What is the Photocritic Photography School?

The short answer: A completely free 1-year online photography course created by two best-selling photography authors, designed to take you from zero to hero while taking photos and having a ton of fun.

 Between them, the Photography School teachers have written more than a dozen best-selling books about photography. 

Between them, the Photography School teachers have written more than a dozen best-selling books about photography. 

The longer answer? A year-long course that teaches you about photography using emailed lessons and the submission of assignments to the School's Flickr group page where you can receive feedback on your work.

It's run by Haje Jan Kamps and Daniela Bowker. Between them, they've written a ton of books on photography, delivered hundreds of workshops, and published thousands of articles about taking photos.

Once upon a time, Daniela was an honest-to-goodness secondary school teacher, too. So you're in very safe hands. 

What will I learn?

 Street photography and portraiture are two of the cornerstones of photography - of course, we'll be covering both!

Street photography and portraiture are two of the cornerstones of photography - of course, we'll be covering both!

The School uses a building block approach, starting with the basics of photography–for example exposure, light, and composition–before progressing to editing and self-evaluation, advancing through different photographic genres, and finishing with more advanced techniques such as HDR.

Some of the lessons on the course:

  • Five ways to take better photos right away
  • What's this 'exposure' thing all about?
  • Getting creative with shutter speeds
  • How to compose the perfect photo
  • Evaluating your own images
  • An introduction to editing your photographs
  • Capturing the perfect portrait
  • Figuring out High- and Low-key photography
  • And much, much more!
You’ll get feedback both from your fellow students and from the school’s instructors, for an unique blend of expert and peer review.
— Daniela Bowker, photo instructor

The course lasts one year, with an email lesson sent out once every three weeks. Each email contains the foundations of the subject matter, an assignment to complete, and links that allow you to learn even more about it.

 To say that the Photocritic team know something about photography is like saying Usain Bolt is 'a bit quick'

To say that the Photocritic team know something about photography is like saying Usain Bolt is 'a bit quick'

When you complete the assignment and submit your work to the appropriate Flickr discussion thread, you'll receive feedback on what you've done!

How does it work?

It's pretty simple: You sign up, you receive a welcome e-mail, and then you'll get the next lesson every three weeks or so. 

You'll be sent one lesson and a corresponding assignment every three weeks for a year.

To get the most out of the School, you'll need a Flickr account so that you can post your assignments to the appropriate Flickr thread in the School's group pool and receive feedback on them.

Why is it free? What's the catch? 

 This photo is surprisingly easy to take - and we'll show you how in the 'long exposure' lesson!

This photo is surprisingly easy to take - and we'll show you how in the 'long exposure' lesson!

Photocritic has been a labour of love for a very long time indeed, and we're incredibly passionate about the art of photography. We love it. We live and breathe it. And we wanted to find a way to help teach photography to everyone, around the world, completely for free. 

If you do feel like you're getting value out of the course, please share the course with your photography-inclined friend. The link you need is to this page - www.photocritic.org/photoschool/ - or if you use Twitter, we've created a handy pre-written tweet for you (you can edit it before you send, of course). 

How can I sign up? 

It's easy and completely free. Simply fill in the form here to get you up and running. Welcome aboard!

Optional: Make a donation

The school is completely free, but quite a few of you have asked if you could please contribute to our running costs - our suggested contribution is £20, but feel free to give more or less if you prefer. Hit the button below to get you started.