Types Of Photography Courses And How To Choose The Right One

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published 14 May 2022

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Photography is a career choice that may give you a lot of creative satisfaction along with huge earning potential. There are several photography courses available that may help you with everything from learning the basics to fine-tuning the basics to become a professional of the highest standard. If you aspire to become a photographer, it is important for you to understand the different photography courses available for you to choose. In this article, we discuss the different types of photography courses available and how you may choose the right course for yourself.

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Types of photography courses

Here are the different types of photography courses you may choose from:

Foundation courses/diploma

A foundation course or a diploma course in photography helps you understand the basics of the profession of photography. You may enrol in these courses after completing your 12th. Diploma courses give you basic knowledge about the technical aspects of photography and you may choose to pursue a higher degree to gain more knowledge and expertise.

Basic courses

A basic course in photography provides you with an opportunity to learn the general techniques that may help you become a photographer. Many universities and colleges across the country offer these basic courses for aspiring photographers. The prerequisites for enrolling in such basic courses are usually not very stringent and these courses do not run for a very long duration either. This makes these courses an ideal option for those who may like to take up photography as a somewhat serious hobby.

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Advanced courses

Advanced courses in photography help those photographers who already know the basics to advance further in their careers by learning the more advanced concepts and techniques. These courses may have slightly more strict prerequisites than what basic courses have. Possessing a basic understanding of the core concepts is important to gain the most out of these courses. These courses also run for a longer duration than the basic courses and require a bigger time and monetary commitment from the participants.

Wildlife photography courses

A specialised course in wildlife photography helps you learn the specific skills required to shoot in the wild. These courses cover specifics like the equipment required to work in the wild, the right camera angles, the correct lighting and effects and how to manage extreme conditions. Such skills and these courses may prove especially beneficial for you if you aspire to work in a wildlife photography firm, as these help you effectively document your knowledge and skills to the prospective employer.

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Fashion photography courses

A course in fashion photography helps you in learning the technical skills required for the job and also the intricacies of the fashion photography industry. Fashion photography can be very different from other forms of photography because of the nature of the industry and the continuously high standard of output expected. Opting for a specialised course in this field helps you get technically well equipped to handle these expectations and deliver the required level of performance.

Wedding photography courses

Wedding photographers cover the photoshoots for weddings. A course in wedding photography helps you learn the technical skills and concepts required to cover all the different functions that may take place in the different types of weddings. The wedding photography industry is very volatile and the trends keep on changing in terms of the formats of the output. Specialised courses in wedding photography help you keep up with these changing trends and make a career in this industry.

Commercial photography courses

Commercial photography courses are for those who aspire to take up photography from a purely commercial perspective. Such courses help you understand the commercial aspects of photography as a business, along with the technical details of photography as a skill in itself. These courses are generalist in nature and do not focus on any particular specialisations.

Product photography courses

Product photography deals with a very niche area of photography, where you click pictures of different products for companies who may then use these pictures in their catalogs, websites or brochures. A course in product photography helps you understand how to cover the different types of products. Such courses also teach you the technical details for getting the right output for different media and use cases.

Photojournalism courses

Photojournalism is a combination of photography and journalism where you create a news story through the pictures you click. A course in photojournalism helps you learn both the technical aspects of photography and also the core concepts of journalism. As a photojournalist, you may be required to work in different territories and cover stories of all kinds. A specialised course in this discipline prepares you for all kinds of unknowns you may face in your job.

Travel and nature photography courses

Travel and nature photography consists of covering amazing travel destinations or the surrounding nature in its most raw form. A specialised course in travel or nature photography may help you understand the technical details of covering natural landscapes. These courses also provide you with an idea about how and where your pictures may feature and you build an understanding of how to cover any landscape based on the final use of the pictures.

Summer school

Universities or colleges that offer formal education in photography organise summer school courses for those who wish to learn the technical aspects of photography but do not have the time or the resources to enrol in a proper formal course. Such courses usually run for a couple of months during summers. The participants in these courses may get a certificate of participation. Many students use these courses to gauge if the other more formal courses in photography are going to be the right career choice for them.


Large photography institutes or some famous photographers may organise workshops on photography occasionally. These workshops may be a suitable option for those who have an interest in photography and may want to participate in it as a hobby. Such workshops usually focus on a few basic aspects of photography and may also provide a certificate of attendance or completion to all participants.

Undergraduate degree

An undergraduate degree in photography is for those who want to pursue a formal education in photography. An undergraduate degree showcases that you are serious about photography as a career and helps you learn about the technical details and concepts in proper detail. These degrees usually are of a duration of three to four years and require a serious commitment of time and money from the participants.

Post-graduation degree

A post-graduation degree in photography is usually for those who aspire to conduct research on the topic. Such a degree forms the next step in your formal photography education after you complete your undergraduate degree. A post-graduation degree helps you understand the technical aspects of photography at the highest level of detail. Such a degree may prove beneficial for you if you are looking for a career in teaching photography at some university or college.

Certification courses

Certification courses are helpful when you may want to list the courses you have completed in your resume or cover letter. These courses are generally short-term and you may even attend them part-time. Certification courses are also available online on several platforms and you may choose to enrol in any of these. These courses usually require comparatively lesser monetary commitment and help you learn the technical aspects of photography in an affordable manner.

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How to choose the right photography course

Here are a couple of steps you may follow to select the right photography course for yourself:

1. Find your area of interest

Photography is a highly creative discipline and it helps if you have an interest in the area you are looking to work in. This makes it important that you understand your area of interest. You may be interested in wildlife or you may have a preference for fashion photography or some other area of this vast discipline. What is important is that you understand your interests and choose the course you apply for accordingly.

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2. Consider the pre-requisites required for the course

A very important factor you may consider when you choose a photography course for yourself is the pre-requisites required for that course. You may want to opt for a specific course, but you may not fulfil all the mandatory pre-requisite requirements for that course. In such a situation, it is important for you to consider if it is going to be worth it to first complete all the pre-requisite requirements and then apply for the course or you may select some other course whose pre-requisites you may already be fulfilling.

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