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8 Best Online Photography Classes for Beginner in 2023

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There are plenty of online photography classes. And taking one for beginners is one of the best ways to skyrocket your photography skills in no time.

In this article, I’ve collected some of the best online beginner photography courses (and also ebooks) I reviewed.

These reviews are also part of a larger project we’ve done—a compilation of the 20 Best Online Photography Courses in 2022.

Without further ado, let’s see what the best training products for beginners are.
Comprehensive Foundation Course
SLR Lounge’s Photography 101
SLR Lounge's Photography 101
Looking to expand your knowledge of online photography classes? Discover a beginner-friendly online course that covers everything from camera settings to lighting and more.

[ExpertPhotography is supported by readers. Product links on ExpertPhotography are referral links. If you use one of these and buy something, we make a little bit of money. Need more info? See how it all works here.]

Here Are the Best Online Photography Classes

Let’s dive right into the best online classes for beginner photographers!

1. Photography 101 by SLR Lounge

This impressive, 6.5-hour-long video course is perhaps my favorite. It aims to bring you from a complete beginner level to a solid intermediate level.

Among others, it strongly focuses on the following genres:

The highest emphasis is on portraiture.

Photography 101 is awesome at teaching several things. You will master manual mode, as well as learn to expose your images in all conditions and camera modes.

Approaching a scene with the right mindset is just as important. The course is successful in teaching how to set your mind up for any kind of photography.

In teaching composition, the course doesn’t take the common path of dedicating a separate chapter to it. Instead, compositional techniques and approaches form an integral part. Throughout Photography 101, you will learn at least as much about it as you would from a single dedicated section.

Another very strong point of Photography 101 is that it teaches you how to observe, control, and modify light. This is something no other beginner course touches on in such detail.

The course, in general, is very detailed. It shows you all the little pieces of successful photography that many others miss out on.

It also has little to no inaccuracies, technical mistakes, and tongue slips. This sets it apart from the crowd.

It is one of SLR Lounge’s older courses, but still up to date in almost all respects. It’s authored and presented by Pye Jirsa.

This is an awesome choice, especially for the price.

This is best for beginners who are looking for a well-rounded course on photography, with a focus on portraits and controlling light.

A couple sitting on rocks by rushing water (Screenshot from SLRLounge online photography classes)

2. The Photo eBook by PictureCorrect

This ebook is not a full-on beginner course, but it has a dedicated section for beginners. It’s easy to understand and provides great value.

The Photo eBook is one of the best guides on cityscape and landscape photography. It features impressive techniques that result in amazing images. While some parts are not completely up to date, its core content is extensive and elaborate. And it has great attention to detail.

Despite being an ebook, this product actually contains more details in some key areas than the previous video course. You’ll be equipped with pretty much all you need to know to be successful in the city and landscape niches.

I love it for its compactness, impressive imagery, friendly but professional writing style, and more. But while it’s compact, it is actually the longest photography ebook I’ve read so far, at 274 densely packed pages.

So, don’t expect it to be an overnight read, but it’s a rewarding one. Even if you’re a complete beginner, you’ll be able to create similarly stunning images in a short while.

Professionals often use the techniques in The Photo eBook. They are not simplified. For this reason, it’s perfectly suitable for beginners and advanced photographers alike.

Its other great selling point is its low price tag. While it’s not a video course, I still consider it to be a very good deal for such an awesome package of knowledge.

This is best for beginner to advanced-level photographers who want to dive deep into cityscapes and landscapes.

Screenshot from the photography tutorial ebook

3. Incredibly Important Composition Skills by Photography Concentrate

While this is not a beginner course, it has a firm place on this list. Learning compositional techniques is among the most important things a beginner should do. It doesn’t matter how well you understand the technicalities of your camera if you cannot put it to good use. This ebook is beautifully designed and written with stunning images and truly valuable knowledge.

There are extra videos included in the package that showcases many of the principles taught in the book. It teaches you all the “rules” that every other ebook on composition does. But it also tells you how and when to break them. You can learn how to form your own style and how to manipulate your viewers’ eyes. It develops your subconscious vision in a way very few other books do. Incredibly Important Composition Skills gives you an awesome learning experience. It’s a joy to read and watch.

This is best for beginner to intermediate photographers looking for a comprehensive, all-encompassing ebook on composition.

Incredibly Important Composition Skills by Photography Concentrate

4. Photography 101 by Fstoppers

Photography 101 is a beginner course that promises to teach you how to take control of all the manual settings on your DSLR camera.

It walks you through a basic understanding of lighting and using flash. Then it takes you along on a shoot to put everything into practice.

It also includes extensive sections on Photoshop retouching and Lightroom editing.

This course is one of the more expensive on this list, but if you like the style of presentation that’s unique to Lee of Fstoppers, it’s worth it.

This is best for the amateur photographer wanting more out of their images.

Photography 101 by Fstoppers

5. Snap Cards by Photzy

The Photzy Snap Cards are printable cheat sheets to help you in the field or provide a quick way of learning.

These cards are designed to help you in live photography situations with quick summaries of the key things you need to know.

The Snap Cards are ideal for beginner and intermediate photographers looking to get more out of their work. You can use them as go-to guides for specific topics.

You need to know some fundamentals—but the cards are there as a reminder.

They are also very reasonably priced. So, if you feel you need an in-the-field guide along a course, they’re an excellent and highly economical investment.

These are best for beginner photographers in search of an in-the-field, quick and easy guide.

Snap Cards by Photzy

6. Digital Camera Mastery by Photography Pro

This course is similar in scale and production to Photography 101. It’s presented by Mark Hemmings.

It promises to make you comfortable with your camera in all situations. It teaches you compositional rules, concepts, lighting techniques, and basic editing.

The course places an emphasis on storytelling and visual communication. In my opinion, this one of its key strengths.

Such skills are prevalent in street and travel photography. Naturally, these are the two genres that are highlighted the most.

Digital Camera Mastery’s other strong point is its practical approach. It’s very much scene-based, so it has a well-established natural flow.

Observing and dealing with light is accentuated in this course as well. This skill is perhaps the most important one you can acquire in photography, so it’s a welcome feat here.

It gives you very firm fundamentals in photography. This includes mastering manual mode and getting familiar with camera settings, focusing, editing, and photo genres. Its video production is outstanding, too.

All this is really easy to understand from Digital Camera Mastery. Mark takes the time to explain everything well, but does so in an everyday language, with no technical talk you can’t understand.

It’s a compelling choice, priced in line with most comparable beginner courses on the market. It has some problems with attention to detail, but no major flaws.

Photography Pro’s Facebook community is the most vivid of all.

Overall, this is a well-rounded, comprehensive beginner course with no deal-breaking flaws.

This is best for beginner photographers looking for a comprehensive beginner course with a focus on travel and street photography.

Digital Camera Mastery by Photography Pro

7. Extremely Essential Camera Skills by Photography Concentrate

This one is a hybrid ebook plus video course. The core is the ebook part, but there are short videos interpolated with it, explaining some chapters in more detail.

It’s very logically structured and breathtakingly easy to understand. The illustrations are awesome, as well as the language and style of the text.

It gets you to a point where you can instinctively use manual mode on your camera and know all of its core functions.

This is great because if you know your tool well, you can concentrate on creating images more.

However, there’s not a lot more coverage here. There are no chapters about using other gear, basic compositional techniques, or popular genres of photography.

For the price of this, you can buy more serious and complete video-format courses, such as Digital Camera Mastery or Photography 101.

This is best for beginner photographers who want to understand their camera.

Extremely Essential Camera Skills by Photography Concentrate

8. Photo Shortcuts by Photography Pro

Photo Shortcuts is a video course for beginners with some basic knowledge. It aims to provide guidance in a handful of specific photography scenarios.

Overall, it’s a nice product. It teaches the key points and gives you an understanding of what genres you can pursue in photography.

The production is great and it’s shot in the beautiful location of San Miguel de Allende, Mexico.

I loved its production quality and its approach to light and controlling light.

However, it has a recurring issue of being imprecise in the details. There are hardly any chapters without oversimplifications or technical inaccuracies. Also, it’s one of the more expensive online photography courses on this list.

Still, if you’re the type of photographer who has solid basic knowledge and your main goal is to broaden your horizon, it’s worth checking out.

This is best for beginner to intermediate photographers who want to learn the basics of most photo genres.

Photo Shortcuts by Photography Pro

+1. Photography for Beginners by Expert Photography

We also happen to have a fantastic video course aimed at beginners. Check out our course, Photography for Beginners here.

You can head over to Digital World Beauty to read their recent review of our courses!

Photography for Beginners by Expert Photography


Title / by
Total Score (100)
Value for Money (20)
Coverage (20)
Accuracy (20)
Ease of Learning (15)
Production Value (15)
Uniqueness (5)
Learning Support (5)
Full ReviewBuy Now
Photography 101 by SLR LoungeTotal Score (100): 86Value for Money (20): 18Coverage (20): 15Accuracy (20): 18Ease of Learning (15): 13Production Value (15): 15Uniqueness (5): 2Learning Support (5): 5
The Photo eBook by PictureCorrectTotal Score (100): 86Value for Money (20): 20Coverage (20): 17Accuracy (20): 17Ease of Learning (15): 12Production Value (15): 15Uniqueness (5): 5Learning Support (5): 0
Incredibly Important Composition Skills by Photography ConcentrateTotal Score (100): 84Value for Money (20): 19Coverage (20): 17Accuracy (20): 18Ease of Learning (15): 15Production Value (15): 13Uniqueness (5): 2Learning Support (5): 0
Snap Cards by PhotzyTotal Score (100): 73Value for Money (20): 15Coverage (20): 16Accuracy (20): 14Ease of Learning (15): 12Production Value (15): 11Uniqueness (5): 5Learning Support (5): 0
Digital Camera Mastery by Photography ProTotal Score (100): 71Value for Money (20): 15Coverage (20): 15Accuracy (20): 13Ease of Learning (15): 12Production Value (15): 12Uniqueness (5): 0Learning Support (5): 4
Extremely Essential Camera Skills by Photography ConcentrateTotal Score (100): 64Value for Money (20): 9Coverage (20): 13Accuracy (20): 15Ease of Learning (15): 12Production Value (15): 12Uniqueness (5): 3Learning Support (5): 0
Photo Shortcuts by Photography ProTotal Score (100): 63Value for Money (20): 10Coverage (20): 12Accuracy (20): 10Ease of Learning (15): 12Production Value (15): 12Uniqueness (5): 3Learning Support (5): 0

If you’d like to see how these online photography classes measure up against all other training products we’ve reviewed, head over here.

Comprehensive Foundation Course
SLR Lounge’s Photography 101
SLR Lounge's Photography 101
Looking to expand your knowledge of online photography classes? Discover a beginner-friendly online course that covers everything from camera settings to lighting and more.

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