You’re sitting there, thinking about how you want to learn a bit more. Perhaps you’re curious about improving your website for your photography. Maybe you’re wondering how you can better use your camera. Or maybe you want to increase your mastery of lighting. So you decide to go find some online video training to help teach yourself a new skill. And then you search on Google, or YouTube, and you end up with millions of results… many of which are crap.
While there’s some great material available on YouTube for free, finding it among the millions of poorly-produced, badly-lit, bad-info-purveying junk can sometimes be a pain. I know I get frustrated when I search for free videos that end up being worthless.
I do want to note two outstanding services featuring well-produced instruction from experts, specifically looking at what’s great in the photography world. This is one of those cases where I’m recommending what I’ve used and liked. Neither of these services are free, but the value of the training they offer far exceeds the monthly price which starts around $16/month – and that fee gets you unlimited access to everything they offer.
Scott Kelby’s photography empire provides a variety of instruction, but one of their core products is their on-demand video training offered as part of KelbyOne. The folks who work for Kelby have been hired as instructors first, photographers second (although they have skills in both areas).
There are over 730 courses available covering a variety of photography topics including shooting, lighting, business, and post-processing. It’s not just camera stuff – it’s all the other things that go into photography as well.
Kelby offers two subscription plans for their online video training (called the Plus plan and the Pro plan). The Plus plan gets you access to about half the courses whereas the Pro plan includes everything. The Pro plan also includes some software goodies such as brushes and presets, along with a members-only community. Pricing is under $10/month for Plus and under $20/month for Pro plan, with annual discounts available as well. That price gets you all-you-can-learn access to the included courses. Given what’s included, I’d go with the Pro plan (with annual discount) if this was my direction.
CreativeLive also offers video training; whereas Kelby is focused exclusively on photography topics, CreativeLive’s offerings are a bit broader reaching wider into the creative (and creative business) worlds. There are currently over 560 classes available. Many of those courses are photography-specific, including courses about the business aspects of photography as well.
CreativeLive’s online video training pricing is handled differently than Kelby… whereas Kelby gives you access to all classes for a subscription fee, CreativeLive is generally priced per class, with a few “learning path” bundles that group related classes for a single price. In addition to purchasing classes to watch at any time, CreativeLive also streams classes online for free as long as you watch them at the time they’re stream (hence, the Live in their name). The free streaming classes are a great way to pick up some education at no cost, while the pay-and-watch-anytime model is great in that you pay once and have the class forever.
Which is Better?
I don’t know that it’s a case of better or worse (there are some bad videos on the internet, but these two options are both good). I’d say that Kelby’s advantage is that they’re all photography, all the time, and a KelbyOne Pro membership also has other benefits such as the presets, brushes, and some ebooks. CreativeLive has the advantage of offering courses free for streaming access and that once you buy a course, you have access forever (with Kelby, once you stop paying for the ongoing subscription, you lose course access).
You really can’t go wrong with either of these two options; check out their sites and see which one might be a better fit for you. When you look at photography education, they both offer great material, whether it’s in the all-you-can-watch or single class models. Either KelbyOne or CreativeLive are a great way to learn.
I’m an affiliate partner with both the KelbyOne and CreativeLive online video training programs; the referral links in this article both get you some nice trial benefits as well as give me a small commission if you become a paid subscriber (and you pay the same price as everyone else). ↩
As of August 2018. ↩