Photography is just awesome. I bet there are literally thousands of you out there who share their interest in this wonderful hobby. And a big bunch of you guys are professionals. No matter what stage or level of photography you represent, you must have used Internet to browse through photography resources available. The range of articles, tips, information available is just bewildering! That must be confusing! Having this in mind we have compiled a decent list of resources that one can find on the Internet. And guess what! It’s all free!
Well, shopping is fun, of course, but if you want to compile a nice bunch of books, pay for courses or other extras, then you’d just have to drain your pockets! We’ll show you super-useful freebies that actually are worth paying for, but that is not the case today. Just consider these as your free photography cafeteria.
We divided the material into separate categories to simplify the process of digging out the freebies of your interest. Enjoy!
O Reilly’s Digital Photography by O’Reilly
Oreilly digital studio offers this nicely-written ebook with techniques covering issues such as benefits of using RAW files, tips on photo management programmes, using grey cards or archivization of one’s files. All accompanied by photoshop techniques to get the best out of your image. Recommended for beginners, but also for those who wish to improve or refresh their PS skills.
This resource is just great. Came out in a two-volume set available to download. Covers basic Lightroom use knowledge that is often taken for granted but also includes tips and tricks to save your time and to prevent you from making mistakes that may affect your workflow by e.g. slowing it down. Covers the library module and its tools, develop module and its tools and general tips, tricks and techniques. Although the volumes cover lightroom 1 & 2, the information covered is still up-to-date to a large extend. Worth giving a try!
11 Ways to Improve Your Photography by Craft&Vision
I really must say that Craft & Vision did a really good job here. A must read whether you’re at the beginning of your photographic journey or you’re professional. The book comprises different chapters featuring different expert photographers. You’ll find tips on creating strong portraits, composition, playing with dynamics of your final image or printing. Also, the book covers issues that are somewhat beyond technical skills. These I particularly recommend as often taken for granted, like e.g. understanding stages during one’s photographic journey- from documentation to personal vision. Then, there is also a chapter on fighting with lens stereotypes, which i do recommend just to go beyond what’s ordinary. There is also a word on an immensely important skill mentioned on how to slow down and start to see things. Well, this is what photography is about, right?
Shooting Black & White by Practical Photography
We all love black and white images, right? This ebook prepared by Practical Photography shows you the techniques you may need to make a stunning black and white picture. At the beginning you are introduced to tonality issue to get better understanding of what you actually wish to achieve. Then the material covers the whole process of producing such an image- from camera settings and using filters when shooting, to post-process in Photoshop by tools such as Levels & Curves and Dodge and Burn. Finally, some practical information on printing and presentation.
Interested in street photography? Feeling defeated by lasting fear of going out with your camera onto the streets? This ebook is certainly for you. Erik Kim created a thorough step by step guide that helps you fight with your fear by completing a 31-day-lasting course in techniques. Anyone trying street photography knows that the fear accompanying them makes the miss thousands offantastic shots. They are just left in memories….Well, time to change it! Really worth reading and putting in practice!
A fantastic read for anyone fond of photojournalism. Be noted that it is not a guide of any kind. Nevertheless, I decided to put that here as it tries to answer the questions that seem to bother recipients of news photography. Through the prism of past, present and future, the book approaches the issue of ethics of photojournalism, the problem of media changing and technology. Worth looking into.
Guide to Sports Photography by Adorama Learning Center
Yeah! Time to catch that action! Adorama Learning Center offers a number of free ebooks on photography, however I really would like to recommend Sports Photography. The material covers different techniques of freezing or unfreezing motion like e.g. panning technique. But what is really amazing, is the fact that it talks about a lot of sports, from baseball and football, tennis, track and winter sports to horse and car racing. They write about how to anticipate those special moments by explaining the character of each sport and possible situations that usually occur.
Growing Your Portrait Photography Business Part 2 by Photoshelter
This ebook comes in 2 parts. The first one deals with family, kids and senior photography whereas the second deals with editorial and commercial photography. Both are really well-organized and well-written. They cover variety of immensely important issues like pricing, marketing, building relationships with clients but also offer practical tips strictly connected with techniques of photographing. Most chapters feature successful photographers, whose tips are nothing but added value to the whole material. Highly recommended!
Photography Website by Photocrati
We actually dealt with the topic of having a decent website in our article “Do you have a successful business image?” Now, Photocarti created an ebook solely devoted to that aspect. As the introduction says:” There are many aspects of a website that should not be overlooked”. And one cannot deny that in order to survive in a business you need to focus on the aspects of a website actually covered in the material: content and design, functionality, portfolio, marketing, seo and of course social media. A decent resource for those thinking of creating their own website or those who may want to revise the one they actually have.
5 Common Mistakes That Lose You Business by The Modern Tog
Great material for those already in photography business and those willing to start up. Jamie A. Swanson, a photographer, explains what photographers may do wrong and how to avoid certain mistakes. She advises on building the right relationship with the customer, correct pricing, customer service, identifying customers needs and many more. I do recommend looking into the ebook, especially today, when the market is getting more and more competitive and the customers are getting more and more aware.
Pricing Your Photography for Profit by Joy Vertz
Pricing seem to be a problem for a lot of photographers. They often make mistakes they are not aware of that result in poorer reputation or poor profit. Joy Vertz in her ebook “Pricing your photography for profit” helps to overcome this problem by leading the readers through the process of careful analysis of their pricing. What’s more, she advises on how to deal with clients discussing your pricing or even gives tips to those who are in the process of building their portfolio and helps to deal with such situation in terms of pricing their work. Good reading!
Laura White, a successful wedding photographer, offers her ebook that discusses opportunities for wedding photographers for getting published in different kinds of papers, magazines or portals. What is really nice about this material is that she focuses on what magazines want to see and presents different kinds of shots that are most likely to be published. What’s great is that it’s actually HOW, WHEN AND WHERE. One big part of the ebook is devoted to inspiration and examples, which is really awesome as you get the picture of what to do and how to do. There is also a decent section of advice from editors at the end of the book.
8 Ways to Improve Your Photography by Click It Up a Notch
Courtney Slazinik in her ebook offers, as she says” 8 actionable things” that you can actually do to improve your photography. What I really like about this material is that it is very well-written, in a very friendly and approachable style. There are things that she mentions that may seem to be so simple, yet often overlooked in a hustle and bustle of our everyday lives. The section I particularly love is the one with fantastic project ideas that make us take our cameras, observe the world around us and take pictures with a meaning! Great material to digest both by amateurs and professionals.
This Ultimate field guide to photography by National Geographic is a must read for beginners interested in photography. Explains in a very straightforward and simple way all the basic things everyone willing to take up photography (even for fun!) should be fammiliar with. The material covers types of cameras and lenses, explains the notion of exposure and its three factors (aperture, shutter speed and iso). It also explains metering patterns, histograms, depth of field or flash issues, so to be brief, all basic stuff one should know.
The Legal Lens by The Law Tog
This fantastic and really informative ebook written by Rachel Brenke is awesome for two reasons: first, the material is really authoritative as Rachel is both a lawyer and a photographer. The match couldn’t be better! Second, the publication covers all the legal aspects of photography which every photographer in business should definitely be aware of. She explains types of business, offers necessary forms but also gives an overview of photography policies and contracts. Deals with a complicated issue of copyright and print release but also places where we can shoot and difficult situations with clients. At the end you’ll also find a really useful section of FAQs.
TIPS + TUTORIALS + COURSES
15 Indoor Flower Photography Tips by Free Photo Resources
A lot of photography amateurs love to photograph nature around, and flowers seem to be a popular theme. However, a lot depends on weather so here are 15 tips on how to resolve that problem and do it indoors. The article covers issues such as lighting, camera settings, backgrounds, arrangements and even extra effects. You can also find really nice example images of flowers that can be some sort of inspiration for your own shots.
Lighting 101 course by Strobist
Strobist offers a fantastic course on off-camera lighting. The material is really reader-friendly, with lots of additional pictures and drawings with instructions. I must say that it is a Must Have for beginners, but there are also a lot of interesting topics covered for the more experienced ones. All the essentials are explained, the material also covers choosing the right kit with all necessary adapters, umbrellas, soft-boxes and stands. What’s more, the course explains issues such as synching, bouncing off, hard light, cold light and how to balance flash and ambient light. It deals with different techniques like cross and back lighting, but also using gels and even analysis of other shooters’ light. A really thorough and helpful course.
This site is my new fantastic discovery so I just feel I need to share. The author is Jenika, a psychologist, but also a photographer running her own business. In her blog she shares with the readers her precious knowledge that combines psychology and photography business in order to make other photographers’ lives easier. She talks about things that may be overlooked, taken for granted but simply from psychological point of view, immensely important. You’ll find materials on what to avoid when blogging, how to deal with e.g. talkative or even unsatisfied customers and also advises on successful marketing planning. Highly recommended!
Another cool website containing loads of tips and tutorials for people at different levels. You’ll find tips for beginners about e.g. basics of exposure or camera settings but also has a lot to offer for those fond of portrait, landscape or even food photography. Need a posing guide? There you are! Moreover, the site gives recipes on “how to photograph….”. All written in a comprehensive way, so worth giving a try!
This website also offers a lot of tips and tutorials. What is cool about the site is that it has different sections, eg. beginners section with a lot of practical information for those who have just taken up photography. There is also photography tips section, which is divided into different categories: e.g macro, night, b&w and even weddings. You’ll also find tutorial section with decent information about e.g. Lightroom.
New York Institute of Photography offers courses on a regular basis, however, on their site you can find a number of informative articles about photography. There are a lot of tips covering varieties of issues, such as outdoor sports photography, wedding photography, toddler and baby photography, landscape photography, big event photography and many more. You can also find out what is takes to be an assistant to a photographer or how to make the most of natural light in your photographs. Nice material both for beginners but also for more advanced photographers.
Photography Tips by Click It Up a Notch
Courtney, the site owner and creator together with her contributors created a site with literally hundreds of tutorials to help other photographers improve their work.When you browse through it you will find different categories that the offered tips such as equipment, lighting, editing (both Lr and Ps), but also things like how to photograph children, wedding or how to do business photography. One more great section is the one with question and answer videos. Worth looking into.
Photography Resources by The Photographer’s Life
Great resource for beginners. The photographer’s life contains the whole section for learning photography from the basics. But not only beginners will consider it worthy. The site offers a lot of practical information about travel photography, with hundreds of tips that could be incorporated to any other category of photography. The authors also give tips on editing but also how to actually sell your photos.
Photography Marketing tips by Photography Spark
Zach Prez, a SEO expert, on his website offers business information to photographers to help them gain more clients. So you will not find any photography tips whatsoever, but the site is packed with awesome information about effective marketing, accounting, on how to write successfully on one’s website, offers legal forms and contracts and even advises on album design and making profit out of it. Highly recommended material for every pro.
Lawrence shares with us amazing marketing tips that every pro will find extremely useful. For example, how many of you struggled to get testimonials from clients? Actually Lawrence tells us how to do it effectively. You’ll also find tips on social marketing, naming your packages or even how to gain customers’ loyalty. A real goldmine of fantastic tips!
Photoshop Tutorials by Photoshop Support
Need to brush up your skills with Photoshop? Here comes Mark Galer with his site that offers a bunch of informative tutorials about Ps. He covers topics like masks, tools e.g. refine edge, sharpening, selection, filters, layers, effect e.g. tilt-shift or HDR and of course many more. As Mark himself is a university lecturer on BA photography program and has experience in commercial photography, you can be sure that the resource is really good.
VIDEOS + PODCASTS
Picture Perfect Series
Great website for everyone seeking inspiration and fond of different kinds of photography projects. Vice presents Picture Perfect series with videos featuring a number of fantastic photographers like e.g. Chloe Dewe Mathews or Christopher Anderson talking about their work and their projects. We can often accompany them while working.
Keen on photojournalism? Well, you can’t miss it! Foto8 on their website gives us a fantastic opportunity to take part in talks or lectures given by various photographers by offering free radio channel on soundcloud. We can actually listen about interesting and inspirational projects, about exhibitions and many more.
As they say about the misssion of the resourse: ‘To raise the profile of emerging photographers while also providing an intimate glimpse of the workspace and trade tools of the Masters.’
And that is actually the core. You get the video each presenting different photographer and their images. The featured photographer talks about their careers, their beginnings, inspirations, how they work. Massive inspirational material. Must see!
The editor of LensWork, Brooks Jensen , offers his podcasts with his thoughts on photography, he advises others how to deal and manage their artwork, about project work and themes, about lenses and many more to be followed regularly. Great dose of inspiration!
Shooting in Manual course by Udemy
Udemy offers an over 4-hour photography course focused on how to use your DSLR in Manual Mode. They target photographers, bloggers, parents, hobbyists or simply anyone wishing to take better pictures with their cameras. The curriculum covers getting to know camera and settings, managing light and subjects but also offers various tips e.g. editing in Ps or Lr.
Photographing Kids- 7 videos by Elisabeth Halford
Elizabeth Halford, a photographer and blogger shares her knowledge by making and sharing 7 short videos on photographing children: using a reflector, finding new locations, using props, interacting with children, paying attention to the background, how to interact with other people’s children and finally how to hold your camera. Worth taking look at, especially if you’re an aspiring children photographer, or a parent who just wishes to photograph your kids better.
Pinterest for Photographers podcast by Rosh Sillars
Rosh Sillars, a photographer with experience in photojournalism, people, food and interior photography, offers on his website this wonderful podcast (among others) about how photographers can make use of pinterest. The guest is Heidi Thomson, who is a consultant in wedding industry. Great podcast on creative marketing for any professional photographer!
Awesome resource! Creativelive offers free broadcast that you can take part in and it covers different topics, e.g. the photography starter kit, food photography or post processing. On the site you’ve got a schedule with all upcoming courses. Great instructors, fantastic material, surely resource that shouldn’t be missed out!
OTHER FREE STUFF
WordPress theme by Zen Photo Themes
Zen Photo Themes prepared a nice freebie for any photographer who wishes to set up their own website based on WordPress. The theme is minimalistic and elegant and suits latest trends
Photography Contracts by Less Accounting
Less Accounting blog offers legal documents and contracts that a professional photographer needs. You’ll find samples of e.g. model release contract, photo session agreement, or even equipment rental agreement.
Design Stuff by Photographers Connection
Photographers Connection released a nice bundle of freebies for photographers that can help them in marketing and save time on design. You can download free Ps overlays and textures, business card templates, facebook covers, marketing boards. All nicely designed to please a potential customer’s eye.
Photoshop Overlays by Kimla Designs
Kimla Designs is another resource with a fantastic set of free Ps templates- overalys and stamps.
And don’t forget about our awesome and delicious freebies that will make your editing faster!
Hope you’ll guys find the resources above useful. We’ll try to update the article with new and quality freebies that will teach you, inspire or simply entertain!