Teach Photography Online

Can photography be taught online? 

Yes, photography can be taught online. Online classes have become incredibly popular in the past few years especially with platforms such as Zoom.  Professional photographers teach photography online in order to supplement their photography business income during their slow seasons.  

How do I start teaching photography?

Teaching photography can be done in a variety of ways, but typically it involves developing a curriculum for the students to follow. This might include learning about camera functions, how to compose an image, basic photo editing techniques and more. Some instructors may also assign projects or critique student work in order to help them improve their skills. If you're interested in starting to teach photography classes, try talking with local schools or art centers who may be looking for new instructors. You can also find done for you curriculum here

How do I create an online photography course? 

There are a few different ways to create an online photography course. One option is to record video lectures and tutorials, and then provide students with access to a forum or discussion board where they can ask questions and interact with other students. Another approach is to use a platform like Podia, which allows you to create your own course curriculum and provides tools for student interaction. 

How do you teach a beginner photography class? 

When you teach photography online course, one of the most important factors to focus on is engagement. If students are actively engaging with your photography curriculum, they’re much more likely to be successful.

Engagement involves giving your students activities to complete which will help make your online photography class more interesting. One simple way to add engagement is to include yourself in your videos. Video as a medium is automatically engaging because it adds a human element to your material.

Your whole course shouldn’t just be one long video but can incorporate elements of pre-recorded and live videos throughout.

Here are some different ways you can create some engaging videos for when teaching your online photography class.

Record PowerPoint Presentations. Take the material you’re presenting in your online photography course and make a simple video that shows it in slide format. For these videos you don't have to show your face if you don't want to.  To save time you can start with any of  these done for you PowerPoint presentations below: 

Teach Photography to Moms Online

Teach Photography to Kids Online

Teach Smartphone Photography Online

Show Don’t Tell. Create a demonstration video that shows people how to do what you’re teaching them.  For example if you're teaching about lighting, connect your camera and share your screen to show students what it looks like to take a photo in natural light vs. using the flash. If you're teaching smartphone photography or iPhone photography you can connect your phone camera to your computer and share your screen for the live presentation. 

Create Screen Recordings. If you’re teaching something technical such as how to edit photos on your smartphone, connect your smartphone camera to your computer record your screen when you’re showing your students how to edit. 

Interview an Expert. Reach out to an expert ask them some questions that would help your students with the session’s topic.  For example, in the Kids Photography Online Curriculum there's a section about Careers in Photography.  You may choose to interview photographers in a variety of niches and ask them questions about the type of photography they specialize in. Some examples could include Pet Photographers, Real Estate Photographers or even Underwater Photographers.  To make sure the interviews are going to be engaging to your students, take a poll and let students suggest what type of photographers they'd like to see interviewed. Have a live Q&A session to encourage students to be present during the session so they can get their questions answered (and not just wait for the recording). 

Remember, the great thing about teaching photography online is that you can bring in an expert photographer from any part of the country, or even the world via Zoom or another video interview platform. 

Make Resource Videos. Create videos of additional information for reference and make them available for students to watch outside the course.  You could even create a slideshow of your portfolio or favorite shoots for their inspiration. Or you could take your top 10 favorite images and make a video explaining how you got the shot. If you're looking for an additional stream of income for your photography business you could take these videos and host them on a site such as Podia. Then charge a monthly fee to access the videos. 

If you're interested in teaching a beginner photography class, consider these additional tips:

  • Choose an appropriate topic for your class (ie portrait photography, landscape photography)
  • Outline the basic concepts that students need to learn in order be successful at taking photos in that genre
  • Create video lectures or tutorials on each of those concepts
  • Provide supplemental resources such as articles, blog posts, or even additional videos that cover related topics

Also, be sure to:

  • Monitor the discussion board regularly and answer any questions from students promptly
  • 'Friend' your students on social media networks so they can see examples of your work and get feedback directly from you

Hopefully these tips have helped you decide upon types of video you can incorporate to make your online photography class more engaging and add more value.  Simple, short videos are ideal, so don’t get hung up on production issues.

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