My friend Conway taught me the basics about how to use my first dSLR camera. From there I practiced, read books, attended workshops, and took 3 basic photography classes at a Community College. The classes at the community college were helpful. Working in the dark room taught the fundamentals of photography and pushed me to refine my skill.
Although I highly recommend taking classes, I think that you learn more with real life experience. You can intern for someone and get one-on-one training. You can see first hand what it’s like to run a photography business. I think that’s better than paying to be in a class of 30+ students. I also think what most classrooms lack is the opportunity to think outside the box, especially in a creative field.
With the internet, we have all sorts of tools and resources at our fingertips. Sites like CreativeLive and YouTube teach millions of things for FREE. The other day I wanted to learn how to open a coconut. I typed “How to open a coconut” into YouTube. 2 minutes – Boom.