Professional photography has come a long way since flash powder and darkroom film development. As technology advances, it gets easier to take the picture a photographer wishes to capture. As a result, though, it is easier to become confused at the new progressions or lose out on using your full potential.
Whether you are new to photography or an expert photographer, there is always something more to be learned in the photography world. Business techniques and strategies change every year, so it is important to stay up to date on techniques on how to achieve certain projects, also, camera gear and what you can do with it, and editing platforms to get the most out of your photography efforts.
Here are 20 great resources to help you get that perfect shot or start that engaging photography business in today’s technologically changing world, and improve your professional photography skills.
I want to start by saying that this is my favorite photography tutorial website. PROEDU helps photographers turn their snapshots into a piece of art. It offers high-quality tutorials about color-grading, retouching, filmmaking, and many other topics to strengthen your professional photography skills. The reason I love these guys is that the instructors are all working professionals and you really get to see them working as they were with a real client. If you want a taste of how their courses are, just take a look at their free beer photography tutorial.
This site has a lot of learning to grant, with over 1500 virtual classes offered. These range in topics from art and music to photography, videography business, marketing, personal development, and more. Take as many classes as you choose, and follow the pace that works best for you. The Best part with CreativeLive is that you can watch live any course for FREE, if you miss the broadcast, you can rewatch the replay again for free. This is just amazing. They also offer a monthly subscription, but if that doesn’t work for you either, you can buy individual courses for cheap. They recently announced a membership model called “The Creator Pass” and it’s $19 the first month and $39 the rest of the months or $149 for one year, this last one is a bargain, in my opinion, if you do the math this is 0,40 cents per day.
Karl Taylor Education
Getting the picture just right can be complicated, so this site is here to make it easier through video tutorials. Karl Taylor Education includes courses for both beginners and professionals, providing insights on topics like landscape, fashion, food photography, and product photography; this last one is the most powerful since Karl is a working professional in this field. His images are so strong that you will fall in love with them and will want to start this right away. This is another one that I highly recommend because Karl Taylor is a working professional, not only an educator. They offer a whole educational ecosystem, forums, Facebook groups, videos, live webinars, behind the scenes. The price is just a steal, $19 monthly or $168 annually. Again, this one too is just great for all the value you get for your buck.
This website offers thousands of tutorials from Design, Business, Personal Development, Photography, Marketing, and many more. Good news for North American people, it’s free with your local library. This portal is great because they are always updating content so you are learning the latest tendencies and techniques from working professionals. They offer courses or even a career path, so if you decide you want to learn about marketing, you can choose between a single course of “Google PPC” or become a “Digital Marketer” and you also get a certificate of completion.
As an online photography school, Photigy has over 45,000 students and helps you learn practical product photography skills. If you want to become a better photographer, this site is great, since it gives you personal feedback on all homework submitted. They keep doing great changes to make the learning process easier and I can tell you that they are my go-to resource about product photography. They have the most talented teachers like Alex Koloskov, founder of Photogy, as students from around the world.
This site collects articles about the craft of photography, videography, and business. Also, Fstoppers provides news articles to inform you of advances in camera technology, to keep you up-to-date on the latest improvements in photography. They also offer great courses about business, video shooting, and editing, product photography, etc. They invite talented artists like Monte Isom, Mike Kelley, Elia Locardi, and more to share their knowledge of their craft and pack these amazing pieces that we can buy to get better at what we love to do.
This website posts articles that offer tips and tricks to make your photographs less boring and more professional. News in photography and cameras also make an appearance, with different features on new cameras shown. SLR Lounge focuses more on the wedding and family portraiture side and they are great at it. They offer a membership that is fully packed with value to put into your photo business.
If you struggle with lighting when photographing a subject, then this one is for you. Strobist is a website that offers tutorials to better illuminate your shots. It provides guidance on color, quality of light, and the right gear to use to get a better-exposed picture. The best of it, it’s a free blog that you can rely on. Simple and cheap gear to make great results.
Joe McNally Photography
Explore here to see hundreds of well-taken photographs from portraits to sports to fashion, as well as find a workshop event hosted around the world. Joe keeps a blog on how to improve your picture-taking skills by doing things such as changing your lighting, and he also writes books that can be bought on this site to better learn the secrets of photography. One of my favorite photographers, period. He is a storyteller, even shooting a simple headshot he can tell a great story with lighting, colors, composition, and location!
Chase is a photographer, blogger, and entrepreneur, as well as the founder and CEO of CreativeLive. He hosts a weekly podcast, interviewing celebrities like best-selling authors and musicians, who explain the art of doing what you love and making a difference, an essential topic for photographers who want to go somewhere with their projects.
A site that offers both beginners and professionals extra help in editing and retouching photos. With video courses and retouching tools, you can start making your photos even more impressive in post-production. One of the best retouchers can be found here. The great thing about this site is many of the instructors are great beauty and fashion photographers like Julia Kuzmenko Fashion Photographer and Retoucher and Michael Woloszynowicz
Behind The Shutter
This blog publishes posts dedicated to training photographers to run successful photo businesses. Article topics include lighting, social media, and marketing, helping you make a greater influence and get yourself out there more as a photographer. I love Salvatore Cincotta because he is a businessman that runs a wedding photography business, the ideal way to learn. If I had the opportunity to start over I would learn first the business side of photography and then the easy part, technicalities :)
If you’re looking for camera reviews, then DP Reviews is a must-see guide. This site rates and compares the features of various cameras and their quality as well as how they operate. These blog posts show unique aspects that other cameras don’t have, to help you make the right choice in photo gear. They also have a fabulous youtube channel now with two great hosts Chris Nicholls on the photo side and Jordan Drake on the video side, I know them personally since they used to work at the Calgary Camera Store.
Creating and maintaining a photography business can be challenging, but with Photography Spark, you can receive tips on how to start and turn a profit. It helps you make and execute a business plan to get yourself out there and better recognized. This was my main “go-to” photography business blog at the beginning of my career and it still is, you can also get great e-books at a great price. I also contribute to this blog, you can check my latest article about how your social skills could improve your photo business
The Modern Tog
Another site devoted to helping photographers make a business. The Modern Tog makes it simple to create your business and offers insights about legally doing it, building a portfolio, and gathering clients. This is extremely valuable since there are not many blogs talking about the legal aspect of photography, a subject that is crucial when running a photo biz. They offer free great blog articles and a paid membership if you want to get serious and invest in your business.
A free audio podcast that can help you run a photography business and sustain it to become a professional photographer. Award-winning photographers talk about their experiences and how they have overcome their shortcomings, useful advice for any photographer, especially those starting out. Great blog full of resources where you can find a great photo biz bundle
Masterclass.com Annie Leibovitz
Masterclass is where professionals create video lessons for the less- experienced to learn from. This class with professional photographer Annie Leibovitz includes 15 lessons on Masterclass that not only give tips on taking photos but demonstrate how one can tell a story through the pictures they take. This course is more about mindset than technical skills. You get to see how she works on those massive productions for big brands, don’t expect to learn technical skills with this course.
This offers online courses from around 100 expert photographers as instructors. Many diverse classes about specific phototypes are available, such as portrait, sports, and drone photography. Guidance about camera gear and editing software are also provided, including over 700 Photoshop and Lightroom courses to help you edit your photos in the best way possible. Depending on your skills you could find these courses a bit basic but for sure they give a lot of value with all access for just $10 USD a month, once again, less than you pay for coffee in a month.
Skillshare has over 25,000 online courses in not only photography topics, but also offers courses about design, illustration, entrepreneurship, and many more. Also, if you are looking to make some money, you can teach on Skillshare and help other photographers acquire the skills you already have. I like that you have the freedom to choose between hundreds of courses but be careful because not all of them are going to make you happy. Do your research about the instructor, for sure you will find more about him/her.
This site has more than 100,000 videos about marketing, photography, videography, and other useful topics. Tutorial themes span from digital photography to editing software and will help the emerging or experienced photographer better prepared to make a positive result in their work. Udemy is very similar to Skillshare, but I would say, more popular. You need to be wise about choosing the course since I’ve had a bad experience with some instructors in different areas like marketing. One more time, do your research before buying unless you want to try first. They have a great 30-day refund policy.
Invest well in your camera gear and how you use it. In today’s world, we can learn almost everything with a web search or the press of a button.
Be cautious, though, because free information does not always mean it is the best, or that it is high quality. Learning photography is an investment you’ll have to take if you want to stand out or at least, stand out faster.
Take the steps you need to learn and purchase the help you need when necessary. In the end, when you have your world-renowned photography company, it won’t matter how much you spent today. A photographer learns, and experiments, and does all he or she can get the perfect picture; and with these guidance websites, you can become the next expert in no time.