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Photography Classes San Francisco

Discover a world of artistic expression with photography classes in San Francisco. From beginner courses in digital photography to advanced techniques in lighting and composition, learners will gain the skills they need to capture stunning images and unleash their creative potential.

8 classes in-person in San Francisco have spots left, and 7 classes live online are available.

Half Day Private Digital Photography (San Francisco) Deal

Half Day Private Digital Photography (San Francisco)

Digital Photo Academy

Unlock the full potential of your camera and capture stunning images with personalized instruction from Digital Photo Academy. Tailored to your needs and interests, this private photography session in San Francisco will guide you through camera settings, in-the-field shooting, and post-capture techniques. Discover the art of composition and enhance your photography skills with expert guidance.

Monday Dec 11th, 10am–1pm Pacific Time

All Day Private Digital Photography (San Francisco) Deal

All Day Private Digital Photography (San Francisco)

Digital Photo Academy

Master the art of digital photography with personalized instruction in San Francisco. Capture stunning images in various categories such as landscape, portrait, or architecture, while learning essential camera techniques and post-capture workflow tasks. Join us for a private session tailored to your specific needs and interests.

Monday Dec 11th, 10am–4pm Pacific Time

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Chinatown SF Deal

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Chinatown SF

Digital Photo Academy @ 359 Grant Ave, San Francisco, CA

Capture the vibrant charm of San Francisco's Chinatown through the lens of your camera. Experiment with depth of field and composition techniques in this mural-filled setting, and learn to create captivating images that blend tradition and modernity. Join us for an immersive photography experience in the heart of Chinatown.

Saturday Feb 24th, 11am–2pm Pacific Time

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Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Golden Gate Bridge Deal

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Golden Gate Bridge

Digital Photo Academy @ 983 Marine Dr, San Francisco, CA

Explore the stunning beauty of the Golden Gate Bridge through the lens of your camera. Capture breathtaking shots of the iconic bridge against the backdrop of the San Francisco skyline and marina. Learn to tell a story with your photographs in this immersive in-the-field digital photography experience.

Saturday Mar 23rd, 11am–2pm Pacific Time

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ de Young Museum Deal

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ de Young Museum

Digital Photo Academy @ 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA

Experience the vibrant and chaotic charm of Chinatown through your lens as you capture stunning murals, architectural details, and exotic vendors in this Digital Photo Academy course. Learn the art of composition, experiment with depth of field, and create visually pleasing silhouettes in this exciting in-the-field photography experience. Join us at the corner of Bush Street and Grant Avenue to embark on this artistic adventure.

Saturday Dec 23rd, 11:30am–2:30pm Pacific Time

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Ferry Bldg Deal

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Ferry Bldg

Digital Photo Academy @ 1 Ferry Building, San Francisco, CA

Join one of DPA’s award-winning instructors for a morning at the San Francisco ferry building and farmer’s market. Learn how to maximize your composition skills, both while shooting and when processing your images. The first part of this class will focus on learning how to pick a lens, adjust your settings, and use light to create images with effective compositions. The second part will involve an image critique and learning how tools like...

Saturday Apr 27th, 11am–2pm Pacific Time

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field Workshop @ Golden Gate Park Deal

Digital Photography Live In-the-Field Workshop @ Golden Gate Park

Digital Photo Academy @ 100 John F Kennedy Dr, San Francisco, CA

Whether your photographic pursuits lie in landscape, architecture, environmental portraiture or making artwork out of the everyday, the Conservatory of Flowers provides a wealth of photo ops, beyond the obvious of beautiful floral imagery. Your DPA instructor will be with you adding insight of basic compositional techniques that help turn an ordinary snapshot into a portfolio worthy image. You will discuss the art of shadows, leading lines, patterns...

Saturday Jan 27th, 11am–2pm Pacific Time

Master Your Digital Camera Controls (San Francisco) Deal

Master Your Digital Camera Controls (San Francisco)

Digital Photo Academy @ 50 Hagiwara Tea Garden Dr, San Francisco, CA

Unlock the full potential of your camera and take your photography skills to the next level with an intensive workshop in San Francisco. Perfect for beginners and experienced photographers alike, this course will teach you everything you need to know about your camera's controls and functions. Don't miss out on this opportunity to elevate your photography game!

Saturday Dec 23rd, 9:30–11am Pacific Time


Digital Photography I

PhotoUno Photography School

Master the art of digital photography and unlock the full potential of your camera with PhotoUno Photography School's virtual beginner photography class. Join our knowledgeable instructors on Zoom as they guide you through essential techniques, from aperture control to tricky lighting situations. Take your photography skills to the next level and capture breathtaking landscapes and stunning portraits.

Tuesday Jan 9th, 6:30–8:30pm Eastern Time

 (5 sessions)


5 sessions

Beginning Digital Photography

Chicago Botanic Garden @ Online via Zoom

Learn the techniques and principles of photography. You will explore the basics of photography, including image composition rules, how the camera works, proper exposure, and the functions of lens aperture and shutter speed.  The course requires a digital SLR camera. No previous experience is required. This class will be taught online via Zoom. All registrations must be submitted online two days before your class starts. Registered students...

Thursday Jan 11th, 6:30–8:30pm Central Time

 (4 sessions)


4 sessions

The Business of Wedding Photography

Los Angeles Center of Photography @ *Virtual Classroom

Join National Geographic Photojournalist and Veteran International Wedding Photographer, Laura Grier, for an inspiring class that will give you real life tips on all aspects of the Business of Wedding Photography. Having shot weddings on six continents, Laura will talk about how to brand yourself, market yourself to get the right clients and referrals for you, shoot to get published, and pitch yourself as a wedding photographer! Laura will share...

Saturday Feb 17th, 10–11:30am Pacific Time

Intermediate Digital Photography: Online

Chicago Botanic Garden @ Online via Zoom

Thoughtful processes are key steps in learning to identify, then capture, an impressive and artistic image as an intermediate photographer. Use lead lines, selective manual focus, and appropriate aperture settings to enhance your photos. Prerequisite: Beginning Digital Photography or the consent of the instructor. FPC requirement. This class will be taught online via Zoom. All registrations must be submitted online two days before your class...

Thursday Feb 15th, 6:30–8:30pm Central Time

 (6 sessions)


6 sessions

iPhone Photography

Chicago Botanic Garden @ Online via Zoom

There are hundreds of photography apps available for iPhones, and many have similar features. Explore some of the better-known apps and get instructions on using them for nature photography. We will go over the basics of iPhone photography along with fieldwork. Examine the photos taken during class and learn how to enhance, manipulate, or alter them.  iPhones are mandatory. The online class will be taught via Zoom. Registered students will...

Wednesday Jan 10th, 6:30–8:30pm Central Time

 (3 sessions)


3 sessions

Still Life Styling and Photography

Penumbra Foundation @ Virtual Classroom

Still life Styling and Photography with Heirloom Objects, Ephemera & Flea Market Finds Vintage objects have stories to tell. Whether they belonged to a special family member or were found at a flea market they can be arranged into meaningful compositions that recall another time and place. We'll discuss the art of storytelling through still life photography and work on techniques for creating beautiful object portraits for use as a selling...

Saturday Mar 9th, 12–2pm Eastern Time

 (2 sessions)


2 sessions

Discover Macro Photography

Chicago Botanic Garden @ Online via Zoom

The Chicago Botanic Garden’s online photography class is a virtual experience you can take anywhere! Discover the world of macro photography, where the smallest of objects are brought into stunning detail. Learn about basic techniques and camera gear required for macro images. Take photos that will be reviewed and enjoyed during the second session.  Class limited to DSLR or mirrorless cameras.

Sunday Feb 18th, 9–11am Central Time

 (2 sessions)


2 sessions

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Discover the Best Photography Classes in San Francisco

You may have noticed some famous San Francisco backdrops in photos and wondered how to recreate such masterpieces or even develop an eye for such iconic images. There are levels to learning photography; while some start with taking photos of iconic landmarks, others can include improving your phone camera skills. No matter what level of photography you hope to learn, there is a class out there that can help.

Why You Should Learn Photography in San Francisco

San Francisco is the perfect backdrop for beautiful photographs. From Lombard Street, which is famous for its winding curves, to the notable Golden Gate Bridge, there are some iconic spots for spectacular photos. There are many opportunities to photograph great locations, so once you learn how to effectively use a camera, you can occupy your time taking pictures of these beautiful spots. Taking photographs of your favorite locations around the city can be a great hobby and one of the benefits of learning how to point and shoot accurately. Whether in an organized format or on your own, making a hobby using your camera is a great stress relief and productive use of your free time. Photography could also connect you with a new group of people. 

The American Photographic Artists SF is a professional organization comprising the San Francisco Bay Area, Northern California, Northern Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. They offer benefits for its members, such as education programs and essential business resources. Members range from professional photographers, photo assistants, educators, and students.

You could also check out the San Francisco Historical Photograph Collection at the San Francisco Public Library, an excellent location for photography enthusiasts to connect and enjoy a collection of photos of famous San Francisco street scenes, buildings, and famous San Francisco personalities. Appreciating photography gives you a newfound positive outlook for such events and a chance to connect with others. 

Finally, learning photography is a great way to introduce a new side hustle or even break into a new career. According to Indeed, photographers in San Francisco can make about 87% more than the national average. While it should not be expected that you will immediately make this amount after taking just one class, there is the potential to get to this level with some experience and perfecting of your skill. 

In-Person Photography Classes in San Francisco

In-person classes offer an excellent opportunity to advance your photography skills. San Francisco has many great schools to provide you with opportunities to learn. Aperture Academy is a school located in North San Jose that works closely with the National Park Service to acquire proper permits giving you access to great locations. Aperture Academy offers classes for beginners, intermediate and advanced students. They offer courses in diverse learning environments like mountain trails, beaches, parks, and even crossing rivers. 

An example of a diverse learning environment provided at the Aperture Academy is the San Francisco Zoo Photography course. This 5-hour workshop is spent at the famed San Francisco Zoo. Students will spend the entire day sharpening their skills, getting comfortable with your equipment, and working with various lightning and outdoor conditions. Be sure to bring your DSLR camera, tripod, and meals for the day. Another location-based course is the San Francisco & Marin Headlands Photography workshop. This workshop starts and ends at the famous Golden Gate Bridge. Still, you will cover a lot of iconic and photographable locations in San Francisco. Students can expect to learn how to hone their composition skills, learn about their camera, and how to balance a scene. Students should bring their camera, lenses, tripod, extra batteries, memory cards, comfortable clothing and shoes, and money for lunch. Be prepared for a day full of adventure and learning. 

The Digital Photo Academy offers nationwide workshops taught by accomplished photographers. Schools are located all over, with San Francisco being one of the prime locations. One of the most popular courses offered by DPA is the Live in-the-field seminars. These lessons take students out of the classroom and into the field. Around the city, there are some incredible spots to get real-life photos in the elements. For example, the Digital Photography Live In-the-Field @ Golden Gate class teaches students how to focus their lens on the bridge alone or capture the natural elements of local seagulls, dog walkers, and palm trees in the background.

Additionally, the Digital Photography Live In-the-field @ Fisherman’s Wharf immerses you in everyday life at the Fisherman’s Wharf. Students can capture shoppers, people riding the cable car, and even watch the playing sea lions. For both in-the-field courses, students can expect a three-hour session where they learn to shoot strategically and walk away with some good photos. The seminar can be used to expand your photography skill or as a great excursion if you are on vacation or have a birthday party idea. Each class begins with a talk from an experienced DPA instructor and then ends with a fantastic walk through one of the photogenic locations. 

Isla Studio Photography is based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Established in 2009, this studio specializes in architecture and fine art photography, and they teach beginners classes on weekends. Students can attend a course to learn basic digital photography skills or refine their existing skills. One course of interest is the 2hr Photography Walk Next to GG Bridge seminar. Students will take a 2-hour, light stroll next to the Golden Gate Bridge and capture fantastic shots. By the end of this two-hour adventure, students will be able to apply concepts such as long exposures, depth of field, aperture, shutter speed, rule of thirds, and metering. There will be an opportunity to ask equipment-specific questions too. The Beginner’s Photography class is a prerequisite for this course, or at least solid knowledge of shutter speed, aperture, ISO, and manual mode. 

Virtual Photography Classes 

While in-person classes are the most traditional way to learn almost anything, especially photography, online classes have come a long way. Online classes allow students to take classes from anywhere, opening up class options. Students can now consider a class with their favorite New York-based photographer from the comfort of their home in Chicago. Even if you live in the same city where the course is offered, a virtual classroom reduces travel, saving you time and money. No more commuting to class and paying for parking; log into your course, preferably at least 5 minutes before the start, and enjoy the class from your living room. There can be challenges with an online class versus an in-person option, specifically needing your materials. Some in-person courses offer materials or equipment for students.

In contrast, online, the expectation is that you have the materials at home. Another challenge could be the need for instant feedback from an instructor. In a virtual space, it could take longer to receive critiques or even positive feedback from your instructor, causing it to take longer for you to learn from your mistakes. 

Even if you are located in San Francisco, a virtual option gives you access to classes based in Chicago, for example. The Creative Fine Art Digital Photography course is a six-session course offered by the Chicago Botanic Garden. Virtually, students will discover how to see and convey their creative vision of the world through their photographs. Students must be familiar with basic camera functions and a digital SLR or mirrorless camera with manual controls for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. 

If you’d like to stay local virtually, the Contemporary FA Photography: Discovering Your Voice course is an online class that meets five times and teaches students a plethora of information. The class starts by examining the works of prominent fine arts photographers, helping students develop their vocabulary and working knowledge of the medium. Students will also study how classic styles of photography have informed contemporary photographs. By the end of the course, students will leave with a greater appreciation of photography, a deeper connection with their artistic voice, and a clearer understanding of what they want to communicate through their photographs. There are weekly assignments and even guest speakers to offer their perspectives. 

Private Group Photography Classes in San Francisco

A private group photography class in San Francisco is a great way to connect with friends or plan an unforgettable team-building event for a business. CourseHorse has live online group classes they can deliver to you and help make your next event that will be talked about for a long time. If you check out their site but don’t see any pre-planned photography classes, no worries; CourseHorse still has you covered. You could always reach out to CourseHorse using their website’s contact form and plan your event with a free virtual event planner. CourseHorse doesn’t charge any booking fees, and you will receive confirmation within 24 hours of booking. Their process makes it easy to plan an event, and you can watch it come together seamlessly. The event planner must know the event’s date, group size, and description when booking. You can even change your group size after booking if needed. CourseHorse makes planning convenient and covers all the steps to pull off a seamless event.

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