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Online Student Resources for Photography

The Internet is a valuable tool for aspiring photographers, thanks to the multitude of websites devoted to technical, academic, and professional aspects of the photography industry. Below you will find some of our favorite online resources for both seasoned photographers and aspiring shutterbugs.

Academic Tools

  • PhotoShelter.com: This comprehensive database of educational resources aims to help photographers through every step of the academic process, from enrollment in collegiate programs to marketing and brand-building after graduation. There are also plenty of blog-style mini-tutorials that discuss creating a portfolio, taking the leap to ‘going pro,’ and the differences between ‘positive’ and ‘negative’ photographers.
  • PopPhoto: PopPhoto is a site that anyone interested in the art of photography should bookmark. Reviews and buying guides provide expert gear advice, while the videos and workshops provide great material for practicing and perfecting the craft. The weekly newsletter is one great way to stay abreast of the latest trends in technologies, tools and lessons for photography enthusiasts.

Student Networking

  • Student Photographic Society (SPS): For 14 years, SPS has provided an online platform for student photographers to study each other’s work, learn about events, and create local networking chapters to connect with like-minded professionals. Some of the site’s materials, including the all-important ‘Images’ page, are considerably outdated; but in terms of bringing photographers together, very few web-based organizations do it better — or have been doing it for longer.
  • PictureSocial: Thousands of photographers have found a social media home in the networking community of PictureSocial. Active forums and numerous blogs cover a range of interests applicable to photographers of all skill levels. Many active members of PictureSocial are amateurs, and the site offers a great outlet for recent grads or career novices who want to get their feet wet and begin professionally networking.

Career Resources

  • Proud Photography Blog: Since 2007, PPB has been a valuable resource for photographers in terms of technical knowhow, product reviews, and industry trends — not to mention career advice. The site’s talented team of writers tackle topics like negotiating prices for freelance gigs, curtailing schedules to meet annual demands (i.e., wedding season), and equipment every pro should own. There may not be job listings or outlets for professional networking, but this site has plenty of tips and suggestions for photographers who want to make a living doing what they love (but haven’t necessarily figured out how to do so).
  • Epic Edits: The online community of Epic Edit photographers have created a site with impressive career resources. Rich with blogs, galleries and discussions, Epic Edits has plenty of tips and tools for young photographers. Epic Edits seeks out industry experts to lay down the facts and help jumpstart and fine-tune photography as both a business and a hobby.
  • PhotoMint: This site offers plenty of reasonably priced books, software, and other photography resources, but web users on a budget can glean plenty of wisdom from PhotoMint’s free features. Arguably one of the most helpful tools is the Beginner Start-Up Guide, a must-read for graduates and industry newcomers who are preparing to launch their careers.

These sites share provide amateur photographers with an outlet to learn about their craft, network with like-minded professionals, and share their work with the public — but this list is certainly not exhaustive. Thanks to the Internet’s far reach and advanced search capabilities, an afternoon with your laptop can yield plenty of useful career resources.