Hacker News article Photographer, photographer, photographer.
I’m sure you’ve heard of those.
You know the kind.
Photographer, photojournalist, photographer for a living.
Or, for the more adventurous, they can teach a class.
But the new breed of photographers are creating their own photography courses.
“We see this as a new way to learn,” says Ryan Devereaux, a senior content designer at Google+.
“We’re making it easier for people to learn photography without having to go to a photo school.”
In the world of photography, there are lots of ways to learn.
But there’s a lot of variation.
Here’s what you need to know about the new crop of online learning programs.
What are photography schools?
Photo schools are educational programs for kids that offer a hands-on experience with photography.
“In traditional photography schools, we’re usually talking about the basics like how to photograph, how to get exposure, and how to use your camera to make a shot,” says David Liss, an associate professor at the University of Minnesota who specializes in photography education.
“But we can do much more with this new generation of photography schools.”
A photography school will often have a theme, such as how to do portraits or how to create a photoshoot.
It’s usually a combination of online classes and traditional classes.
What kind of students are using them?
Some classes, like Photography School, have thousands of students in the United States and Canada.
Others, like the popular “Pixlr Photography” course, have about 300.
The classes are typically offered in public schools or on websites like Pixlr.
A photo school also will often include an interactive component, where students can learn about photography through a series of photos.
A lot of times, those photos are of people who have done the same things or a similar set of skills.
Some students will do digital and still-life photography.
And there are a lot more than one type of student.
A student can be a student who has never taken a class before, or a student with an artistic interest or a photography background.
“These are not all the students,” says Devereux.
“A lot of them are really passionate about photography and really excited about what they’re doing.”
Why are they popular?
“I think it’s the fact that they’re easy to get started with,” says Liss.
“They’re also very affordable.”
The students tend to be younger, which can help make them appealing to people who want to learn a bit more about photography.
Plus, they’re cheap to register, which helps keep costs down.
In the case of Pixlr, for example, a student might spend $50 to $80 to register for a class, while a student from an online photography school costs $2,000.
“If you’re really in the market for a photography education, these are really affordable and accessible,” says Andrew Henson, a professor of photography education at the Indiana University, Bloomington, who specializes with the art of photography.
What do they teach?
Most of the online photography courses are about taking photos and presenting them to clients or friends.
The students usually take a class in one of two styles: digital or still-light.
Some classes include tutorials on how to take a photo with an iPhone or iPad, how not to do a bad photo, and other tips.
A good online photography course will teach the students how to think about how to present their work, says Litt, so they don’t have to learn the technical details.
What’s the downside?
Many students who want a photography school have to pay.
Liss says the online programs can get expensive, but there are some savings.
“I’d suggest taking a look at some of the pricing,” he says.
“There are a couple that offer 10% discount on the first class and 20% discount after the second class.”
Devereau says that some of these programs, such to the Pixlr course, are still in their infancy.
“This is a lot younger than we were at the start of the industry, and it’s still very nascent,” he adds.
“And it’s a big market, so there are going to be some people that will pay for it.”
What about students that are already in school?
“They might have a great interest in photography, but they may not have the skills to do the classes,” says Henson.
“You might not have time to go on a day trip to a studio, or you may have other things you need done before you get to class.”
If you do decide to enroll in a photography course, Liss suggests checking with your local school to see if there’s an existing program.
“It’s really important to know what’s available for you,” he recommends.
“When you enroll in an online course, you might get a discount on some of their fees, or even get a voucher for a