative goals. Developing your creative eye with a photography teacher’s help is a big step in the right direction.

Professional photography teachers also know how to use a variety of gear. So whether you have a Nikon camera, a Canon camera, or something else, they’ll show you how to set up your camera and get great shots.

If you’re interested in learning post processing and photo editing, working with a teacher in a classroom is a big help. Having a teacher track your progress and make suggestions will also help you get a handle on the different techniques. That alone is worth the price of admission.

Can you self teach photography?

Short answer: Absolutely. As many self-taught photographers will tell you, teaching yourself the craft of photography is more than possible. With so much access to information and education on the internet, you can teach yourself to do just about anything these days.

There’s a plethora of both written articles and online photography courses and videos that will instruct you on Photography 101 to become a full-time professional photographer . You will of course need to be committed and disciplined to learn this craft without the push of an on-hand instructor.

A great place to start is by learning about your specific camera. Look up articles and Youtube videos that will walk you through the different parts of a camera , then go out into the field and experiment with settings, lighting, and framing.

Once you have the basics of your own camera, find out exactly what kind of photographer you want to be. Figure out if you like portraits , landscapes , commercial, etc. Figuring out what you are passionate about will allow you to focus on a genre and learn and grow within that photography genre.

How much does a photographer make a year?

A photographer’s salary can vary depending on the volume of work they do, the type of photography, and geographically where the photographer is based can also be a variable.

Photographers are mostly self-employed creators, so the annual income will vary, but there is always more work out there for those willing to go find it. Another way to make good money as a photographer is to work full-time for a company, while also taking on more work on the weekends, even if it is in a different field than what you are used to.

Most professional photographers who do this full-time show that there are many way to make money with photography . By building up long-term continuous clients and knowing the value of your work, the sky’s the limit when it comes to what you can earn in this field.

Learn From Adorama

With a belief that everyone is a creator, Adorama hosts a variety of events through 42Live , a series of hands-on workshops, presentations by industry-leading professionals, panels on current topics, photo walks, and live demonstrations.

All these events cover a broad spectrum of creative interests like photography, video and filmmaking, lighting, editing and post-production, along with topics on business and law. These learning experiences, usually free, offer a unique opportunity to gain knowledge and network with like-minded individuals. Even if you’re unable to attend in person, Adorama streams its events to its YouTube events page , allowing creatives everywhere to participate.

Adorama also has an educational blog, 42West . This platform is dedicated to providing high-quality, free content that empowers photographers with in-depth knowledge about their equipment and their craft. Some of most popular articles for beginners include:

Parts of a Camera

This article provides an extensive overview of the basic components of a camera and the importance of understanding these parts for aspiring photographers to control exposure, depth of field, and adapt to various shooting conditions, thereby improving their photographic skills.

Camera Basics: What is Shutter Speed?

Use this comprehensive explanation of shutter speed in photography, how it is measured, and its impact on image exposure and motion representation.

Camera Basics: What is Aperture?

Delve into this article to gain an understanding of the role an aperture setting plays under different conditions and its impact on light exposure, depth of field, and composition.

Camera Basics: What is ISO?

Better understand ISO and the importance of understanding and controlling the setting for image quality and artistic compositions.

Best Cameras for Beginners

This guide provides a beginner with essential factors to consider before purchasing a camera, such as sensor size, dynamic range, built-in image stabilization, image format, portability, and connectivity.

Different Camera Shooting Modes Explained

Learn critical knowledge of various camera shooting modes including, Full Auto, Program Mode, Shutter Priority, Aperture Priority, and Manual Mode.

Exposure Triangle Explained: What You Need to Know

Understand the Exposure Triangle and how ISO, aperture, and shutter speed, all work together to create an image.

What is Depth of Field?

Find out how depth of field connects with the camera’s aperture and the effects of subject distance, lens focal length, and sensor size and the impact they make to your end result.

Mirrorless vs DSLRs: How Do They Compare?

Discover what the main camera debate is and how a different type of camera body can impact your style of photography, but understanding its pros and cons.

What is F-Stop & How to Use It for Photography

Understand the concept of f-stop in photography by exploring its role in adjusting the aperture or the size of the opening in a camera lens, which dictates the amount of light that the lens allows in.

Feature photo by Christopher Gower on Unsplash

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Whether you’re a beginner or an advanced photographer who wants to master certain skills further or branch out into a new photography topic, you can find hundreds of classes suitable for your level and interests. What’s more, our classes are created or taught by industry experts and are easily adaptable to your skill level and requirements. Whether you want to learn to shoot portraits or outdoors photos, family or lifestyle photos, or just want to become a pro at Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop, the right training course at the right price is waiting for you, and it’ll easily fit into your schedule. Once you start, we’ll also recommend additional learning to tailor to your needs, and you’ll be able to benefit from the community and become even more knowledgeable in your chosen photography subject.

How Difficult Is It To Learn Photography?

Photography is not hard to learn, gone are the days when you can only take pictures if you have a lot of equipment, a dark room, and years of experience. Everyone can become a photographer now, even with their own phone camera and nothing else. This doesn’t mean that anyone can take great or even good photos. Mastering a skill such as photography still requires an investment of time and dedication. However, courses, advice, knowledge articles, and a large professional community are readily available online to help you on this journey. It’s also important to find your own photography passion; whether you prefer taking wedding, family, or nature photos or have a keener interest in filmmaking and video editing, once you’ve found your passion, invest the time and effort in it, and you’ll become a pro one day.

What Career Paths Can You Take With Photography Classes?

Two of the most in-demand types of photography are portrait and family photography as well as wedding photography. While the latter tends to be somehow seasonal, you can rely on a steady source of income if you choose to become a portrait photographer. Other great options are commercial photography (including food, architecture, design, or other products and services), fashion photography, travel, outdoor wildlife and nature, stock photography, and photojournalism. Social media also offers many options to focus on, such as becoming an influencer with your photography skills or offering your skills to others.

What Skills Will I Learn In Photography Classes?

A beginner photography class will teach you the basics of photography, familiarize you with the equipment you need and how to use it, and show you how to view the world around you with a photographer's eye by formulating a goal and planning and executing your project. If you are already experienced and want to perfect your technical skills or try a new area such as wedding, portrait, or wildlife photography, your course will aim at teaching you the technical, creative, artistic, and purely organizational skills you need to become a master in your desired field. Choosing the right class, reading carefully through the description, and even contacting the tutor or community beforehand might save you time and help you better prepare before the class starts.

Which Classes Are Recommended For Beginner Photographers?

There are over 116 classes dedicated to the Fundamentals of Photography that will help you start as a new professional in this field. Even if you have some prior experience, whether gained formally or on your own, you’ll benefit hugely from the structured approach, the well-presented information, and the experience and knowledge of our tutors. Apart from classes teaching you the photography basics, you can also enroll in classes about lighting, Adobe suite, the fundamentals of filmmaking, how to think like a photographer, and many other topics that will ensure you start in the right direction in your career path as a photographer and discover what you’re passionate about.

What Gear Do I Need For A Photography Class?

You can get started with as little as the camera on your phone, but each class will include specific requirements in the description. Generally, it’s helpful to have a good digital camera with manual mode, a changeable lens and a zoom lens kit, a flash with manual mode, and a through the lens (TTL) kit. If you’re already a photographer, you’ll probably have all this equipment and might need to get a specific lens or external flash, tripods, lighting equipment, or other gear depending on the course you’re taking. Camera and other photography gear can get really expensive, so think about borrowing, buying second hand, or just getting the minimum required before you’re sure that you’ll continue with this specific field of photography in the future.

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10 best online photography courses – from beginner guides to masterclasses

The best online photography courses for beginners and experts – lighting, weddings, videography, Photoshop + more

The best online photography courses – from beginner guides to masterclasses

The best online photography courses afford you the opportunity to get one-to-one tuition from some of the biggest names and top experts in the industry. Who wouldn't want a private photography lesson from Annie Leibovitz? Or a complete Photoshop walkthrough from an Adobe guru? Or a live 'in the trenches' session on wedding photography conducted during an actual wedding?  

Previously you would have to attend workshops, go on training courses, become an apprentices or read dozens of books to get this knowledge. Of course, there are plenty of photography tips , photography cheat sheets and home photography ideas that can give you a great grounding – but nothing can replace a structured syllabus of learning that a dedicated course provides.

We've rounded up the very best courses out there across a spectrum of genres. Whether you're a complete newbie to photography, a weekend wedding shooter, or you'd like to dip your toe into areas like macro shooting and videography, there are options here to cover multiple areas and ability levels. 

So put on your thinking cap, break out your notebook and get ready to boost your learning and understanding with the best online photography courses…

1. Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

Specifications, reasons to buy, reasons to avoid.

The online learning sphere has become an incredibly crowded one, but Masterclass stands out by working with the biggest names in their fields: Samuel L Jackson, Neil Gaiman, Gordon Ramsey, Serena Williams, Christina Aguilera, Martin Scorcese, Neil deGrasse Tyson… and in this case, Annie Liebowitz. As you can imagine, the knowledge on offer is second to none, and the production values are sky high. 

Leibowitz uses examples from her storied career to convey her wisdom, in the form of her extensive portfolio and taking you behind the scenes of a Vogue photoshoot. She is definitely in the camp of "it's not the gear, it's the idea", so rather than a tour de force of technicality this course focus on conceptualizing, shooting with natural light, and bringing images to life in post production. 

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2. Beginners Start Here

If you're just getting started in photography, this course does exactly what it says on the tin. Beginners really should start here, as renowned photographer and trainer Scott Kelby tells you everything you need to know about camera gear, settings and how to go about shooting. 

Rather than dry recitations of principles, this highly informal instructional sees Kelby sharing things like his favorite lenses and f-stops. This gives you a real leg up on learning, as the course functions a lot like accompanying him on a shoot; for a given scene, he'll tell you things like what aperture he would use or what tricks he would employ to get sharp shots. For a supercharged start to shooting, look no further.

•  Best camera for beginners

3. Learn Landscape Photography

If you already know your camera basics, but want to get the most out of shooting outdoors, this course will help you understand how to use your kit in a landscape environment to start shoot stunning images. It helps that tutor Ray Salisbury is based in the living postcard that is New Zealand, for sure, but that just means he can share an extraordinary range of settings, from rolling hills to wild beaches to crashing waterfalls. 

Salisbury invites you to look over his shoulder at the settings he's using, and goes over how to fundamentals like the rule of thirds to varying scenes. And to ensure that you won't forget what you've been taught, this course has downloadable cheat sheets that you can take with you when you go out on your own!

•  Best landscape lenses

4. What The Flash? Controlling Your Light

Bob Davis has made a career out of shooting big events and lavish weddings, wrestling with aggressive indoor illumination, underpowered venue mood lighting and beautiful but dim candlelight. As such, he's become a master of not just controlling light by adding flash, but also of working with and getting the most out of the existing light on-location. 

This course is designed to give you a foundation in how to understand light. You'll be introduced to lights, gels and modifiers, as well as DIY "dirty landing" tools. To illustrate, Davis takes you on three example shoots in different conditions, including an engagement session and an abandoned building shoot. Once you're finished, you'll be ready to take photographs whatever the light is doing. 

•  Best flashguns

5. Adobe Photoshop CC – Essentials Training Course

One of the best and most comprehensive courses out there, this fantastic class featuring 87 lessons and over 8 hours of instructional video! No previous knowledge of Photoshop or photography is necessary, as brilliant teacher Daniel Scott will show you everything you need to know. (If you already know the fundamentals, we highly recommend Scott's next class, Adobe Photoshop CC – Advanced Training Course ).

Learning here is project-based, with real-world examples used as the basis to teach the tools and features required to achieve effective results easily. Topics covered include enhancing images, correcting light and color, using masks (including on hair), adding text and logos, creating banners and ads, and of course retouching skills. If you want to start getting the most out of your Creative Cloud subscription, this is absolutely essential.

•  Best Photoshop CC deals

6. A Real Wedding, Live and Uncensored – The Ceremony and The Reception

Instructionals and explanations and examples are all well and good. However, the best way to learn something isn't to hear it described in a classroom – it's to see how it's actually done, in practice. And that's exactly what Cliff Mautner does with this course, as he takes you along on a real-life wedding to look over his shoulder, see what he sees, and watch how a professional photographer approaches and handles the big day. There's no theory here, just practice!  

Mautner actually convinced a bride and groom to let him and his video crew tag along on their wedding day, facilitating this unprecedented fly-on-the-wall look at how a wedding is really shot. This video is actually the second of a two-part series, but as it covers the important stuff – the ceremony and reception – it's arguably the more important if you can only watch one. We'd definitely recommend checking out A Real Wedding, Live and Uncensored – Preparation and Family Portraits to see how Mautner approaches the day, the kit he chooses and more. 

7. Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

Another production by Masterclass, and another blowaway look at the highest level of photography by one of the best in the world. This time the expert is Jimmy Chin, an award-winning photographer who has shot for the likes of National Geographic , who can turn an already stunning landscape or outdoor photograph into a truly awe-inspiring image. 

Chin shares the secrets to his evocative, narrative photography, and teaches you how to tell stories with images. In addition to mastering on-location variables such as composition, he also shows you how to shoot with a mind for post production – exposing your images with forethought to how you will treat them in the digital darkroom. Not one for the fainthearted, or the easily intimidated, but if you're ready to take a quantum leap with your outdoor shots then Chin will be your bungee cord!

8. The Complete Video Production Bootcamp

What could be better than one expert teacher? How about two expert teachers? This course does you one better, with three expert teachers who have worked on feature films, commercials and documentaries – and their videographic insights will instantly improve your skills whether you're a vlogger, a YouTuber or an aspiring filmmaker. 

These three amigos not only share their personal recommendations for equipment, if you're looking to set up from scratch, they also show you how to get great results from the kit you already own – whether you're using a phone, a DSLR / mirrorless or a professional cinema camera. You'll learn how to pre-produce and approach a shoot, how to record audio with different mics, how to light and DIY lighting tricks, how to edit footage, how to grow your audience… and there are downloadable PDFs, practical exercises and even monthly video calls from the team.

•  Best camera for filmmaking

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

The secret to iPhone photography is "10% gear and 90% percent what's up here." That's the mantra of this course, taught by Dale McManus – a professional photographer, videographer and YouTuber with almost half a million subscribers. And when you see some of the stunning photographs he's taken using nothing but his iPhone, you'll 100% agree with that statement.

No fancy camera apps and no expensive additional lenses; McManus teaches you how to shoot amazing photographs using just your phone. From setup to post production, he shows you how to optimize your iPhone camera settings, shares composition secrets, and explains how to create depth, tell stories, use ambient light and how to professionally edit using Lightroom – for free. Many of the principles apply to Android phones, too, but the course is very much catered to iOS. 

• Best iPhone for photography

10. Macro Photography & Focus Stacking Made Easy

If you've always wanted to turn your hand to macro photography, but wanted to sink all that cash into a lens without having the knowledge to use it, this course is ideal. In fact, it even explains how to shoot macro shots without a macro lens – or even on a camera with a fixed lens – so you can have a go at close-up shooting using your existing equipment.

Presenter Nic van Oudtshoorn may not be a fountain of charisma, but he certainly is a fountain of knowledge. He shows you how to shoot small using any kit, from fixed lens cameras to cheap and cheerful lens hacks to high end macro optics. He also covers illumination, including how to turn your pop-up flash into a macro flash cheaply and easily. Crucially, he also covers focus stacking techniques to achieve that elusive depth of field in your macro shots. 

• Best macro lenses

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James Artaius

The editor of Digital Camera World, James has 21 years experience as a journalist and started working in the photographic industry in 2014 (as an assistant to Damian McGillicuddy, who succeeded David Bailey as Principal Photographer for Olympus). In this time he shot for clients like Aston Martin Racing, Elinchrom and L'Oréal, in addition to shooting campaigns and product testing for Olympus, and providing training for professionals. This has led him to being a go-to expert for camera and lens reviews, photo and lighting tutorials, as well as industry news, rumors and analysis for publications like Digital Camera Magazine ,  PhotoPlus: The Canon Magazine ,  N-Photo: The Nikon Magazine ,  Digital Photographer and Professional Imagemaker, as well as hosting workshops and talks at The Photography Show . He also serves as a judge for the Red Bull Illume Photo Contest. An Olympus and Canon shooter, he has a wealth of knowledge on cameras of all makes – and a fondness for vintage lenses and instant cameras.

Related articles

Online Photography Classes - 31 Best Picks for Beginners

Gurpreet Singh - Author

Are you just starting out with photography? Here are the 31 best online photography classes to help you build a strong foundation.

The internet has contributed to a faster flow of information, resources, and services. This is never truer than in the realm of education and learning services. Once upon a time, to learn a skill you had to seek out experts in the field to teach you, enroll in a college or university, or grab a textbook. Today, online classes and courses offered by many platforms have made the process of learning easier, more accessible, and cost-effective.

From amateurs with YouTube channels to Ivy League university programs, the number of online photography classes available grows every year. Many of these are free photography classes online, but the highest quality courses need to be purchased or viewed using a subscription service. 

Which are the best online photography classes?

The answer to that depends on your learning levels, current skill levels, and the time and money you can invest in a photography class online. Here are the top 10 best online photography classes:

1.  Beginner Photography Course Bundle from Creativelive  2.  Introductory Photography Course from Udemy  3.  Certificate in Photography from iPhotography Course 4.  Your Road to Better Photography - Free Online Photography Classes by Udemy  5.  Portrait Photography Bootcamp from Creativelive  6. 365 Photography Course from 7.  A Crash Course in Photographic Composition from Skillshare  8.  The Essential Guide to Photoshop from Craftsy 9.  The Complete Guide to Photography from The School of Photography 10. DSLR Photography-Photography Course from Skillshare

Which are the best photography classes near me? This question has been made irrelevant by the vast selection of photography classes online that have circumvented the need to find learning opportunities near your location. You now have access to a plethora of quality content from around the world at your fingertips. The best online photography courses require a lot of time and knowledge to put together, and when done well, they can be just as useful as doing an apprenticeship or taking up photography classes near you. 

We have curated a list of the most popular online photography courses, that cover multiple areas and skill levels, to make you a better photographer. Here is an list of  top photography website templates  for your use. 

Here are the Best 31 Online Photography Classes:

1.  beginner photography course bundle from creativelive.

Beginner Photography Course Bundle from Creativelive

A great offering on Creativelive's course platform is the four-course bundle for beginner photographers. These four courses, when taken together, cover everything from basic camera settings, composition, lighting, and digital post-processing. The Fundamentals of Photography is a learner-centred online photography class that encompasses 107 video lessons and is a great introduction to the basics of photography.

The following online photography courses are included in the bundle but are also available separately.

• Fundamentals of Photography by John Greengo

• Understanding Light by Mark Wallace

• Adobe Lightroom: The Complete Guide by Ben Willmore

• Practical Adobe Photoshop Basics by Khara Plicanic

2.  Introductory Photography Course from Udemy

Introductory Photography Course from Udemy

This hour and a half long video-based online photography class from Udemy offers a lot of value to shutterbugs who are at the start of their photography career. The course covers camera basics including controlling autofocus modes, exposure and metering modes, and the depth of field. The course goes beyond camera settings and introduces compositional concepts like the rule of thirds and leading lines.

The introductory online Digital Photography Course is just one of the online photo classes offered by Udemy. Many courses on the site cost around $10, but they offer a money-back satisfaction guarantee. Many of the online photography courses are about five hours long, but several masterclasses cover over 20 hours of material. Topics range from how-to guides like "Mastering Off-Camera Flash" to specialized niche topics like "Newborn Photography Secrets."

3. Certificate in Photography from iPhotography Course

iPhotography offers a wide range of online photography courses and editing courses that are designed for beginner and amateur photographers.

Its popular flagship course, iPhotography Course, is an in-depth 18-module course covering all the essentials of photography from the basics like camera settings, equipment, light, through to advanced posing, composition, camera tricks and editing in Photoshop.

Each course comes with a Certificate of Achievement, practical tutor-assessed assignments and access to an active community which includes photo contests and a photo feedback gallery that receives over 3,000 uploads a month. Students can upload their photos and receive feedback and ratings from tutors and fellow students.

iPhotography also offers a free photography course called The 30-Day Photographer which delivers a new class each day for 30 days. Each class takes less than 60-seconds to complete and teaches the basic principles of photography.

4.  Your Road to Better Photography - Free Online Photography Classes by Udemy

This free online photography class offered by Udemy, encourages students to get out of the automatic camera modes they've been experimenting with and explore the world of manual control. By teaching you to master the exposure triangle for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, you can enjoy complete creative freedom with whatever type of camera you pick up 

5. Portrait Photography Bootcamp from Creativelive

The Secrets to Stunning Portrait Photography - Lindsay Adler

If you are looking for a more hands-on, specific course for portraiture then look no further. Lindsay Adler's course is a well-thought-out lesson that covers all of the essentials of shooting portraits and is an excellent reference for all photographers. From the basics like camera settings, lighting, and lens selections, to advanced posing techniques for individuals and groups, this course covers it all. Creativelive offers quite a few specialized online digital photography classes in photography, as well as a few general beginner's courses for aspiring photographers. No matter what topic you are interested in or what skill you need to master, Creativelive has a specialty course for you.

6.  365 Photography Course from

If you’re looking to make a commitment to your photography abilities and learn a little every day, this course is the right fit for you. The daily bite-size lessons are taught by award-winning photographer Kevin LJ, who has been an industry leader for over 30 years and is a master teacher himself for close to a decade. The course guarantees a solid understanding of how to use your camera in every lighting scenario imaginable. What sets this course apart from others is the one bite-sized lesson you receive every day along with a practical challenge to test what you learned.

365 Days of Photography will help you:

  • Gain a solid knowledge of your camera
  • Develop your camera-operating speed and accuracy
  • Understand different types of light
  • Compose your photographs confidently
  • Identify the best time to take your photos
  • Learn to work in any situation; with the use of natural lighting or flash

7.  A Crash Course in Photographic Composition from Skillshare

Photographic Composition from Skillshare

Another great photography course online offered by Skillshare focused entirely on composition. In over two hours of videos and materials, the course covers all aspects of composition, geometry, and lines.

8. The Essential Guide to Photoshop from Craftsy

Among the many online digital photography classes offered on Craftsy, this Photoshop essentials course is a gem. No list of online photography courses would be complete without at least one Photoshop course. Even if you don't personally use the program, chances are you will use it to address the skills and attributes at a job or at some point in your photography career. Other photo editing software programs that you might use have undoubtedly been designed to look and feel like Photoshop , so learning Photoshop has become a de facto requirement for being a digital photographer.

This course, presented by Skott Chandler, consists of 14 video sections and covers basics like using Bridge and Camera RAW to organize files and import camera RAW files. Retouching is divided logically by the type of photograph you are working with, be it portraits, landscapes, or vintage photo restorations.

9.  The Complete Guide to Photography from The School of Photography

Complete Guide to Photography from The School of Photography

The team at The School of Photography has been teaching since 2002 and the extensive experience shines through in their courses. Their flagship photography course focuses on teaching you the technical aspects from the ground up. This in turn will give you full control over your camera and the visual effects of photography that all good photographers need. They also offer courses in Photoshop, Lightroom, studio lighting, and other specific genres of photography. This is your go-to place if you are looking to learn professional photography from expert academics.

10.  DSLR Photography - Photography Course from Skillshare

Skillshare is a diverse community of online video courses. The site offers many free online photography courses to try out, but a reasonable monthly subscription fee gets you access to over 24,000 classes. The site provides a one-month free trial, so you can probably even complete one or two of the best online photography courses it offers for free.

The DSLR Photography course consists of 11 chapters of videos that cover using your camera for everything from street photography to portraits. Even the free online photography classes like this one on Skillshare have a lot to offer. Additionally, there are several introductions to photography courses, as well as several Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials. Classes include projects which you can share and compare with others in the Skillshare community.

Each lesson takes less than 5 minutes to complete, with an aim to make learning part of your daily photography journey.

11.  Photography Basics and Beyond from Coursera

Photography Basics and Beyond from Coursera

Coursera is a leading online platform provider for MOOCs, or massive open online courses. Many of the MOOCs offered on the site are provided by accredited universities and colleges. The photography specialization is available from Michigan State University. This is a seven-month program with flexible deadlines and scheduling to meet your needs. Upon completion of the program and the hands-on projects, you earn a certificate in photography, which is excellent for your resume and employment options. As a freelance photographer , certifications help bolster your marketability and credibility with clients.  Here is the guide for  how to build a resume website .

The following five courses are included in the Photography Basics and Beyond specialization.

• Cameras, Exposure, and Photography

• Camera Control

• Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production

• Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

• Photography Capstone Project

12.  Professional Diploma in Photography from Shaw Academy

One of Shaw Academy's stated goals is to "reskill and upskill the world." Their professional diploma programs are accredited by the European Qualifications Framework. Their courses and programs vary from photography and video to design, marketing, and even health and wellness. 

Here are a few popular professional online photography courses:

The Wedding Photography course will teach you professional techniques and in-depth skills to ace wedding portraits. 

The Professional Online Video Production and Cinematography Course offers basic skills to create videos, understand compositional techniques and movement, syncing the audio with video, and shooting fully manual to have complete creative control over your videos and to become a professional cinematographer .

Specifically, their Diploma in Photography consists of five modules, each taking four weeks of study time. The first module alone includes many of the basics skills photographers might be looking to master, including composition, lighting, and equipment basics. The first seven days of membership with Shaw is free, and then each month is billed as a membership.

Once you have mastered the Basics in the Diploma Course, you can go on to Intermediate and Advanced courses in Photography, to learn about types of photography and hone your skills to create stunning images. Shaw Academy also offers Online Courses on Lightroom, Photoshop, Smartphone photography. Read more in detail here .

13.   Beginner Digital Photography - Online Photography Classes by Alison

Digital Photography from Alison

Alison  is an Irish-based web learning company that offers diploma and certificate courses online. Their online classes are free and wide-ranging. From learning a foreign language to master web design, Alison has great courses available to be taken anytime. Alison offers a photographer career path that includes 16 different photography classes.

Alison offers several free online photography courses with certificates, including a diploma program for digital photography. Beginners can try out their course offerings by taking Digital Photography for Beginners course. This online photography class covers basic image composition, using and picking digital cameras, and other great tips to help you get off on the right foot.

14.  Beginner Photography Courses from Sleeklens

Sleeklens is a Danish-based company with a well-known reputation in Lightroom Presets & Brushes. Since 2018 they have extended their product range to list online photography courses.

Discover the "Beginner Photography Course" by Sleeklens, covering a broad range of topics relevant to photographers today,

This is an 8-hour course split into eight different modules, covering from gear basics to composition, working with external flashes, photo editing in both Lightroom and Photoshop – and if all that weren’t enough, offering detailed guides on Landscape, Portrait, Real Estate, Food, and Travel Photography. Here is a top real estate photography tips from the industry.

The course is authored by Jordan Younce, a professional Real Estate Photographer with more than ten years of experience in the field.

15.  The Practicing Photographer from Lynda

Lynda is the professional training website from business social media giant Linkedin. Lynda's courses feature high-quality video training of any number of topics to help you build marketable skills and expand your knowledge base. These are some of the best online photography courses out there, but they do come with a price tag. Luckily, Lynda offers a free month to try out their courses so you can see if it's a good fit for you before beginning a subscription.

The Practicing Photographer is a quick 30 minutes web course designed to give students a feel for what it's like being a working photographer. This overview course quickly dives into different styles of cameras, lighting techniques, and post-processing programs. For a quick session, it covers a lot of ground.

If you are interested in getting more in-depth information, Lynda offers learning paths specifically tailored to photography. Their photography lessons online feature hands-on projects and learning assessments to ensure mastery of the material. What's more, their photography section includes over 600 courses and more than 25,000 video tutorials.

16.  Beginners Start Here from Kelbyone

photography courses

Kelbyone, the website started by a professional photographer and author Scott Kelby, is full of the best online photography classes. Fifteen courses are available if you sign up for a free membership, the rest of the 1,000 plus video catalog requires a paid Plus or Pro membership. Industry-leading photographers and expert academics teach classes, so there are probably a few instructors whose names you'll recognize.

Kelby's own "Beginners Start Here" course covers the basics of photography, and several other free courses cover topics of interest to aspiring photographers. You will find classes that include every aspect of photography, from lighting and composition to business techniques and equipment reviews.

Check out the site for  free weekly webinars  and some popular webcasts on photography, plus discounts on memberships.

17.  Ditch Auto - Start Shooting in Manual from Jerad Hill’s Courses

Jerad Hill is a wedding photographer and website designer with an eye for the business of making money online from photography. In this well-designed yet free photography class course, you'll learn the basics of camera settings and all that you need to master the exposure triangle and light. Jerad Hill's website also includes other courses, some paid and some free. Many courses cover topics like using Foursquare or Instagram to promote your business, which is extremely handy for photographers looking to start their own companies.

18.  Reddit Photo Class by Alex Buisse

Reddit Photo Class by Alex Buisse

Designed initially for Reddit, lifestyle photographer Alex Buisse put together this immensely popular class on his website. The text-based course takes the student through thirty lessons, from "What is a Camera" to "Sharing your Work" and "How to Go Further." The course is easy to follow and covers all the essential basics, plus some professional-level insights into RAW files and using tools like the histogram function in your camera. Each lesson includes an assignment to hone your skills. Alex's stunning photos help illustrate points. Best of all, the site isn't bogged down by advertising or sales gimmicks.

19.  Photography Courses by David

David Molnar is a celebrity and advertising photographer whose clients include Google, Pepsi, & Sony among many others. David is now focusing on sharing his knowledge with others by being a photography mentor and creating world-class photo education, inspiration & resources. David's photography courses are structured for beginners and span the entire spectrum of learning photography from mastering your camera, understanding lighting, and composition and learning how to edit and organize like a pro.

20.  Masters of Photography

Masters of Photography

 Masters of photography brings you some of the best online photography classes created by the most celebrated photographers in the world. They currently have courses by three photographers, namely Steve McCurry, Joel Meyerowitz, and Albert Watson wherein you get lifetime access to hours of content. Once you have finished the course from them, you will also get a personalized certificate.  

21.   Basics of Digital Photography from Craftsy

Craftsy is a website dedicated to educating craft makers and artists using quality video lessons. Topics on the site are wide-ranging: from knitting and cooking to gardening and photography.

The Basics of Digital Photography course was created in collaboration with the Santa Fe Photographic Workshop and features nine HD video photography classes given by instructor Rick Allred. Topics included in this online digital photography course cover light and exposure, shutter speed, aperture, ISO, lenses, and composition and creativity.

22. The Elements of Effective Photographs from Lynda

Another photography course from Lynda's extensive catalog, The Elements of Effective Photographs covers more of the creative side of the art. This course is taught by Natalie Fobes, a National Geographic photographer. It covers topics like composition, leading lines, and exposure. The course also highlights the use and control of light, whether in the studio or outdoors. This focus on compositional elements, using movement to capture the emotion, and proper lighting will be refreshing if you're getting bogged down in the technical side of camera settings and equipment.

23. School of Visual Arts Photography Lectures

The School of Visual Arts has created a YouTube playlist that serves as a free photography class for beginners. It contains more than 100 lectures related to photography and is presented by their Masters in Photographic Studies program. This free online photography course is called i3: Images, Ideas, Inspiration, and includes lectures by experienced photographers in various fields like fashion photography, documentary photography, etc. 

24. Continuing Education in Photography from the School of Visual Arts

There are two online photography classes provided by Continuing Education.

Creative Seeing: This paid course focuses on the creative vision of the photographer and aims to expand it. The course includes photography exercises as well as those which focuses on seeing. Photographers in their early stage and those who want to improve their perspective of how they see the world can enrol in this course. 

Queering the Portrait: The course will teach portrait photography that is far from average. It also includes subjects such as lighting, direction, and location choosing. Weekly and long projects will be assigned to you, and feedback will be given for it. 

25. Annie Leibovitz MasterClass

Annie Leibovitz's world-famous photographer known for photographing people such as John Lenon. Her iconic photographs appeared in magazines such as Vanity Fair and Rolling Stones. She believes in telling stories through photography. Her years of experience are taught through this MasterClass that allows students to get an online peek into her studio and live shoots. This online portrait photography class contains fifteen video lessons.

26. Jimmy Chin adventure photography MasterClass

If you are into adventure photography, then this online photography course is for you. Jimmy Chin is well known in the world of adventure. He is a National Geographic photographer who teaches how to plan, capture and edits the adventure photographs taken by you. Whether it is for a commercial shoot, editorial projects, or your passion, Jimmy teaches you to take your photography to a new level. 

27.  Seeing Through Photographs

As the name suggests, this free online photography course wants the learner to understand the photograph, not just look at it. When a photo is made, there are different ideas and approaches, which the course will help you understand. The course provided by the Museum of Modern Art also aims to help you understand the different ways a photograph is seen and used, whether as a way of documentation or as a way of artistic expression. It is one of the best free online photography courses that can be done in 16 hours and is suggested to be divided into six weeks. 

28. New York Institute of Photography

The New York Institute of Photography (NYIP) offers professional photography courses. These courses are taught by illustrious photographers, who will mentor students throughout the comprehensive program, course study, and assignments and help them improve their skills and take better photographs. They have a special limited-time offer on the photography courses listed here . 

Do check out these online photography courses, that are aimed at inspiring photographers to improve their creative skills. We had put together an article listing 25+ Creative Photography ideas and techniques to try in 2021. Some of these courses are available for free throughout the month of April. With stay-at-home and lock-down orders going up all over the world, you can also use the time to learn something small that will be of value to you later. It is a perfect time to use your camera in a new way! For more ideas, do read our list of  10 Things for Photographers to do while in Covid-19 Lockdown .

29. Nikon School - Online

Designed to inspire creators, these courses will help you journey from the fundamentals of photography, to intricacies of portraiture, child and pet photography ,  macro photography, to exploring dynamic landscape photography and the art of making videos. The classes are available through live video streaming on Nikon’s official handles of Facebook, YouTube, and Instagram. These in-depth videos offer great tips and techniques to help you take your photography game to another level!

30. Free Online Photography Classes by Creativelive

Besides the above-mentioned classes, Creativelive is offering Free Photography Classes for the creative community. So if you are looking at mastering key photography skills or glean industry insight from experts, there are lots to learn for every skill level.

31. Free Online Photography Courses by Leica 

Leica Akademie is offering free courses and talks for photographers. Their series of free Instagram live discussions will be led by renowned photographers, musicians, actors, and other creative professionals.

32. Home with Olympus Sessions

Home with Olympus sessions is designed to connect users with Olympus technical experts. You can either sign up for a one-on-one session or participate in a group session to get to know about Olympus cameras or talk about specific photography genres and gain insights from industry experts.


The above-listed photography classes for beginners aren't the only online photography courses out there, but they will provide a great foundation for your photography knowledge base. Photography is a varied field with many specializations and areas where we can all learn more. Thankfully, online learning has empowered us all to keep learning and to keep improving our skills. What skill do you want to learn next?

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I start learning photography? The easiest way to start learning photography is to find “the best photography course for you.”  If you are really struggling to find the best course, we have curated a list of “Top 31 Photography Courses” to help you get started.  

Which online photography course is the best? If you are new to photography one can start with courses such as “Beginner Photography Course Bundle from CreativeLive”. On the other hand, if you want to learn something niche in photography, refer to courses such as “Portrait Photography Bootcamp from CreativeLive.” 

How do photographers make money? The digital world made it easier for photographers to generate multiple revenue streams and make a huge sum of money. Photographers make money by selling stock photos and prints, organizing workshops and tours, collaborating on different projects, editing, and retouching photos, etc.

Disclosure : This post may contain affiliate links, which means when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.


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Whether you're just starting out or already have some experience, we offer various Photography courses designed to fit your needs. Curated from top educational institutions and industry leaders, our selection of Photography courses aims to provide quality training for everyone—from individual learners seeking personal growth to corporate teams looking to upskill. For those pursuing professional advancement, skill acquisition, or even a new career path, these Photography courses can be a valuable resource. Take the next step in your professional journey and enroll in a Photography course today!

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Michigan State University

Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR

Skills you'll gain : Creativity, Social Media, Operations Management, Writing

(6.2k reviews)

Beginner · Specialization · 3 - 6 Months

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Cameras, Exposure, and Photography

Skills you'll gain : Creativity

(5k reviews)

Mixed · Course · 1 - 4 Weeks

photography lessons online

University of Colorado Boulder

The Art of Visual Storytelling

Skills you'll gain : Storytelling

(19 reviews)

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Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production

(1.2k reviews)

photography lessons online

The State University of New York

Launch Your Online Business

Skills you'll gain : Strategy, Brand Management, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Communication, E-Commerce, Leadership and Management, Strategy and Operations, Business Development, Research and Design

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Searches related to photography

In summary, here are 10 of our most popular photography courses.

  • Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR :   Michigan State University
  • Cameras, Exposure, and Photography :   Michigan State University
  • The Art of Visual Storytelling :   University of Colorado Boulder
  • Principles of Photo Composition and Digital Image Post-Production :   Michigan State University
  • Launch Your Online Business :   The State University of New York
  • Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing :   Michigan State University
  • Edit Your Photos for Social Media Marketing using PicsArt :   Coursera Project Network
  • Modern and Contemporary Art and Design :   The Museum of Modern Art
  • Fundamentals of Digital Image and Video Processing :   Northwestern University
  • Camera Control :   Michigan State University

Frequently Asked Questions about Photography

What is photography ‎.

Photography is the art and practice of capturing, recording, and manipulating visual images by using a camera. It involves capturing moments, scenes, or subjects through the lens of a camera and showcasing them in a visual form. Photography can be a creative expression, a profession, or a hobby, allowing individuals to document and share their perspective, emotions, stories, or ideas through images. It encompasses various techniques, genres, and approaches, such as portrait photography, landscape photography, documentary photography, street photography, fashion photography, and many more. With the advancement of technology, photography has become more accessible, and individuals can explore various camera types, editing software, and platforms to share their work with a wider audience. ‎

What skills do I need to learn for Photography? ‎

Here are some skills you need to learn for photography:

Understanding Composition: Learn how to frame your subjects, use perspectives, and create visually pleasing images.

Mastering Exposure: Understand how to control aperture, shutter speed, and ISO to achieve the desired exposure in different lighting conditions.

Learning Manual Mode: Take control of your camera by shooting in manual mode and adjusting settings based on your creative vision.

Studying Lighting Techniques: Explore various lighting setups, such as natural, artificial, and using flashes, to capture amazing shots.

Developing Post-processing Skills: Learn to use photo editing software like Adobe Lightroom or Photoshop to enhance and refine your images.

Practicing Visual Storytelling: Develop the ability to tell a compelling story through your photographs, capturing emotions and conveying narratives.

Understanding Camera Gear: Familiarize yourself with different types of cameras, lenses, and accessories to make informed equipment choices.

Learning About Photographic Genres: Explore different genres like portrait, landscape, street, still life, wildlife, and fashion photography to find your specialization.

Improving People Skills: Develop communication and interpersonal skills to work effectively with clients, models, and other professionals in the industry.

  • Continuously Learning and Experimenting: Stay updated with the latest photography trends, techniques, and technologies. Experiment and push your creative boundaries to develop your unique style. ‎

What kinds of jobs can you get with Photography skills? ‎

With photography skills, there are numerous job opportunities available. Here are a few examples:

Photographer: Pursue a career as a professional photographer, specializing in areas such as portrait, landscape, product, fashion, or event photography.

Photojournalist: Work for newspapers, magazines, or online publications to capture newsworthy events and tell stories through compelling photographs.

Wedding Photographer: Capture special moments at weddings, engagement parties, or other ceremonies, creating lasting memories for couples and families.

Fashion Photographer: Collaborate with models, stylists, and designers to create captivating fashion images for advertisements, magazines, or runways.

Commercial Photographer: Work with businesses to create high-quality images for their advertising campaigns, websites, and marketing materials.

Sports Photographer: Capture thrilling moments in sports events, ranging from local leagues to national competitions, for media outlets or sports teams.

Wildlife/Nature Photographer: Explore and photograph flora, fauna, landscapes, and wildlife for scientific purposes, publications, or personal projects.

Fine Art Photographer: Express your creativity through artistic photography by capturing unique and thought-provoking images for galleries, exhibitions, or sale.

Documentary Photographer: Document social issues, cultural events, or historical moments through photographs, contributing to the preservation of collective memory.

  • Photo Editor/Retoucher: Enhance and edit photographs for various purposes, ensuring optimal quality, appropriate color correction, and aesthetic appeal.

These are just a few possibilities, and photography skills can be adapted to many industries and interests. ‎

What kind of people are best suited for studying Photography? ‎

People who have a passion for visual arts, creativity, and a keen eye for detail are best suited for studying photography. Additionally, individuals who enjoy capturing moments, exploring different perspectives, and have a strong sense of aesthetics tend to excel in this field. Photography requires patience, dedication, and the ability to think critically and problem-solve in order to capture the perfect shot. Whether aspiring to become a professional photographer or simply wanting to enhance their skills as a hobby, anyone with a genuine interest in photography can benefit from studying this art form. ‎

What topics can I study that are related to Photography? ‎

Some topics that are related to Photography that you can study include:

Basic photography techniques and composition.

Advanced photography techniques such as long exposure, high-speed photography, or astrophotography.

Digital photography and post-processing using software like Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom.

Studying different genres of photography like landscape photography, portrait photography, street photography, or wildlife photography.

Lighting techniques for photography, including natural light, studio lighting, or flash photography.

Learning about camera equipment and gear, including understanding different types of cameras, lenses, and accessories.

History and theory of photography, understanding the evolution of photography as an art form and its impact on society.

Color theory and its application in photography.

Business and marketing skills for photographers, including building a portfolio, marketing strategies, and client relationship management.

  • Photography ethics and legal considerations, such as copyright laws and model releases.

These are just a few examples to get you started. There are many more specific topics and sub-topics within photography that you can explore based on your interests and goals. ‎

What are the benefits of taking an online Photography course? ‎

Online Photography courses offer a convenient and flexible way to enhance your knowledge or learn new Photography is the art and practice of capturing, recording, and manipulating visual images by using a camera. It involves capturing moments, scenes, or subjects through the lens of a camera and showcasing them in a visual form. Photography can be a creative expression, a profession, or a hobby, allowing individuals to document and share their perspective, emotions, stories, or ideas through images. It encompasses various techniques, genres, and approaches, such as portrait photography, landscape photography, documentary photography, street photography, fashion photography, and many more. With the advancement of technology, photography has become more accessible, and individuals can explore various camera types, editing software, and platforms to share their work with a wider audience. skills. Choose from a wide range of Photography courses offered by top universities and industry leaders tailored to various skill levels. ‎

What Photography courses are best for training and upskilling employees or the workforce? ‎

Choosing the best Photography course depends on your employees' needs and skill levels. Leverage our Skills Dashboard to understand skill gaps and determine the most suitable course for upskilling your workforce effectively. Learn more about Coursera for Business here . ‎


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The 9 Best Free Online Photography Classes of 2023

Beginner or advanced, you can get quality photo training online

photography lessons online

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Whether you’re a beginning photographer, just getting to know your equipment and the basics of photography, or you’re advanced enough to nail the manual camera settings in every shot, learning about your craft (or hobby) is a lifetime effort.

Fortunately, this list of best free online photography classes has something to offer photographers of every level, using all kinds of equipment from a DSLR camera to a point-and-shoot camera , and even those amazing smartphone cameras.

Most of the selections included in this list present the information via video courses. You don’t limit yourself to learning only through video, however, as there are a lot of useful tutorials online that are all text based. Check out any camera shop’s website ( Adorama is a good one) or do a quick Google search for “free online photography tutorials” to find even more great learning materials.

Beginners to Advanced: Alison Photography Courses

Short, but thorough classes.

Wide range of information for all levels of photographers.

Downloadable resources for offline reference.

Classes are free (ad-supported), but certification requires a payment.

Registration required to access free courses.

Only a handful of photography courses offered.

Alison is an online learning destination that has much more than just photography courses, but the ones they do offer span the range from beginner to advanced. For example, Introduction to Digital Photography , Diploma in Digital Photography , and Digital Photography all cover differing levels of training and include modules that teach everything from composition techniques to exposure, focal length, and reading histograms. All classes also offer the option for a digital, print, or framed certificate.

For the New Newbie: Intro to Photography Class (r-photoclass)

Very thorough.

Course author is a highly regarded, award-winning photographer.

Lots of illustrations to help students understand the point of the lesson.

No video, which for some students is a better way to learn.

The class doesn’t appear to be repeated live any longer.

If you’re just starting out in photography, start here. This text-based class is one of the most thorough you’ll find for the newbie with little to no photography information. Originally, it was created in response to a Reddit request. At one point, the course was repeated live through the r/photoclass subreddit , where students could get feedback from the course and interact with other budding photographers, but it appears the last time the class was run live was in 2017.

For Specialized Photography Courses: Skillshare

Classes that go beyond the basics of photography.

Resources and class projects help improve learned skills.

Message board community so you can connect with other photographers.

Some of the best courses are hidden behind a paywall.

Finding free classes can be challenging if you don’t have a direct link.

You may have heard about Skillshare in association with other types of learning, but the site actually has a good selection of specialized photography courses, some of which are free. For example, Nightscapes: Landscape Astrophotography ; Frame a Great Shot: Exploring Photo Composition ; and Lifestyle Photography: Everyday Storytelling in Photo & Print are just a few of the classes you can expect to find.

Basic and Unusual Classes: Udemy

Each section of the course is divided into short videos, usually less than 10 minutes.

Free resources (like ebooks) included with some courses.

Some courses are hidden behind a paywall.

The cost of courses that aren’t free can get very expensive.

Udemy is a well-known online learning site that features all kinds of classes, including a little more than a dozen photography classes. They have the basics, like the Introductory Photography Course , but you’ll also find some classes at Udemy that you won’t find anywhere else, like Green Screen Photography . You can also Learn Landscape Photography or how to get started in Street Photography .

Unique Classes for Photographers: CreativeLive

A few interesting & unique classes.

Student Work area that allows students to upload their own photos based on the lesson.

Offers some mobile photography classes, as well as DSLR.

There don’t appear to be projects or assignments.

Even free classes require sign-up.

Some classes require a paid membership to access.

If you’re an intermediate or advanced photographer looking for information that’s slightly different from what you’ve seen elsewhere, you should check out CreativeLive. The site offers regular courses that stream live online almost everyday. They also have a selection of pre-recorded classes that delve into unique topics. For example, In Focus: Can We Be Objective Observers? addresses how to engage with subjects and In Focus: Starting a Personal Project can help you get started on your own photography project.

Another Beyond-the-Basics: Lectures on Digital Photography

Lessons help you really understand what works in photography, and way.

Review and discussion of famous historical photographers.

Includes assignments and applets to increase learning.

The course is no longer active or maintained, so there is no feedback on completed assignments.

From Stanford University, the Lectures on Digital Photography class is a basic class that goes way beyond the basics. This 18 lesson class takes students through optical effects in nature, depth and perspective, sampling and noise, and much, much more. It’s taught by Marc Levoy, who is a Professor Emeritus at Stanford and a Principal Engineer at Google, so expect the subject matter to get deep into the computational side of photography.

Single Focus: Professional Family Portraits

The course layout is easily accessible.

Single skill focus allows for in-depth learning.

Portrait photography equipment cheat sheet.

You have to register (free) for the Bluprint site to access the course.

There’s a projects area, but no written instructions for the project.

If you’re interested in portrait photography, Kirk Tuck’s free class on Bluprint focuses entirely on how to capture great portraits. You’ll learn about everything from lighting and engaging with subjects to props and posing, and post-processing tips that make portraits pop.

For Intentional, Focused Learning: YouTube

Huge variety of photography tutorials.

Ability to build your own photography course and access as many different teachers as you like.

Lessons available for both DSLR and smartphone photography.

Not all teachers are suited for video.

No lesson plan for cohesive photography courses.

No assignments or projects to leverage to practice new skills.

You’re probably on YouTube several times a week, but did you stop to consider that it might be a great source for free photography classes? It is. There are some fantastic photographers out there that are willing to share everything they know with you. You just have to find them.

One thing to keep in mind about YouTube is that the videos hosted there are less like full-blown classes and more like short(-ish) tutorials. Videos average 15 minutes to 2 hours long, but usually only focus on a single aspect of photography.

Not Exactly Free: LinkedIn Learning

Classes all have a certificate that can be added to your LinkedIn profile or printed.

Classes are professionally produced by dynamic instructors.

Very large selection of courses.

After free trial, courses are charged individually or through an annual subscription.

No projects or assignments to practice newly learned skills.

LinkedIn Learning not offer free courses, but you can usually get a free trial that will allow access to all the courses on the site for 30 days. During that time, you can take as many courses as you can finish. And most of the photography courses can be completed in the allotted 30-day trial.

The courses on this site are worth the time it takes to sign-up for and cancel the free trial (or the cost of a subscription — there a lot to learn here). You’ll find courses from the basics through nearly every aspect of photography you can think of from mobile photography to learn how to create great head shots, photography as a storytelling tool, kids photography, and creative photography techniques.

More Online Photography Courses

Most of the selections included in this list present the information via video courses. You don’t limit yourself to learning only through video, however, as there are a lot of useful tutorials online that are all text-based. Check out any camera shop’s website ( Adorama  is a good one) or do a quick Google search for “free online photography tutorials” to find even more great learning materials.

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17 Websites to Learn Photography Lesson Online (Free and Paid Photography Courses)

Learn Photography Lesson Online

Photography has become more than a passion for many people. It is an art and a creative means to achieve outstanding results. We can tell pictures and create memories with photography.

DISCLOSURE: This post may contain affiliate links, meaning when you click the links and make a purchase, we receive a commission.

So many outstanding photographers have been recognised in our world today. We have seen amazing photographs captured by journalists in the war front, and other scenes captured by explorers who travel to the ends of the world in search of discoveries.

If you have a passion for photography, there are wonderful opportunities to learn the art of photography online. The best thing about learning photography online is that you can tap into the knowledge of renowned photographers who have earned a reputation and won so many global awards for their works.

Also, the online photography lessons give you a choice. There are so many options online; you can find photography lessons that cover particular areas that you will like to learn as a beginner.

The online photography lessons have been structured to meet the needs of beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners.

Photography is one of the wonderful techniques that you can continue learning for as long as you practice your skills. With the evolving technologies and improvements in techniques, you can discover new ways to improve your photography skills.

This is why it is a great idea to take online photography lessons. You can stay updated with the latest techniques in the industry.

Here are the top 17 sites where you can learn photography online.

17 Websites to Learn Photography Lesson Online Reviews

1) MasterClass Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography

MasterClass Annie Leibovitz Learn Photography Lessons Online

Annie Leibovitz exposes all the secrets about photography in this master class. The online course features fifteen photography lessons that cover the essentials and advanced topics that can help the participants understand all about photography.

Annie Leibovitz has earned a glowing reputation as a photographer. She has captured amazing pictures that are on display in museums, art galleries, and magazines distributed all around the world. She has created this master class to reveal how to attain a global relevance in photography, just as she has accomplished.

This online photography lesson covers essential portrait photography, which is one of the hottest topics in photography. Students who take this course will learn all about portraiture, photojournalism, how to capture scenes in photo series, and the techniques to make the photographs compelling, while they tell a story.

Also, the students who take this course will learn all about lighting, and how the leverage lights to create the best photo effects. There is a course on creating concepts for photography and how to get the best results when working in a studio or at another location outside the studio.

Annie also reveals the secrets in working with subjects and how to apply technical photography knowledge to achieve outstanding results. This is a comprehensive photography course that helps students evolve naturally to become outstanding photographers.

2) MasterClass Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography

MasterClass Jimmy Chin Learn Photography Lessons Online

Jimmy Chin earned his reputation as a photographer working in collaboration with the National Geographic brand. He is an explorer who has capture natural events in places many people have only heard about on the internet.

Jimmy Chin has created this master class in photography for students who are interested in capturing compelling photographs outdoors and in the remote parts of the world.

This is an interesting aspect of photography. Working outdoors means the photographer has limited access to good lighting and there are different situations that can influence how the photoshoot goes.

Jimmy Chin reveals how he has been able to overcome all the challenges of capturing the best photography shots outdoors regardless of the conditions of the photo-shoot.

This master class features twenty online lessons that have been presented as videos. The online photography lessons in this course cover core areas in photography, such as how to shoot photographs in different outdoor locations, capturing portraits with natural light, and the best ways to tell a compelling story with photographs.

Students who take this master class will also be taught some theory about photography such as the principles of a narrative which involve defining the concept, research, and pitch. Also, there is a course on high-stakes photography that covers crucial projects that can help the photographer gain global recognition for their works.

3) Udemy Online Photography Lessons

Udemy Learn Photography Lessons Online

Udemy is an educational site where tutors can create online photography lessons for the public. The instructors who are permitted to create online lessons on Udemy are professionals vetted by the administrators on the site.

The online photography lessons on Udemy are presented as pre-packaged videos that cover different topics in photography. The variety of courses on Udemy gives students options; there are online photography lessons that cover one or more core areas in photography while other courses are diversified.

On the site, there are instructors who have created photography lessons to cover areas such as the best digital photography techniques, capturing photographs outdoors, shooting portraits, and how to get the best results in photography, regardless of the location.

Also, students can find photography lessons that include the best editing tips for photography and how to use photography apps such as Adobe and Photoshop. The online photography lessons on Udemy are for all levels of learners.

To make it easy for students to make a choice, the instructors have specified the learning level for their courses. You can find online photography lessons for beginners, intermediate learners, and advanced learners.

The number of photography lessons in each course depends on the scope covered by the instructor, which also influences the course duration. Averagely, each photography course on Udemy lasts for about one hour.

4) Fiverr  Online Photography Lessons

Fiverr Learn Photography Lessons Online

Fiverr is an online market place where professionals can sell their knowledge and skills by creating different gigs. It is a perfect platform to find online photography lessons. There are more than one hundred photography lessons on Fiverr.

These courses have been created by experts who have built a reputation as photographers over the years. The fantastic thing about taking photography lessons on Fiverr is that you can find different courses that cover general or particular aspects of photography.

The photography lessons on this site include offers to teach the students how to capture stories with pictures, editing tips and techniques, how to use lighting effects to enhance the quality of pictures and the best approaches to different types of photography such as taking pictures of still objects, nature, food, and capturing compelling photographs outdoors.

The instructors who teach photography on Fiverr have been rated by past students who paid for their gigs. The rating makes it easy to find competent instructors who can help their audience to achieve goals in photography.

With the rise in eCommerce, there are gigs on Fiverr that offer to teach people the best photography techniques that can be used to capture compelling pictures of products for an online store. These courses also feature lessons that offer tips on how to work with clients and negotiate better deals for more financial gain.

5) Lynda Online Photography Courses Learn Photography Lessons Online

Lynda is one of the top sites where interested people can find outstanding courses in photography. The lessons on Lynda are created by experts and graduates who have earned a wonderful reputation as photographers.

In general, online photography lessons are designed to help the students understand the core concepts of photography and how to apply their knowledge in the field. There are over fifty photography courses on this site. The participants are guided on how to get the best results during photography training. The instructors also provide essential help through tutorials on the site.

Lynda is the perfect place for people who have a passion for photography and those who want to pursue photography as a career. There are special courses that cover rare topics, such as how to select the best photography gear that can be used to get the best results.

The students receive guidance on how to choose the best brands of cameras and the other essential props that they need to enjoy fulfilling photography experiences.

Also, the courses on how to capture portrait photographs and full images are extensive. The online photography lessons on this site are presented as videos that have high-quality images and clear audio. The lessons can be taken from any part of the world. And the learning structure is flexible.

6) Take Lessons- Online Photography Course

Take Lessons Learn Photography Lessons Online

This is a website that allows professional photographers and artists to create online lessons to teach students about photography. Take Lessons has gained popularity for its educational offers that have been leveraged by many students to achieve their dreams.

The online photography lessons on this site have been diversified to meet the varying needs of the audience. You can find photography lessons that cover essential areas such as how to capture portraits, outdoor photography, taking still shots, and capturing the photographs of products to feature their value proposition.

The online lessons are presented by professionals who have been vetted. On the Take Lessons site, you can find teachers who offer lessons online and others who can come over to your home or offer their lessons at a pre-arranged location.

On this site, the instructors have labelled their photography lessons to help the students know which courses to take. For example, in the description of lessons, you can find the packages for beginners, intermediate learners and advanced photography professionals who are interested in improving or updating their photography skills.

Also, the instructors have indicated their professional qualifications in their bio, many of them are university graduates with many years of experience.

7) Preply Online Photography Lessons

Preply Learn Photography Lessons Online

Preply is a website that features dozens of photography lessons online. The site has a simple layout that allows users to quickly find a tutor who can teach them how to achieve their dreams of becoming expert photographers. Also, the learning schedule on this site is flexible.

It is easy to start and complete any course on Preply because of the flexible learning schedule. The photography lessons on this site are diversified to cover different aspects of photography. The students can also find courses on Preply that cover all the essential areas and topics in photography.

The lessons have been created by graduates and other professionals who have earned notable accomplishments as photographers and artists. You can find photography lessons that cover areas such as capturing the best portraits, taking the photograph of products for eCommerce sites and outdoor photography. There are also courses that cover photojournalism and the essentials of storytelling with photography.

Preply has gained popularity as a site for learning photography online because you can find tutors on the site who speak different languages. This makes it easy for students from all over the world to find the best tutor regardless of the language they speak. Also, the number of lessons a tutor has given is displayed on their profile, you can also see the number of active lessons they are currently managing.

8) Superprof

Superprof Learn Photography Lessons Online

Learning about photography on this website is east because the lessons are premade and published for students who have registered for the course. The photography lessons on this site are produced and presented by experts who have had extensive experience as photography artists and teachers.

The lessons are flexible and last for only a few minutes. Students who need to take more than one course can dedicate their time to completing the lessons quicker if they have the time.

The photography lessons on this site have been created as video lessons that are taken through a webcam. The tutors guide the students on how to prepare for each lesson by informing them about the tools they need and topics to be covered during the lesson.

To help the students decide if the course if a good match for them, many of the tutors on SuperProf offer their students the first online lesson on photography for free.

On the site, there are photography lessons for beginners, intermediate and advanced learners. These labels are displayed on the tutors’ profiles to help the students decide when they are searching for a proper photography course.

9) Tutorful

Tutorful Learn Photography Lessons Online

This is one of the simply designed websites that offers everyone an opportunity to take photography lessons online. It is easy to get started on this site. All the student needs to do is select their chosen subject, educational level, and location.

A search will be done to reveal the tutors who are a perfect match to help the students achieve their dreams of becoming expert photographers. The people who use this site to learn photography are also given the option to choose if they would like to take lessons in person. In this case a special arrangement is made for the tutor to meet physically with the student.

The tutors on this site all have profiles that can be viewed by the people who need online photography lessons. The profiles display information about their lessons such as the learners who can take the course, such as beginners, intermediate learners, or others who have reached an advanced educational level in their quest to become expert photographers.

Also, it is easy to find a matching tutor because their profiles display the number of hours they have taught and the rating by previous students who went through the online photography course.

10) Creative Live for Online Photography Lessons

Creative Live Learn Photography Lessons Online

There are over one thousand five hundred photography lessons on this site. The courses are for students and employed people who have a passion for photography. The video lessons in this course can help the participants understand the principles of photography and how to focus on their chosen areas to become masters in that field.

The photography lessons in this course are created as flexible learning programs that can be taken anywhere and at any time. The flexible lessons make it easy for people to start and complete the course without compromising their regular daily activities.

It helps to learn photography online at your own pace. This is one of the reasons the site has recorded many visitors who eventually take a course or two to improve their photography skills.

The lessons on this site cover essential areas of photography, such as the fundamentals of photography, where the students learn all about the art and how to understand the basic aspects of photography that are essential to get started.

Also, the students learn about how to use lighting during photography, and capturing portraits and still photography, among many other topics.

11) Skillshare Online Photography Lessons

Skillshare Learn Photography Lessons Online

There are hundreds of photography lessons on this website, so the creators have made it easy for the students to find what they want. It is easy to do a search on this site, the students can choose the type of lessons they want.

The options are free online lessons, premium, and personalised classes. Also, the flexible learning structure allows students to choose the duration of lessons that is convenient for them and whether they will prefer to take lessons that have just been created or older lessons.

The courses feature videos which show the instructor performing the acts and explaining how the students can do the same thing while practicing with their cameras.

On this site, there are photography lessons that teach people how to capture the best pictures for social media to boost their influence on the site. Also, there are lessons that teach how to do model photography, and the techniques that involve the use of natural light to create compelling scenes for photography. In the end, the people who take courses on this site will know how to use their cameras and photography gear more effectively.

12) Lifehacker Online Photography Lessons

Lifehacker Learn Photography Lessons Online

This site offers everyone who wants to learn about photography all about the basics; it is a complete guide that is perfect for beginners and intermediate learners. The photography lessons on this site teach the students all about their cameras.

The lessons reveal the different parts of a camera, how it functions and how to use the various features of cameras to get the best results. The lessons also cover essential aspects of photography such as how to capture and enhance photographs to make them unique and to look better.

The students are guided on how to use different apps and programs such as Adobe and Photoshop to get amazing results.

There are also lessons that teach the students how to compose the best photographs and the techniques that must be applied to capture high-quality pictures. The students are taught how to capture the best features of objects regardless of the environment. These are skills that can help the students to get amazing results, whether they are working in a studio or an environment outdoors.

This is basically a site that teaches students a comprehensive approach to DIY photography and how to gain confidence when they are negotiating for the best deals and photography contracts.

13) Online Photography Lessons Learn Photography Lessons Online

The online photography lessons on this website have been structured to help the students start their experience with cameras and progress through the course until they reach a professional level.

The photography lessons are presented as high-quality videos that have excellent audio. The lessons are for everyone; they last for only a few minutes and have flexible learning schedules, which make it convenient for everyone. There are photography lessons for beginners.

These are courses that teach the students the basics of photography, which cover essentials and provide information about the different types of cameras and how they work. Also, there are lessons on digital photography, which is a major area in photography now. People interested in learning about photography journalism will find an extensive course on this topic.

The intermediate photography courses on this site include lessons on intermediate digital photography, and how to use the best online tools to edit and enhance photographs. There are courses on how to capture portraits in studios or other locations.

Some of the lessons offer theory training that teaches the students about the core photography concepts, and how to leverage their techniques to get the best results regardless of the conditions in which they may be compelled to work.

14) Learn Photography Lessons Online

This is an online community where anyone can join to learn all about photography while sharing their information and making strong connections with other photography experts.

The website has an easy to use layout, and the photography courses are extensive. The lessons on this site for photography are presented as video files in high definition.

The different courses have been properly described to help visitors understand the scope of the course and what they will gain when the class ends. Overall, the learning program will help all participants to improve their photography skills.

This site is designed for beginners, intermediate, and advanced learners who are interested in photography. Many people have good things to say about this online learning platform because of its diversified nature.

For example, you can find photography lessons that teach the participants how to take the best pictures for social media. Also, there are lessons that cover photography for food and retail products that are to be displayed on eCommerce websites.

There are also courses that teach the participants how to use editing programs to enhance pictures and other essential tools that can be used to get better results when taking photographs at night or in a place where the illumination is low. The photography courses on this site are structured as flexible lessons that can be completed by everyone regardless of their busy schedule.

15) NYIP Online Photography Courses

NYIP Learn Photography Lessons Online

There are over fifteen online courses on this site to teach students all about photography. It is a comprehensive collection of photography lessons that can help the students to improve their techniques to a professional level.

The lessons on this site include professional photography courses that teach the students how to capture the best photographs without the use of automatic features on their cameras. This is how professionals work; beginners are trained in this line of photography at an early stage to improve their techniques.

There is a course on the fundamentals of digital photography, which covers topics such as understanding the digital camera and how to capture amazing photographs with the smart device.

Also, there is a comprehensive course on how to capture portraits with a digital camera. Students who take this course are taught the different visualization techniques that can be used to capture the best features of their subject. The comprehensive course on wedding photography is a best seller.

Many students have taken this course and learned how to tell compelling stories with fascinating high-quality pictures. There is a course on photojournalism that teaches students the rules and tips on how to rise quickly through the ranks to become professional photographers in the field of journalism.

This website also offers everyone an opportunity to learn about the different programs that can be used to enhance the quality of photographs, such as Adobe and Photoshop; also, there is a course on graphic design and photography.

Students who are interested in learning how to make videos will also find a comprehensive course on how to create award-winning videos.

16) Learn Photography Lessons Online

Chris Bray is an Australian professional photographer who has created this site to provide everyone an opportunity to learn photography at their own pace. The website has an excellent design and layout.

The learning options for students include one-day courses and longer learning programs that cover different aspects of photography. On this site, online photography courses have been divided into different parts to make it easy for students who need the lessons.

The first part of this course covers the introduction to photography; it teaches students the basics of photography and the camera. This is an enlightening course that can help the students understand the different aspects of photography and select a specialty area.

The second part of this course covers the fundamentals of photography, and in the third part, the students will learn all about composition in photography. There are six other parts in this comprehensive course, the topics covered include topics such as exposure, shutter speed, depth of field, movement, and how to use lighting to achieve the best results in photography.

The lessons in this course are created as practical exercises and presented as high-quality video lessons that have excellent audio. Also, the students are given handbooks and other downloadable materials to help them understand the courses better. This is a comprehensive course on photography; it can be taken by students at all levels of learning such as beginners, intermediate and advanced learners.

17) Learn Photography Lessons Online

The online photography course offered to students on this website is created to be dynamic and engaging. The lessons are for beginners and cover all topics up to the advanced level for students who want to master particular photography skills.

The instructors have created the photography course to include features that can help the students to easily apply the lessons they learn in theory to practical situations in the field of photography.

The learning program on this site is flexible; students who participate in the course are not given any deadlines or stringent conditions while taking the course. The different photography courses on this site include Photography basics, DSLR basics, professional courses, and lessons in post-production regarding photography.

Choosing the Best Photography Lesson Online

There are so many websites that offer online lessons in photography, it is best to carefully study the offer before making a choice. Some points to note when making a selection include identifying your learning level and confirming if the lesson is suitable, flexible learning plans, customer support, affordability, and the scope covered by the photography lessons.

It is also a great idea to take online photography lessons that include courses on how to use different programs for editing and video creation because these are tasks that photographers can handle personally. Also, find out the qualification of the instructors who have created the online course, to ensure they are trained in the particular areas of photography that you would like to learn.

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25 курсов по фотографии для начинающих в 2023

Наша редакция пробежалась по интернету и собрала самые популярные онлайн курсы по обучению фотографии. В подборке курсов следующие направления: — основы — ретушь — портретная фотосъемка — обучение студийной фотосъемки — фуд-фото — робота с Lightroom Выбирая курс, ориентируйтесь на работы преподавателя, наличие обратной связи, ваш бюджет и время на обучение.

Аватар пользователя Артём Гром

Фотограф Андреас Гурски свою работу « Рейн II » продал за $4,3 миллиона. Желаем вам побить этот рекорд. Редакция Видеоинфографики

Список курсов

Курсы по основам фотографии.

До того как выбрать конкретное направление фотографии, рекомендуем изучить основы профессии. Онлайн-курсы предлагают обучение разным жанрам, чтобы подготовить специалиста широкого профиля. После такого курса можно углубиться в одно из направлений или быть универсальным фотографом. На уроках студенты изучают: работу с техникой, съемку разного формата, композицию и свет, ретушь и цветокоррекцию, обработку и подачу материала.

Профессия Фотограф от Skillbox

Учиться можно в удобном для себя темпе, совмещая курс с работой. За первые полгода учебы можно заплатить позже. Студентов ждут лекции, практика, воркшопы, съемки. В портфолио будут снимки разных жанров. И диплом поможет найти работу.

Профессия Фотограф от Skillbox

225 000 руб. Скидка для первых 20 студентов -40%. Рассрочка на 3 года по 4 355 руб./мес. Первый платеж через 6 месяцев.


1 год . 5 онлайн-курсов (на выбор). 72 модуля. 360 видеоуроков. От 3 до 5 часов в неделю на обучение.

В чате Telegram можно задавать вопросы куратору. Преподаватель проверит домашние работы и даст фидбек по каждой.

Практические задания с проверкой после каждой темы + съемки с заказчиком. По итогам 30 фотографий в портфолио.

Диплом Skillbox после успешной сдачи дипломного проекта.

Отзывы Skillbox на нашем сайте, на Facebook ,  Yandex ,  Google .

Примеры работ преподавателей


Фотография с нуля от Skillbox

Обучение основам с нуля (на практике). Курс подходит тем, кто никогда не фотографировал. Доступ к лекциям остается навсегда. Автор курса — Катя Туркина, фотограф Vogue, Elle, L’Officiel.

Курс обучения Фотография с нуля

67 000 руб. Рассрочка на 12 месяцев по 3 908 руб./мес. Скидка −30% для первых 20 студентов.

8 месяцев. 2 модуля, 32 темы. 160 видеоуроков. От 3 до 5 часов в неделю на теорию и практику.

Преподаватель проверяет домашние задания и дает фидбек. Куратор поможет с вопросами по курсу в telegram-чате.

В конце в портфолио будет серия снимков в разных стилях. Домашку можно делать в удобном для себя темпе.

Диплом Skillbox с указанным количеством модулей.

Примеры работ преподавателя

Фото Кати Туркиной

«Time Blending» от Фотошоп-мастер

Обучение новой технике съемки — Time Blending (композитная фотография). Фотографируйте пейзажи, городские ландшафты, архитектуру и панорамы по-новому. Это 2 часа freeze съемки и столько же времени обработки.

Процесс создания композитной фотографии #TimeBlending

5 490 руб. Потраченные деньги можно вернуть в течение 15 дней.

3 недели. 8 тематических модулей. 2 часа 30 минут видеоуроков.

Куратор проверяет практические работы, и даст ответы на вопросы по съемке и обработке.

Нужно составлять композиции с фотографий автора. Практика на 4 локациях.

Именной сертификат.

Пример работы Вадима Щербакова

Основы фотографии от Profile Virtual School

Онлайн-курс в гибридном формате. Студенты получат неограниченный доступ к записанным урокам, а на вебинарах преподаватель проверяет домашние работы. Вопросы можно задавать в прямом эфире. После вебинара еще будет время для неформального общения.

Основы фотографии. Гибридный курс. Занятие №1. Антон Мартынов

9 500 руб. Только одним платежом. Забронировав место на курсе, оплатить можно после первого занятия.

8 недель. 16 занятий по Вт и Пт. 8 видеоуроков и 8 онлайн вебинаров. Одно занятие длится 2 часа.

Это гибридный курс с упором на качественную обратную связь и интерактивную работу студентов.

Домашнее задание после каждого урока. Всего 15 домашек. Дипломного проекта нет.

Студенты, набравшие итоговый балл — 75% и выше, получат сертификат по почте.

Facebook , , на оф. странице курса.

Примеры работ студентов

Фотография Екатерины Фроловой

Рекламная фотография от Skillbox

Лучше всего платят за рекламную фотографию. Обучитесь предметной и коммерческой съемке в удобном для себя темпе. На курсе много практики, а в конце защита дипломного проекта. Партнер курса — Eight Agency, ведуще агентство рекламных фото в РФ.

Курс рекламной фотографии

65 000 руб. Рассрочка на 12 месяцев по 3 250 руб./мес (при 40% скидке). Доступен кредит до 3-х лет без процентов.

4 месяца. 16 модулей. 90 видеоуроков. 3-5 часов в неделю на обучение. Доступ к материалам курса навсегда.

Помощь с вопросами от куратора в чате Telegram. Проверка домашних заданий от преподавателя.

Практика на основе реальных кейсов. Задания после каждого занятия и дипломный проект.

Диплом с указанным количеством пройденных модулей.

Фото Наили Синицыной

Курсы по ретуши фото

Каждый снимок нуждается в обработке. Часто не обойтись и без ретуши. Особенно в портретной, свадебной, fashion и других видах фотографии с моделью. Мы собрали 5 онлайн-курсов по ретуши для новичков и про. Это обучение профессиональным инструментам Photoshop. Навыки ретуши необходимы фотографу любого жанра. Поэтому курсы будут полезны практикующим специалистам.

Секреты профессиональной ретуши от Фотошоп-мастер

Обучение ретуши на практике за 21 день, но можно в индивидуальном темпе. Есть 3 типа доступа с разной стоимостью. Пакет Ученик — без обратной связи. На пакете Премиум нет ограничений на выполнение д/з и есть дополнительный созвон с автором курса. Оптимальный вариант с обратной связью — Стандарт.

Секреты профессиональной ретуши

7 990 руб. — пакет Стандарт. Пакет Ученик — 5 990 руб. Пакет Премиум — 17 990 руб. Гарантия возврата средств 30 дней.

3 недели. 30 видеоуроков. Длительность видео — 7 часов 56 минут. Д/з можно выполнять на протяжении 60 дней.

Обратная связь в комментариях под уроками без ограничений по времени.

7 практических домашних заданий. Проверка домашних работ куратором курса.

Сертификат о прохождении от PHOTO-MONSTER.

Секреты профессиональной ретуши курс

Fatalism Start от Фотошоп-Мастер

Обучение 8 революционным методам ретуши и арт-обработки фото. Автор курса — MAX TWAIN, сотрудничал с EA SPORTS, 50 CENT, PlayBoy, Coca-Cola, Mars. Студенты получат доступ к платформе и закрытому сообществу единомышленников, а также чек-лист по обработке.

Fatalism Start

5 990 руб. Одним платежом. Гарантия возврата средств в течение 15 дней с момента покупки курса.

1 месяц. 3 модуля и 2 бонусных урока. 2 онлайн-встречи. 4 часа 30 минут видео.

В комментариях под уроками можно задавать вопросы. Доступ к закрытому сообществу.

Практика на 5 фотографиях, предоставленных преподавателем курса.

Сертификат от Фотошоп-мастер при успешной сдаче всех домашних работ.

Ретушь Fatalism

Global Wedding от Фотошоп-Мастер

На курсе не учат фотографировать свадьбы — только обрабатывать фото. Авторы обещают научить быстрой обработке: готовый результат за 3-7 дней. Тут собрано 5 методик. Обработка на графическом планшете или ПК. Для старта обучения требуются базовые навыки работы в Photoshop.

Global Wedding курс фотографии

6 990 руб. — пакет Стандарт. 12 990 руб. — пакет PRO с индивидуальными созвонами с куратором.

Менее 1 месяца. 5 модулей, 13 видеоуроков. 7 часов 17 минут видео. Обучение в индивидуальном темпе.

Обратная связь в комментариях под уроками. Разбор всех домашек и финального проекта.

Студенты тренируются на 15 фотографиях от преподавателей. Плюс итоговый проект.

Сертификат от Фотошоп-мастер при успешной сдаче всех д/р.

Фото с курса свадебной съемки

Ретушь для фотографа Profile Virtual School

Обучение ретуши на графическом планшете в Photoshop и Lightroom. Это онлайн-курс в новом гибридном формате от Profile School. Упор сделан на практику и обратную связь. Онлайн лекции лучше посещать по времени (19:00 по МСК). Хотя в личном кабинете будут записи всех занятий, с пожизненным доступом.

Ретушь для фотографа. Гибридный курс. Занятие №1. Алексей Довгуля

9 500 руб. Можно забронировать место, оплатив курс не позднее 2 дней после старта.

7 недель. Занятия 2 раза в неделю по 3 часа. 8 видеоуроков и 7 онлайн занятий.

Преподаватель проверяет домашние работы и отвечает на вопросы во время онлайн лекций.

7 практических домашних заданий. Разбор домашних заданий в прямом эфире на вебинарах.

Сертификат почтой для студентов, набравших итоговый бал более 75%.

Уроки ретуши на Profile Virtual School

Курсы по Lightroom

Lightroom — это редактор для отбора и обработки RAW-фотографий. Удобный инструмент фотографа любого жанра. В нем есть много функций для работы со светом и цветом, которые проще изучить с онлайн-курсом. На уроках студенты практикуются на собственных или предоставленных фотографиях, равняя свой результат с работами преподавателя. Функционал редактора уже, чем в Photoshop. Но с ним можно проводить быструю обработку десятков и сотен фотографий.

Lightroom для фотографа от Profile Virtual School

Уроки проводятся по Пн, Ср, Пт в 19:00 по МСК. Записи всех лекций будут в личном кабинете, с пожизненным доступом. Авторы курса обещают качественную обратную связь на онлайн занятиях. Студенты будут практиковаться на RAW фотографиях автора: портрет, пейзаж, ночная съемка и др.

Lightroom для фотографа. Гибридный курс. Занятие №1. Дмитрий Шатров

8 500 руб. Одним платежом. Можно забронировать место, оплатив курс позже.

4 недели. 6 видео лекций и 5 онлайн занятий. Уроки 3 раза в неделю, по 3 часа каждый.

Преподаватель проверяет домашние работы и отвечает на вопросы во время живых онлайн встреч.

11 домашних заданий (после каждого занятия). Разбор домашних заданий раз в неделю.

Сертификат почтой при сдаче более 75% домашних заданий.

Работа Дмитрия Шатрова

Курсы по студийной съемке

Работать фотографом можно в студии. Часто это съемки для beauty, fashion индустрий и даже фуд-фото. Профессионал должен уметь правильно настраивать свет и делать разнообразные фото в одной обстановке. Освоить это самостоятельно трудно — лучше с онлайн-курсом на практике. Для обучения на курсе нужно будет арендовать студию. Студийному фотографу не нужно тратить время на выезд к месту. Он работает в комфортных условиях. Использует профессиональную технику, световое оборудование, штатив и фон для съемки.

Студийная фотосъемка с нуля от Фотошоп-Мастер

Видеокурс без обратной связи от преподавателя. На странице курса доступны отрывки из любого урока и исходники для практики. Уроки можно скачать с сервера или получить на флешке (с доплатой за доставку и флешку). Гарантия возврата средств в течение 90 дней.

Евгений Карташов о курсе «Студийная фотосъёмка с нуля»

4 990 руб. Уроки обработки — 2 490 руб. Доп. модули — 990 руб. Все в комплекте дешевле — 7 190 руб.

30 лекций. 4 часа видео. Отдельный модуль на 16 уроков по обработке и бонусные уроки.

Курс для самостоятельного обучения, без поддержки. Вопросы можно задавать на форуме Фото-Монстр.

4 фотографии от автора для обработки студийного снимка. Практика без проверки.

Студийная фотография Евгения Карташова

Студийная съемка от Profile Virtual School

Гибридный онлайн-курс. В неделю 1 лекция в записи и 1 урок в прямом эфире. В личном кабинете будут записи вебинаров. Но лучше их посещать для качественного фидбека от преподавателя. Для выполнения домашних заданий нужно арендовать студию фотосъемки. Требования к студии на странице курса. В конце обучения итоговая аттестация.

Студийная съемка. Гибридный курс. Занятие №1. Алексей Довгуля

9 500 руб. Забронировав место, оплатить обучение можно не позднее 2 дней с момента старта курса.

6 недель. 7 видеоуроков и 6 онлайн вебинаров. Занятия 2 раза в неделю, по 3 часа каждое, в вечернее время.

Обратная связь на вебинарах. До и после занятия будет немного времени для обсуждения вопросов.

6 практических домашних заданий с разбором на живых онлайн встречах. Упор на практику и обратную связь.

Сертификат при полном прохождении программы и успешной аттестации.

Пример студийного фото

По студийной съемке от Фотошколы 717

Студенты будут изучать 20+ схем постановки света за 7 дней. Упор на создание студийных портретов. Доступ к урокам 24/7. Кроме лекций, студенты получат методички для эффективного похода в студию. Действует акционная подписка на 1 год. Обычно за эту цену дают доступ на 3 месяца.

Уроки студийной съемки

5 180 руб. Рассрочка на 30 дней через Яндекс Деньги, с переплатой. Есть гарантия возврата средств.

1 неделя. Интенсивный курс — занятия каждый день. Доступ к урокам на 1 год, продление бесплатно.

Помощь с вопросами от преподавателя.

Практические задания с проверкой.

Сертификат от Фотошколы 717.

Яндекс , , 2gis , на странице курса.

Работа автора курса по студийной съемке

Курсы портретной фотографии

Портретная съемка — это работа не только с техникой, но и с моделью. Поэтому обучение включает в себя чуть больше аспектов, чем в любом другом типе съемки. Крайне важна ретушь, ведь лицо модели часто размещено крупным планом. Особенно сложная ретушь на фото людей в возрасте. В портретах важно все: идея, композиция, свет, ракурс, модель и обработка. Нужно научиться работать со всеми аспектами для получения профессионального кадра.

Ретушь возрастных портретов от Фотошоп-Мастер

Обучение авторской методике по обработке портретов моделей 40+. Методика из 7 шагов. Обучение в индивидуальном темпе. Уроки можно смотреть в браузере на платформе или скачать на свой ПК. В первом варианте доступна обратная связь от преподавателя. Вопросы можно задавать в комментарии под уроками.

Что ждет вас внутри онлайн-платформы

2 990 руб. — обучение на платформе с поддержкой. Только лекции для скачивания — 1 990 руб.

19 уроков. 3 тематических модуля и 3 бонусных модуля. Общая длительность видео — 2 часа 58 минут.

Проверка д/з и поддержка наставника только на онлайн формате.

3 исходных фотографии для практики. Домашние задания с проверкой.

Сертификат при выполнении всех заданий.

Ретушь возрастных портретов

Портретная фотография от Profile Virtual School

Курс для продвинутых фотографов. Для начала обучения нужны навыки работы в RAW-конвертере. До и после онлайн лекций отводится время для вопросов преподавателю. Уроки проводятся с 18:50 до 21:20 по МСК. Если пропустили онлайн занятие, запись будет в личном кабинете.

Портретная фотография. Гибридный курс. Занятие №1. Антон Мартынов

7 500 руб. Можно забронировать место и оплатить не позднее 2 дня со старта курса.

1 месяц. 5 видеоуроков и 5 вебинаров. Занятия дважды в неделю. Один урок длится 3 часа.

Проверяет домашние работы в прямом эфире, отвечает на любые вопросы по курсу.

5 практических домашних заданий с разбором. Работы идут в портфолио выпускника.

Сертификат при сдаче итоговой аттестации и всех домашних заданий.

Портретное фото Антона Мартынова

Портретная фотография на

Авторский курс Сергея Сараханова. Подписка открывает доступ к 16 курсам на Продолжительность обучения и его стоимость зависят только от студента. Индивидуальный темп, нет сроков сдачи практических заданий. В сообществе фотографов amlab можно задавать любые вопросы по учебе и работе.

Трейлер курса Сергея Сараханова Портретная фотография  (Как снять психологический портрет и ...)

1 900 руб./мес. — подписка на Первые 7 дней можно учиться за 1 руб.

62 урока. Продолжительность — 12 часов 22 минуты. Доступ, пока действует подписка.

Поддержка преподавателя на подписке. Разборы заданий и ревю портфолио.

Упражнения на съемку и обработку собственных фотографий.

Портретное фото пример

Курсы по фуд-фото

Food-фотограф — профессия узкого профиля, которой можно обучиться за 1-2 месяца. Подходит людям с опытом в фотографии и без. На уроках большое внимание уделяется обработке фото, чтобы блюда были яркими, аппетитными. Не менее важна компоновка кадра, поэтому выбирать нужно практический курс. Такой специалист нужен в ресторанах, кафетериях и пр. Он снимает для меню, упаковки, сайта, соцсетей и рекламы.

Коммерческая Food-фотография от Фотошоп-мастер

На курсе учат делать коммерческие фуд-фото для меню ресторанов. Уроки можно скачивать себе на ПК по мере прохождения курса. Миникурс по работе с заказчиком в подарок. Для начала обучения нужны базовые навыки фотографии. Обработка фото может проводиться в любом редакторе.

Основы коммерческой food-фотографии для меню ресторанов

4 990 руб. Одним платежом. Гарантия возврата средств в течение 30 дней.

21 урок. 7 тематических модулей. Продолжительность — 2 часа 40 минут.

Курс для самостоятельного обучения, без поддержки.

Практические задания без проверки преподавателем.

Сертификат от Photo-monster.

меню ресторана пример

Фуд-фотография от фотошколы Foodie

Можно учиться, даже снимая на смартфон. Срок доступа к материалам курса зависит от выбранного плана (см. на официальной странице). В неделю проводятся 2 занятия. Проверка домашней работы осуществляется за 1-2 дня. Всего 8 заданий. Дома нужно фотографировать разные блюда, которые пойдут в портфолио.

Приглашение на курс по фуд-фотографии

8 990 руб. — пакет Оптимальный. 3 990 руб. — пакет Самостоятельный. 20 000 руб. — пакет Индивидуальный.

5 недель . 10 занятий. В зависимости от пакета, можно отправлять задания на проверку в течение 5 недель или 3 месяцев.

Проверка домашних работ и помощь с вопросами от ведущего курса.

Практика после каждого занятия и рекомендации от ведущего.

Рекламное фото алкоголя

Основы фуд-фотографии от

После каждого из 4 уроков предлагают выполнить 3-5 домашних заданий. На их выполнение с проверкой преподавателя отводится 45 дней. Не все задания обязательно выполнять. К лекциям и методичкам студенты получают неограниченный доступ.

Курс по фуд-фото

3 990 руб. Оплата только одним платежом. Можно купить в подарок.

1,5 месяца. 4 онлайн занятия. Поддержка преподавателя 45 дней.

Преподаватель отвечает на вопросы и проверяет домашние работы: замечания и рекомендации.

18 домашних заданий с рецензией от преподавателя. Нужно выполнить хотя бы 4 задания.

Сертификат, если выполнено по 1 домашнему заданию на каждый урок.

Facebook . Отзывы о курсе на Fotoshkola .

Примеры работ выпускников

Фотография для кафе

Часто задаваемые вопросы

Начинать лучше с бесплатных материалов. Можно найти короткий видеокурс для самостоятельного обучения или посмотреть бесплатные обучающие видео. Такие есть на youtube-каналах Profile School , , FREEMAX . Также на первом этапе не обойтись без покупки оборудования. Если знакомство с профессией происходит с нуля, нужно купить, как минимум, камеру. Самые популярные варианты среди новичков — камеры ценой 500-700 $. Объективы, штатив, фильтры, вспышки и прочее подбираются уже по ходу практики. Но базовый набор объективов для новичка — большой плюс.

Основные направления фотографии: репортажная, документальная, макро- и микрофотография, фешн, художественная, портретная, рекламная, предметная, свадебная, пейзаж и тревел. Подвидов в разы больше. Многие новички уже точно знают, какое направление их интересует. Если определиться сложно — посмотрите разные видео на youtube. Для разных видов фотографии требуются отдельные навыки фотографа. Также отличается техника для работы. Выбрать направление просто — к чему лежит душа. А техника докупится. Кстати, можно развиваться в нескольких направлениях одновременно.

Для начала новой карьеры нужно потратиться не только на обучающий курс, а и на технику. В зависимости от целей и направления съемки, бюджет базового набора может составлять 1-3 тыс. $. Первым делом камера. Популярные варианты: Nikon D3500, Canon EOS 2000D. Они стоят до 600 $. ― К камере рекомендуем купить хотя бы 2 объектива. Первый — объектив с фиксированным фокусным расстоянием около 50 мм. Подходит для портретной и уличной съемки. Его стоимость не должна превысить 200 $. ― Также в арсенале нужен объектив с изменяемым фокусом. Популярный вариант — китовый на 18-55 mm. В зависимости от производителя и функционала, его цена может быть от 150 до 1500 $. ― Внешняя вспышка не обязательна, но очень полезна. Для начала можно купить недорогой вариант до 150 $. Если пока нет возможности купить хорошую вспышку, можно обойтись отражателем «пять в одном» для съемок на улице. Его цена менее 50$. ― Многие направления фотографии требуют использования штатива. Он не обязателен начинающему фотографу, но точно окажется полезным. Цена штативов — от 50 до 200 $.

Фотограф всегда обрабатывает свои работы. Это может быть только наложение фильтра и цветокоррекция, а может быть сложная ретушь и пластика. Для этого используются растровые графические редакторы. Инструмент, который хоть раз использовал каждый фотограф — Adobe Photoshop . Маст-хэв для фотографа любого жанра. Огромный набор функций за платную подписку ≈ 220 $ в год. Adobe Lightroom — еще один популярный инструмент для редактирования, упаковки, хранения и обмена фотографиями. Чаще используется для настройки света и цвета. Полный набор функций за недорогую подписку ≈ 110 $ в год. Movavi Photo Editor смело конкурирует с продуктами Adobe. Редактор обладает практически таким же функционалом, с более понятным интерфейсом. Еще один плюс — бессрочная подписка ≈ 20 $. «Домашняя Фотостудия» — хороший вариант для начинающих. Ретушь, коррекция, обрезка, коллажи, готовые стили и многое другое. Есть 3 плана бессрочных подписок от ≈ 15 $.

Зарплата фотографов обычно почасовая (от 1 до 7 тыс. за час, в зависимости от уровня). Если это коммерческие фото на постоянной основе для одной компании, зарплата помесячная. И почти каждый такой фотограф дополнительно работает на фрилансе, увеличивая свой доход в свободное время. Мы изучили вакансии на по Москве и пришли к следующим выводам. Около 5% вакансий фотографа с зарплатой от 20 тыс. руб. Больше половины вакансий обещают зарплату от 40 до 65 тыс. руб. в месяц. Пятая часть — от 65 до 85 тыс. руб. Примерно 10% компаний готовы платить фотографам 100 тыс. руб. и больше. Вакансии ретушера представлены практически с такими же зарплатами. Но мы нашли гораздо меньше предложений со ставкой 20-40 тыс. руб. Популярные и высокооплачиваемые вакансии фотографа-ретушера. Их зарплата стартует с отметки 30 тыс. руб. и достигает 100 тыс. руб. Средний показатель — 55 тыс. руб.

Портфолио — основной показатель уровня фотографа. Можно бесконечно рассказывать о своих навыках, но заказчик смотрит только на результат. В портфолио нужно публиковать не все свои работы, а только лучшие. Найти оплачиваемые заказы с самого начала будет трудно. Поэтому большинство фотографов предлагают бесплатные фотосессии в начале своей карьеры. Найти моделей можно в соцсетях, это будет легко. Когда первые работы готовы, нужно выбрать сервис для их публикации. Самые популярные — Behance , Pinterest , Flickr . Публиковать свои работы также можно в социальных сетях. Для этого подходят Instagram, Facebook, Vk. Чтобы выйти на новый уровень, можно создать отдельный сайт-портфолио. Сделать это быстро и недорого предлагают сервисы Wix, Wfolio, и другие.

Можно. На разных стоках доход за скачивание фото сильно отличается. На зарубежных сайтах можно получить от $0,25 до $3 за одну загрузку. Есть работы, которые продаются и по $40, но это крайняя редкость. Загружая много фотографий в течение нескольких лет, можно начать зарабатывать от $100 до $500 в месяц (по данным Skillbox ). Рекомендуем публиковать свои работы на фотостоках с мировым именем. Самые популярные: Shutterstock , Adobe Stock , Depositphotos .

Реклама. Информация о рекламодателе по ссылкам в статье.

  • 1 Список курсов
  • 2.1.1 Стоимость
  • 2.1.2 Длительность
  • 2.1.3 Наставник
  • 2.1.4 Задания
  • 2.1.5 Документ
  • 2.1.6 Отзывы
  • 2.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателей
  • 2.2.1 Стоимость
  • 2.2.2 Длительность
  • 2.2.3 Наставник
  • 2.2.4 Задания
  • 2.2.5 Документ
  • 2.2.6 Отзывы
  • 2.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 2.3.1 Стоимость
  • 2.3.2 Длительность
  • 2.3.3 Наставник
  • 2.3.4 Задания
  • 2.3.5 Документ
  • 2.3.6 Отзывы
  • 2.3.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 2.4.1 Стоимость
  • 2.4.2 Длительность
  • 2.4.3 Наставник
  • 2.4.4 Задания
  • 2.4.5 Документ
  • 2.4.6 Отзывы
  • 2.4.7 Примеры работ студентов
  • 2.5.1 Стоимость
  • 2.5.2 Длительность
  • 2.5.3 Наставник
  • 2.5.4 Задания
  • 2.5.5 Документ
  • 2.5.6 Отзывы
  • 2.5.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 3.1.1 Стоимость
  • 3.1.2 Длительность
  • 3.1.3 Наставник
  • 3.1.4 Задания
  • 3.1.5 Документ
  • 3.1.6 Отзывы
  • 3.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 3.2.1 Стоимость
  • 3.2.2 Длительность
  • 3.2.3 Наставник
  • 3.2.4 Задания
  • 3.2.5 Документ
  • 3.2.6 Отзывы
  • 3.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 3.3.1 Стоимость
  • 3.3.2 Длительность
  • 3.3.3 Наставник
  • 3.3.4 Задания
  • 3.3.5 Документ
  • 3.3.6 Отзывы
  • 3.3.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 3.4.1 Стоимость
  • 3.4.2 Длительность
  • 3.4.3 Наставник
  • 3.4.4 Задания
  • 3.4.5 Документ
  • 3.4.6 Отзывы
  • 3.4.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 4.1.1 Стоимость
  • 4.1.2 Длительность
  • 4.1.3 Наставник
  • 4.1.4 Задания
  • 4.1.5 Документ
  • 4.1.6 Отзывы
  • 4.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 4.2.1 Стоимость
  • 4.2.2 Длительность
  • 4.2.3 Наставник
  • 4.2.4 Задания
  • 4.2.5 Документ
  • 4.2.6 Отзывы
  • 4.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 5.1.1 Стоимость
  • 5.1.2 Длительность
  • 5.1.3 Наставник
  • 5.1.4 Задания
  • 5.1.5 Документ
  • 5.1.6 Отзывы
  • 5.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 5.2.1 Стоимость
  • 5.2.2 Длительность
  • 5.2.3 Наставник
  • 5.2.4 Задания
  • 5.2.5 Документ
  • 5.2.6 Отзывы
  • 5.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 5.3.1 Стоимость
  • 5.3.2 Длительность
  • 5.3.3 Наставник
  • 5.3.4 Задания
  • 5.3.5 Документ
  • 5.3.6 Отзывы
  • 5.3.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 6.1.1 Стоимость
  • 6.1.2 Длительность
  • 6.1.3 Наставник
  • 6.1.4 Задания
  • 6.1.5 Документ
  • 6.1.6 Отзывы
  • 6.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 6.2.1 Стоимость
  • 6.2.2 Длительность
  • 6.2.3 Наставник
  • 6.2.4 Задания
  • 6.2.5 Документ
  • 6.2.6 Отзывы
  • 6.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 6.3.1 Стоимость
  • 6.3.2 Длительность
  • 6.3.3 Наставник
  • 6.3.4 Задания
  • 6.3.5 Документ
  • 6.3.6 Отзывы
  • 6.3.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 7.1.1 Стоимость
  • 7.1.2 Длительность
  • 7.1.3 Наставник
  • 7.1.4 Задания
  • 7.1.5 Документ
  • 7.1.6 Отзывы
  • 7.1.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 7.2.1 Стоимость
  • 7.2.2 Длительность
  • 7.2.3 Наставник
  • 7.2.4 Задания
  • 7.2.5 Документ
  • 7.2.6 Отзывы
  • 7.2.7 Примеры работ преподавателя
  • 7.3.1 Стоимость
  • 7.3.2 Длительность
  • 7.3.3 Наставник
  • 7.3.4 Задания
  • 7.3.5 Документ
  • 7.3.6 Отзывы
  • 7.3.7 Примеры работ выпускников
  • 8 Часто задаваемые вопросы

Аватар пользователя Артём Гром

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Отличная подборка, как раз искала что-то подобное. Курсы крутые особенно по портретной фотосъемке. Все так расписано с одной стороны лаконично, с другой стороны подробно. В мемориз до востребования:)


Ольга, приходите еще )) и смотрите наши крутые подборки уроков по направлениям.

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Очень хорошая подборка курсов! Не зря на LINKphoto про вас написали статью. Наверное один из курсов все-таки куплю.

Согласна, отличная подборка курсов. Есть профессиональный фотоаппарат, и все давно тянет быть фотографом. Ваша статья мне очень даже поможет для начинания.

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With a New Formula, U.S. News Rankings Boost Some State Universities

Responding to critics, the publication made its biggest changes to its method in four decades. But it’s unclear whether that is enough to quiet the naysayers.

With bikes and backpacks, people walk across the street at Princeton.

By Alan Blinder

U.S. News & World Report released on Monday the results of what it said was the most substantive overhaul of its 40-year-old college rankings empire.

At the top, there were few changes as Princeton remained the nation’s top-ranked university, followed by M.I.T., with Harvard and Stanford tied for third. Williams maintained its stature as the nation’s top liberal arts college, and Spelman College again led among historically Black institutions.

But more than a dozen public universities, many of them with relatively low profiles, climbed at least 50 spots in the rankings. Fresno State moved up 64 places, to No. 185, for instance, and Florida Atlantic ascended 53, to No. 209. Many other public institutions recorded smaller, if notable, gains, like Rutgers, which saw each of its three campuses rise by at least 15 places.

They benefited from an algorithm that sent some private universities’ rankings plummeting but represented an effort to account for ideals that higher education leaders routinely talk up, like transforming the lives of economically disadvantaged students.

The reworked formula assigned greater emphasis to graduation rates for students who received need-based Pell grants and retention. It also introduced metrics tied to first-generation college students and to whether recent graduates were earning more than people who had completed only high school.

The most seismic changes involved schools that were not at the extreme ends of the previous rankings, since they were not extraordinarily weak or strong across a sweeping array of criteria. Occupying the ranking’s middle rungs meant that shifts in methodology, like the removal of alumni giving as a criterion, could easily fuel dramatic rises and falls.

It was unclear, however, how much the overhaul would reduce criticism of U.S. News. Schools have said that the rankings have an outsize influence on students and parents, who use them as a proxy for prestige. And critics say they can skew the priorities of colleges and how they admit students.

L. Song Richardson, the president of Colorado College, said the refreshed methodology was “slightly better.” The liberal arts school said in February that it would stop submitting information to U.S. News.

“It doesn’t ease my concerns, which is why we haven’t rejoined,” said Ms. Richardson, whose institution fell two spots, to No. 29, among liberal arts colleges. “But certainly I’m thrilled that they’re starting to listen to what higher ed leaders have been saying to them.”

Even if some public universities like Fresno State benefited this year, many university leaders recoil at the idea of ranking colleges as if educations are mass-produced consumer products. Princeton’s president, Christopher L. Eisgruber, complained in a 2021 opinion piece in The Washington Post that “the rankings game is a bit of mishegoss — a slightly daft obsession that does harm when colleges, parents or students take it too seriously.”

Anointing any one university as “best,” he added, was “bizarre.”

But universities that soared welcomed their new rankings nevertheless. Antonio D. Tillis, chancellor of the Rutgers campus in Camden, N.J., said that officials were “ecstatic” and that the rise “reflects an intentional dedication to access and affordability, student success, academic excellence and constituency engagement.”

U.S. News relies on proprietary formulas for its far-reaching, for-profit rankings business, which scores everything from mutual funds to pediatric gastroenterology services. The publisher’s college rankings are widely seen as America’s most influential, and administrators, however philosophically hostile they might be to rankings, often embrace them as marketing tools. For the most part, even universities whose law or medical schools vowed in recent months to stop sharing information with U.S. News contributed data about their undergraduate programs .

Eric J. Gertler, U.S. News’s executive chairman, emphatically denied that the publisher had made any adjustments in its formula to try to retain the support of universities. U.S. News had said it would rank schools whether they provided information or not.

The company discarded five factors that often favored wealthy colleges and together made up 18 percent of a school’s score, including undergraduate class sizes, alumni giving rates and high school class standing.

This year’s formula, which relied more on data sources beyond submissions by schools, also gave less weight to overall graduation rates and financial resources per student, which examines how much, on average, a university spends per student on costs like instruction and research.

Private universities proved particularly vulnerable to the new formula. Small class size, which was 8 percent of a score a year ago, is a matter of pride for many elite institutions. Its disappearance from the algorithm played a role in some top schools’ rankings tumbling.

The University of Chicago, No. 6 last year, moved down to No. 12. Dartmouth declined six places to finish at No. 18. Washington University in St. Louis, which was No. 15 last year, slipped to 24th. Brandeis, now ranked 60th, fell 16 spots, almost as much as Wake Forest, which declined 18 spots to tie for No. 47. Tulane went to No. 73 from No. 44.

Michael A. Fitts, Tulane’s president, said he was “shocked” by his university’s drop, which he attributed to “a radically different methodology” that undercuts schools like his. Large, public universities, he argued, were better suited to meet the abruptly introduced ambitions of the U.S. News rankings, but he said that the caliber of a place like Tulane had not ebbed overnight.

“Do they have the best of both worlds now or the worst of all worlds now?” he asked, referring to U.S. News. “Are they conflating different criteria by looking at, in essence, your ability to enroll a broad, large class of students? Or are you looking at sort of the academic quality of the students while they’re there?”

To the irritation of many administrators, U.S. News retained, with equal weight as last year, a survey of presidents, provosts and deans, who are asked to consider the academic caliber of other institutions. Critics have long asserted that the survey, which accounts for 20 percent of a school’s score, introduces a decidedly subjective element to the system.

Mr. Gertler noted that the survey’s importance had declined over the rankings’ history, but he defended its continued inclusion since “reputation matters in society.”

Some of the country’s best-known universities saw their fortunes improve. Columbia, which was No. 2 before it dipped to No. 18 after it acknowledged a history of submitting inaccurate data, clawed back to No. 12. The University of California, Berkeley, and the University of California, Los Angeles, tied as the nation’s top public schools after they jumped five places each to No. 15.

In Florida, New College, the target of an ideological and administrative overhaul championed by Gov. Ron DeSantis to the consternation of many alumni and faculty members, plunged 24 places to tie for 100th among liberal arts schools.

Nathan March, a spokesperson for the college, noted in a statement Monday evening that U.S. News calculates its rankings using information from over a period of years and said that administrators were “pleased data backs the need for rapid change.”

Other institutions blamed their declines on the methodology itself, including Chicago, the only university to fall out of the top 10.

“We believe in and remain committed to academics and the fundamentals that have long defined the UChicago experience — such as our smaller class size and the educational level of instructors, considerations that were eliminated from this year’s U.S. News & World Report ranking metrics,” the university said in a statement.

Wake Forest voiced similar concerns.

“Wake Forest has never made decisions or determined university strategy based on chasing rankings such as those from U.S. News,” Susan R. Wente, the university president, said. “We do not intend to start now.”

U.S. News is accustomed to complaints. The publisher has given no signal, though, that it is interested in abandoning a system that brings in millions of eyeballs — and dollars.

Maia Coleman contributed reporting.

Alan Blinder is a national correspondent for The Times, covering education. He has reported from more than 35 states, as well as Asia and Europe, since joining The Times in 2013. More about Alan Blinder

To revist this article, visit My Profile, then View saved stories .

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Masha Borak

Inside Safe City, Moscow’s AI Surveillance Dystopia

A surveillance camera in Red Square Moscow with the Kremlin in the background

Sergey Vyborov was on his way to the Moscow Metro’s Aeroport station last September when police officers stopped him. The 49-year-old knew that taking the metro could spell trouble. During a protest against Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, police had fingerprinted and photographed him. He’d already been detained four times in 2022. But he was rushing to his daughter’s birthday, so he took a chance.

Vyborov wasn’t arrested that day, but the police informed him that he was under surveillance through Sfera, one of Moscow’s face recognition systems, for participating in unsanctioned rallies. Considered one of the most efficient surveillance systems, Sfera led to the detention of  141 people last year. “Facial recognition, and video cameras in general in a totalitarian state, are an absolute evil,” Vyborov says. 

Vyborov finds himself at the bottom of a slippery slope that privacy advocates have long warned about . Under the guise of smart city technology, authoritarian and democratic governments have rolled out huge networks of security cameras and used artificial intelligence to try to ensure there is no place to hide. Cities have touted the ability of such systems to tackle crime, manage crowds, and better respond to emergencies. Privacy campaigners say such systems could be used as tools of oppression. In Moscow, Vyborov and countless others now face that oppression on a daily basis.

The Russian capital is now the  seventh -most-surveilled city in the world. Across Russia, there are an  estimated 21 million surveillance cameras, and the country ranks among the top in the world in terms of the number of connected surveillance cameras. The system created by Moscow’s government, dubbed Safe City, was touted by city officials as a way to streamline its public safety systems. In recent years, however, its  217,000 surveillance cameras, designed to catch criminals and terrorists, have been turned against protestors, political rivals, and journalists. 

“Facial recognition was supposed to be the ‘cherry on top,’ the reason why all of this was built,” says a former employee of NTechLab, one of the principal companies building Safe City’s face recognition system.

Following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, Safe City’s data collection practices have become increasingly opaque. The project is now seen as a tool of rising digital repression as Russia wages war against Ukraine and dissenting voices within its own borders. It is an example of the danger smart city technologies pose. And for the engineers and programmers who built such systems, its transformation into a tool of oppression has led to a moment of reckoning. 

Founded in 2015, NTechLab  caught the attention of the global press with the February 2016 launch of FindFace, an app that allowed anyone to identify faces by matching them with images gathered from social network  VKontakte , Russia’s Facebook equivalent. Met with warnings of the  “end to public anonymity,” the app was reportedly downloaded by 500,000 people within two months of its launch. But for NTechLab, it was primarily a proof of concept for its nascent face recognition algorithm.

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“From [an] engineering point of view, it’s very interesting to work with: It’s very difficult,” he says. 

After the release of FindFace, NTechLab began selling its face recognition tech to small businesses, such as shopping malls that could use it to catch shoplifters or see how many people return to certain stores. But NTechLab was also working with the Moscow Department of IT Technology (DIT), the government department tasked with building Moscow’s digital infrastructure. In 2018, when Russia hosted the FIFA World Cup, NTechLab’s face recognition tech was connected to more than 450 security cameras around Moscow, and its tech  reportedly helped police detain 180 people whom the state deemed “wanted criminals.”

At its inception, Moscow’s face recognition system was fed official watchlists, like the database of wanted people. The system uses these lists to notify the police once a person on the list is detected, but law enforcement can also upload an image and search for where a person has appeared. Over the years, security and law enforcement agencies have compiled a database of the leaders of the political opposition and prominent activists, according to Sarkis Darbinyan, cofounder of digital rights group Roskomsvoboda, which has been campaigning for a suspension of the technology. It remains unclear who is in charge of adding activists and protesters to watchlists.

In March 2019, following the success of the World Cup trial—some of Russia’s “most wanted” people were arrested while trying to attend matches—the Moscow Department of Transportation, which operates the city’s metro, launched its own surveillance system, Sfera. By October 2019, 3,000 of the city’s 160,000 cameras were enabled with face recognition tech, according to interior minister Vladimir Kolokoltsev.

NTechLab was one of many companies building the slew of systems that would later be branded Safe City. International companies, from US tech firms such as Nvidia, Intel, and Broadcom to South Korea’s Samsung and Chinese camera maker Hikvision, worked alongside local firms such as  HeadPoint ,  Netris , and  Rostelecom  that have developed various components of the surveillance systems. According to procurement documents cited by the UK’s BBC, three companies besides NTechLab created face recognition tech for Moscow’s growing surveillance apparatus, including Tevian, and Kipod, and VisionLabs. Moscow's Transportation Department said in social media posts that Sfera was built using VisionLabs technology, although the company downplays its involvement.

NtechLab says it operates in compliance with local laws and does not have access to customer data or camera video streams. Nvidia and Intel say they left Russia in 2022, with Nvidia adding that it does not create software or algorithms for surveillance. Broadcom and Samsung also say they stopped doing business in Russia following the invasion. VisionLabs says it only provides the Moscow Metro with its face recognition payment system. Other companies did not respond to requests for comment. The DIT and the Moscow Department of Transportation did not respond to requests for comment.

At the end of 2018, as Russia cracked down harder on political dissent online and in the streets, the DIT started to change, says a former employee who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons. The department used to just be the “technical guys” providing assistance to security services, with the Moscow government recruiting highly paid IT specialists to make the most efficient systems possible, according to Andrey Soldatov, an investigative journalist and Russian security services expert. But according to the former employee, the DIT was beginning to reflect the Kremlin’s authoritarian bent.

Then came Covid. 

Safe City launched in 2020, at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic. Russia, like some other countries, seemingly used the pandemic as grounds to expand its surveillance systems to catch people breaking self-isolation rules. By mid-March 2020, Safe City’s face recognition system had  caught 200 people breaking lockdown restrictions. At the same time, Moscow  introduced a regulatory sandbox for the development of AI applications with the participation of large IT companies, exempting authorities from the country’s already lax data protection requirements. “With Covid, [the DIT] essentially became a part of the repressive apparatus,” says Soldatov.

In addition to its network of more than 200,000 cameras, Safe City also incorporates data from  169  information systems, managing data on citizens, public services, transportation, and nearly everything else that makes up Moscow’s infrastructure. This includes anonymized cell phone geolocation data collection, vehicle license plate recognition, data from ride-hailing services, and voice recognition devices. As Safe City was still rolling out in 2020, the Russian government  announced  plans to spend $1.3 billion deploying similar Safe City systems across Russia. From the outside, the potential for the system to be abused seemed obvious. But for those involved in its development, it looked like many other smart city projects. “No one expected that the country would turn into hell in two years,” says one former NTechLab employee, who asked to remain anonymous for safety reasons.

Attempts to break open Moscow’s digital black box have been stonewalled. Alena Popova, whose image was captured during a protest against  politician Leonid Eduardovich Slutsky in April 2018, filed the first lawsuit against Moscow’s DIT for allegedly violating her privacy, seeking a ban on face recognition tech. The case was  thrown out , but Popova has continued to file lawsuits, including one at the European Court of Human Rights—which Russia is  no longer a part of. 

While Moscow operates one of the world’s most pervasive surveillance systems, Russian law does not safeguard individual privacy. With seemingly no hope of recourse, some activists have been forced to leave Russia altogether. Popova is now on the list of foreign agents and is living in an undisclosed overseas location. “I will not apply to any political asylum in any country because I would like to go back to my own country and fight back,” she says.

A key concern is that Moscow’s surveillance system was designed to conceal its data collection from Moscow’s 12 million residents, says Sergey Ross, founder of the Collective Action Center think tank and a former Moscow politician. Although the system is run by the Moscow government, elected members of the Moscow City Duma  say  they are excluded from regulating face recognition systems and have little insight into how it is being used. “It’s a complete black box,” says Ross.

“It was clear that sooner or later the technology would be used to catch activists and dissenters,” says Roskomsvoboda’s Darbinyan. 

Russia made  almost 20,500 political arrests in 2022 , according to data from human rights media organization OVD-Info, which characterizes the number as “unprecedented.” The arrests have sparked fears that Safe City will be expanded to catch draft dodgers—although former NTechLab employees say that doing so would be technically difficult to pull it off because of too many false positives. Still, Moscow police appear to be using face recognition to aid Russia’s war efforts in other ways.

In September 2022, just after Putin announced additional mobilization for the war against Ukraine, Viktor Kapitonov, a 27-year-old activist who’d protested regularly since 2013, was stopped by two police officers after being flagged by face recognition surveillance while he approached the turnstiles in Moscow’s marble-covered Avtozavdodskaya metro station. The officers took him to the military recruitment office, where around 15 people were waiting to enlist in Putin’s newly announced draft. 

“They let me in without waiting in line as if I were some sort of VIP person,” he says. The recruiters wanted to force Kapitonov to enlist, but he ended up escaping the draft. “I explained that I am not fit, I have a disability.”

From 2017 to 2020, NTechLab became one of Russia’s  fastest-growing companies. Other face recognition firms have cashed in as well: The revenue of Russian face recognition developers  grew between 30 and 35 percent in 2022, thanks in part to deals struck in the Middle East, Southeast Asia, India, and South America. Russia’s national AI strategy has supported such firms with grants, tax exemptions, and subsidies, which have benefited both startups and state corporations, including tech and finance giant Sber , telecom provider  Rostelecom , and defense firm Rostec, which previously owned a minority stake in NTechLab. While NTechLab continues to work globally, reporting a revenue increase of 35 percent in 2022, it has also faced a backlash against its work with the Russian state.

In June of last year, a “name-and-shame” list of NTechLab employees was  published [in Russian] with information collected from social media. The project went viral, and some employees reported being harassed online. Artem Zinnatullin, a software engineer now based in the US, says he published the list after NTechLab  sold its new  silhouette recognition technology to the Moscow government in June 2022. To him, it signaled support for Russia’s war in Ukraine. In the post, he called NTechLab “the blacksmith of the Digital Gulag.” Zinnatullin, who says he knew people arrested with the help of face recognition technology, believes publishing the list of NTechLab employees was only fair. “You recognize people on the street, it’s only fair if we use public data to recognize who you are,” he says.

Unlike many face recognition companies that keep a low profile, NTechLab’s splash with FindFace has turned it into a recognized brand. Employees say this high profile has made them into scapegoats. 

As arrests of activists and politicians mounted, the ethics of NTechLab’s technology became a recurring topic at company meetings. NTechLab staff have resisted the use of the company’s face recognition in rallies and refused to sell the technology to the military, according to people familiar with these discussions. Still, the NTechLab leadership concluded that the technology was ultimately positive—even if the occasional dissenting voice was arrested because of it. 

“We all saw these positive examples, we saw how it really catches criminals,” says one former NTechLab employee. “Most people in NTechLab would say they were doing something very good, technologies that can help and save people’s lives. It really did.”

As Russia furthered its march toward authoritarianism in 2021, NTechLab leadership began talking about moving the company abroad, according to people familiar with internal company discussions. But with lucrative government contracts abounding—NTechLab  received a $13 million investment from the Russian Direct Investment Fund, the country’s sovereign wealth fund, in September 2020—its investors resisted the idea. The company was also changing. Its founders, Alexander Kabakov and Artem Kukharenko, stepped down from NTechLab—and both left Russia in December 2021 and February 2022, respectively, declaring   their  anti-war stance on social media. 

Other employees left amid an exodus of IT talent from Russia. The war changed how they viewed their work. “Looking back, we realize that we shouldn’t have done it,” says an NTechLab employee. “But even in 2017 and 2018, it was a completely different country. At least, that’s how it seemed to those who weren’t very immersed in politics.”

Russia’s Safe City projects show no sign of slowing. As more surveillance systems are deployed across the country, Moscow’s DIT is planning to centralize video streams collected across all regions into its own system. And new projects to digitize public services may make it even easier for the government to eventually create large databases where everyone can be found, according to Popova. “It is really scary,” she says. “If they digitalize all the databases and combine them to make this joint database, they can find everybody.” In July, Putin  signed a federal law that funnels personal biometric data collected in the country into a single system—an effort to obtain an “almost unlimited monopoly” on the collection and storage of biometrics, says Roskomsvoboda’s Darbinyan. 

In a further expansion of the Safe City project, Rostec is also  reportedly  developing software that will help authorities predict riots and prevent their escalation by analyzing media reports, data from social networks, video cameras, and other sources. Rostec did not respond to a request for comment on its development of these systems.

Similar systems have been developed in some Chinese cities, and Russia is now playing catch-up. “The Russian government would probably like to move toward China, but they do not yet have the necessary technology,” says Kiril Koroteev, head of international practice at the Russia-based Agora International Human Rights Group.

For now, many activists in Russia are left to do whatever they can to skirt the country’s growing surveillance apparatus, including avoiding the Moscow Metro. Kapitonov hopes that a balaclava will keep him safe, while Vyborov aims to ride the metro early in the morning, when there are fewer police around to detain him. 

“I think that it was inevitable that such a system would be made sooner or later,” says one former NTechLab employee. Face recognition is like a knife, he says: It can be used to cut food, but it can also be used to cut innocent people. He now regrets that NTechLab played a key role in building Moscow’s Safe City project. He has left Russia and doesn’t think he will work on face recognition again. “I do not want to mess with it anymore,” he says.

Update 9:25 am ET, February 6, 2023: Clarified the role of VisionLabs in the Sfera system and that NTechLab's founders have since left the company.

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