9 Best Free Online Photography Courses

Photography is about much more than taking a camera and pushing a button. There are factors like lighting, exposure, and post-processing to consider. Mastering these elements takes plenty of time and patience. Fortunately, there are a variety of courses online that can help. This article is going to cover nine of the best free online photography courses available today.

Sony camera and laptop

1. Basics of Photography: The Complete Guide by LifeHacker

One of the best free online photography courses to try is the Basics of Photography by Lifehacker. This course is designed to teach new uses a broad range of tips and tricks to help them get started.

The course starts by familiarizing users with how their camera works and explains what all goes into picking the perfect camera to fit your needs. As you progress further in the course, you will learn how to take advantage of a variety of automatic settings before learning how to take custom shots on your own. This is definitely a perfect course for new users who have limited to no background knowledge.

2. Intermediate Photography Course by PhotographyCourse.net

As the name implies, the Intermediate Photography Course is one of the best free online photography courses for intermediate users. The course was designed by PhotographyCourse.net and is intended to teach users a wide range of interesting photography techniques.

Some of the subjects covered in the course include depth of field, white balance, polarizing filter usage tips, and discussions on composition. It also goes into detail about proper reflector usage making this an ideal course for users who are thinking about going into professional photography in the future. Each subject is broken down into easy to understand modules for added convenience.

3. Your Road To Better Photography by Udemy

Your Road To Better Photography is another one of the best free online photography courses available created by Corey Reese. This course is suitable for both beginners and experienced users alike. For more experienced individuals, this course will be more of a refresher for certain key core fundamentals.

The course has 28 minutes of on-demand video that users can stop and pause as needed throughout the course. It also has four articles that talk about different aspects of photography including insider tips for improving your average shot quality.

4. Lighting 101 by Strobist

Proper lighting can really make or break a professional photo shoot. This is why Lighting 101 by Strobist is another one of the best free photography courses. The course is completely text based and is suitable for those of you who prefer to read at your own pace during your free time.

Each section is broken down into easy to understand language that provides a few photographic examples. It also includes specific equipment examples to help set new users on the right path if they do not already have a flash for their camera.

5. The Art of Photography by Open2Study

For users who prefer a more complete course, The Art of Photography is one of the best free online photography courses to consider. It’s taught by Dr. Shane Hulbert and teaches things like how to understand exposure, how to identify pixels, and what is RAW and why you should use it.

The Open2Study course is divided into four modules that each have 10 videos. Each model has nine quizzes and one assessment to measure your understanding of the material. If you’re serious about photography, this is one course you cannot miss.

6. Professional Family Portraits by Kirk Tuck

If you have always wanted to learn to take professional looking family portraits, this is one of the best free online photography courses for you. Professional Family Portraits is taught by Kirk Tuck and features five different modules that are very easy to follow.
Each module has an HD video that can be stopped and paused at any time for you to catch up. Some of the subjects that are touched on include ambient lighting, proper locations for group photos, and processing.

7. Ditch Auto – Start Shooting In Manual by Jared Hill

If you’re stuck shooting in auto due to lack of knowledge or confidence, this may be one of the best free online photography courses for you. Ditch Auto – Start Shooting In Manual is designed for DSLR cameras and is approximately four hours in length.
While the course is very detailed, it is self-paced and can be paused as needed for you to practice with your camera. It is a great resource for users who have just gotten their first DSLR camera.

8. Cambridge In Colour Courses

Cambridge In Colour is another great resource for new photographers. They offer a broad range of courses that are designed to teach the basics in an easy to follow format. All of the courses are completely free and you can interact with other users via the forums for additional help and support.

Some examples of the courses they currently offer include focal length and aperture, camera exposure, and understanding depth of field. Visit their website to take a look at their updated course catalog.

9. Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5

Getting Started with Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 course is designed to teach users how to use Adobe Photoshop Lightroom 5 from start to finish. Each section is broken down into videos ranging from 10 minutes to 20 minutes in length. You will find a wide range of topics ranging from how to upload your photos for editing to applying special effects.

The course is very easy to follow and can be accessed at any time. While the course doesn’t go into the finer details of the program, it is a great asset for users who have never used the program before who need a bit of basic guidance.

Summing Up

The nine courses covered in this article are great assets to professional and amateur photographers alike. They offer a great deal of information and are completely free to use. Take your time browsing the available courses and tell us which one was the most help to you.

15 Examples of Free Photo Hosting Sites

Free photo hosting sites are resources that every photographer has a use for, and there is a multitude of reasons. Maybe one just wants to quickly share images with friends and family, maybe they are in dire need of just a modicum of storage space (because of the unavoidable clutter), maybe it is for backup or maybe one just hopes that by being present on these sites the rabbit will jump out of the hat, and gain a bit of renown.

While these platforms perform the basic function of hosting your photographs, there are also the criteria of usability (how easy it is to upload and perform at least basic editing actions on the photographs), accessibility (easily identifiable features – date, subject, or other arrangement) and quality (the photographs shouldn’t be dramatically compressed).

Now we will consider 15 free hosting sites which every photographer needs to know about, with our main concern being the storage space.

Free Image Hosting Sites

15 Free Photo Hosting Sites


1. ThisLife

Will host an unlimited number of photos for you. It is amazing in its role as an aggregator as it can sync with your other accounts (on Facebook, Flickr, SmugMug or Instagram) in order to organize your material according to time and space.  There also is no limit on the resolution of the pictures, and, for privacy reasons, galleries can only be viewed by possessing the link known only to the owner of the account.

2. Post Image

Is chiefly used by forum administrators to store their images, yet it can be a great pick for anyone as it poses no limit on the size of the file or the resolution. One interesting twist with this platform is that it allows its users to store adult content, as long as it is not too extreme. You can upload an unlimited number of files at once.

3. Shutterfly

Is another concept, because it offers the possibility of buying photo prints, in addition to the storage facilities it offers. The main attractions are the unlimited depository and lack of restriction on file size and resolution. You can import to Shutterfly images from most social networking sites, and it has a good connectivity due to apps for iOS and Android.

Image of Shutterfly Logo

4. Flickr

May already be a ubiquitous reference, yet its massive 1TB of storage space on offer, no limits regarding resolution or file size, make it deliver on its renown. Albums are easily created, thanks to Flickr’s easy to use interface, and images may be uploaded from e-mail or the corresponding smartphone applications. As a bonus, high-definition clips (1080p) are also part of the deal.

5. Cluster

Provides a virtual space for groups to upload and share photos, with no other pre-requisites than the creation of an account. Image feeds can be viewed from a variety of devices, if you have the permission of the creator, and photos can be uploaded from desktops, Android devices or iPhones. No limitations on size, uploads, downloads or resolution.

6. Google Photos

Is best used for instant back-up for photographs taken with an Android smartphone, due to an option available in the Goggle+ app. You may upload an unlimited number of photos in the “standard size”, in addition to the 15 GB of space you can use at your discretion, yet that is shared with your accounts on Google Drive and Gmail.

7. Free Image Hosting

As its name suggests works well for uploading files (within the 3000 kb threshold, however), and the user can create galleries. For sharing purposes, the platform provides you with a unique HTML code. The images are forever saved on its servers, even in the extreme case of an anonymous user, which I find intriguing.

8. Tinypic

Is in the same vein as Free Image Hosting, in allowing the user to upload an unlimited number of files, providing a snippet of code by which through which you can share the uploaded photos, and also a system of tags that instate order in your files. The only restriction imposed is regarding resolution, as images can be no more than 1600px, in both width and height.

Image of Tinypic site

9. Imageshack

Is the perfect alternative if you view each photograph you take as your child. There are no restrictions in place, except for file size, no more than 25 MB. Other than that, tags can be put in place to create albums, which you can share according to your choice. Furthermore, Imageshack applications enhance your experience.

10. Imgur

Is not actually for professionals, as its main aim is aggregating viral images, however, it is quick and painless on the uploading front, imposing generous limitations: 20 MB for photographs, and as a bonus the user can store animated gifs up to 200 MB per file. You may share your files via URL, and there are also mobile Imgur apps.

11. Photobucket

Has an attractive, simple interface while also providing a number of editing instruments for your photos. Granted, there is a limit of 2 GB of storage space, yet no other limitations on file size or resolution. One neat feature is the system of text tagging that allows the user to organize the images into presentations that tell a story.

12. Canon Irista

Is a new service and don’t let the name fool you, the user doesn’t necessarily have to own a Canon in order to access the platform. The free plan includes 10 GB of storage, features for creating a whole range of albums and uploading programs for both PC and Mac.

Image of Canon Irista platform

13. Apple iCloud

May discriminate against Windows users, but should still be taken into consideration, offering 5 GB of free storage, photos that can be viewed as Web pages and tools for designing calendars.

14. 500 px

Has its sights set on creating a community, as photos uploaded are publicly visible, unless the user chooses not to make them public. In order to ensure that people don’t abuse their uploading privileges, you are limited to 20 uploads a week. Therefore, quality is safeguarded, with no limitations on size or resolution. For more services, you will need to pay a fee.

15. Smugmug

Has the advantage of seniority, but also comes with the disadvantage that it is only free for a 14-day trial period. I have chosen to include it on this list because of the great number of tools that cater mostly to professional photographers, and quite frankly the monthly plan of $3.34 equates to it being free, considering what it can do.

Logo of SmugMug


The continuous spread and popularity of devices that can take photographs means that there are many more free photo hosting sites out there, yet we hope we have been thorough enough in our examination of the platforms that grant the best palette of services for free.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5

Online Photography Portfolio Examples

Photography portfolio examples provide a source of inspiration for every aspiring photographer, whether he/she is  freelance (self-employed) or has a steady job and is looking for part-time commissions.

Although Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky used to say “I sit at the piano at 9 a.m. and the muses are kind enough to visit me every day”, those who possess less of a genius need earthly sources of inspiration. A portfolio is part of the critical resources of a photographer, so its creation requires careful consideration. The fact that we’re only talking about online portfolios goes without saying.

This post begins by taking a look at some of the most attractive photography portfolio examples, followed by a set of tips one should absorb before embarking on such an undertaking.

photography portfolio examples


Suggestive Photography Portfolio Examples

  • Christina Marie Photography showcases the author’s specialty as a wedding photographer. It is more of a textually-driven approach, yet avoiding a common temptation – bombarding the visitor with a lot of information. It has five distinct sections (though the “about me” and “contact” section could be merged). The blog section is optional (and could be replaced by a “testimonials” category) especially for a debutant photographer, however, if one wishes to create traffic this is a must. The actual images in the portfolio are arranged for the purpose of story-telling, which is particularly appealing if you are a specialized photographer.
  • James Day Photo offers a more minimalistic approach to the presentation. Its author delves into more than one subject, and the style of presenting images right from the arrival on the website denotes that versatility. The kaleidoscopic arrangement of shapes, sizes and colors is a feature on all the sections of the portfolio, and should work well for those who have an impressive number of photographs available. This example is useful principally for exhibiting achievements in portraiture and possibly even landscape photography.
Portfolio of James Day

James Day’s website

  • Amy Deputy Photography displays achievements in portrait and wedding photography. It does not follow the story-telling path of the first site presented, and it is more of a combination between the two styles discussed above. Numerous thumbnails of equal dimension on the (larger) right part of the screen are set against the textual information on the (smaller) left side. Therefore, the artwork is still the main focus of the portfolio, while the personal information is not wholly relegated to a meaningless background.
  • Timothy Hogan does work in the realm of advertising. But this is not about his work, it’s about how he mixes the images and the text. This interactive, hypertextual manner of presenting one’s work definitely requires a significant budget, however if your work is more ambivalent in character, this could be the way to go. If you are not willing to go overboard with the finances, then a web designer’s talents are your only alternative. We believe this is a clever practice if you want your name (or info) to integrate with your work in the portfolio.
  • Lisa Bettany’s portfolio might be a great inspiration if you have a unifying motif in your work. By incorporating the same theme both in your photography aspect of your business and on the marketing side of things, you might hit the jackpot. People love nothing more than a sense of omnipresence and systematization, as it suggests vision and dedication. These are assets in every profession, but especially in photography because mixing art and business in a unifying vision really is your whole purpose.
portfolio of Lisa Bettany

Lisa Bettany’s website

Tips on Creating an On-line Portfolio

As you may have remarked, there is more to creating an expressive portfolio than just great existing work. Here are some important facts that are sometimes overlooked by zealous photographers who believe that their work will speak for itself:

  • Balancing the Sections – you should be mainly concerned with two sections: the gallery itself and the contact information. The examples above show that there are a number of ways to display the contact info, either separately or by integrating it into a sort of slideshow. If you are just taking your first steps into the business, then making a name for yourself should be your priority, so create a number of prominent links towards your info and maybe add a CV in such a way that it does not take attention away from the images.
  • The Demographic Target – know thyself and others. Who would be looking for your service? Consider that different groups of people have a different approach in surfing the web, different layouts speak differently. Design your online portfolio with a target audience in mind for the specific services that you provide. The text should be complementary to the images, not separate and definitely not independent. There are pre-designed layouts, so if you’re not that into web design be sure to check them out.
  • Use Your Only Best High-Res Work – this one is a total no-brainer, yet you could find yourself in the middle of a conflict between image size and the loading speed of the website.
  • Website Navigation – the sections of your website should always be available for the user, so insist on creating multiple “buttoned” areas. And do try to limit scrolling, as it is pernicious for user experience, as well as loading times.
  • Copyright – copyright infringement will never go away, thus make sure of embedding watermarks on your images. In addition, try disabling the right-click on your website, or using your photographs as background images, as it may limit the damage.
  • Details – most clients require an explanation that goes with the photograph, and more so if it is a single themed gallery. As one portfolio displayed in the list above shows, you could also find yourself in the business of story-telling, therefore you should provide adequate contextual information.

Some portfolio

Of course, one should take into consideration that these photography portfolio examples and tips are not set in stone. The freedom you have at your disposal in revealing your work to the world is practically unlimited. This is suggested by the diversity of the examples I have selected. After all, everyone is different and inspiration can be found everywhere.

Image Sources: 1, 2, 3, 4

10 Premium Photoshop Actions Used by Pros

Premium photoshop actions can be real lifesavers for photographers that need to edit and process a great number of photos. They might not come for free, but they can make your life a lot easier if you are a beginner at photography editing, since they will ensure that your photos look professional with a minimum of effort.

Whether you are enhancing wedding photos, adding an Instagram vibe to your collage, or making sure newborn portraits have the appropriate lighting, there’s no way you will regret buying a premium package. Make sure you buy them from trusted websites and forget about getting them off a torrent. A lot of hard work has went into creating these Photoshop features. Here are our top 10 premium Photoshop Actions.

1. Flare Lights Photoshop Action

Photoshop Actions for nature photos

If what your photos need is a warm vintage glow, then you should use Flare Lights Photoshop Action. This premium feature will turn you into a DeviantArt professional with only a few clicks.

2. Comicbook iT

10 Premium Photoshop Actions

Those that are trying to give a comic book or cartoon effect to their photos should look no further than the ComicBook iT Photoshop Action set. One click is all it takes to turn you into the next Andy Warhol. You can choose from 4 different rendering styles, from colorful to black and white ones.

3. Portrait V2.0

Photoshop Actions

This Photoshop Action covers everything from skin, to eye, teeth, or lips retouches that will turn your subject into a work of art. Buy it in order to create some of the best portraits ever made, all blemish-free. You can correct for bloodshot eyes, give a luscious aspect to those auburn locks, or whiten those teeth.

4. Free Faux HDR Actions

Photoshop Actions for sunsets

This is a set of 13 Actions which will give that HDR-effect to your photos. Each of these actions can be powerful tools since they also add a sharpening effect to your works. In case you are not happy with the results, you can revert to the original photo.

5. Greater Than Gatsby Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for newborn photos

All Greater than Gatsby Photoshop Actions are useful tools for professional photographers and novices alike. Their packages are compatible with both PC and Mac. Regardless of your Adobe Photoshop version, be it a CS3, a CS5,  or CS6 one, Greater than Gatsby will show you how it’s done. All their Action Sets come with detailed tutorials on how to download, install, export, or create cool effects.

Their Newborn Essentials package is hard to top in terms of usability and variety. You can paint away jaundice, red splotches or purple toes, so that those newborns look as clean as a whistle. This package also comes with an entire batch of amazing elements from which you can choose your favorite light vignette or enhancement.

6. Florabella Action Sets

Photoshop Actions for close ups

Florabella Action Sets are great for those that are looking to create dreamy portraits and remind you of a pure atmosphere. You can use each element in the package to edit your selected images. You can even make new photos look like old ones by adding a matte vintage effect. If you are planning to shoot weddings, Florabella Action Sets will take your clients to the moon and back when they see the end result.

7. Watercolor & Pencil Photoshop Action

10 Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

Whether you’re interested in a pencil or watercolor effect, this action set will help you set a new record in terms of the artistic qualities of your works. You can edit as many frames as you want using this Action, so that you create that perfect fusion of colors. They even offer help installing it.

8. MCP Actions

Photoshop Actions for portraits

Newborn Necessities Actions, Fusion Actions or their season-themed Actions, all are totally worth the investment. MCP will help you save time and gain more money by being more productive than ever. Over 50 Action packs are stored in their shop, where you can buy each one of them.

9. Look Filter Photoshop Actions

Photoshop Actions for Photographers

If you want to hang out with the pros, then you have to get the Look Filter Photoshop Actions. They even offer free trials in case you might want to try their products first. You can bet you will feel privileged if you get your hands on one of their limited edition sets. Offering a wide range of new sets, Look Filter makes sure you don’t repeat yourself when editing those photos. You can choose from The Dark Knight Rises (inspired by old Hollywood movies), The Holy Helmut (dedicated to Helmut Newton), or The Lith Process (inspired by Lith Prints).

10. Totally Rad Photoshop Actions

Premium Photoshop Actions for Photographers

As the name suggests, these Photoshop Actions are totally rad. Not only are they rad, but they are also legendary (or so their website claims), with many photographers choosing their products. You can use them to adjust color, saturation, brightness and contrast, or to add that little extra something that your work needs. You can try their stuff for free and you can choose from the TRA1 – The Original Mix or TRA2 – The Revenge, which feature a plethora of elements to add to your photo and help you finish that project faster.

Extra Mention – Free Online Actions

You can also find many free Photoshop Action sets on the world wide web, in case you are not willing to pay. The CoffeeShop won’t give you coffee, but you might find amazing downloads that will only leave you to worry about finding the appropriate file format for exporting your work. The same can be said about The Pioneer Woman. Polaroid frames are quite popular among hipsters, so there is no need for you to invest money in Photoshop Actions that can mimic photos taken on film. You can find many of them online with a simple google search. 

These were our top 10 choices for premium Photoshop Actions. You can shop for them online and you might even find some of them on sale. Now you are ready to create a Tumblr blog and start uploading your creations.

Image sources: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10

Best Online Photography Schools to Get You Started

Whether you are an amateur photographer or a more seasoned one, an online photography training course is exactly what you need to refine your skills and knowledge in this form of art. Learning photography anytime, anywhere and in your own available time is perhaps the greatest benefit offered by an online photography school. Maybe you want to develop your Photoshop skills, your portrait photography knowledge, and abilities, or you just want, to become an expert in travel photography. No matter what your passion is, some of the best online photography schools out there offer detailed courses and even one-on-one training. Today we will look at some of the best online photography schools and see their major advantages.

online photography schools

The New York Institute of Photography

One of the most prestigious accredited online photography schools, the New York Institute of Photography offers nine online photography courses that address both the amateur photographer and even the professionals. All the online courses are prepared by pro and awarded photographers, and the school itself is licensed by the New York State. Let’s take a look at this online photography school and its great offer.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Beginner Photography Course: this course introduces the amateur photographer into the digital world, teaching them the basics of this art;
  • Professional Photography Course: it is specialized in landscape, nature, travel, journalism, weddings, portraits, studio photography and still life;
  • Photoshop for Photographers: prepared by Adobe certified experts, the course offers introductive and advanced teachings in Photoshop, Lightroom, and Elements;
  • Video Making Course: it is dedicated to advanced photographers who want to step up their game and become pros at using the video cameras as well;
  • Wedding Photography Course: it teaches the participants the professional techniques of wedding photography;
  • Portrait Photography Course: it teaches the participants the fine-tuned techniques of capturing individuals, groups of people, children and pets;
  • Travel Photography Course: one of the most appreciated courses, this one trains the participants in learning the language of travel photography, including landscape, nature, still life but also photojournalism and documentary;
  • Marketing for Photographers: dedicated to pros, this course teaches photographers to find their business niche, sell their products and brand themselves successfully.

Academy of Art University

The Academy of Art offers an accredited Photography online course that allows the students to obtain an Associate of Arts, a Bachelor, and Master Degree in Fine Arts in Photography. One of the greatest advantages of following this online photography school is that it provides the participants not only with the best photography courses but also with recommendations for their future. In other words, it teaches its graduates what to do with their degrees after finishing the courses. The Academy of Art University focuses on three main and important fields of photography:

  • Documentary
  • Fine Art Photography
  • Advertising / Photo Illustration

Future-oriented, the experts teaching at this online photography school emphasize on the graduates’ ability to find the best working niches and start a successful career.

The Icon Photography School

Combining theory with practice, this is one of those online photography schools offering a wide variety of courses for the beginners and the advanced photographers. Combining theory with practice, this school doesn’t emphasize on deadlines, but it does indeed emphasize on quality. The courses are prepared by some of the most appreciated pro photographers and they have an element of novelty which is important to be highlighted: the courses teach more than just skills, they teach the participants to immerse in the world and see it with different eyes, sense it, feel it and understand it from a unique point of view.

Online Photography Courses:

  • The Gold Package: this 14-course module teaches the participant to re-discover his/her world, manipulate reality through the use of the camera, create dramatic effects, make advanced compositions and even create their portfolio for future employment opportunities.
  • The Silver Package: based on 14 modules, this course teaches participants to find inspiration from photography masters, manipulate reality, use specific color techniques, discover their style and create advanced compositions.
  • The Bronze Package: organized in 14 modules, this course introduces the participant to the world of photography and the discovery of the world through the camera lens; it also teaches participants different photography styles and basic photography compositions.

Bryan Peterson School of Photography

One of the most prestigious photography schools online, Bryan Peterson School of Photography uses some of the best instructors in the country. They are specialized in different types of photography (from advertising to creative portraits and beyond), thus offering their students a very wide area of expertise. The courses address everybody, from beginners to pros, allowing them to either set the foundation for a future career in photography or develop on their hobby.

Online Photography Courses:

  • Understanding Exposure
  • The Art of Seeing
  • Mastering Nikon Flash Photography
  • Mastering Canon Flash Photography
  • Capturing the Face
  • iPhone Photography
  • Posing and Directing
  • Photoshop Elements Essentials
  • Travel Photography I and II
  • Food Photography Au Naturel
  • Intro to Lighting with Strobes
  • Photography Magic
  • Pet Photography
  • Street Photography
  • Capturing the Beauty of Flowers
  • Lensbaby Magic
  • Stretching Your Frame of Mind
  • Creating Compelling Compositions
  • Fine Art Nature Photography
  • The Use of Gestalt in Photography
  • Photoshop Layers Fundamentals
  • Introduction to Food Photography
  • Lightroom for Everyone
  • Wedding Photography

The online courses of this online photography school last 4 or 6 weeks. At the end of the course, the participant may opt for another one, thus strengthening his skills and increasing his chances to become a professional photographer in a chosen area.

The Photography Institute

Dedicated mostly to beginners, this is one of the best online photography schools for those who want to test the waters and get the best introduction to the world of photography. Prepared by professional freelance expert photographers, the courses include interactive assessments and permanent mentorship. The main goal of the online course is to transform the amateur photographer into a pro who can make a living from freelance photography. The Photography Institute focuses on all aspects of photography, ranging from the use of the camera to selling high-quality photos to newspapers and websites.

There are plenty of other online photography schools, and if you are interested in taking such online courses, we recommend you to carefully analyze each and every one of them, depending on your skill level, passion, or interests.

For further info, take a look at our selection of top photography schools in the US. If you have any questions or suggestions, drop us a line in the comment section below. Cheers!

Is Photography School for Professional Wedding Photographers a Must?

photography-school-for-professional-wedding-photographersGoing to photography school for wedding photographers is a personal choice, determined by numerous factors, such as a desire to learn, but also time and financial constraints. The general outlook on this topic can seem divisive: some extoll its advantages and believe attending such courses is mandatory for those who truly wish to call themselves professionals; others, on the other hand, fail to see the perks of it and regard it as a general waste. So, which one is it? Read on, for our version of the pros and cons, and don’t forget to tell us your own opinion in the comment section.

Yes, it is!

You get all the information you need

The main way in which photography school for professional wedding photographers can help is by providing  with the time, space, and structure to accumulate all the essential information you need, on the art of taking pictures. After all, you’ll be dedicating several hours a day, 5 days a week, for at least a few weeks, to this purpose alone. When’s the last time you were able to take some time off for learning, as a pro photog?

You’ll get the degree to show for it

Now, you don’t absolutely need to go to photography school for professional wedding photographers in order to land gigs and develop a lucrative business. However, if you do, chances are that such credentials are going to make you look more dedicated in the eyes of your (potential) clients.

You get to connect and socialize

‘School is not for making friends!’ Well, that might be true for business school, but photography school for wedding photographers is a great opportunity to meet and connect with like-minded professionals. Not only will you get to exchange views with people who have the same interests as you, but you can also strike up lucrative partnerships, or business opportunities. And this social aspect is vital to the success of any photography business.

No, it’s not!

Photography school for wedding photographers disregards business

Sure, it’s great to learn about all the theoretical aspects of photography, understand some history of this art, and hone your technical skills. But what about the business aspect of this trade? Most serious photography courses nowadays do offer business courses, too, but they’re largely theoretical and no match from actual, hands-on experience in running a business. The best way to learn this skill is by going out and doing it.

It’s a waste of your time, really

And since we’re on the topic of running a business – ain’t nobody got time for school, as the popular refrain goes. Think about it: instead of learning a bunch of theory you’ll never use, you could be spending that time actually starting and running a business.

… Not to mention a waste of your money

A lot of the most influential professional photographers out there started out as self-taught amateurs. In the day and age of information, online photography resources, and the Internet, there’s really no need to shell out thousands of dollars for something you could be teaching yourself, for an infinitesimal fraction of those costs.

It doesn’t help with actually succeeding as a photographer

This is perhaps the most contentious moot point, between those who believe photography school for professional wedding photographers is important and those who don’t. At the end of your courses, you will have expended precious time and money, but without actually making any headway with developing your business. A business requires far more than technical, artistic, and even theoretical business knowledge. There’s marketing and branding, shooting and editing, business acquisition and shoot pricing – and, of course, learning. Photography is not the kind of field in which a one-time course will take care of your education. You need to keep learning and developing for the rest of your career.

Photographer’s Best Friend: Google Reverse Image Search

It’s all diff’rent strokes for diff’rent folks when it comes to image usage and propagation online: while some photographers are happy to have their work featured on Tumblr, Facebook, various blogs, and media outlets, others are less than excited about it. Today’s post is for those who fall in the latter category, rather than the former. It’s here to teach you how to use Google reverse image search, in order to find your pictures all over the web. Perhaps you’re not happy with not being credited, or maybe your image is used in a context you don’t want to be associated with. Whatever your reasons may be, here’s the way to find those pictures and prevent further occurrences from happening.

How to start the Google reverse image search

Image search is a service provided by search engine giant Google, in order to help others find specific photos online; conversely, the Google reverse image search is what you do when you have the image already, but want to know who else has it and has been using it. There are two ways to start your Google reverse image search: one is by uploading your photo into the Google images search bar, and the other is by copying the photo’s original URL (say, off your own blog or website) and pasting into the search bar. As far as the first option goes, you can also simply drag and drop the image into the search bar, if you find this easier.

The Google reverse image search results


Photo via Photo Shelter

The results that Google reverse image search delivers look much like a collage of visually similar pictures. Note that they may not all be precise and exact matches of your photo. However, chances are you will come across websites that have been using the photo without your explicit authorization. Another great feature that Google delivers at this point is a brief text-based description of your photo and the context in which it’s being used. Perhaps yours is not so much a case of being offended by ‘photo theft’, but maybe the website owner or blogger that’s featuring your work has misspelled your name or attributed the image to someone else by mistake. This feature will allow you to identify such errors and contact the people in question, to ask them to amend the issue. You can also use the advanced image search page to find your work online. Google can help you specify various words your photo might be used in context with. It will let you whittle down the results by image size, aspect ratio, colors, type, usage rights, and many other filters.

More Google reverse image search tips & tricks

–          Search for as many different variants of the same photo, even if the differences between them and the original picture are subtle – especially if you’ve uploaded more than one version of the same photo online. Some might be cropped differently or uploaded in other color schemes.

–          You might find your work online edited by third parties: cropped, rotated, in black and white, etc.. Try searching for differently Photoshopped variants of your own work by creating these variations yourself.

–          Don’t disregard smaller sizes of your image. Perhaps someone has resized an initially large photo and is using it as such. Google has a harder time spotting visually similar images in smaller sizes, because, the smaller the photo, the less data it has to work with. Resize the photos yourself and look for them like this.

In terms of what you decide to do with the results, the choice is entirely up to you. It all has to do with the way you license your work and whether or not the people using the pictures are making money off your back – case in which you might even decide to prosecute for copyright infringement.

The Future Of Online Photography – Monitize Your Images With Stipple

As a photographer, your images are your livelihood. Every time you put an image up on a site, the first thing that crosses your mind is “how much money will I be losing by putting this image up?”

And while the online world does truly have its benefits and can help you expand your marketing potential from a few miles around your studio to literally all over the world, it does take away your potential profits. Why should someone buy your images if they can see them and share them everywhere?

Once your image is up, people can link, modify and share it just about anywhere. And every time your image “moves” to a new place, you lose the potential of connecting with the viewer.

Because your value is in your photography, it makes sense to be able to “watermark” your images so that people know it’s you and have a way to come back to your information again and again. But “old” watermarks are just that … old. And if you put them in the wrong place, they are easy to crop out and ignore.

Which is why photo tagging is growing in popularity. And a new site may have enormous potential for future photographers.

Imagine creating a fine art studio in which you photograph and sell landscape images online. With Stipple, you can place a low resolution file online and connect it to a variety of other things online that showcase who you are. Take a look at one photographer, Lars Van DeGoor, recently did with his image:

The image as it will appear on sites as it is shared


The image displaying a link to video

The image with his information


The image with a link to his image for sale


Now if that image is shared via Facebook, Twitter or Pinterest, his “ads” go with it. Meaning he always has the potential of showcasing his talent and selling his artwork.

From a photography standpoint, this is huge. It’s also leveragable for your potential clients and customers. Imagine creating images exclusively for online sales; photos that make it easy for people to shop right from the photo itself. Your customers are no longer paying you just for your images, but also for your knowledge of bringing sales into the company itself.

The CEO of Stipple, Rey Flemings, has said that people mouse over a photo with a dot 46 percent of the time. That means almost 1 in 2 people are intrigued enough by a dot on a photo to want to take some type of action. And users that actually touch the dot will click on it 12.5 percent of the time. That’s huge – and will definitely grow as people grow accustomed to finding out instantly what they want when they want it.

If you are a commercial photographer who shoots regularly for a clothing designer, you can create images specifically designed for clickable images. Not only can you sell your customer on your images, but also on your knowledge of how to make the images more sellable online. Double your knowledge, double your profits.

Is this one way to move your photography business into the future? Definitely.

Are you using it today in a profitable way? I’d love to hear from you.

Jumpstarting Your Photography Business – You Gotta Try This Resource

Today I spent some time going through some of most well received information on VirtualPhotographyStudio on sales and bringing in new clients. With well over 1200 posts helping you sell and market your photography, there are many different posts that have attracted attention, and its always fun to go back through information that can have a huge impact on your business.

Instead of putting it together as just a post, I thought I would give you another option.

Head over to my Virtual Photography Studio – Jumpstarting Your Photography Business Magazine.  There you can easily read through everything in magazine format, clicking over to read more detail as you wish.

Now that you’ve viewed content in magazine format, what did you think?

See the possibilities for your own business?

By creating a variety of posts on one subject matter, you can create multiple magazines and send them to your customers for more detail.

How about one on creating the perfect outdoor portrait?

Or one on senior portraiture?

Or describing a Trash The Dress sitting in detail?

Whatever you specialize in, you can create detailed magazines – all for free.

The process is easy. If you have the content in place on your blog [you do, don’t you?], then its as easy as dropping in your URLs to your select posts and managing them with a click of your mouse. Zeen’s editing panel makes it easy to bring in content, edit and move it around, add titles and cover photos, preview and publish. You can have something made in minutes.

Just one more cool and innovative way to spread the word about your business.

Cutting Your Costs: 11 Cheap Tools To Grow Your Photography Business

One of the most common questions people ask me is:

“I’m trying to grow a photography business on a very small shoestring budget. What should I do?”

As a small business owner, “shoestring” automatically becomes a word commonly used in your vocabulary. Times are tight and when you have a very limited budget, you attempt to do whatever you can at the lowest cost possible.

With a photography business, it takes more than a camera and a computer to run it. You need many different things to make it both functional and profitable. So if “fast” “easy” and “cheap” are now permanently ingrained in your vocabulary, take a look at some of these tools and tricks for running a business on a budget. You may find some new ideas that are perfect for you to move forward with this year.

Google Voice

A virtual phone center to run your business from anywhere in the world. Google Voice offers a wide array of services. Start by choosing your area code, then use the system to help you with everything from budgeting your time by setting up “do not call” hours, to sending multiple SMS messages at a time. Read my review to learn even more.


Gliffy is an easy to use processing system for graphics, diagrams and flow carts. With easy to use formatting, you can create dynamic presentations for your website or presentations. [Read more…]