For better or for worse; I share a lot in various photographer communities. And it’s not uncommon, that after I do, I get approached from peers looking for coaching or requesting I teach. Which is a compliment (I’ll never deny that) but I also don’t think I’m there yet.

I’m still so busy trying to figure things out for myself, so teaching isn’t something I feel proficient enough yet to be doing.

Typically when I get these requests I immediately redirect. I let people know where I learned and advise them to go to the source, where they can also learn from the people who actually know what they’re doing.

This happens often enough that I thought, “why not just write a blog post on who I learned from.” Maybe it will help people, and maybe it will help support the teaching communities that have supported me.

So here is a list of my favourite people and places to learn photography from:

The Headshot Crew

This first I don’t believe should surprise anyone. I’ve been an Associate of the Headshot Crew for a long time, and have been praising it for just as long. I’ll be honest; I’ve been a part of many photography communities in my time as a photographer. Some are amazingly open and welcome, while others (despite having a lot to offer) you’ll feel like an outsider at your first cult meeting. None have felt as open or as welcoming as The Headshot Crew.

The Headshot Crew is a casual learning environment. You can take your time, which is great as there is so much content to work through. They cover every facet of headshot photography and have recently opened a portrait and success component. You’ll interact directly with Peter Hurley via forums and weekly “CrewCasts” (think Skype for large groups). It’s the only place you’ll find coaching on expression, and how to draw genuine expression out of people. I could literally spend the rest of this post just talking about what I've gained being a member. They built me up and then made me successful.

The Portrait Masters

I don’t do competitions, so we can ignore that facet of the Portrait Masters. Nor have I attended the conferences, though I’ve heard they were amazing. Sue Bryce is a powerhouse in the industry, but she’s not it either. For me, the main take away, is their various Workshop Series.

I currently own Pratik Naik’s “The Retouching Series”, Felix Kunze’s “The Lighting Series”, and Kara Marie’s “The Boudoir Series” (the last being a birthday present from my amazing girlfriend). Each of them, on their own, is wicked worth the investment. Pratik’s course may be the best retouching course I have ever watched, an absolute must if you want to grow beyond Presets. Felix somehow manages to teach studio lighting on a non-technical level that makes picking up the basics so easy. Kara’s course makes boudoir posing, and the business aspects of photography, easy to learn (which is great for me as I’ve only just started shooting Boudoir).

PRO EDU

These guys exist for the sole purpose of collecting the most talented artists currently working in the industry, and producing exceptionally high end workshops of them giving away all their secrets to us.

I own a few of their workshops now. Chris Knight’s Dramatic Portraiture, Dani Diamond’s Natural Light Portraits, Gemmy Woud-Binnendijk’s Fine Art Portraiture, Jared Bauman’s Marketing Your Photo Business, Jeff Rojas’s Photographing Men, Kate Woodman’s The Science of Colour, Kelly Robitaille’s Surreal Portrait Retouching, Michael Woloszynowicz’s The Complete Guide to Fashion and Beauty, and Sef McCullough’s Hair Retouching and Masking.

That was a mouth full. They’re all amazing. There are many more I haven't even had time to consider yet. And they just released a subscription service that gives you complete access to all of them.

Do More Photographers

Now admittedly I have only just recently pushed into the Boudoir genre with my photography. My work in that genre is still very much a work in progress. However, the bulk of what I do know has come directly from this amazing community.

Within their member's section they have tutorial videos on everything from posing, to retouching, to marketing, to styling (what to wear), to studio design (what to buy and how to stage it). What I love though is that Do More Photographers have built this amazing community where the ideals of inclusivity and body positivity flourish. They host massive networking events, including the one I went to, where they rented out an entire summer camp so we could all hang out for the week.

As mentioned, I’m very new to this community. This group made me feel so welcome, and I have learned so much from them.

YouTube

Ok this one is a give me. There are so many photography channels on YouTube, many of them amazing, that I could have you scrolling for ages just to reach the end of this page. That said, here are a few of my favourite channels.

Facebook Groups

I know I know… Facebook. I assume at this point you’re questioning my competence, and I don’t blame you if you are. Facebook is a mess. As far as photography communities go Facebook is a hotbed of groups catering to the kind of photographers who need to put other people’s work down in order to feel better about their own. Or the “I need likes to feel worthy” types. All one has to do is look at the comment section of fStoppers or PetaPixel to see it, and god forbid they ever publish something you’ve written because… well… sometimes people suck.

BUT

There are also some great community groups out there and I figure I can just share the links to them. Of course, many of them are associated with the pages above.

This list is by no means exhaustive and will absolutely be expanded on in time. I started this list with the resources I have personal experience with only, but I also know there are many others. Actually I’d love to hear from you in the comments below – please let me know if there are any great resources you believe should be included here.

However, until then, I hope the list above helps a few people as they try and push themselves as a photographer. I know when I was beginning even just a nudge in the right direction meant so much.