13 Tips for Teaching Photography – A Definitive Guide

8 min read

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teachers and students taking photos.

Teaching photography can be a fulfilling path for anyone who has photography experience. There are many options out there, from teaching an online class to hosting a photography workshop outdoors. The success of your class depends on a variety of factors, all of which will be covered in this post. 

How to Make Money Teaching Photography

There are many different ways to teach photography. Regardless of your location or what you specialise in, you can find ways to help others and make money. 

Here are a few popular teaching methods in the photography industry.

learning photography with ebooks.

1. Free eBooks

If you have a website and a newsletter, you can offer a free ebook to your visitors. You can create a guidebook that helps beginners take better photos. Alternatively, you can provide tips related to business, the technical side of photography, or social media platforms.

When you give away free content that provides value, you increase your chances of finding clients and building trust. Imagine that you’re a wedding photographer. You can offer a free ebook that gives couples a clear idea of their wedding day. In the book, they’ll find checklists, helpful infographics, and a pricing guide.

No matter what you specialise in, you can use your knowledge to provide clients or photographers with something valuable. Ebooks are easy to create and don’t require printing.

If someone wants to download your book, they might need to subscribe to your newsletter. Through that newsletter, you’ll be able to introduce yourself properly, share more about your business, and promote your services.

Ultimately, this is a great way to make money indirectly. By offering something of value, you give people a chance to get to know you better. If they appreciate your values as a photographer, they’ll want to invest in your products or services.

photographers taking photos using analogue cameras.

2. Photography Workshops

Landscape, portrait, and fine art photographers often organise photography workshops. A photography workshop will put you in direct contact with aspiring photographers.

There are two ways to approach this:

  • In-person workshops – This involves meeting photographers in person. Some photographers travel with their students over a period of time. Others teach for a few hours. This is a great opportunity to make money, especially if you live in a location that’s saturated with photography students.
  • Online workshops – Virtual workshops are often live. You need to shoot in a well-lit space, record yourself properly, and answer questions. Live workshops have their limits, especially when it comes to location. However, they’re also a great way to earn money. If you have a large international audience, this may be a better alternative to in-person workshops.

There are many options in the world of photography workshops. You can offer one-on-one sessions. These will help you connect with your students on a deeper level. Since you’ll be focusing on one student at a time, you’ll be able to provide them with a more immersive learning experience.

You can also offer online or offline group workshops. The more students you have, the more money you’ll be able to learn. This comes with more responsibilities, such as handling logistics and making sure that everyone gets an equal amount of attention. If you can handle these things efficiently, you’ll love hosting workshops.

out of focus shot of woman studying in front of a laptop.

3. Online Photography Classes

Photography classes are a great alternative to workshops. Depending on your budget, you can edit them professionally. Colour correction and beautiful transitions could help your videos stand out in the market.

Online classes are usually pre-recorded. You can create one video tutorial or an entire course. At PhotographyCourse.net, you can become a photography teacher. Our platform will provide you with an opportunity to get exposure and share your knowledge with an international audience.

4. How Much You Can Earn While Teaching Photography Online

There are many factors that go into the success of an online class. If you work hard and use the right teaching platform, you can earn money as a photographer. 

At PhotographyCourse.net, we offer several premium courses. One of our bestselling courses has made over $200,000. If you use a platform that has a large number of enthusiastic students, you’re likelier to succeed.

Interested in producing exclusive courses for PhotographyCourse.net? Estimate your earnings using our calculator here

approximate earnings from teaching photography.

If you produce a basic course and sell it to 50 people per month, you can expect to earn around $725 on a monthly basis. The more advanced your course, the higher your earnings. If you sell an advanced course to 50 students per month, your approximate earnings will be $5000 every month. 

Every platform offers different commissions to its teachers. Make sure to do your research before you commit to anything. 

How to Teach an Online Digital Photography Class

If you choose to create an online digital photography class, you need to consider a few things. Which platform will you use? How much will the classes cost? What will you teach and how popular is that topic today? These are all important questions you must ask yourself before the planning process.

preview of our online platform for photography teachers.

5. Choose the Right Platform

There are hundreds of platforms available to those who want to learn photography. You can create and sell courses on your own website or blog.

If you work with a website to produce a photography class, make sure to read their regulations first. At PhotographyCourse.net, we understand the importance of paying photographers what they deserve. This is why we offer fair rates to our educators. Our commission structure is simple:

  • If you sell your courses on our website exclusively, you’ll receive 45% per sale.
  • If you sell your courses on other platforms, you’ll receive 35% per sale.

Exclusivity is an important thing to consider. Do you want to sell your course on multiple platforms? The amount of money you earn will depend on your choices.

person taking photos with a digital camera.

6. Provide Photographers With High-Quality Classes

Quality is far more important than quantity in the world of photography classes. The topics, resources, and photos that you choose will have a significant impact on the success of your course.

Find interesting topics to cover in your class. Think about your target audience. Are they professional photographers or beginners? How can you help them take pictures that stand out?

You can use other courses as references, but make sure to share your own unique stories and experiences. Photography students usually gravitate towards courses that are fun and educational. It’s your job to provide them with valuable information that will make you stand out in any virtual space.

woman creating an online class using a smartphone camera.

7. Speak Slowly

Most people don’t feel comfortable in front of the camera. When you create your first class, you might feel awkward and out of place. This is a normal feeling.

The more you talk and share your knowledge, the easier it will get. Focus on telling a story instead of looking perfect. It’s okay to stumble and make mistakes. In fact, these things might make you even more relatable and fun to watch!

If your students are beginners, make sure to use simple language. Don’t overcomplicate the subject that you’re teaching. Focus on keeping your students interested throughout the entire class.

The point is to help people through your lessons. If you think of your audience as a group of friends, you might find it easier to feel comfortable in front of the camera.

people viewing photo gallery on a laptop screen.

8. Use Lots of Visual References

Every student has different needs, but there are certain techniques you can use to grab anyone’s attention. One of these techniques is sharing different images in each lesson. After you explain something, share a photo that you took during your shoot.

Don’t focus on one image for too long. If possible, record yourself shooting in different locations. Make sure you have a variety of different images and clips to give your students as much value as possible.

cinematic shot of woman holding a camera.

9. Share Personal Stories

Even though you’re the authority in your videos, don’t be afraid to share failures or funny stories. From time to time, give a relatable example that can help your students understand the topic better.

For example, if you’re a portrait photographer, talk about a time when a photoshoot went wrong. How did it make you feel? What did you learn from it? This way, you’ll provide your students with entertainment and valuable experience that they can learn from.

preview of an online photography class.

10. Add a CTA to Every Video

As a photography educator, you must inspire your students to practice more. A CTA (call to action) at the end of every video can help you achieve that.

A CTA is a prompt that can give your students clarity. Here are a few examples:

  • Take a portrait photo with a blurred background. Share your results with the other students.
  • Take photos using artificial and natural light. Let me know which one you preferred using.
  • Experiment with different modes. Which one did you like the most?

If all the students in your class are provided with tips and CTAs, they’ll take better photos. If they see results, they’ll want to purchase more classes from you.

What Are the Basic Lessons of Photography for Beginners to Learn?

In the photography industry, there’s a high demand for beginner photography lessons. Whether you’re teaching an online class or a workshop, you’ll often come across people who know very little about photography.

The great thing about teaching photography is that it’s flexible. You can use a variety of approaches, depending on your availability and level of experience. Use these tips as guidelines instead of rules to create a successful photography class.

Here are a few camera basics that every beginner photography student needs to learn.

close-up image of AV mode in a camera.

11. Basic Camera Settings

If you can teach someone how to use camera settings, you’ll help them:

  • Avoid things like camera shake and blurred photographs, which are very common mistakes that beginners make.
  • Improve their skills within a short period of time. When they learn how to use the basics intuitively, they’ll be able to take great photos anywhere they go.
  • Use their cameras with confidence.

Almost every advanced digital camera has controls for shutter speed, aperture, and ISO. How can you explain this to your students in a fun and engaging way?

Tell a story through your lessons. Don’t define the basics and move on to another topic. Connect the dots for your students. Share examples from your own photoshoots. Show them the big picture so that they can develop an intuition for every setting.

flatlay view of camera sitting on a photography book.

12. Camera Modes

Every advanced digital camera comes with different modes. A few examples are macro mode, manual mode, and automatic mode. It’s your job to teach beginners about each of these modes.

You can encourage them to spend some time experimenting with every mode. Alternatively, you can guide them through each one yourself. Take a photograph in every mode and explain why it works. What are its strengths and weaknesses?

man posing for a photographer in a studio.

13. Lighting

Lighting is one of the most important parts of photography. When your students master their camera settings, they can start experimenting with different lighting styles.

Natural light and artificial light are both valuable topics in the photography industry. You don’t need to teach both, but it’s important to mention at least one of them in your class.

What kind of lighting is the most suitable for the subject that you’re teaching? Do you have any budget-friendly alternatives for expensive studio lights? What are some common mistakes that everyone should avoid? The more tips you share, the more valuable your class will become. 

person taking nighttime photos.


Teaching photography requires a lot of hard work, strong photography skills, and practice. With the right platform and resources, you can create something that will help other photographers succeed.

Our platform at PhotographyCourse.net is a great place to start. If the idea of teaching others makes you feel excited, reach out to us with an introduction. Let’s create something amazing together!

Click here to find more information about our platform for photography teachers.

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Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.
Taya Iv is a portrait photographer, 500px ambassador, and host of Great Big Photography World podcast.

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