The popularity of online photography courses means that anyone can elevate their skills. The rise of the smartphone has created a multitude of instant photographers, but the technical aspects of photography needed by pros require much more attention and mastery. Luckily, anyone can access these classes.

In the past, it would have been inconceivable for anyone to claim that they had obtained a proper education in any other setting than a formal classroom. However, nowadays numerous online courses, including online photography courses, provide the necessary materials, supervision, and accreditation that many students seek.

best online photography courses

You may be fooled into thinking that thousands of dollars-worth in digital equipment would be enough to get you started, but that alone doesn’t result in professional quality photos. So let’s take a look at where you can obtain the guidance and education that a starting photographer needs to better his or her work.

Online Photography Courses: Learning from the Best

find online photography courses

The World Wide Web offers endless possibilities in the form of specialty websites, photography blogs, and even university  online courses. Most information is free, though certain classes may require tuition. One question, though, is which type of learning resource will cater to your specific needs.

Truth be told, there is no one solution fits all. Ideally, you should identify what it is that you wish to learn, what avenues you want to pursue, and whether certain courses photography courses cater better to those specific needs.

Leafing through the class options is also particularly easy with large MOOCs (massive open online courses) providers such as Coursera, Open Culture, edX, and many others.

College and University Online Photography Courses

There is a multitude of course options that colleges, universities, and institutes offer online. However, they may sometimes have prerequisites. Most university classes will tackle complex topics. So, if you’re just starting out, make sure to cover your basics before taking on these online courses. Here are just a few interesting online photography courses offered by world-renowned universities:

RMIT University: The Art of Photography

This course aims to broaden a student’s concepts of photographic art. In total, the course includes four modules: Light through Lenses, Photography’s Evolution, The Digital Darkroom, and Visual Language & Creative Photography. Each ends with one assessment. At the end of the course, students should be capable of understanding exposure, digital capture, RAW mode and how to use it. It also covers aperture, shutter speed, composition, lighting, and many more aspects of photography.

Harvard University: Exposing Digital Photography

This course deals with the technical aspects pertaining to digital cameras and photography. Aside from learning about proper lighting, exposure, and color management, students will be able to properly manipulate the camera by the end of the course.

University of London: The Camera Never Lies

A slightly different photography course that deals with image and media evidence and their place in the twentieth century. Students will learn about manipulation and photograph authenticity and photojournalism throughout the last hundred years.

The University of Edinburgh: Photography: A Victorian Sensation

Taking a deeper look into early photography, specifically the Victorian craze. This course will help introduce students to the social context amid which photography appeared. At the end of the course, you will be able to earn a Verified Certificate. This is an optional, paid-for certificate.

Georgia Institute of Technology: Computational Photography

this is a rather complex course that aims to merge photography knowledge and computational skills. Students will be able to understand the manner in which computation has influenced the art of photography. This includes from image sharing to photo manipulation. With four modules, the course offers relevant information pertaining to digital imagery. This includes filtering, image processing, light fields, image retargeting, and texture synthesis. MIT features a similar course, “Computational Camera and Photography.” This one attempts to offer insight into the multidisciplinary field that photography, electronics, computer graphics, and applied optics has created.

New York Institute of Photography

The NYIP offers nine of the best online photography courses, such as Photoshop courses, professional photography, wedding, travel, photojournalism, and portrait photography.

Online Resources, Blogs, and Websites

online photography resources

Numerous photography websites have dedicated entire categories (or their entire activity) to providing their readers with easy-to-understand photography lessons.


BestPhotoLessons, for instance, offers 12 free photography classes covering everything from exposure and depth of field to shutter effects, negative space and balance. Aside from this 12-class sequence, students are also provided with information and resources on camera basics, ideas, meters and light, histograms, and many more.

iPhotographyCourse offers

If you’re interested in earning a certificate, iPhotographyCourse offers a 18-module extensive online photography course meant to take you from total newbie to professional photographer. At the end of the course, you will be offered an internationally recognized certificate. also offers a multitude of online photography courses. They are grouped into advanced, intermediate, and beginner courses. You may access a variety of tips, tutorials, photo editing lessons, equipment suggestions, and comparisons. Furthermore, the photo editing tools put at your disposal will surely suit your needs.


Kelbyone is a community where artists are invited to inspire one another, grow and learn. Members can access thousands of self-paced photography courses and classes.

Start Shooting in Manual

Are you a photographer that wishes to unravel the mysteries of manual mode? Ditch Auto’s “Start Shooting in Manual” is an excellent, highly-rated free course structured into seven sessions totalling 36 lectures.

This list is by no means exhaustive, however, it does serve as a starting point on a career that requires continuous improvement. Feel free to suggest other courses that you have taken in the comments section below.

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