In the perfect world, we would have unlimited time to spend on learning a new skill or craft. My passion, if you couldn’t guess already, is photography. I absolutely love taking classes, online courses and mentoring sessions, but my schedule (and bank account) don’t always allow for those as often as I would like. If you are serious about learning how to use your camera I highly suggest investing in at least one class, at least once in your life. But int he mean time, I have compiled a list of ten FREE online resources to help you learn photography. I have used nearly all of the resources and they have all helped me in my own photography journey. You don’t have to have a lot of money to learn photography, just a little time and patience. Oh – and practice, practice, practice!
1. Improve Photography
This site has it all – blog posts, tutorials, podcasts, videos and even online courses (which you have to pay for…but it’s nice to have the option). I find this site extremely helpful and their posts and tutorials are always super easy to read and understand.
2. Photo Focus
No matter what are of photography you need help with, this site has it all. From business, to creative, to gear and they even feature photographers that you should know and that you can learn from. The hardest thing about this website is getting off of it!
3. Light Stalking
Another great resource for all sorts of tips and tricks, but one big highlight of this site is their online community and forum. It’s free to join and you have instant access to other members to chat with and ask questions.
4. Creative Live
This amazing site offers an unbelievable number of FREE online courses, in pretty much any area you can imagine. The catch? You have to watch it live in order for it to be free. A lot of courses run for several hours, so you can few a view minutes or a few hours. If you happen to miss the broadcast you wanted to watch you can pay a fee to watch it any time. Another great tip? Go to the “Watch now free” link at the top of the page to immediately jump into any of the current ongoing free courses, many of which you might not have thought about taking!
5. MCP Actions Blog This is actually a site that sells some pretty great Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Presets, a few of which are free. But the best FREE part of this website is the blog. They give out monthly Photo a Day themes, tutorials and offer lots of business advice as well. They also have a very active Facebook page with lots of photographers having some pretty great discussions. Join in the fun!
6. Digital Photography School I chose this site as a great resource not only because they have an abundance of helpful articles and tutorials, but I love how easy to navigate this site is. Once you click on Tip and Tutorials in the menu bar it leads you to five super helpful areas – Most Recent, Most Popular, Tips for Beginners, Portrait Photography Tips and Landscape Photography tips – each one containing a wealth of knowledge. Nearly all of your questions will probably be answered in just those sections alone!
7. Ken Rockwell What I love about this site is that it gives you real, tangible recommendations on almost any photography gear that you can think of. If you are wondering what kind of flash, camera, lens (etc, etc, etc) to buy, I highly recommend checking out his website!
8. Digital Camera World This is one of the biggest resources I know of, and that doesn’t even include all of the information in their printed magazine! Tips, tutorials, business advice, creative ideas, challenges – I could go on forever. They have tons of information about all the newest cameras, gear, accessories and post-processing programs. Make sure you give yourself a couple of hours to have a wander through this site that is chock full of information.
9. 500px If you want to be inspired – this is the site for you. Pick a topic, do a search, check out what is most popular at the moment – any and all of these options will fill your screen with insanely gorgeous images. This is a great way to get inspired, think outside the box and see what other photographers are up to. Another awesome feature? Many of the photos list the settings on the camera that the photographer chose when taking the photo. So not only do you get to see a gorgeous image, you also get to see how the photographer made that gorgeous image in camera. This is such a fantastic way to learn!
10. Clickin Moms Blog Ok, I might be a little biased on this one as it is a photography forum that I am a part of, but I really think that the Clickin Moms blog is stuffed with amazing, insightful information. My favorite part and top recommendation on their blog? The series “My Photography Journey”. It asks real pro members of their forum to share their photography journey on the blog. Why do I think this is so great? It shows that everyone had to start somewhere. A lot of the members aren’t shy about sharing their less than stellar images from before, or at the beginning of, their photography journey. Once you visually see their progress over time, it is incredibly empowering and encouraging to realize that your personal best is still yet to come.
Do you have a favorite free online photography source that we missed? Please share with us in the comments or on our Facebook wall!