In today's digital and virtual world, there are many online photography courses. But is every photography course or photography class equal? There are free online photography courses on everything from digital photography to wildlife photography.
As online photography classes to become a better photographer throughout the internet, one would think that everything you need to know about photography skills, advanced techniques, camera settings and lighting equipment would be available to a budding photographer. One would think at to be correct, but is it correct?
Free online photography courses are great if YouTube videos are your thing and you are looking to glean a nugget of information about a specific topic. Aspiring photographers and complete beginners can learn a great deal about photography this way.
Intermediate photographers can learn about different style as free photography tutorials can show samples of other styles. Just remember, that can help you and also hurt you if your setting up to develop your own personal professional photography style.
Will a free course from one photographer even work in unison with the teachings of another photographer? Will knowledge from an introductory course even blend with the knowledge taught in and a course created by an experienced photographer creating advanced photography classes?
What if the photography classes are from not only two different photographers but also from more than one type of photography? A class on wedding photography is not going to help you if you want to learn fine art portrait photography.
Advanced photographers are generally not looking to build a new brand, or are they? If times have left their once successful brand in the dust, perhaps they are looking to refresh their photographic style and brand. This would be very difficult to learn in one or two online photography classes or free photography tutorials.
If you are a beginner photographer, there are many, many questions to be asked, and free photography tutorials are just not going to ask you anything, they will only tell you things. These things could set you in the wrong direction before you even know what your style and brand is going to be.
Intermediate-level photographers need guidance, and free photography tutorials may give a piece of substance or guidance; however, if there is no system to go along with it, the direction could be way off course.
Online courses are as good as the sum total of the information and how applicable it is to the real world. It is easy to get overwhelmed and fall down the rabbit hole of free photography tutorials.
Before you go down the photography education path and get yourself completely confused, stop and think about what you see as your brand and style. Do you want to make a living from your photography? Do you want to be a professional photographer with a studio?
Do you see yourself doing wildlife photography or landscape photography? Perhaps you want to be a lifestyle photographer or a portrait photographer. Then of course there is fashion photography, wedding photography, boudoir photography, macro photography, stock photography, life photography, commercial photography, and just to mention a few.
If you decide to be a portrait photographer, what kind will you become? In the portrait world, there is fine art portrait photography, child photography, animal photography, senior student photography and so on.
Let's say you decide on becoming a portrait photographer specializing in children. What about families? The mothers will ask for sure. Are you going to photograph for the sake of recording the age of the child in more of a documentary yet stylish fashion or will you be a storytelling artist with fantasy at the forefront? IE, Fairies and such.
Ok, now you must decide if you are going to create on location or in studio, or both. Your decision will lead you in a direction of learning specific photography techniques and equipment that are specific to that genre.
This is a broad topic however, if you choose to be a photographer then you are going to also become a business. This means business knowledge and specifically the business of photography.
You will want to learn the business system that fits with the style of photography that you have chosen to brand.
And that brings me back to the questions. Who do you want to be? What is your style? What genre do you want to choose? Be very specific in your answers as you do not want to become a jack-of-all-trades in the photographic industry.
This may be the most critical area when you are a beginner. It will dictate many photography course selections from beginner to advanced. Photography classes are not to be taken lightly.
Often a proper mentor will give you a list of specific offline and online photography classes to be taken in a specific order, where the knowledge will build upon each other to get your precisely where you want to be. Often in is not one photography class or photography course.
Online photography classes are wonderful as you can go at your own pace however, live workshops are hard to beat and should be put into your learning photography budget.
Here is another question for you. Do you want to be just ok at a bunch of things, OR do you want to be the very best at one thing and then develop your style into a know and recognizable brand? This certainly your decision however I know what my choice was, and it has been successful.
Remember, whatever you choose, you will walk with this brand every day, so choose wisely.
Perhaps you want to learn Adobe Photoshop or Adobe Lightroom. Both are very important things to know, but did you know that in Photoshop there are an infinite amount of things to learn? Trying to learn them all is pointless and would be too time-consuming. So want is a beginner photographer supposed to do.
The answer goes back to the same old questions. The 5 W's Who, What, Where, When and Why. Once you answer these questions then and only then can you dig into the "How". That will lead you you to understand what you need to learn from these amazing programs.
Yes, you are going to need equipment. Whether it is camera and lighting gear or post-processing equipment such as computer, hardware, and software, your style and what each piece of equipment will be doing will determine what you will need to purchase. Again, this will take you back to your original questions of what you see as your "brand".
Do you fully understand how cameras work? Do you have a camera with you at all times? To you go from auto mode to manual mode when photographing?
Professional photographers understand exactly what their equipment does and why they need it. Once you have this mastered for your brand, your equipment will become as if it is part of your being. You will know it like the back of your hand.
Master your camera fist. Low light will never ever again bother you. Long-exposure photography images and so much more will be a snap. Every photo will be preplanned by you. Photos will become photographs and then pieces of art. It is an evolution.
As you gain information and apply it without thinking, you will watch your photos evolve as well. Photography tips like this are invaluable. This knowledge will turn frustration in passion. You will be headed in the right direction for sure.
When you start shooting (I prefer to say either creating or photographing) do you have a purpose or are you just snapping photos? Do you understand and see the composition? Do you see and understand light? There are classes out there from the old master painters that can shed so much light on these topics. Go there...please! You will not regret it.
True students of photography are students of art. They want to soak up everything about their craft from color theory to natural light, to new techniques in Photoshop.
There is not a course that can teach you to be passionate about photography. You will know when you feel it. If you already do feel it...then you fully understand what I am talking about.
And to have purpose means you have a drive to also understand the business side of photography. You will need to "market" and "sell" (yes they are two different things) your photos.
Each photo you create should be done with the purpose of selling it to someone in some form or fashion. Unless you are in a photography course and are practicing, although, of course, you should have that goal when creating. Images are your life now. They will pay for everything, including support your family. Images that you are going to create deserve your thought and respect.
Are you a beginner? What is your skill level Do you know your digital camera settings? Can you set your shutter speed? Do you know how to do long exposure photography? There are courses for all of that.
Do you ever study photography online from the countless courses and then just get overwhelmed and confused? There is no one-size course fits all. There are just too many variables. Learn to select your courses wisely. Each course should be chosen with purpose and meaning.
Learn the basics first. Understand your camera. That online course is out there, but be specific to "your camera". Although the fundamentals of each camera are basically the same, if you learn from someone actually teaching from a camera just like yours, you will learn faster and understand more.
Understand shutter speed and aperture settings and what effects they provide. There are online classes for just about every camera. Find this free class and watch it over and over until you fully get it. Then practice, practice, practice until you can set your camera and see the results the instructor is describing.
This is the kind, of course, you can do while you are thinking about and making style decisions. Sometimes this kind of online course can be sort of dry for a creative person, but trust me, you must do it, learn it, and love it.
If you do not like the course instructor, search up another. There are so many online courses to choose from and you will learn more when you "like" your instructor. Sometimes it is all in the voice or simply in the way the instructor presents. If it feels wrong, move on.
Get started with a course as soon as possible and practice relevant things digitally daily. You cannot make a mistake here and as perceived mistakes can be deleted, learned from and then you start again. Learning the digital photography side of things will become such a big asset. Digital courses on the fundamentals of Photoshop any course teaching the specifics of Lightroom or Camera Raw, will be invaluable.
The more you know about the post-processing of your images, the fundamentals of photography and Adobe software, the quicker you will begin to establish "your style"! Study a Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom courses over and over. Learn to turn a photo into a masterpiece. Do not just skim through this online course. This is a course where you want to focus and be a sponge for learning.
As you begin to understand what can happen to an image in post-processing, you will suddenly begin to see your photos differently. You will begin to start to see things from a multi-directional point of view.
Have you learned the fundamentals of photography? If photography is your passion, you will not only "want" to learn, you will be excited to learn. No longer will a photo be a photo. No will yearn to have a comprehensive guide/mentor and want to learn photography at an insatiable pace.
When you are on vacation, your pic of a pretty view will become landscape photography in your mind. The first time you make a stunning landscape image with purpose and meaning, you just might decide that landscape photography is your passion.
Passion is quite powerful and exhilarating. Imagine if that was your "every day". That is the life of a real photographer, who has learned the fundamentals of every aspect and loves what he/she does for a living.
I have met thousands of photographers in my career and through my classes and blogs, sure to meet thousands more. So many aspiring photographers bounce around from one thing to another and years go by. Many have never actually sat down to think and decide who or what they want to be in the photography profession.
It is almost impossible to begin the journey to learn photography through online courses without prior research and thought.
Let me introduce myself. My name is Larry Hersberger. I am a master photographer and internationally licensed artist/photographer with decades of experience in photography. My living is made via the sale of the photographs I create. My work is sacred to my soul, and yes I am 100% artist and creation runs fast in my veins.
With that said, I made a choice early on to learn and implement solid business practices into my photography business. I chose my niche as Christmas photography and Fine Art Portraiture. There is much clarity in the artwork, the products created, how they are marketed and how they are sold. The brand is very clear, and our clients know Masterpiece Christmas as the best worldwide.
My wife and incredibly talented photographer, Ela Hersberger run our photography business out of Tampa, Florida, however, we have clients who bring their children to us from all over North America. The brand has become that strong. I can promise you, it did not get that strong by accident.
We have systemized every aspect of what we do and I want to share this with you.
Join our Masterpiece Photography Classes course for it is unlike any other course you will ever experience. I teach by sharing at every level and a wide variety of professional photography and lifestyle topics. It takes a lot to bring your work from a photo to a masterpiece that sells to a global audience.
Listen to a few of our free blogs and if you like what you hear, join up and follow...you will not regret it. It is more than a photography course, it is the sharing of life from a simple and humble start to a successful full-time photography studio.