Best Creative Photography Classes for Beginners

Making collage, editing photos

I’ve been taking photos since my first iPod touch which I got in 2013 and as I swiped through those pixelated, heavily filtered images, it was clear that through the years I’d lost my sense of wonder and observation.

Then Instagram came along and as we all know, it became about the numbers.

Recently I started to play with photography again and I had to take a step back from Instagram to do that!

The first thing I said was: I’m not a photographer but… just like I said in 2014, I’m not an artist but…

These beliefs suck. This self-demand and self-deprecation seems cute and moral and all that stuff but it actually just kills the enjoyment out of everything.
As with my artwork, I want to get to a point where I can take photos that I like, go beyond the compulsive snapping and more into the process.

Small Challenges

I’m expecting this experimentation to make me see things anew. I’m saturated with visual art, illustration, books about art and though I never feel I’ve learned enough, it feels as if my brain is slowing down and some hint of boredom appears.
I’m not ready to go back to Instagram yet, but I have been building a small collection of photos that I will share soon. I’ve taken a couple of classes on Skillshare but since I am too lazy to ask my husband to let me borrow his camera, I am doing everything with my iPhone.

Luisa Flowarte

I will not run before I can walk. My belief about not being a good photographer still stands. That’s just basic humility and it’s one of my core values. But I do want to amuse myself and get the most out of the expensive gadget in my hand instead of just being a thumb treadmill.

My goal is to take photos that tell a little story, that combine visual art and that I can use for zines, reference and add a little variety to my social media and blog.

So what’s the plan?

I started by taking Find Your Photography Style: Create Consistent Photos on Skillshare with Tabitha Park. Her classes are so good. I highly recommend them.
It is quite simple to take a photo and edit with VSCO and post it, but the process she shares to understand how a photo works and how to find your style in Ligthroom is priceless.

Editing photos for a vintage look in lightroom
The original Photo to the left, my edited, more subdued and delicate photo to the right.

After working on desktop I applied my learnings to Lightroom on mobile because I can’t be bothered to send photos to my computer and back.

I like a more vintage look to my photos and since I’m Latina, my skin looks better with a warmer light, so I started to experiment a little on the Lightroom mobile app.

Collage, lightroom edit

Now, there are a lot of classes on Skillshare that will teach you everything from flat lays, product styling, self portraits, etc. But for now, I want to focus on the storytelling aspect.

Combine your learning sources

Skillshare is great for getting started, but I find that since it’s a project based educational platform, it doesn’t help a lot with the thought process behind it. For a more in-depth look at how creatives arrive to solutions I like to switch to Domestika.

I struggle a lot with composition so I’m adding Photography and Composition for Instagram by Héctor Merienda (Subtitles in English), then BEFORE I waste precious hours on testing and trashing photos, I want to learn about pre-production, props, postproduction and how to create more effective photoshoot, so next on my list is Photography for Social Media: Lifestyle Branding on Instagram, despite this being for Instagram, I think the course will be great for product photos for my shop.

One thing I couldn’t seem to find anywhere was how to organize the mountain of photos we wind up with and the class that helped me with this, although it is on Lightroom is so good: you basically go with your gut and are relentless choosing which to keep which to discard. The class is Importing & Culling in Adobe Lightroom with Lissabeth Anglin.

So far, I’m a little obsessed with my recent photos and so happy I learned to use Lightroom on mobile!

A few great photography classes for beginners

What can you do to stop your thumb running on the scrolling treadmill?

This post contains affiliate links of classes I’ve taken.