Photography courses in London cover a whole exposure of pap-worthy topics. From skills workshops and traditional photography courses to disposable lessons where all you need is your selfie stick, find the right photography course for you with our snappy suggestions below. You can also see how the professionals do it with our guide to photography in London or get some inspiration from our beautiful collection of the best photos of London ever taken.
The best photography courses in London
Good for: Keeping it natural
Photographer Matthew Maran runs workshops on Hampstead Heath periodically during the year, capturing the park in each season. The focus is on engaging with nature through photography. As well as shooting, the day includes group discussions and an image editing and printing session at the end of the workshop. Participants will leave with an exhibition quality print of their best image.
Good for: Studio skills
Photographer Brian Venth runs this photographic studio on Commercial Road. As well as sessions on studio lighting, how to direct models, retouching images and DSLR basics the studio hosts free weekly workshops for models, photographers and creatives. These informal sessions are structured as an interactive Q&A.
Good for: alternative processes
This independent photography resource centre regularly runs courses for beginners and professionals alike including portraiture master classes, an introduction to location lighting and a hands-on street photography workshop. If you’re looking for something a little different they also run an alternative process classes, so you can pick up some of the earliest imaging techniques, such as salt printing and using liquid light, or learn how to make your own pinhole camera.
Good for: Inspiring evenings and weekends
The Cass is the art, architecture and design bit of London Metropolitan University and is situated in the creative hub of east London, opposite the Whitechapel Gallery. Their evening and weekend courses offer a distillation of the three year Photography BA (Hons) degree and include sessions on studio lighting as well as a street photography workshop that takes advantage of the collage’s proximity to the city and the east end. They also offer a photography tuition programme helping photographers to shape an existing collection of images into a cohesive series ready for presentation.
Good for: Mastering the manual setting
Housed in a fantastic Grade II* listed building designed by ‘rogue’ architect Charles Harrison Townsend in 1892, the Bishopsgate Institute is a centre for culture and learning. Among their huge roster of educational options they offer several photography courses, including six-week-long series of evening courses for beginners (Level 1) or intermediates (Level 2). They also run one-off ‘Take Great Photos in a Day’ crash courses, aimed at teaching technical knowledge and encouraging creativity.
Good for: Happy snapping your way around the capital
Hairy Goat run photographic workshops, private tuition and group walking tours, including a Christmas light adventure. There's even run a personal photographer tour – sign up if you want someone to pap you in all the best bits of London.
Good for: Architecture
Architecture education organisation Open City holds regular photography tours, helping Londoners to see their city in a new light. Among their courses is a two-hour night-time route from Monument to St Paul's. The tours are lead by architectural photographers who will guide walkers through pitfalls to avoid and techniques to use to get the best images of the capital illuminated at night.
Good for: Taking the next step in portrait photography
Although many of the National Portrait Gallery’s workshops focus on drawing they do also offer occasional photography events that are worth keeping an eye out for. These often pop up around November, taking inspiration from the yearly Taylor Wessing Photographic Portrait Prize exhibition, and are lead by practising professionals.
Good for: Art school-style education
With six major London collages under its arty umbrella UAL has no end of photography-orientated short courses (over 200 at last count). There’s pretty much something for everyone here as they cover all levels of experience, techniques and interests in courses ranging in length from one day to ten weeks. Each collage has a different focus so whilst LCC offers photojournalism and documentary LCF focuses on fashion photography. These courses can be a little expensive but if you're a UAL graduate you're eligible to receive a small discount through the alumni association.
Good for: Specialist subjects
Based in Covent Garden, City Lit has a studio dedicated to photography practice and runs some usefully specific courses like ‘Photographic Theatre and Dance’, ‘Photographing Your Paintings or Prints’, ‘Introduction to Event Photography’ and a course specially geared towards training up photographer’s assistants.
Or try your hand at one of these
Zer Café & Juice Bar
This Mediterranean inspired café-come-juice bar offers up a slice of healthy living, with some decent breakfast and lunch staples. About a ten-minute walk from Manor House tube station, Zer is a bright and airy space. There’re a few tables scattered outside to catch some rays and a menu that might convince you that you're in a warmer climate. Choose from savoury crepes or shakshuka (baked eggs with spicy sausages, feta and herbs) from the breakfast menu, or if you’re after something more substantial there’s risotto and moussaka available later in the day.
Venue says: “It's never too late in the day to savour our freshly-made full English breakfast, brunch and organic coffee.”