Teaching photography online is a great way to offer a valuable educational opportunity to your audience, spread awareness of your photography business and build relationships with clients and potential clients. Plus, it helps to establish your business as the expert in your area.
Teaching online photography classes is easy to do with minimal resources or budget. You can save time with these pre-made photography lessons and keep tech requirements to a minimum. These are some basics that you need to teach photography online and offer a high-value online photography course.
While it’s possible to run online courses through your smartphone or tablet, it’s not ideal. Size of screen is an issue and built-in microphones don’t offer great sound quality. It’s hard to share files and it just doesn't look professional. You’re much better off with a laptop or PC with a large screen.
You will need to use some type of online video platform. Two of my favorites are Zoom and StreamYard. Each platform has its own features such as screen sharing, file sharing, and chat functionality. Choose a platform that offers the features you need and get comfortable using it before you actually launch your online class.
To keep costs low, start with the free version first and see if it has the functionality you need before you upgrade.
Keep in mind you want to offer the best experience possible to your students while they’re going through your course, so it’s best to use a high-quality webcam. You can get some great webcam options that are inexpensive and easy to install, Logitech webcam is one example. You may even want to hook up your DSLR. If you are going to livestream with your DSLR you will likely need a small piece of equipment called an El Gato Cam Link.
In some ways, your microphone is even more important than your webcam. If your words can’t be clearly heard by your students, this will present a barrier to their learning and ruin the overall experience. You can use a standard mic like the Blue Yeti. You can also incorporate the use of headphones air pods for better overall sound quailty.
You’ll need software to record and edit your course videos. The video platform you choose will most likely offer built-in recording. For example with StreamYard there you don't always have to go live with the app, they have an option for "recording only". But if you do have live courses it is a good idea to make a recording of them so students can watch later if they can't attend the live session. Recorded sessions are also great because you can edit the video into smaller bits and use for marketing your online photography class. Or you might opt to release the recording at a later date as a standalone digital product. Another way to use recorded videos is to offer one of your recordings as a "preview" of your course.
The above are the essentials but you may also consider using the following:
With these few investments in the proper tools, you’ll be ready to start teaching photography online, earn extra income and establish yourself as the expert in your area.
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