Free Photography Resources for Beginners and Pros to Hone Their Skills

Free Photography Courses

Photo: Matthew Henry
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As the cameras on our phones become increasingly powerful, more and more people are becoming interested in photography like never before. While having an understanding of composition is an important first step to crafting a picture, knowing the basics of the photographic medium will take your images to the next level. And who knows—it can even help jump-start a new career!

There are many ways to learn the art of photography without breaking the bank on expensive lessons. In fact, there are many free photo courses you can take online. They will help demystify the camera and its settings, allowing you to take control of your images and make them truly your own.

See our picks for free photo courses, below.

Free Photography Courses

Photo: Pok Rie

Photography Lessons for Beginners Only

Shaw Academy  The Shaw Academy offers a free photography course that is a foundation for the medium. It covers “everything that one should know to take full creative control of photography.” The concepts covered include motion capture, depth of field, and perfecting exposure.

Introduction to Digital Photography by Alison – For those interested in digital photography, this course will acquaint you with the basic features of digital cameras. It uses non-technical language that anyone can understand.

Ditch Auto—Start Shooting in Manual by Jerad Hill’s Courses – Use your powerful DSLR camera to its full potential—even if terms like shutter speed and aperture sound confusing. The entire course is about four hours in length, and by the end, you’ll be comfortable with shooting in multiple situations.

Using a Photographic Light Meter by Udemy – In this free course, you will learn how to use a hand-held light meter for digital photography. It’s specifically geared towards beginning photographers.

Free Photo Courses For Beginners to Pros

Cambridge of Colour – For those that prefer to read tutorials to watching videos, check out this site. They have detailed explanations to portrait lighting, camera lenses, and much more.

B&H Photo YouTube Channel – B&H Photo is a great shop for equipment, and they also have helpful seminars and tutorials on their YouTube channel—such as how to shoot images at night.

Adobe Learn – Whether you’re trying to understand Photoshop, Lightroom, or even After Effects, Adobe Learn has tutorials where you can study the basics of their powerful programs. It's ideal for beginners, but if you're more advanced, there's plenty of content for you, too.

PHLEARN  – Boasting 490 free tutorials, this PHLEARN is well organized and divides their learning into categories like exposure, lighting, focus, and more.

Envato Tuts+  – This site has learning guides, tutorials, and e-books that range from photography to video production. The massive resource is also equipped with practical projects that help you put what you learn to good use.

And while it's not completely free, CreativeLive offers a changing selection of complimentary photography classes in addition to their paid content. Follow them to see what they are offering.

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Sara Barnes

Sara Barnes is a Staff Editor at My Modern Met, Manager of My Modern Met Store, and co-host of the My Modern Met Top Artist Podcast. As an illustrator and writer living in Seattle, she chronicles illustration, embroidery, and beyond through her blog Brown Paper Bag and Instagram @brwnpaperbag. She wrote a book about embroidery artist Sarah K. Benning titled 'Embroidered Life' that was published by Chronicle Books in 2019. Sara is a graduate of the Maryland Institute College of Art. She earned her BFA in Illustration in 2008 and MFA in Illustration Practice in 2013.
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