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How to Use Photography Classes to Your Advantage

If you are interested in taking your photography to the next level, it is a wise investment to take part in photography classes. The art of photography requires an element of raw talent but knowing that you have an eye for it is only the beginning. Honing your gift is the next step in becoming a successful, professional photographer. You can start by find photography classes near you and choose the course that best fits your interests. These classes are taught by professional photographers who will show you the ropes and teach everything from developing vision to navigating digital camera features. There are photography workshops available that will provide you with the necessary set of skills to achieve your goals as an aspiring photographer.

Proper equipment makes all the difference in successful photography.
Proper equipment makes all the difference in successful photography. Image by Word Stream

Beginner Courses

Photography, just like anything else, is a skill that takes time and practice. Photography classes geared toward beginners typically start with the basics of photography. They will start by introducing you to the technology you will be using. This will likely be an introduction to the technology you will be using for the rest of your career far after you leave your class. Digital cameras have come a long way as far as technology development goes so it is important to know all there is to know about your tool before you get to work. By the end of your beginner’s course, you should have a general understanding of digital camera features such as aperture, shutter speed, exposure, focus control, ISO, rule of thirds, flash and white balance. If you grew up in the digital age or have already obtained some knowledge on these topics, you will be a step ahead.

A beginner photography course will also use interactive exercises that focus on the passion of photography and they tend to incorporate fun activities that allow you to enjoy yourself while practicing photography at the same time. Depending on the workshop’s rules, you may be required to bring your own camera, or one will be provided to you. It is important that you are prepared with what you need before attending your beginning course. Upon completion, you will be faced with the option of moving on to intermediate courses that can teach you more intricate aspects of photography. You should only move onto intermediate courses if you are completely confident in your skills as a beginner.

Intermediate Courses

Intermediate photography courses are a step above beginner courses but one step below advanced. In an intermediate photography course, you will acquire knowledge on the more complex facets of photography. These skills may include depth of field, polarization, and composition. Intermediate courses are intended to further your advancement toward becoming a professional photographer so you will come in contact with more detailed work. Every good photographer knows that every photo is unique and to be treated as such. Within this course level, you will take what you know about the technicalities of photography and combine it with unique styles. Landscapes and portraits require different usages of a digital camera. Intermediate courses allow you to get your boots on the ground and merge your studies with your artistic talent.

A modern digital camera capturing a landscape photo.
A modern digital camera capturing a landscape photo. Image by Groupon

Advanced Courses

Advanced courses in photography are to be taken once you feel completely comfortable with basic photography skills. Most artists must take beginner and intermediate courses to prepare for advanced courses, but you may skip to advanced courses if you are already familiarized with the technology aspect of photography and feel prepared for the real deal. You will proceed past the basics and work on features like focal lengths, planning, execution, post processing. Now that you have been educated on how to take the photos, advanced courses will ensure that you are taught how to properly edit and share them. There is still work to be done after taking the perfect photo. Advanced courses combine the technology and creativity to develop your masterpiece. Advanced courses are the final step in going professional. By the end of your course, you should feel completely prepared to work on your own without the help of an instructor. When you feel ready, take the leap into beginning your career while your wisdom is fresh.

Online or In Person?

It will be of service to you to determine what learning setting works best for you. Your schedule will play a big part of this decision so make sure you choose a course type that will accommodate all of your needs so that you can properly learn your new skills. Photography courses are full of important information and missing a class can set you behind a bit. There is the option of taking courses online for those who do not have an open schedule. This would permit you to absorb all the information from home. However, taking courses in person can be an immeasurable experience because you will work directly with others who are learning along with you. Time and preference are considerable factors when deciding which medium you will learn the art of photography.

Online courses. The decision to pursue photography classes online or in person will depend on the amount of time and investment you are able to put forth into developing your skill. Online classes are easily accessible because they provide the opportunity to learn everything you need to know without putting stress on your schedule. You can set aside the proper amount of time that you will need per day and organize your day according to what works for you. Online courses are great for those who have the passion but lack the time. Many accredited universities offer photography courses online. For example, Harvard University’s Introduction to Digital Photography program is accessible at any time of the day and focuses on beginner friendly content and focuses on multiple modules that range from beginner to advance sequentially. It should be noted that is it completely free to enroll and complete. You are provided with a verifiable certificate of completion that will look amazing on your resume.

Face to face. In person photography workshops provide an irreplaceable experience to aspiring photographers. They are typically led by professional photographers and include interactive, hands on activities that you cannot find over the computer. One on one conversation with instructors can make all the difference in your progress. While attending a face to face workshop, there are is opportunity to ask your instructor questions and hear more information that you cannot get through online courses. For example, Sixth Street Photography Workshop in San Francisco, California offers a weekly workshop available to all photographers. They meet every Wednesday for both dark room and field sessions. They even take trips to local art museums and galleries. Finding a photography class near you can allot you a bounty of opportunities to develop your photographic eye. If you have the time and means of transportation, taking a face to face photography class can be a career altering decision.

The right digital camera turns everything into art.
The right digital camera turns everything into art. Image by DCCCP blog

Build Your Clientele

A good photography course will also teach you what to do once you have learned your skill. Knowing it is only half of building your business. You will learn how to build clientele and establish a business for yourself. You are photography classes will teach you the importance of connecting with your clients. A satisfied client is far more likely to come back. During your time as a photography student, your instructor will aid you in discovering your niche. Most good photographers can master the art of photographing anything. However, you will more easily be able to build a brand based on a specific audience. This can range anywhere from abstract art, landscapes, nature, family portraits, etc. Keep an open mind but know the basics of what you’d like to do. It should be the type of photography you enjoy the most. You will get the opportunity to test out all different types of realms of photography over the duration of your course.

You will shortly find that your clientele comes back sooner than later when they are in need of a photographer- and they will come straight to you! Imagine taking family photos at an event. You do a beautiful job and make great connections. Now, your previous client has a friend who is in need of a photographer for her wedding. This would be an example of business expansion through networking and connection. An example of building consistency within your clientele would be doing such a solid job at a school’s class photo event that you are offered an annual spot. Again, this will all depend on which niche of photography you feel best fits your interest. Knowing where to market your business is a huge part of building clientele. If you take great portraits and would like to be hired taking photos of children and families, you may find yourself inclined to post business cards in places like recreation centers and childcare facilities. If you prefer taking headshots, leave a business card inside of an acting school.

Plan your marketing strategies around your goals.

Building a positive rapport with those who experience your photography is important for future business. Once you have developed these positive relationships with your clients, it is important to stay on top of making sure it stays that way. Go above and beyond and you will see the results fair your way. At the heart of it, your clients need you just as much as you need them. It’s a win win situation all the way around. You just have to be sure you are maintaining your trustworthiness and continuously developing your talent!

Managing Your Goals as a Professional Photographer

Deciding on a photography class will come down to your present availability and time management. It requires a lot of attention to obtain a new skill set- especially if you are pursuing photography professionally. The good news for a newly professional photographer is that your business will never run out of clients since we are always wishing to document all of our memories to look back on and recall. With all of the information you gathered from your courses, you are the perfect candidate for the job! You are equipped with knowledge and excitement for the new opportunities coming your way so any client will be glad to have you. Setting goals is essential in order to decide what works best for you because your course of action will depend on your individual intention in the business of professional photography.

Once you find the perfect workshop for you, whether it be online or face to face, you are now prepared to move onto the next step of determining the type of course you will need. Beginner courses will cover the basics and familiarize you with your technology. Intermediate courses focus on more complex features. Advanced courses put your skills to the test and provide you with the opportunity to bring your work to completion. Remember that is not only okay to start small- it is actually ideal for the long term success of your career. Rushing to mentally retain all of the aspects of photography will not allow you the proper time to fully understand all of the technicalities you need to feel comfortable with. Being patient with yourself gives way to a bright future in the craft. Set small goals to build upon. Starting small gives you plenty of space to improve. Expecting perfection right away is not usually productive and setting small steps to reach one by one sets you up for success. Continuously building your realm of knowledge and paying attention to detail while putting forth your best efforts will secure you a spot at the top.

Photography is all about combining networking and connection with skill and creating a business that is rooted in individuality. Enrolling in photography courses is the first and most crucial step in creating a lucrative career in photography. You will never regret your decision to begin classes!


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