Online Photography Tutorials – Free vs. Paid

photography tutorial

One of the first questions any aspiring photographer will be forced to answer is: Do I really need to pay for photography courses? Is the same information available online for free? In this article, the pros and cons for both paid for and free online photography classes will be discussed.


A big plus on the side of paid online photography tutorials is the material! Once you have registered and paid, the information is yours to keep. If you are creating a binder for your reference, this material could prove worthwhile. An alternative to online photography tutorials would be a class at one of the local photography schools. This is a more traditional approach to learning and would offer the interaction and invaluable feedback learners need, not to mention the ability to learn your own camera. A “photography for beginners” type of book is another helpful way to learn photography tips and tricks and can be supplemented with free education. The only obvious negative to paid photography lessons would be the upfront cost. Of course, this cost can be viewed as an investment in the course of becoming a professional photographer.


Free photography lessons have advantages and disadvantages. First and foremost, a photographer must know his or her own camera. This task is easily accomplished by studying the owner’s manual, visiting the manufacturer’s website or a free class offered by the store where the equipment was purchased. Free photography tips and tricks are a wonderful way to determine how you learn most effectively: hands on, by reading, watching videos, or a combination of all of the above. The internet is vast, and with plenty of patience, most information can be located there. Free photography courses are a good way to get started until you feel that you are ready for more specialized and specific study. Obviously, anyone can put anything online so be cautious and always consider your sources when studying on the web.

In conclusion, it may be wise to peruse the free references available online initially. Just to get your feet wet. Explore all of the niches of photography until you find your own. Once you find your specialty area, maybe consider a paid class to refine your skills and receive feedback on your work. After completing that first class in your new found specialty, consider taking an advanced class. With more information at our fingertips than ever before, learning photography completely or partially on the web is very attainable.

About Peter Manning

Photography instructor, camera guru, avid tennis player and family man; Peter shares his vast knowledge and a passion for teaching photography skills to all levels of photo enthusiasts.