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Which photography courses will help you to build a photography career?

If you love getting behind a camera and capturing the world around you, a career as a professional photographer may be the absolute dream role for you.  

But what photography courses will best help to improve your skills? And how do you get a head start in this competitive field? 

Here’s a guide to the courses and experience that will help you to realise your dream and launch a successful photography career. 

What does a photography career involve?

A photographer needs lots of technical knowledge. You need to understand how to get the best from your photography kit in a wide range of settings. 

You also need creative flair – the ability to spot colours and compositions that work well together. 

As a photographer, you’ll spend your days shooting images and then editing them. If you’re a freelancer, part of your time will be spent talking to prospective clients or pitching your work to publications. 

When you’re working in photography, salary per hour varies significantly depending on your level of experience – from $50 per hour when you’re just starting out, to $500 per hour for those at the top of their game. 

What photography courses can you take to become a professional photographer?

If you’re relatively new to photography, choose online courses in photography that offer a broad overview of the subject. 

Get to know your photography basics

You’ll want to cover fundamentals such as lighting, aperture, shutter speed, composition and colour. Learning about post-production techniques is also really important. 

Any good photography course will cover the theory whilst giving you lots of practical experience too. 

Then up your specialist skills

Once you’ve mastered the basics, you might want to specialise in a particular area of photography. It’s much easier to market your services as a specialist with skills in a particular niche.  

That being said, generalists get to do a little bit of everything, which can make for days full of variety. 

Whichever path you decide to take, think about what you enjoy doing. And where your skills could use a little refinement. 

Then enrol on a course that will help you to take your photography to that next level. Here are a few photography courses you might like to consider: 

Portrait photography courses

On a portrait photography course you’ll explore a range of different portraiture styles, from family to high fashion. 

Courses should develop your skills in both posed and candid shots. And help you to work with both natural and studio lighting. 

You’ll learn how to add drama and mood to your portraits. And you’ll find out how to create shots that reveal something unique about your subject. 

Wildlife photography courses

Love animals? What could be better than working as a wildlife photographer? 

On a wildlife photography course you’ll learn how to take dramatic action shots. And make the most of available light. 

Many wildlife photography courses teach you about animal behaviour too. This makes it easier for you to find and shoot wildlife in its natural environment. 

Journalistic photography courses

Photojournalists cover local and international events, taking pictures for news articles and magazines. 

On a journalistic photography course you’ll learn how to tell stories with your photographs. You’ll also develop your skills in identifying and researching subjects before you go to shoot them. 

Ethics is a big part of this field and a topic that most courses cover. It’s important to learn how to keep your photography honest and impartial.  

Food photography courses

Looking at mouth-watering food photographs in cookbooks and magazines, it’s easy to forget that a lot goes on behind the camera. 

On a food photography course you’ll learn how commercial and editorial food photography differ. You’ll also get to grips with different angles, lighting and close-up shots. 

Some courses will cover food photography styling too. You’ll learn how to pair backgrounds and props to make dishes look utterly delicious!

Wedding photography courses

Making sure the photography goes to plan on a couple’s special day is a big responsibility! 

Must-have wedding shots and how to get them. How to prepare for the big day. How to shoot with your clients in mind. The kit you need to go from ceremony to reception and beyond!

A good wedding photography course will cover it all, whilst taking a range of different styles and approaches to wedding photography into account. 

Photo editing courses

Post-production is a huge part of photography. Get it right and you’ll transform your images into something truly special.  

On a photo editing course you’ll learn how to correct imperfect images, using software like Photoshop and Lightroom. 

You’ll find out how to create images with a consistent look. And how to prepare images for printing or uploading to the web. 

Courses in photography business management

You may have stellar photography skills. But if you’re going to become a successful photographer, you need to develop your business skills too. 

That means learning about finance and administration. It means understanding how to best manage your workflow. It also means knowing how to price and market your work.  

A photography business course will help you to get organised. And get your head around the administrative aspects of the job. 

What else can you do to make your photography career dreams into a reality?


Practice really does make perfect. The more you pick up your camera and shoot the things you see around you, the easier both practical and creative processes will become. 

Get inspired

Head onto Instagram or flick through a magazine and you’ll find some incredible photography. Discovering the work of others can provide real inspiration for your own shots. 

Build your portfolio

Volunteer your photography skills for free or for a small fee, shooting for charities or for friends. You’ll soon have enough images to showcase your talent and start pitching for work. 

Keep learning

Any good photographer will continue honing their skills (and picking up new ones) long into their career. Keep an eye out for photography courses and workshops that enhance the skills you already have.

Find a full range of photography courses online at Learning Online. Our courses are flexible and created by photography industry professionals. Wherever you’re heading, we have a course that will help you get there. 


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