Learn Photography

21 Best Ways to Learn Photography Without Attending Photography School

Anupam Tiwari
By Anupam Tiwari | Last Updated on June 11th, 2024 10:52 am

Learning photography has become more accessible than ever with readily available online resources. Whether you're a hobbyist or an aspiring professional, there are numerous ways to learn photography without attending photography school. This blog will guide you through the 21 best methods on how to learn photography, making it easier for anyone to start their journey. From online courses to hands-on practice, countless resources are available for learning photography. 

By the end of this blog, you will discover how to become a photographer without a degree, by following these easy-to-follow ways. And don't worry about the editing nitty-gritty, AI design tools are here to simplify the process and help your photos look even more professional. So, let’s start exploring these best ways to learn photography and become a successful photographer!

The Benefits of Photography as a Hobby or Career

Photography is an excellent way to express yourself creatively. It enables you to capture moments, tell stories, and share your unique view of the world. Whether you're learning photo techniques, documenting your travels, or capturing family memories, the skills you develop can bring joy and satisfaction. As a career, photography offers diverse opportunities in areas such as portrait, landscape, wildlife, fashion, and commercial photography. By studying photography, you can turn your passion into a profession, gaining the potential for a fulfilling and lucrative career.

Learning photography encourages you to see the world differently. It sharpens your observational skills and helps you appreciate the beauty in everyday scenes. Photography study involves understanding photo composition, lighting, and timing, which can enhance your overall artistic abilities. As you learn how to photograph various subjects, you'll start noticing details and patterns that were previously overlooked, thus enriching your creative vision.

21 Effective Ways to Learn Photography for Students

Formal education in photography isn't the only way to succeed. Whether you're a complete beginner or a student yearning to deepen your knowledge, these 21 effective ways will help you learn photography from the comfort of your home or on the go.

  1. Practice with Your Camera
  2. Theory is essential, but hands-on practice is where you truly develop your skills. Dedicate time to go out and shoot, trying different settings, compositions, and subjects. The more you shoot, the better you'll understand the concepts you're learning. Additionally, you can use our AI Photo Enhancer to fix initial issues in your mobile shots, ensuring that your images look professional and polished. You can observe the areas where enhancement is required and learn from it to better your photography the next time you click the same frame.

  3. Enroll for Online Courses
  4. The internet has made learning new skills more accessible. You can enroll in online photography courses to take your skills to the next level. With a variety of platforms and instructors to choose from, you can find a course that suits your needs and pace. Online courses offer flexibility, allowing you to learn from the comfort of your home, and provide interactive tutorials, feedback from experts, and a community of like-minded individuals to enhance your photography skills.

  5. Start with Mobile Photography
  6. Smartphones today have impressive camera capabilities, and mobile photography is a great place to start. Learn about composition, lighting, and editing apps to create stunning images on the go. Resources like iPhone Photography School and Snapseed tutorials can help you master mobile photography. 

    Suggested read: Learn how to master mobile photography

  7. Watch YouTube Tutorials
  8. YouTube is a treasure trove for learning photography, with countless channels dedicated to teaching the craft. From basic camera settings to advanced techniques, you can find it all. Some popular channels include "Tony & Chelsea Northrup," "Peter McKinnon," and "Jessica Kobeissi."

  9. Read Books on Photography Techniques
  10. Books offer deep knowledge of specific aspects of photography. Essential reads include "The Ansel Adams Guide" series for a masterclass in landscape photography and "The Photographer's Mind" by Michael Freeman for a unique take on composition and creativity.
    Also, you can even use our Book Cover Maker to visualize how your photographs might look as book covers and include these mockups in your portfolio. This not only enhances your portfolio but also demonstrates your ability to think creatively about presenting your work.

  11. Explore Photography Blogs and Websites
  12. Websites and blogs are a great way to stay inspired and learn from experienced photographers. Sites like Digital Photography School, PetaPixel, and Fstoppers offer tutorials, gear reviews, and industry news. You can also find niche-specific blogs to have deeper insights into your areas of interest.

    Also read: Explore the best photography websites

  13. E-Books and Audiobooks
  14. For on-the-go learning, e-books, and audiobooks are excellent resources. You can find titles like "The Photographer's Eye" by Michael Freeman, "Understanding Exposure" by Bryan Peterson, and "Light Science & Magic" by Fil Hunter, which can be downloaded and accessed anywhere.

  15. Collaborate with Other Photographers
  16. Collaborating with fellow photographers can spark creativity and provide valuable networking opportunities. Consider collaborating on projects, sharing knowledge, and even assisting each other on shoots. You can connect with potential collaborators through local clubs, forums, or social media groups. You can even use a Portfolio Maker to create a professional presentation of your collaborative work, which can be shared with potential clients or partners to highlight your versatility and teamwork skills.

  17. Engage with Photography Forums and Communities
  18. Participating in online forums and communities, such as Reddit's r/Photography or dedicated sites like DPReview and Photography-Forum, is a great way to connect with fellow photographers and learn from their experiences. These platforms often provide constructive feedback and offer a space to discuss techniques and gear.

  19. Take Up Photography Challenges and Projects
  20. Set yourself challenges, like a 365-day project, where you take and share one photo every day for a year. This helps you stay consistent and creative while building a portfolio of your work. Projects can also be themed, like focusing on street photography or macro shots.

    Also read: Guide to photo editing for beginners

  21. Participate in Photo Walks
  22. Photo walks are social events where photographers explore and capture a location together. They're a great way to learn from others, discover new spots, and make friends. You can find photo walks through local clubs or even organize your own. To promote participation you can create visually appealing posters using a Poster Maker tool, attracting participants and making your event a success.

  23. Join Local Photography Clubs
  24. Local photography clubs offer a great blend of community and learning. They often host events, workshops, and outings, providing opportunities to connect with like-minded individuals and develop your skills. You can find clubs through online searches, local camera stores, or community centers.

  25. Upload Your Work on Social Media Platforms for Feedback
  26. Platforms like Instagram, Pinterest, and Flickr are excellent for sharing your work and receiving feedback from a global audience. Engaging with other photographers on these sites can also inspire and teach you new techniques. You can even use our Instagram Post Maker to create visually appealing posts that showcase your best work. Engaging with the community through well-designed posts can help you gain valuable insights and constructive criticism.

  27. Attend Online Photography Workshops and Webinars
  28. Workshops and webinars are intensive learning experiences that can fast-track your progress. Keep an eye out for online events hosted by renowned photographers or industry organizations. These often cover specific topics in-depth and may include live demonstrations and Q&A sessions.

  29. Pick Up Ideas from Photography Magazines
  30. Magazines are a great source of inspiration and education. Titles like National Geographic, Digital Photo Pro, and Outdoor Photographer feature stunning imagery and provide insights into the latest gear, techniques, and industry trends.

    Recommended read: Learn how to take a good photo of yourself

  31. Look for Mentorship and Coaching
  32. Finding a mentor or coach can provide personalized guidance and accelerate your learning. Reach out to photographers whose work you admire, or seek recommendations from local photography communities. Mentors can offer one-on-one feedback and help you develop your style.

    Express your gratitude to your mentor or coach by sending a personalized thank you card. Use a Thank You Card Maker to create a heartfelt message accompanied by a memorable photograph. Showing appreciation for their guidance and support will strengthen your relationship and demonstrate professionalism and sincerity.

  33. Analyze Great Photographs
  34. Studying the work of famous photographers can teach you a lot about composition, lighting, and storytelling. Critically analyze the photographs you admire, considering the techniques used and the impact they have on you as a viewer.

  35. Experiment with Different Genres
  36. From portraits to landscapes, and street photography to macro, there are countless genres to explore. Experimenting with different styles will help you discover your strengths and interests, shaping your unique voice as a photographer. You can use a Photography Flyer Maker to create eye-catching flyers featuring photos from different genres clicked by you. These flyers can serve as promotional material for your display in any photography exhibition.

  37. Watch Editing Software Tutorials
  38. Post-processing is a crucial skill, and learning popular editing software will enhance your images. There are numerous online tools and free tutorials available online to help you master them. You can even simplify the editing process further by utilizing our AI Photo Editor to achieve professional-looking results with ease.

  39. Participate in Online Photography Contests
  40. Entering your work into online photography contests can be a great way to gain exposure, receive feedback from judges, and push yourself to create compelling images. Look for reputable contests that align with your interests and style. Furthermore, you can showcase your versatility and creativity by creating eye-catching brochures featuring photos with different frames, using a Photography Brochure Maker, and uploading them on social media platforms.

  41. Continuous Learning and Staying Updated
  42. Photography is an evolving field, and staying updated is essential. Dedicate time to regularly explore new trends, techniques, and technologies. Follow influential photographers and industry sites on social media, and consider subscribing to photography podcasts and newsletters.

    We are sure that by adopting these effective strategies, you can make significant progress and even answer questions on how to teach photography apart from honing your skills. With dedication and practice, you'll develop the skills and confidence and perhaps even teach photography to others in the future.

Also read: A beginner’s guide to product photography


Learning photography is an exciting and accessible journey that doesn't require a formal degree. With the abundance of online resources, community support, and dedication to practice, you can become a skilled photographer and develop your unique artistic voice.

Through this blog, we've explored ample methods to study photography, from online courses and YouTube tutorials to hands-on practice and mentorship. Each approach offers valuable insights and experiences that contribute to your growth.

Remember, the beauty of photography lies not only in the final image but also in the process of learning, experimenting, and connecting with others. Happy clicking, and may your photographic adventures be filled with light, laughter, and unforgettable moments!

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