Online Photography Courses and Self-Studying Photography
Our individual path as photographers can dip and swerve in so many directions, just like riding the tone curve while adjusting shadows and highlights! You may enjoy photography as a hobby, or you may be seeking online photography courses because you’re interested in building professional skills and techniques to make it your career. There is no set or specific path you need to follow as a photographer, it’s completely up to you whether you make an income, grow your client list, sell prints or simply enjoy the creative process of capturing beautiful photos.
Photography courses come in just as many variations as the career itself so it’s important to determine which course or learning experience will suit you best!
Are you struggling with camera settings?
Do you want to start a photography business but don’t know where to begin?
Are you selling prints but not making any sales?
Maybe you’re wanting to work as a photographer but can’t find clients?
Keen to get published but don’t know what format to send your work to a magazine editor, or how to pitch?
There’s a photography course or resource out there created just for you! It’s a matter of finding it and committing to making the changes, implementing the advice and taking a chance on your creativity.
Personally, I’m a big advocate for creative development and learning that involves getting outside with your camera and learning as you explore genres, techniques and how to use your camera. Finding online photography courses that challenge you and shares ideas you can take into the field and photograph is always going to be beneficial!
Whether you learn best in a classroom environment, via textbooks or eBooks, Youtube videos or self-study online photography courses, let’s take a peek at what the benefits are of learning photography online.
01 – Staying up to date with a fast paced industry!
As a photographer you are always learning, staying up to date with programs, equipment, client expectations, products and services. Keeping your creative, business and technical knowledge up to date is essential! Even professional photographers who have worked in the industry for years will tell you they’re still always learning. There’s no ‘end’ in photography, only more techniques, more ideas and more creative concepts to work on. As gear progresses, so do the creative possibilities you can offer your clients or produce for fun. Taking a photography course that challenges your current abilities is a wonderful way to take that next step as a photographer.
02 – You can find a specific online photography courses to suit your needs
There are countless photography courses available to pursue, my advice is to find one that help you achieve exactly what it is you’re looking to improve or develop. If you’re struggling with Lightroom, rather than searching for a ‘Photography Editing Course’, find a course or resource that only focuses on Adobe Lightroom like Christian Hoiberg’s Complete Guide to Lightroom Classic so you aren’t paying for unnecessary content you may already know or isn’t relevant to you. My course, The Print Store Launch Pad, is solely developed to help photographers looking to sell prints, create an online store/website or print professionally for clients. Throughout the course, I share everything you need to know about curating collections, preparing image files for printing, dropshipping, working with print labs, global logistics, creating a website and online store, opening an Etsy store, the sales process, marketing and so much more! While all that sounds ideal for someone hoping to create a side income as a photographer, if you’re simply hoping to improve your creative skills, this isn’t the course for you! It’s about searching, browsing course options and connecting with the person offering the course! I believe it’s important to connect with a photographer before learning from them too. You want to be sure you enjoy their style and approach to photography before committing to joining their course! Do they have years or experience or are they just offering a basic course in the hope of making some money?
Always research the photographer, the course outcomes and assess whether it will be beneficial to your path in photography. I love receiving messages from people considering my courses as it gives me a chance to take a peek at their photography, it allows me to see which course may be helpful to their goals and then I can follow as their photography improves once they work through the course content!
02 – Challenging your Creative Mind
We can get stuck in a rut sometimes and the best way to get out of it (in addition to a walk in nature!), is trying something new. If you’re a landscape photographer and are bored of the same scenes, visit somewhere new and attempt a new photography technique to try and boost your creative thinking. A creative course that offers challenges and new ways of capturing a scene will only benefit you in the long run as you pursue your goals as a photographer. Within The 3-Week Composition Reset program, we look at refreshing your approach to photography, learn to see the world in a new way, in order to capture better images. I’ve found it so fascinating to hear from course participants about just how much these composition challenges have helped them improve their photographs. Small adjustments, fresh ideas, new ways of composing or approaching a scene and taking the time to think about how and why you want to photograph is so important as a photographer.
03 – Learn faster and apply immediately with online photography courses
Enrolling in online photography courses can provide the necessary push to learn and put the lessons into practice right away. I’ve always found that if I enrol or pay for a course, I’ll be ten times more likely to actually do the work than if I buy a book and tell myself I’ll read it one day. That day rarely comes, anyone else with me!? With the ability to move documents and resources across our devices, learning photography online is now so much easier. We can download a workbook on our computer, copy it across the cloud and have it with us on our phones while photographing landscapes in the field. Having a workbook on hand while you’re attempting a new camera setting or creative technique can be a great boost to motivation. Read, re-read and then test the settings right then and there! My free photo tips series called ‘Setting the Scene‘ has some handy posts if you’re shooting in various outdoor conditions!
04 – Join a community of like minded photographers
Learning via online photography courses sounds like it might be a tad isolating? Wrong! With the world connected now more than ever, most online course providers will have a network available to join as you read or study. Some online learning portals have a chat option, or you may be invited to join a group via Facebook, Whatsapp for example. With both of my self-study courses, I invite participants to join ‘The Creative Core‘, a Facebook Group that has members from all over the world. I’m so excited to watch this group grow together, share ideas, news, updates and am hoping it will become somewhere we can all support each other in our creative endeavours.
05 – Give your creativity or career a boost of inspiration and motivation
Over the years I’ve enrolled in many business development courses and various creative courses in subjects like watercolour painting, map drawing and product design. Even just taking that step to enrolling feels like a hit of motivation suddenly takes over. When I first studied communications and journalism, the boost of inspiration I received from simply opening the textbooks was so thrilling. I get the same inspiration by geeking out on a new editing program manual or when my camera has a new tool available in the menu and I need to find a way to use it. Signing up, buying the book, enrolling in the course – it could be the best thing you can do for yourself and your photography career.
We all make excuses to avoid doing things because they’re too expensive, too hard, beyond our abilities or too time consuming. Of course personal commitments, work, supporting a family, the cost of living and the fact that time just seems to go faster these days can mean we can’t commit to reading through course materials for 8hrs a day. But even just 20 minutes can make a huge difference! Start small with an eBook and work your way up to a course to see if online learning is for you.
Do me a favour- If you enrol in a photography course online, download the workbooks and course content as soon as you can. Save it somewhere safe, have it available across all of your devices and try to schedule in time to read or apply the creative advice. Make it a habit to open a course workbook instead of Instagram! If you’re out for sunset and want to challenge yourself, open your phone and flip to the chapter on natural light to try something new. If you’re trying to set up your new store and feel stuck, flick to the chapter on branding (in The Print Store Launch Pad) to focus on another area of your business!
Want to learn with The Wandering Lens? Online self-study courses – Discover your potential as a photographer!
Are you craving a creative career, struggle to know where to start as a travel photographer and need a little guidance?
These creative courses have been written for you and bring together over 17+years of experience and lessons from working in the industry. I want to see others share their talents and get published, sell prints, find clients – to have the confidence to achieve whatever it is you want to within the field of photography.
My three comprehensive photography courses are now available for self-study enrolments and upon signing up, I’ll be in touch with instant access to get you set up and logged into the learning portal! You’ll receive access to every workbook within the course program and can work your way through in whichever order you chose.
Which of the following sounds like you most?
#1 You want to find work as a freelance travel photographer? The Freelance Travel Photographer Course is open for enrolments! Learn more here.
#2 You need a creative boost and want to transform your photography? Start with The 3-Week Composition Reset and work through composition and creative challenges.
#3 You’re keen to start a business selling prints? The Print Store Launch Pad will guide you through the entire process from curation and logistics to marketing + sales.
Take a peek at the course options below, if you’d like to discuss which one will suit you, send me an email via firstname.lastname@example.org and we can chat!
Travel and landscape photographer from Australia who is far more comfortable in a pair of flippers than heels! Having worked for publications such as Lonely Planet, Wanderlust and the Sunday Times, Lisa founded The Wandering Lens to share destination guides to the worlds most photogenic places and outdoor experiences.