For those seeking to begin their journey in learning photography, the choices have traditionally been limited to reading and in-person tutelage in the form of local beginners’ photography classes or university studies. These undoubtedly have their advantages, reading the right books is a vital part of the learning process (after all, we regularly report on the best photography books of the year) and in-person teaching definitely has its advantages. However, in the last decade, and certainly in the last three years, online learning has skyrocketed and the best photography courses for beginners no longer need to be in-person. At Masters of Photography, we believe that there is benefit to be found in online photography courses for beginners and advanced photographers alike and that the best online photography classes are those that inspire as well as educate. So here are 5 benefits of online photography classes for beginners:

 

1. Flexibility

Life is busy at the best of times and it can be difficult to put enough time aside for your passions, especially in the early days. By taking online photography courses, you can fit your learning around work and other life commitments, taking advantage of the lifetime access and 24/7 availability to your online photography classes.

 

2. Learn from the best

Online photography courses typically have the benefit of being taught by true greats in the craft like our eponymous ‘Masters of Photography’ (Joel Meyerowitz, Steve McCurry, Albert Watson & David Yarrow). Thus, beginners can start off on the right foot, by taking the best online photography courses taught by some of the best photographers in the world! With decades of lived experience from their own early days when they first picked up a camera to their thriving careers nowadays, master photographers like these are able to offer the perfect online photography classes for beginners.

For beginners who are making their first forays into photography, taking a virtual tour of the world is an invaluable resource in refining their photographic interests and inspiring them in their craft; and it can all be done from the comfort of your own home!

For beginners who are making their first forays into photography, taking a virtual tour of the world is an invaluable resource in refining their photographic interests and inspiring them in their craft; and it can all be done from the comfort of your own home!

3. Learn from anywhere

In the information age, there’s no need to look in the yellow pages for local photography classes anymore. However, those who find themselves searching things like ‘best photography classes for beginners near me’ are not taking full advantage of the power of the internet. What could be nearer than your own computer or even the smartphone in your pocket? Taking online photography courses allows you to learn from the comfort of your own home, without having to travel anywhere. Or conversely, when you’re out and about, on holidays or long journeys. Provided you have an internet connection, you can benefit from online photography classes. What’s more, your teacher is able to give you their insights from on location so you can learn from their practical experience without having to arrange (and finance) a trip. For example, in his online photography classes, Joel Meyerowitz take us to Tuscany for his street photography while Steve McCurry travels to Havana for his own. 

Meanwhile, David Yarrow captures his wildlife photography in all manner of exotic locales like Kenya, Montana & Japan in his online photography classes. For beginners who are making their first forays into photography, taking a virtual tour of the world is an invaluable resource in refining their photographic interests and inspiring them in their craft; and it can all be done from the comfort of your own home!

The best learning programme is the one you enjoy and therefore the one you stick to; and getting inspired rather than inundated is a sure way to do this!

The best learning programme is the one you enjoy and therefore the one you stick to; and getting inspired rather than inundated is a sure way to do this!

4. Variety

Following on from the above point, most local photography classes will be limited to their surroundings and therefore, tend to be quite limited in their scope. Whereas the best online photography courses should be more varied, especially when taught by those with practical experience rather than solely educational experience. For example, while David Yarrow is most famous for his aforementioned animal photography, he also teaches us about his model photography with Cindy Crawford and others. Meanwhile, in his online photography classes, Albert Watson talks us through not only about his iconic fashion photography but also his landscapes and still-life work. By taking a journey through all manner of photographic genres, beginner photographers will be able to see which one strikes their interest and discover their photographic identity. Our online photography courses have the added bonus of extending beyond the craft itself and including lessons from the Masters about their experience getting work, making prints and publishing books.

Cindy Crawford in ‘American Hustle’ by David Yarrow (2019)

 

5. Approachability

Some dedicated online photography courses for beginners can overly focus on the technical side of things, more like a strict recipe for the craft with very little room for experimentation or individuality. However, due to a combination of the factors above, the best photography courses for beginners consist of expert practical advice, biographical accounts of lived experience and on-location shoots. The end result is a series of online photography classes that don’t bombard beginners with technical minutia but rather give them the tools to begin pursuing their photographic ambitions in their own way. The best learning programme is the one you enjoy and therefore the one you stick to; and getting inspired rather than inundated is a sure way to do this!

 

With these benefits in mind, it is clear that even the most inexperienced photographers should not be deterred from seeking inspiration in online photography courses. There’s always something to be learnt from the masters of the craft and they were all beginners themselves at one point!

Start your journey of becoming a photographer and sign up for our free online photography classes! Or check out other free resources like our free photography videos, photography blog & freestream!

 

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Get inspired and develop your photographic identity and ideas with this exclusive course packed with insights and techniques from the great artist photographer Joel Meyerowitz. For the first time ever Joel explains his life’s work, influences, methods and ethos – all in one incredible Masterclass. Travel with Joel in Tuscany and New York to learn his ideas on street photography, portraiture, still life and much more.

Take your photography to the next level with an exclusive online video Masterclass with Steve McCurry. This is a unique opportunity to study him at work, on location in Cuba and Portugal and follow his thought process in creating his incredible images, crafting captivating visual stories and adding authenticity and emotion to images. Access over 25 episodes packed with Steve’s tips and advice, which you can return to and watch over and over again.
In this exclusive Albert Watson photography course, the secrets of his craft and success are revealed for the first time. Find out how to create his stunning portraits, landscapes and still life images. Albert Watson covers fashion photography, model photography, celebrity photography and advertising photography as well as large scale projects for books, landscape photography and still photography. You’ll learn how to light a portrait with everyday light bulbs, post production, where to find inspiration and how to approach all types of photography.
Embark on a voyage across 5 continents and learn how fine art and wildlife photographer David Yarrow makes his incredible images that sell for tens of thousands of dollars. David teaches exactly how he creates his attention grabbing images, gives advice on what books you should study, his views on how to combine the vital elements of composition, authenticity and emotion in your photography and much more. Most importantly you’ll learn David’s underlying photographic philosophy: the relentless desire to improve and the will to stretch boundaries in the pursuit of excellence.

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