Teachers

Best Websites for Teaching and Learning Photography

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They say a picture’s worth a thousand words, so it’s definitely worth learning how to truly capture a moment. The trick is to find the right balance between masterful technical skills and creative storytelling. In our world of smartphones and selfies, most kids already know how to take a good picture—but we can show students how to make them great. This collection of photography websites contains the resources you need to create engaging lesson plans for students of all grade levels.

Kids Camera Guide website

Cost: Free

Whether they’re using a toy, digital, or polaroid camera, this site covers the basics of beginner-level photography through step-by-step guidance in sections such as First Steps, Camera Operation, and First Photo Taking.

BrainPop photography websites for students

Cost: Free

In this lesson plan, which is adaptable for grades K-12, students use BrainPOP and/or BrainPOP Jr. resources to explore the functions of digital cameras. Kids will then use a digital camera to take photos that utilize simple photography composition principles.

Photoworkout lessons for students

Cost: Free

This website includes 15 easy-to-follow lessons to introduce kids to photography, including The Basics of Framing Using a DIY Viewfinder, The Meanings of Basic Photography Terms Such as Depth, Focus and Aperture, and The Rule of Thirds.

EmergingEdTech photography websites for students

Cost: Free

This collection of photography projects incorporates a variety of academic subjects and is ideal for students of all ages. It’s a great opportunity to have kids put their smartphones to use for learning (disposable cameras can also work for younger students)!

Lifehacker Basics of Photography website

Cost: Free

This comprehensive guide introduces kids to how a digital camera works, including automatic and advanced manual settings, before guiding them through photo composition and photo editing techniques.

Introduction to Digital Photography online lessons

Cost: Free

This free online photography course teaches students how to take the perfect shot with a digital camera or smartphone. They will learn how to use basic and advanced features on their device to polish their skills.

Introduction to Photography website for students

Cost: Free

Offered by MIT, this course combines practical instruction, field trips, group discussions, and individual reviews intended to foster a critical awareness of how images in our culture are produced and constructed. Student-initiated term projects are at the core of this exploration of the relationship of image to language and issues of interpretation and personal history.

Introduction to Photography website for students

Cost: Free

This free class delivers easy, simplified tips and tricks to improve photography skills. After a quick walkthrough of camera use and settings, you’ll cover composition, the use of light, depth of field, choosing lenses, and much more.

Curtin's Guide to Digital Cameras website

Cost: Free

This guide offers an in-depth lesson on digital cameras, including advice on which kinds to use or buy based on your needs or intended use.

Lectures on Photography lesson plans

Cost: Free

Digital imaging pioneer, Marc Levoy, taught this course at Stanford and Google before making a revised version available online for free! Perfect for complete beginners, you’ll get an introduction to the scientific, artistic, and computing aspects of digital photography.

Creative Live photography lessons

Cost: Free

Discover a wide range of free, on-air classes that cover everything from finding a creative flow to photo editing and building a career. Check back and RSVP for new classes, which are added daily.

A Look Through the Lens photography websites

Cost: Free

Students will be introduced to basic photography concepts and skills. Upon completion, they’ll be able to explain shot composition (bad framing vs. good framing), the rule of thirds, different types of shots, identify what type of shot is used in a picture, and apply these principles to their own photography.

Craftsy Photography website lessons for classroom

Cost: Free

What goes into taking great family photo sessions with toddlers, couples, and groups? This course covers the essential skills while exploring advanced strategies for taking flattering portraits. They’ll also learn how to apply what they’ve learned to in-home photoshoots.

Skillshare photography lessons

Cost: Free

The free section of this website offers online classes on a variety of topics including photo editing, Adobe Lightroom, portrait photography, photo retouching, and more.

Improve Photography lesson plans for students

Cost: Free

This site offers three lesson plans for high school photography classes, including Taking a Great Selfie, Adding “Mood” to Make a Memorable Photograph, and Art or Science—Building a Photograph with Intent.

What are your favorite photography websites? Share your experieces in the WeAreTeachers HELPLINE group on Facebook.

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