Online photography classes are a great resource for learning all about the ins and outs of modern day photography. They are taught by real professionals who strive to make the learning experience fun and educational while giving you the same foundations that you can find in any brick and mortar classroom.
While the term “online photography classes” encompasses a wide range of offerings from many different sources, knowing what you can expect will help you cut through the things that you don’t want and bring you to the course that is right for you.
Free Classes Or Paid Online Photography Classes, What’s Best?
When searching through all of the classes offered online, you are going to notice that some are free while others are paid.
There are basically two tiers of experience that decide whether a course should be free or not. If you are looking for the very basics of photography, then chances are that you will be able to find a free course somewhere.
These classes typically don’t go into much depth beyond simple camera operation, along with lighting and framing, but they can still be very good at what they do.
However when it comes to more advanced courses, most places need to start charging. This is because they are paying for both experienced instructors and course writers to disseminate the knowledge that they have cultivated over their careers.
Prices vary, but with a little effort, finding one that fits your budget is not impossible. If you want a really solid learning experience, then the paid option might be better for you when it comes to online photography classes.
Once the course level has been selected, the question then becomes about whether you want your course to be consumable at your own pace or with a set schedule. Besides your ability to be at your computer at a specific time every week, you should also take into consideration whether or not you want one on one attention during the lectures.
Live online lecturers tend to take questions from their students whenever possible, just like a real classroom environment.
Many of the places that offer prerecorded material for you to learn at your own pace cannot offer any additional help beyond a message board for students to work out their questions among themselves. Having someone around to speak with directly is a great thing to have, but if it isn’t necessary for you, then not having it is a great way to save some money.
Some courses, including things like the history of photography or lectures given by famous photographers are even offered in podcast form for you to listen to on the go. While these aren’t really meant to be instructional in the practical sense, you can still learn a lot about how certain photographers went about capturing their famous images and apply it to your own work.
If you want to go in a non-traditional and completely free direction, then Youtube has tons of content put together by professionals and field experts that is offered by them for free. It can be a great resource for you if you truly want to do things at your own pace and only learn about the things that you want to learn about, but keep in mind that there is no oversight to these videos whatsoever.
While someone may have a wealth of experience and knowledge and be willing to share it with you for free, it does not mean that he or she has the credentials or the know how to properly educate other people on the given subject. It does, however, stand as a decent option for someone who already has at least basic understanding of both photography and camera operation under their belt.
Realistically, short of going back to school for a degree in photography, online photography classes be your best bet for gaining the knowledge to become much more proficient with the camera. They are a great alternative to classic, in depth education on the subject and are much, much cheaper than a year’s worth of tuition. They can also open up a now world of resources that you would have never known existed otherwise. Courses may recommend workshops in your area that you can attend to get the hands on, personal instruction to help you better understand the course material that is laid out in front of you. They can also give you plenty of information about equipment and what is and what is not worth an investment. That’s the kind of information that you just can’t get from the knowledgeable guy behind the counter of your camera shop.