Best advice for beginners: Embrace online learning and never stop

Embrace online creative learning

There isn’t much that you can’t learn online today. We live in a world of online education and it’s easier than ever to attend school online in your own time.

It’s even more important now that photographers and other creative professionals keep their skills updated and ready for the next project. Online learning can help make this possible.

Let’s see why you should consider furthering your education.

Online classes and learning – Embrace different subjects

Learning and growing in my career started at a young age for me. I finished college before I was 21, and working as a professional designer within months of graduating, I spent the next 18 years (as of 2021) in the creative industry and I’m still going.

I picked up skills in many areas of the industry including:

  • 3D animation
  • Motion Graphics
  • Branding & Print Design
  • User Interface / User Experience
  • Photography
  • Video Production
  • Web Design
  • Web Development
  • Digital marketing
  • Content Marketing

After college my learning never stopped, and neither should yours. Photography is just one skill you can learn online, but there are many other subjects that will make you a better creative professional.

Don’t just stop with a single subject. Expand your horizons and learn more about the things that will make you a better business professional.

What can beginner photographers learn

It’s ok if you don’t know where to start. If your interested in photography then here are a few ideas for you to start with:

  • How to start a photography business
  • Learning Adobe Lightroom
  • Fundamentals of photography and lighting
  • Studio lighting and using off camera flash
  • Using Adobe Photoshop for skin retouching

These are just a few specific things you can learn. It doesn’t have to be an entire enrollment. Learn the things that will help you the most in your career. Pick and choose and best of all, learn at your own pace.

What websites do I recommend for online learning?

There are literally thousands of search results that you can get when you do a search for “online learning classes”.  Here are a few of my favorite so far:

  • Creativelive.com – This website is my go-to for creative online learning. It provides free on-air classes and then offers the tutorial sets for you to purchase later.
  • Lynda.com – For professional development, I highly recommend Lynda. This website is now a part of Linkedin.com, so you can rest assure it has built an authority on professional development.
  • Skillshare.com – A great affordable learning platform that many creative professionals use to learn new skills. Learn from a variety of skilled professionals all in one place.
  • Udemy.com – This website has some hit-and-miss courses, but overall it has a wide variety of lessons you can enroll in. The goal of the website was to inspire people with industry experience to make courses for others to learn. Think of it as people-to-people learning. Not just business to consumer.

Best advice – Never stop learning

Even when you think you have learned everything about your industry, you must realize there is even more to learn.

Industries change – All industries change constantly, and I encourage you to develop a mentality of learning and open communication.

People Change – Learn to adapt to different personalities and realize one size does not fit all when it comes to dealing with people.

Technology changes – Technology will change like you change your clothes. It happens every day, and sometimes twice a day. Keep an open ear online to your industry of choice.

Don’t get stuck in your current situation

I have a friend and co-worker that felt stuck in her career. She was young, but realized that she needed to get more into technical aspects of design if she was going to thrive and continue to grow in the direction she wanted.

From this point, I knew I could help. Not because of previous experience, but because I have a passion for helping others grow.

I quickly put together a targeted list of websites and specific courses that would help her learn on her own time. They were all self-paced, and could be done on her free-time.

The rest is history. The best thing she did was embraced that she didn’t know it all, and that she could learn so much more.

Online learning, and why you should be interested

The web has always been a place for consuming content. But, with the introduction of cheaper personal technology like computers, and smart phones, people are creating more and more content and sharing with the world.

This content is helping others learn simple skills things like how to change a tire, and how to cook. If you’re interested in learning portrait photography and video editing, then jump right in.

You can pretty much find anything and everything you want to learn. You just have to find a subject you’re interested in and start doing your research.

YouTube is now crucial for learning

How may times have you found yourself wandering your YouTube feed without really watching anything important? Yeah, we all get distracted.

YouTube has quickly become the 2nd largest search engine in the world. It’s a visual form of media that is instantly accessible at any time. Have a question? Google it. Need to see it, then find a step-by-step video on Youtube.

There is no limit to what you can learn, but the base problem remains. You need to find out what you want to learn and stick to your goals.

But, here is the cautious side of me.

Anyone with a camera and computer can load content and teach people how to do something. It doesn’t always mean it is the right way.

Therefore, I lean on more professional forms of online learning if possible. There is nothing wrong with googling and browsing YouTube, just keep in mind the authority the information is coming from.

Online learning takes an open mind

Keeping your mind open to online learning will help you personally and professionally. When you become well rounded in a few different industries, you become more and more valuable to others around you.

You become a source of information. This is why I started my blog. To help others realize why they should continue online learning. You are literally reading my journey to learning portrait photography by following this blog.

You don’t have to be a professional to tell others about your experiences. It might come in handy to document your journey, especially when other beginners are making the same mistakes.

Don’t get overwhelmed

I remember considering online college, and I quickly realized that I didn’t want to go through school again. I just wanted to learn a few new things.

Parts of me wanted to learn new skills, but not enroll in major courses. I wanted to switch my skill-sets at will, and not be locked into a program that had classes I was not interested in.

This is why online learning has been so great. I could learn very targeted skills and learned at my own pace.

There was no worring about grades or meeting certain requirements. I just found the subjects I wanted to learn and I jumped right in.

Do your research, and set your budget

Many of the sample website I have given are reasonable in pricing. Some offer individual course pricing, and others allow you to have unlimited access for a monthly cost.

Either way, before you jump into learning, make sure you have a plan.

Write out a few things that can help you stay organized:

  • Free-time: How much do you have and what are you willing to spend on learning.
  • Budget – you can make one-time purchases, or monthly commitments, but in the end, just make sure you are enjoying the new skills you are learning
  • Passion – YOU MUST ENJOY THE SUBJECT. If you find you’re starting and not finishing courses, you may want to reconsider your passion or subject.

I always recommend starting simple, and building on small successes. I don’t want you wasting money on every class you come across, so be sure you are committed to finishing your learning.

Just get started

Your passions matter, and if you take the time to realize that you can continue learning on your own terms, you can accomplish anything. Stay smart, organized, and open minded to new things. There is never a wrong time for a new beginning.

*Affiliate Disclaimer - I am a proud partner of the various affiliate programs including the Amazon.com Affiliate Program. When you click on my links and make a purchase I make a commision which goes to helping me support this blog. Thanks!

*Featured image from – Pexels.com

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