Enjoy some online courses with a two-month trial of Skillshare Premium.
With most of the world stuck inside for a while, it's a great time to learn something new and practice new photo techniques. The folks over at Skillshare kindly offered a free trial just for Fstoppers readers (two whole months of premium membership!) so I went through their photo classes and picked my favorites, all available to watch and practice from home.
The truth is that great photos can happen anywhere, but it can be tricky to know where to start when we’re used to shooting outdoors. That’s where Skillshare’s online classes can be really helpful for photographers. They’re a great way to stay connected to the photo community and explore new setups, techniques, and projects, all from home. It’s almost like you’re learning over an expert’s shoulder, with thousands of photo teachers to choose from! Plus, the online format is really flexible. You can control the pace, the lessons are bite-sized, and you can replay lessons as many times as you’d like to catch all the little details.
While there are many ways to learn photos skills online, I’ve found that Skillshare’s photography catalog has some of the most well-produced classes, as well as the widest range of unique and singular topics. They were the first place I thought of when I wondered what to do with all this extra time indoors — whether you want to hone your craft in a specific subject area, try new editing techniques, or try something entirely new, there is a wealth of options. Check out my five favorites, and then I’d love to hear yours in the comments! To get started with that free two-month trial, just click here.
'Dark & Moody Food Photography for Instagram Success: Visual Storytelling with Emotional Food Photos' by Sean Dalton
I love Dalton's style in both his food photography and his travel work. He has a great post-processing workflow and uses colors and muted levels to produce beautifully moody and enticing images. In this course, he goes through how he creates his food photographs and tips on how you can improve your own. This class gives you all the tools necessary to create images that feel both contemporary and high-end.
Few photographers are digital artists too, and even fewer still are as talented and as visually confident as Coker. His work is distinct and recognizable — that trait alone few people achieve — and this course will help you create digital art in a similar vein. If you want to take a course that integrates Photoshop into it as more than a bit part role, this is the one for you. Learn to turn your portraits into bona fide artwork worthy of any wall. I also recommend going through Coker's Instagram and portfolio to get a more comprehensive feel of strong artistic identity.
I've always had a certain affinity with portraiture, and I know I'm in good company. Portraits engage the viewer more than any other genre according to research on the subject, and that makes a lot of sense to me. Heath, a well-known and successful photographer and director, walks us through how he creates sumptuous natural light portraits that look anything but a snap. Using mostly window light, this course can be practiced in your own house on a lucky family member you manage to wrangle or as a self-portrait if not.
Wince all you like, but phone photography is a staple of our industry, and mobile phones are becoming such powerful tools that professionals are leaning on them from time to time too. This course is one of the most popular on Skillshare at the moment, and it's easy to see why. McManus takes you through how he creates great images with just his iPhone, with advice on everything from settings to composition. If you find yourself shooting with your phone, this is well worth your time.
Weinberg is a fantastic photographer who takes beautiful portraits that never seem to try very hard. She has become an expert in editing her images in a cinematic style that has proven to be popular but also shooting to suit that post-processing technique too. This course is a great walkthrough of cinematic editing styles in Adobe Camera Raw. Weinberg has taken natural and timeless portraits of some of the world's leading celebrities, so any advice she can give on how she achieved that style is valuable.
To access the above classes and a litany of other brilliant courses, all you need to do is sign up by clicking here for a free two-month trial of Skillshare Premium.
If you think there are any great photography courses on Skillshare that can be practiced indoors, make sure to leave a link to them in the comment section below.