Philadelphia is a city known for its vibrant culture and rich history, making it the perfect backdrop for aspiring photographers. If you’re wondering where to find the best spots for photography classes in Philadelphia, look no further. In this article, we will explore some of the top places in the city where you can enhance your photography skills and learn from experienced professionals. Whether you’re a beginner or looking to refine your techniques, Philadelphia has plenty of options to offer. So grab your camera and let’s discover the best spots for photography classes in the city of brotherly love.
1. Photography Schools in Philadelphia
1.1 University of the Arts
Located in the vibrant neighborhood of Center City, Philadelphia, the University of the Arts offers a renowned photography program. With state-of-the-art facilities and experienced faculty, this school provides a comprehensive education in both traditional and digital photography. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced photographer, the University of the Arts offers a variety of courses that cater to different skill levels and interests.
1.2 Drexel University
Drexel University, located in the heart of Philadelphia, offers a Bachelor of Science in Photography program that combines artistic vision with technical expertise. The program focuses on developing students’ creative and technical skills through hands-on learning experiences and individualized instruction. With access to cutting-edge facilities and a strong emphasis on professional development, Drexel University prepares students for success in the photography industry.
1.3 Community College of Philadelphia
For those looking for more affordable options, the Community College of Philadelphia offers photography courses that are both accessible and comprehensive. With a curriculum designed to develop students’ technical skills and artistic vision, the Community College of Philadelphia provides a solid foundation in photography. Whether you are interested in landscape photography, portraiture, or documentary photography, this institution offers a variety of courses to suit your interests.
1.4 Temple University
Temple University boasts a prestigious photography program that emphasizes the development of technical skills, critical thinking, and visual storytelling. With a dedicated faculty and access to state-of-the-art facilities, Temple University provides students with a supportive and inspiring environment to explore their passion for photography. Whether you are interested in fine art photography or commercial photography, Temple University offers a range of courses tailored to your artistic goals.
1.5 Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts
The Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts, located in the historic district of Philadelphia, offers a unique photography program that combines traditional techniques with contemporary approaches. With a focus on fine art photography, this institution provides students with the opportunity to explore their creativity and push the boundaries of the medium. With access to world-class faculty and resources, the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts is a premier choice for aspiring fine art photographers.
2. Photography Workshops and Courses
2.1 Philadelphia Photo Arts Center
The Philadelphia Photo Arts Center is a hub for photography enthusiasts of all levels. They offer a wide range of workshops and courses, covering topics such as digital photography, film photography, darkroom techniques, and more. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or an experienced photographer wanting to expand your skills, the Philadelphia Photo Arts Center has something for everyone.
2.2 Studio 34 Creative Arts Center
Located in West Philadelphia, Studio 34 Creative Arts Center offers photography workshops that encourage artistic exploration and self-expression. Their courses cover a range of topics including composition, lighting, and post-processing techniques. With a focus on hands-on learning and small class sizes, Studio 34 Creative Arts Center provides an intimate and supportive environment for photographers of all levels.
2.3 Fleisher Art Memorial
The Fleisher Art Memorial is a community arts center that offers photography classes for adults and teens. Their courses cover a variety of topics including camera basics, photo editing, and composition. With experienced instructors and a welcoming atmosphere, the Fleisher Art Memorial is a great place to learn and connect with fellow photographers.
2.4 Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art offers photography courses and workshops that explore the intersection of photography and art. Whether you are interested in studying the work of renowned photographers or learning about different genres and techniques, the museum’s photography program provides a unique and enriching experience. From beginner courses to specialized workshops, the Philadelphia Museum of Art caters to photographers of all levels.
2.5 Pennsylvania Center for Photography
The Pennsylvania Center for Photography is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting the art and craft of photography. They offer a variety of workshops and courses led by professional photographers and educators. Whether you are interested in landscape photography, portrait photography, or documentary photography, the Pennsylvania Center for Photography provides opportunities to learn and grow as a photographer.
3. Photography Meetup Groups
3.1 Philadelphia Photography Workshops
Philadelphia Photography Workshops is a meetup group that organizes workshops, photo walks, and other events for photography enthusiasts. With a focus on learning and sharing, this group provides opportunities to improve your skills, meet fellow photographers, and explore different aspects of photography. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, Philadelphia Photography Workshops offers a supportive and inclusive community for all.
3.2 Philly Loves Photography
Philly Loves Photography is a meetup group that brings together photographers of all levels to share their love for the craft. From photo walks and critique sessions to workshops and exhibitions, this group offers a wide range of activities that cater to different interests and skill levels. Whether you are looking to learn from others, gain inspiration, or simply connect with like-minded individuals, Philly Loves Photography provides a welcoming and creative community.
3.3 Philadelphia Photo League
The Philadelphia Photo League is a collective of photographers who are passionate about documentary photography and social justice. Through their meetups, workshops, and exhibitions, the group aims to inspire social change through visual storytelling. Whether you are interested in documentary photography or want to learn more about using photography as a tool for activism, the Philadelphia Photo League offers a supportive and engaging community.
3.4 Philadelphia Street Photography Group
If street photography is your passion, the Philadelphia Street Photography Group is the perfect community for you. Through their meetups and workshops, this group offers opportunities to explore the city, capture candid moments, and share your work with fellow street photographers. Whether you are a beginner looking to improve your skills or an experienced street photographer wanting to connect with others, the Philadelphia Street Photography Group provides a platform for learning and collaboration.
3.5 Philadelphia Urban Photography Forum
The Philadelphia Urban Photography Forum is a meetup group dedicated to urban exploration and photography. Through their photowalks, workshops, and discussions, the group encourages members to discover and document the beauty of the urban environment. Whether you are interested in architectural photography, street photography, or urban landscapes, the Philadelphia Urban Photography Forum offers a supportive and creative community for photographers of all levels.
4. Online Photography Classes
Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers a wide range of photography classes taught by industry professionals. From beginner courses to specialized workshops, Skillshare provides accessible and affordable options for learning photography. With a diverse selection of classes and a supportive community, Skillshare is a great platform for honing your photography skills at your own pace.
Udemy is another popular online learning platform that offers a variety of photography courses. Whether you are interested in landscape photography, portrait photography, or post-processing techniques, Udemy provides a wide range of options to suit your interests and skill level. With lifetime access to course materials and the ability to learn at your own pace, Udemy is a flexible and convenient option for online photography classes.
KelbyOne is a subscription-based online platform that offers a comprehensive library of photography and Photoshop tutorials. With courses taught by industry experts and access to a supportive community, KelbyOne provides an immersive and interactive learning experience. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced photographer, KelbyOne offers in-depth courses that cover a wide range of topics and techniques.
Coursera is an online learning platform that offers courses from top universities and institutions around the world. They offer a variety of photography courses, ranging from technical skills to the history of photography. With the option to audit courses for free or earn a certificate upon completion, Coursera provides a flexible and affordable way to learn photography online.
CreativeLive is an online platform that offers live-streamed classes taught by industry professionals. With a focus on interactive learning and real-time feedback, CreativeLive provides a unique and engaging learning experience. Whether you are interested in fashion photography, documentary photography, or business skills for photographers, CreativeLive offers a diverse selection of classes to help you grow as a photographer.
5. Photography Resources at Libraries
5.1 Free Library of Philadelphia
The Free Library of Philadelphia offers a wealth of photography resources for both beginners and advanced photographers. From books and magazines to online databases and research materials, the library provides access to a wide range of photography resources. Whether you are looking for technical guides, art books, or inspiration for your next project, the Free Library of Philadelphia is a valuable resource for photographers.
5.2 Parkway Central Library
Located in the heart of Philadelphia, the Parkway Central Library houses the Print and Picture Collection, which includes a vast collection of photographs and prints. Whether you are interested in exploring historical photographs, studying different photographic processes, or conducting research on photography, the Parkway Central Library provides a rich and inspiring environment for photographers.
5.3 Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection
The Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection, located at Temple University’s Charles Library, houses a unique collection of materials related to African American history and culture. This collection includes a significant number of photographs and prints that document the experiences and contributions of African Americans. Whether you are interested in exploring the intersections of photography and social justice or studying the works of African American photographers, the Charles L. Blockson Afro-American Collection offers valuable resources for photographers.
5.4 The Print and Picture Collection
The Print and Picture Collection at the Free Library of Philadelphia is home to thousands of photographs, prints, and artworks. With a wide range of materials spanning different genres and periods, this collection provides a rich source of inspiration and reference for photographers. Whether you are looking to study the works of renowned photographers, explore different artistic movements, or find visual inspiration for your own projects, the Print and Picture Collection is a valuable resource.
5.5 Rosenbach Museum and Library
The Rosenbach Museum and Library, located in the Rittenhouse Square neighborhood of Philadelphia, offers a unique collection that combines literature, art, and photography. With materials ranging from rare books and manuscripts to photographs and prints, the museum and library provide a multidisciplinary approach to creativity and inspiration. Whether you are interested in exploring the connections between photography and literature or studying the works of renowned photographers, the Rosenbach Museum and Library offers a one-of-a-kind experience for photographers.
6. Local Photography Stores
6.1 Philadelphia Photo Supply
Philadelphia Photo Supply is a local photography store that offers a wide range of camera equipment, accessories, and supplies. Whether you are looking to upgrade your camera, purchase lenses, or find specialized equipment, Philadelphia Photo Supply provides a knowledgeable and friendly staff to help you make the right choice. With a focus on customer service and competitive prices, this store is a go-to destination for photographers in Philadelphia.
6.2 Calumet Photographic
Calumet Photographic is a trusted name in the photography industry, and their store in Philadelphia is a go-to destination for photographers of all levels. With a vast selection of camera equipment, lighting gear, and accessories, Calumet Photographic provides everything you need to pursue your passion for photography. Their knowledgeable staff is always on hand to offer expert advice and guidance, making Calumet Photographic a top choice for photographers in the area.
6.3 Hunt’s Photo & Video
Hunt’s Photo & Video is a family-owned and operated photography store that has been serving the Philadelphia community for over 30 years. With a commitment to exceptional customer service, Hunt’s offers a wide selection of cameras, lenses, lighting equipment, and accessories. Whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, Hunt’s Photo & Video provides the products and expertise to meet your needs and exceed your expectations.
6.4 Unique Photo
Unique Photo is a popular photography store that offers a variety of camera equipment, accessories, and printing services. With competitive prices and a knowledgeable staff, Unique Photo provides a convenient and reliable option for photographers in Philadelphia. Whether you are looking to upgrade your gear, print your photos, or find unique accessories, Unique Photo is a trusted resource for all your photography needs.
6.5 Norman’s Camera and Video
Norman’s Camera and Video is a local photography store that has been serving the Philadelphia community for over 50 years. With a focus on customer service and quality products, Norman’s offers a wide range of cameras, lenses, accessories, and printing services. Whether you are a professional photographer or a beginner looking to start your photography journey, Norman’s Camera and Video provides the expertise and resources to support your creative endeavors.
7. Art and Photography Exhibitions
7.1 Philadelphia Museum of Art
The Philadelphia Museum of Art is a must-visit destination for photography enthusiasts. The museum hosts a variety of exhibitions that showcase both historical and contemporary photography. From iconic works by master photographers to cutting-edge installations, the Philadelphia Museum of Art provides a diverse and inspiring experience for photographers and art lovers alike.
7.2 Institute of Contemporary Art
The Institute of Contemporary Art (ICA) offers a dynamic and thought-provoking space for photography exhibitions. With a focus on contemporary and experimental art, the ICA showcases works by emerging and established photographers from around the world. Whether you are interested in exploring new perspectives or pushing the boundaries of the medium, the ICA provides a platform for dialogue and artistic exploration.
7.3 The Barnes Foundation
The Barnes Foundation houses an impressive collection of impressionist, post-impressionist, and early modernist paintings, but it also features photography exhibitions that highlight the intersection of photography and other art forms. With a focus on innovative and interdisciplinary approaches, the Barnes Foundation offers a unique perspective on photography as a form of artistic expression.
7.4 Rodin Museum
The Rodin Museum, home to the largest collection of works by the renowned sculptor Auguste Rodin outside of France, occasionally hosts photography exhibitions that explore the relationship between sculpture and photography. By juxtaposing photographs with sculptural masterpieces, the museum offers a fresh and immersive experience that illuminates the shared language of different artistic mediums.
7.5 Brandywine River Museum of Art
Located just outside of Philadelphia, the Brandywine River Museum of Art features a diverse range of artworks, including photography exhibitions that celebrate the beauty of the Brandywine Valley and its surroundings. With a focus on the natural landscape and the region’s cultural heritage, the museum provides a unique perspective on photography as a form of storytelling and preservation.
8. Photography Clubs and Associations
8.1 Philadelphia Photo League
The Philadelphia Photo League is not only a meetup group but also a photography club that encourages engagement, learning, and collaboration among its members. With regular meetings, workshops, and exhibitions, the Philadelphia Photo League provides a platform for photographers to share their work, receive feedback, and expand their networks. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced photographer, the Philadelphia Photo League offers a supportive and inclusive community.
8.2 Philadelphia Chapter of the Photographic Society of America
The Philadelphia Chapter of the Photographic Society of America (PSA) is dedicated to promoting the art of photography and fostering a sense of community among photographers. With regular meetings, competitions, and educational programs, the PSA provides opportunities for photographers to improve their skills, receive recognition for their work, and connect with other photography enthusiasts. Whether you are a professional photographer or a hobbyist, the Philadelphia Chapter of the PSA offers resources and support to help you grow as a photographer.
8.3 Philadelphia Sketch Club
The Philadelphia Sketch Club, founded in 1860, is one of America’s oldest clubs for artists and photographers. While the club’s primary focus is on drawing and painting, they also have a photography division that offers competitions, workshops, and exhibitions. With a strong emphasis on artistic expression and creative exploration, the Philadelphia Sketch Club provides a supportive and inspiring environment for photographers.
8.4 Professional Photographers of America (PPA) – Pennsylvania Chapter
The Pennsylvania Chapter of the Professional Photographers of America (PPA) is dedicated to promoting the highest standards of professionalism in the photography industry. With a focus on education, networking, and advocacy, the PPA provides resources and support for photographers at all stages of their careers. Whether you are a seasoned professional or just starting out, the PPA offers valuable opportunities to further your photography business and achieve your goals.
8.5 Philadelphia Area Camera Clubs
There are numerous camera clubs in the Philadelphia area that cater to different interests and skill levels. These clubs provide a supportive and collaborative environment for photographers to share their work, learn from each other, and engage in friendly competitions. Whether you are interested in landscape photography, wildlife photography, or portraiture, Philadelphia Area Camera Clubs offer a platform to connect with like-minded individuals and expand your photography network.
9. Private Photography Lessons
9.1 Local Photography Instructors
There are many talented and experienced photography instructors in Philadelphia who offer private lessons tailored to your specific needs and interests. Whether you are a beginner looking to learn the basics or an advanced photographer wanting to refine your skills, private lessons provide personalized instruction and feedback. Local photography instructors can be found through online directories, referrals from friends and fellow photographers, or by contacting photography schools and clubs in the area.
9.2 Online Platforms for Connecting with Instructors
In addition to local options, there are several online platforms that connect photographers with private instructors. These platforms allow you to browse through profiles, read reviews, and directly contact instructors to inquire about their availability and teaching style. Whether you prefer one-on-one instruction or a small group setting, online platforms provide a convenient way to connect with experienced photography instructors from around the world.
9.3 Personal Referrals and Recommendations
Word of mouth is often a reliable way to find quality photography instructors. Asking for recommendations from friends, colleagues, or fellow photographers can lead you to experienced instructors who have a proven track record of delivering exceptional private lessons. Personal referrals not only help you find trustworthy instructors, but they also provide insight into the teaching style and the overall experience.
9.4 Photography Meetup Groups
Photography meetup groups, as mentioned earlier, are not only a great way to connect with fellow photographers but also a valuable resource for finding private photography lessons. Many meetup group members are experienced photographers who offer private instruction as a way to share their knowledge and expertise. By attending meetup group events and engaging with other members, you have the opportunity to discover instructors who are passionate about teaching and can offer personalized instruction.
9.5 Social Media and Online Forums
In the age of social media, platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter can be valuable resources for finding private photography lessons. Joining photography-related groups and forums, following photography influencers and educators, and engaging in discussions can lead to connections with instructors who offer private lessons. Social media and online forums provide a space for photographers to share their work, ask questions, and connect with other industry professionals.
10. Outdoor Photography Workshops and Tours
10.1 Philadelphia Photo Safari
Philadelphia Photo Safari offers guided photo tours and workshops that allow you to explore the city’s iconic landmarks through the lens of your camera. Led by experienced instructors and local photographers, these safaris provide an opportunity to capture unique and stunning images of Philadelphia’s architecture, street scenes, and natural beauty. Whether you are a beginner or an experienced photographer, Philadelphia Photo Safari offers a fun and educational experience for all skill levels.
10.2 Photography Tours at Longwood Gardens
Longwood Gardens, located just outside of Philadelphia, offers photography tours and workshops that allow you to capture the beauty of their renowned gardens and conservatories. Led by professional photographers, these tours provide expert guidance and instruction on composition, lighting, and capturing the essence of the gardens. Whether you are interested in floral photography, landscape photography, or macro photography, Longwood Gardens offers a picturesque and inspiring setting for outdoor photography.
10.3 Schuylkill River Photography Boat Tours
The Schuylkill River Photography Boat Tours provide a unique perspective on Philadelphia’s skyline and waterfront. Led by seasoned photographers, these tours take you on a relaxing boat ride along the river, offering opportunities to capture stunning images of the cityscape, bridges, and natural landscapes. With expert guidance on composition, exposure, and creative techniques, the Schuylkill River Photography Boat Tours allow you to hone your skills and capture unforgettable images.
10.4 Fairmount Park Conservancy
The Fairmount Park Conservancy offers a variety of outdoor photography workshops and tours that highlight the natural beauty of Philadelphia’s largest park system. Led by experienced instructors and naturalists, these workshops provide opportunities to photograph wildlife, landscapes, and historic landmarks within the park. Whether you are interested in bird photography, nature photography, or landscape photography, the Fairmount Park Conservancy workshops offer a unique and immersive experience.
10.5 Manayunk Bridge
The Manayunk Bridge, a recently restored pedestrian and bicycle bridge, offers breathtaking views of the Schuylkill River and the surrounding landscape. Photography workshops and tours at the Manayunk Bridge provide opportunities to capture stunning panoramic images, explore different angles and perspectives, and learn creative techniques from experienced photographers. Whether you are a beginner or an advanced photographer, the Manayunk Bridge offers a picturesque and dynamic setting for outdoor photography workshops.