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Photography courses online

Set your focus and refine your skills with an online photography course.

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Two young women taking pictures with a polaroid

Whether you use your smartphone or a DSLR, there’s an online course waiting for you to step up your pic-taking game.

Why study photography?

Photographs are part of our daily lives now more than ever. From checking out the news or last night’s game results to scrolling through shopping ads or flicking through a magazine, almost every image you see someone got paid to capture — with the exception of your friends on Instagram.

With so many social media outlets and a captive public audience, now could be a good time to consider honing your photography skills — and get paid.

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What are the courses for photography?

There are a variety of online courses available to sharpen your skills behind the lens. Choose from courses that help you take stellar photos with your phone, or Leica with an interchangeable lens.

Coursera

  • Photography Basics and Beyond: From Smartphone to DSLR Specialization
  • Photography Techniques: Light, Content, and Sharing

Udemy

  • Photography Masterclass: A Complete Guide to Photography
  • iPhone Photography: Take Professional Photos on your iPhone

CreativeLive

  • Fundamentals of Photography
  • Capturing Story in Portrait Photography

Skillshare

  • Fundamentals of Portrait Photography
  • Photography Like a Pro

What are some in-person photography classes?

If learning in-person suits you better, check out some ongoing short or professional photography courses. That might allow you to take multiple courses, at different institutions where you can learn from a variety of instructors and professionals.

Here’s a variety of short and certificate courses in film, photography and media. Search within your area for the best course available to suit your interests, skillset and schedule.

If you’d rather get an undergraduate or postgraduate degree, then perhaps you could consider campus study, if that’s possible in your area and circumstance. Here are some schools that offer a degree in photography:

  • Bachelor of Arts in Cinema and Photography —Southern Illinois University Carbondale
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography — University of Hartford
  • Bachelor of Fine Arts in Fine Art Photography — George Washington University
  • Peralta Community College District — Associate of Arts in Photography
  • Ball State University — Bachelor of Fine Arts in Art – Photography and Intermedia Arts Concentration
  • Master of Fine Arts in Photography —University of Illinois at Chicago

What are the tuition fees and other expenses to study photography?

Short courses are definitely more cost-effective than longer degree programs. For example, the Photography I – Digital course for Stanford University’ s Summer Session costs $1175. And earning a two-year associate’s degree in Photography costs approximately $3,000 each year, or $6,000 total. For a Bachelor’s degree, tuition fees hike up to $8,200+ annually.

Another cost consideration is equipment for serious photography study: You’ll also have to be prepared to shell out for cameras, lenses, editing software, tripods and stands, lighting equipment and other essential accessories.

What are the career opportunities for photography?

While photography offers few traditional positions full-time jobs, it’s possible to make a career out of taking pictures. Here are some professional possibilities for photographers:

  • Portrait photographer — Families, pets, school photos
  • Commercial photographer — Buildings, merchandise, company employees for catalogs, ads, and websites
  • Scientific photographer — Includes micrography, infrared photography, underwater photography and more
  • Photojournalist — For news, magazines and other publications
  • Freelance — Create your own niche in any style and subject

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