What are the Different Types of Photography Courses?

Sonal Panse

Photography is more than pointing and shooting with a camera. Although digital cameras have made life much simpler, it still takes artistic talent and technical knowledge to come up with a great photograph. This knowledge can be gained through informal or formal courses in photography.

Some photography students choose to specialize in nature photography.
Some photography students choose to specialize in nature photography.

Informal learning includes gathering information through books, websites, free online tutorials, practical work and interning with a professional photographer. Formal learning consists of taking certification, diploma and graduate-level photography courses from accredited educational institutes. It is possible to take both offline and online photography courses.

Some photography courses are dedicated to black and white photo techniques.
Some photography courses are dedicated to black and white photo techniques.

While formal photography courses are not absolutely essential for becoming a photographer, they do have some distinct advantages. One of the advantages of taking a formal photography course is that a professional certification or degree looks great on the resume and appears reassuring to prospective employers. Formal courses in photography may also have a more structured and extensive approach to learning.

Many courses focus on wildlife photography.
Many courses focus on wildlife photography.

There are many different types of photography courses, ranging from traditional to digital photography courses. These will usually cover everything from basic to advanced photographic styles and techniques. Students can learn about photographic equipment as well as about how to effectively use this equipment, how to keep it well-maintained, and how to repair it.

Photographers should include some landscape photos in their portfolio.
Photographers should include some landscape photos in their portfolio.

The photography course matter can cover information on light, exposure control and color management. It may dwell on black and white techniques, and traditional and digital printing. There may be information about using digital and video media platforms, and about building an effective portfolio.

Topics may also cover history of photography and analysis of current photographic trends. Prospective photographers also need to know about photojournalistic ethics. Critical thinking abilities are necessary, and so also the ability to see things from a global perspective.

Courses in photography may also teach important business, marketing and career management skills. It is necessary for photographers to know how to get projects, how to work with clients and how to manage finances. They must know how to advertise their services.

Students can choose to specialize in specific photography areas. The different specialization areas include portraiture, landscape photography, nature photography and wildlife photography. Some photographers specialize in underwater photography, aerial photography and documentary photography.

Still others may choose to concentrate on certain areas like pets, sports, food, weddings, festivals, fashion, fine art, celebrities, technology, industries and advertising. There are photographic specializations in forensics and policework. Knowledge of medical digital imagery is also widely needed in the medical world.

Photography courses can lead to various types of employments. Photographers may work freelance or have their own photographic studios. They may also hold a regular job. Photographic jobs are available with newspapers, magazines, media channels, advertising agencies, fashion houses, art galleries, commercial firms, police departments, hospitals and medical research centers.

Pet photography is one area a photographer might pursue.
Pet photography is one area a photographer might pursue.

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Discussion Comments


Another thing to keep in mind when taking a photography course is that sometimes the instructor requires students to buy certain types of equipment that will be used for the coursework. You'll need to ask yourself if you can afford these things in addition to the cost of the class.

Whether you will need film, a tripod, or even a new camera, the cost of these items can be very expensive. The best way to prevent surprise expenses for a course in photography is to check with the instructor before you register for the class.


A good photography course for beginners who just want to learn how to take great photos should include some information about photography software. These programs are used to open and view photos, and include ways to correct bad photos, including those that are too dark or have red eye. Some photography software can be confusing to use, so having instruction about how to use the available features is very helpful.

When a new photographers learn how to use this type of software, they will be able to improve the photos they take, even if they aren't so great at first.


Though today's cameras and photography techniques are mostly digital, it is a good idea to take a course in black and white photography. It will give students the opportunity to learn how pictures are developed using a dark room and a variety of solutions, the way it use to be done. This type of class is also especially helpful to students who want to become professional photographers.

Today's high tech photography has its roots in very basic equipment that produced black and white pictures. Learning about this type of photography will help students understand the beginning and advancement of photography.

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