The Most Supportive Beginner Photography Series Available Online

Learn photography under the tuition of the most attentive and accessible online instructor we know - 31 days at a time

Your photography is important - this is how you capture your life, your family’s life, the places you’ve been and how you see the world - so make the most of it!

or check out each of the foundational courses below

beginner photography course

Learn how to take stunning pictures

31 Days to Get Off Auto

Learn how to set up your camera to reach its full potential, take control of the exposure process (metering, ISO and shutter speed), then nail focus and lighting to make your images tack sharp.
Learn More

31 Days to Get Off Auto
31 Days to Better Composition

Learn how to find the best locations and light. Understand the rules of composition to lead the viewer's eye and add balance to your photos. Then bring it all together so you can capture the decisive moment.
Learn More

31 Days to Better Composition
31 Days to Better Post-Processing

Control the light and make adjustments to contrast, highlight and shadow. Learn how to enhance your color and also to work in black and white. Eliminate distractions and 'digital noise' to make your images sharper.
Learn More

31 Days to Better Post-Processing

Stop "Clicking and Hoping"!

Photography is FUN...

...When you know what you’re doing.

We all want to take stunning photos like you see in galleries and magazines…

But the question is how do you get there?

And the next question after that is “Where do you start?”

The answer to those questions is: learn photography under the tuition of Jim Hamel; and start today with "31 Days to Get off Auto".


Congratulations if you’re a beginner photographer who has just bought their first camera and you’ve arrived here to learn how to use it properly. You’ve invested a lot of money in your camera so you want to get the most out of it.

Sidestep years of frustration

Most photographers experience years of frustrating trial-and-error, missing shots and wasting time trying to get to grips with key photographic concepts in order to develop their technique and skills. Here's your chance to avoid all that.

Improve your photography shot by shot

Even if you’ve been using a camera for years, but you only "sorta" understand (or don't understand at all) the fundamentals that ensure you capture tack sharp images, STOP "clicking and hoping"! Instead, START understanding photography, gaining confidence using your camera, mastering skills and techniques that improve with every shot and you'll begin surprising yourself with your ability and nail shots you're happy with and proud of.

Student Photo Gallery

Pictures really do speak louder than words. Scroll our real student results.

More than just videos . . .

As well as the hours of video provided in each course, your instructor has created a 'packet' of written information and assignments to supplement the video for each lesson.

Written Materials

These written information supplements form printable mini-guides for each topic of the course and comprise between 76 - 127 pages for each course.

Practical Assignments

Then there are the detailed assignments - 1 for each step of the course - to help you really consolidate what you have learned.

And your tuition doesn't end there...

Dedicated Facebook Course

Your instructor for the course, Jim Hamel, is available to answer your questions and give you further tips and tricks inside the dedicated course Facebook Group where students also support each other, compare shots and give helpful feedback.

Facebook Group and class instruction starts 20 September 2021

ALL of this is what makes the 3 courses in the "31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer" series the most supportive beginner photography courses available online.

Jim Hamel

About Your Teacher,
Jim Hamel

Jim is the most dedicated photography teacher we know. His feedback and attention given to his students really is second to none.

He shows aspiring photographers simple, practical steps for improving their photos. Jim has written many popular articles and courses for dPS and specialises in teaching photography. You can learn more about Jim at his personal website Jim Hamel Photography.

j hamel

3 Amazing Courses in Detail


Learn how to set up your camera to reach its full potential, take control of the exposure process (metering, ISO and shutter speed), then nail focus and lighting to make your images tack sharp.

Module 1 - Set Up your Camera to Reach its Full Potential

Module 2 - Understanding the Exposure Process

Module 3 - Perfect Exposure with Proper Metering

Module 4 - Master ISO

Module 5 - Understand Aperture

Module 6 - Shallow Depth of Field

Module 7 - Wide Depth of Field

Module 8 - Understand Shutter Speed

Module 9 - Fast Shutter Speed

Module 10 - Slow Shutter Speed

Module 11 - Using the Exposure Triangle

Module 12 - Nail the Focus

Module 13 - Getting Sharp Pictures

Module 14 - Working Manual Mode

Module 15 - Final Thoughts

Module 1 - Introduction

Module 2 - Simplify Your Message

Module 3 - Using Shapes to Create Impact

Module 4 - Arranging Your Picture Using the Rule of Thirds

Module 5 - Using Leading Lines

Module 6 - Back to Front Composition

Module 7 - Add Balance

Module 8 - Controlling Eye Movement

Module 9 - Shape Your Photo

Module 10 - Eliminate Distractions

Module 11 - Advanced Shaping with Photoshop

Module 12 - Use Better Locations

Module 13 - Find the Best Lighting

Module 14 - Work the Scene

Module 15 - Capture the Decisive Moment

Module 16 - Final Thoughts


Learn how to find the best locations and light. Understand the rules of composition to lead the viewer's eye and add balance to your photos. Then bring it all together so you can capture the decisive moment.


Control the light and make adjustments to contrast, highlight and shadow. Learn how to enhance your color and also to work in black and white. Eliminate distractions and 'digital noise' to make your images sharper.

Module 1 - Introduction

Module 2  - Basic Tone Control

Module 3 - Making Selections the LR Way

Module 4 - Making Selections the PS Way

Module 5 - Adding Contrast

Module 6 - Contrast and Tone in PS

Module 7 - Avoid Blown Highlights

Module 8 - Enhancing Colors

Module 9 - Removing Color Casts

Module 10 - Black and White

Module 11 - Eliminate Noise

Module 12 - Sharpening

Module 13 - Final Thoughts

Here’s what our students say about our courses

Thousands of students have become better photographers by taking these courses over the past five years that we have run them. We receive many kind words and five star reviews from them. The three students below were part of our most recent class.

I had no idea I had so much to learn! I had been using a camera on and off for decades, always loved taking photos and sometimes thought they were ok, but more often I was disappointed by the results. The way Jim set out his course was so helpful and I now have so much more understanding of what I am doing and I use manual all the time now. Signing up for Jim’s course was the best thing I have done and I know I have so much more to learn but I am enjoying this wonderful journey that he set me on.

Sheila Buckwell

I really enjoyed the class and Jim as an instructor. It really taught me how to shoot in manual mode and work through various scenarios. Then the post processing instruction with Lightroom and Photoshop was incredibly helpful and further improved the images. My friends have all commented on how my pictures have improved greatly. Jim is an amazing instructor! I highly recommend this class!

Alan Bloodgood

Jim's course was a fantastic learning curve. He takes you through new skills step by step and in a manner that is relaxed and carefully thought out so that you are not overwhelmed. Jim sets you tasks after each new concept and his support is always there if you are having problems. I was able to get out of auto mode, learn a lot more about my camera and its possibilities and work in manual mode with growing confidence. This course is well worth investing in!

Anne Coomans

Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to do the lessons every day?

No! Once you sign up for the course, you'll have access to all the course modules and you'll keep that access as long as you like. Work at your own speed. If you want to do a lesson every day, great. But when life gets in the way, the course and the Facebook group will still be there when you get back.

My camera Is old/inexpensive, can I still participate?

Sure. The idea of the course is to make you a better photographer no matter what sort of camera you are using. As long as your camera will allow you to set the exposure controls manually, you'll be just fine.

What kind of software do I need?

That's largely up to you. The course uses mostly Lightroom and Photoshop, since that's what most people use. But you can get by with something like Photoshop Elements as well.

Who are these courses for?

If you have been yearning to take stunning photos, but have been unsure where to start, we think this course is for you. The course covers all facets of photography - from exposure to composition to processing - and puts you on a solid foundation so you'll be confident in your skills. You'll also have access to the instructor for specific questions and feedback.

How do I access the course materials?

Immediately upon purchase you'll be directed to a page where you can access the course resources. You'll also receive a second email with your login details so you can continue to access the course. If you're having trouble because the link in your email has expired, you can login to your dashboard here: (using the login details you received).

What if I can’t get out  and about to take photos because of Covid restrictions in my area?

The vast majority of the assignments are designed to be done at home, many of them indoors. When Jim first created the course, he knew people could not just pick up and go to a national park or fly to Paris on an average Tuesday, so tried to keep everything close to home.

All but 2 of the "Get Off Auto" Course modules are designed to be done at home.

The "Better Composition" modules can mostly be done at home, with a few just requiring a quick visit to the local park.

The "Better Post-Processing" modules are all obviously designed to be done at the computer.  

If anything, it’s a perfect time to slow down, enjoy a hobby that you’re passionate about, and take advantage of the time to practice.

And the best part is that you’ll have a community of great folks to do it with - all from the safety of home.


When I began the course, I was a novice photographer who used Auto mode for all my images. I occasionally tried Aperture Priority, but I was totally intimidated by Manual. A year later, thanks to this course, I completely use and understand how to use Manual, but more importantly, I understand several techniques for composing an effective image. Thanks to Jim's excellent teaching style, and the effective resources that he provides, I now feel like a competent photographer. I have actually won several competitions, was asked to display an image in a local photography gallery and have been asked to show 8 images in an upcoming gallery show. A year ago, I never would have believed that I could do all of this. The pace of Jim's course, his calm teaching style, the practice assignments, and the regular feedback provided by Jim make this the most effective photography course I have ever taken.

Marie Costanza - United States

This was an excellent course and I would highly recommend it. I primarily use my iPhone, but understanding the basics of photography, lighting, motion, optimal time of day for shooting, plus the excellent course information on photography software (Lightroom/ PhotoShop) was invaluable.

Valerie Concello - United States

I had done other photography courses but was unable to grasp it. Jim Hamel takes you through it step by step & you don't have to take the next step until your ready. Made learning so much easier. Thanks Jim & DPS :-)

Wendy Martin - Australia

It’s made me enjoy my photography a lot more as I understand the whole process a lot more. Jim spoke in terms I could understand, and the beauty of it was I could watch each lesson as many times as I wanted until I completely understood it. Jim was a great teacher.

Cathy Clark - Australia

I had previously done a 'getting to know your camera' course prior to enrolling in this course.

After seeing some of the comments from people on the face book page at the start of the course I was concerned that I would be out of my depth.

I started the course, with my camera beside me and as Jim mentioned settings I checked what I had and adjusted my camera accordingly.

I found the lessons REALLY INFORMATIVE and very easy to understand. I made notes along the way. Due to time constraints I did not manage to get all of the assignments done, but did do all of the videos.

I am now practicing what I have learned and will be re-doing the videos to ensure there is nothing I have missed. There are so many things that my camera could do that I never knew about before. The feedback on the face book page was amazing also.

It took me longer to do the course than the 31 days, but that was due to my work commitments.

I thoroughly recommend this course (and have done so to others personally) and I am now looking at the night photography course in the near future.

Sharon Anderson - Australia

As someone who has been 'snapping' for a long time, with some pleasing results, I found a need to understand why some images worked better than others. I had previously felt that the technical aspects of photography were 'too hard' for me, but I liked the sound of this self-paced course and dived in. The support and encouragement along the way was extremely helpful. I now have a new camera and lenses, shoot only in manual and am a much more conscious image maker. If only it had cured my camera shyness! I thoroughly recommend this course.

Judi Jagger - Australia

For some years I was interested in photography and was just going about taking snaps without having the concept of aperture, iso, and shutter spead. I also had no idea about composition, leading lines etc etc. I did Jim Hamel’s photography course and it was the best spent money as I was able to learn so much from him. I would recommend anyone venturing into photography to do his course.

Amalia Hulse - Cayman Islands

The main thing that I did learn from this course is how to use all the buttons properly in a Manual position. Before the course and the great teacher Jim Hamel I was not able to do it. I am very happy that I participated in this course, and also to see how many people have the same interest and all the sharing we did have on the FB page. Thank you to Jim Hamel and DPS

Julia de Bary - United States

My photography has really improved and I would really recommend this course. You can watch the videos over and over again then when putting it into practice and it does not work,as you thought it should, you can ask Jim on the special Facebook Group page and he always answers. Great also to have the comments from others doing the course.

Jennifer Butt - Australia

Before Jim's course I used to struggle with getting the right settings and getting the results I wanted. It would be a case of hit and miss and I would often become frustrated and think I wasn't ever going to be a good photographer. After the course I had a better understanding of the settings and how to get the shot I wanted by just changing the exposure compensation if needed. Now when I go out I know I can go home with good photos.

Nancy Chappell - Australia

Would recommend this course to everyone. It’s been great that you have Jim’s videos for ever and can go back and refer to them at any time. Jim replies to any questions very promptly and has now started putting further more advanced photography videos on You Tube.

Jennifer Butt - Australia

The course took me from only shooting in auto to fully using manual. Jim's lessons are clear and easy to understand. His guidance is invaluable. Thank you, Jim!

Judy Kroll - USA

I have taken any number of photography courses over the years, and most are pretty good. But THIS course, in a word, is simply outstanding! Jim Hamel has a very pleasant and straightforward way of discussion photography concepts and their application to taking and editing pictures; it's both informative and entertaining. The first half of the course focuses on understanding and using features of your camera that many (myself included) "sorta" understand or don't understand at all. The second half is the application of these tools and techniques - including several sections on photo editing - to produce excellent pictures. I cannot recommend this course highly enough!

Pete Storer - United States

Jim's course was great! I became comfortable with manual mode, the exposure triangle, back button focus. I try to think about composition whenever I take a shot and I have a much better understanding of the different qualities of light. I now understand how important post processing is to the make a photo the best version of itself. He taught me the tools I needed to start and continue in my journey to become a photographer, rather than just a snapshot shooter.

Barbara Chamberlain - USA

This course helped me understand all the things that I had struggled with before. The format was such that I never felt under pressure and the interaction with others on the course helped tremendously. Jim does a great job. Explains things in terms that stick. The videos and notes are great resources.

Michael Aldridge - United Kingdom

This course was really amazing for me. I'd been shooting almost everything in aperture only mode. Jim takes you on an adventure of learning the manual mode of your camera. Then he teaches about the components of great composure. From landscape to portrait to all things in between. And then he teaches the art of editing. I really can't say enough about the course. Don't get me wrong here, it's work. IMO you get out of it what you put into it. The facebook group was really good for me as well simply to get feedback. Jim participates in it which is really helpful. If you sign up and you commit to the course you'll learn a ton. I promise. Plus you'll shoot more. And the more you'll shoot the more you'll learn. The more composures you'll see. The more you'll learn what you like and don't like in post editing. I am an absolute fan of Jim, his teaching style, and how he changed photography for me. This course is well worth your time, your money, and your effort. I reference the lessons frequently.

Jack Barnes - United States

I decided to do this course as I’d been self-taught for many years but felt I needed to go back and learn the fundamentals. I never understood how using Manual could change everything I’ve ever now - I now know how to set the correct exposure and how the aperture, shutter speed and ISO correlate. My camera hasn’t moved from Manual since! Composition was a huge eye-opener and I now understand how simple tweaks to my position in relation to a scene can yield an image that draws people in. I now take photos I am truly proud of and want to show off.

Chantelle Polley - Australia

I took the course during the first round and it was amazingly helpful!! In fact I still refer back to the videos from time to time for a personal refresher! Sign up you won't regret it!

Dave Mccorquodale

I wasn't sure at first that I could keep up with a weekly course, but the lessons are sort and focused. It's easy to replay them if you miss a point. Sharing your photos with other people who are doing the same task is very helpful. The Facebook page was useful for asking questions, getting feedback, and sharing photos. Jim Hamel was very fast in his replies and comments. I would recommend this course to a beginner or intermediate level photographer.

Judy Haran - USA

Just wanted to let you know how happy I am that I took it! Jim's explanation of all the different aspects of photography was very clear and explained well. You are given opportunities to try them out and he comments on your photos when you have questions or he just is amazed at what you have done! This is an awesome class and the support from the group is just as fantastic. You gain new friends as well!!

Rita E Spier - USA

My photography has become more vibrant. I am especially thrilled with my ability to compose landscape photographs and to edit so the clouds pop right out and add interest to the photograph. I enjoyed Mr. Hamels' teaching style - he is easygoing and understands that not everyone is technically proficient nor wants to be a professional photographer.

Penny Goodstein - US

I have taken other on-line courses and found them not to as comprehensive as 31 Days to Becoming a Better Photographer. Since I took this course may photography has reach a whole new level. I am more confident in my camera settings; I have learned how to look and analyze the scene before I take the shot and not to be afraid to experiment. The concept of doing a daily photo after each lessons helps to put into practice what you have just learned. Jim Hamel is a wonderful instructor and I like that he is available for questions and answers back quickly. I have recommended this course to others that are just beginning. I also love the Facebook Group. It is such a supportive place for not just beginners but for photographers of all levels as we can always learn from each other.

Bett Cox - Canada

Jim Hamel used this course to start with foundational basics, and then built on them to really expand my understanding of how to improve my photography. So many helpful topics, from composing shots, to post-processing corrections. Just an all-around helpful course, both for the novice as well as experienced photographers. Thanks, Jim!

Randy Smith - Japan

I have tried reading other books or taking other photography classes before but I always found them either too overwhelming or confusing. Jim Hamel explains the basics REALLY well. I never understood how to use different shutter speeds or apertures (which number do I even try? ?), but Jim gives examples and baselines for specific situations, which is extremely helpful for someone starting. It is by far the best book and class on basic photography I have ever read or taken. I also like the fact that Jim gives an outline at the beginning, a detailed explanation, and then a short, broken down summary with all the key points of the chapter at the end. I love Jim’s simple and clear explanations. I think that photography is very complex but this is a great way to start without feeling completely overwhelmed. I highly recommend this class to anyone who is starting with this beautiful hobby. I think Jim Hamel is great and I hope he will do other courses in the future.

Anna Thomann - USA - Italy

The course has helped me in a lot of ways. I needed help understanding the controls on my camera better. The instructions and the assignments helped make things a lot more clear to me. I tried photographing some new things that I didn't know how to do before. I enjoyed photographing at night so much that I've even been inspired to trying astrophotography! Thanks so much!

Kimberly Watson - United States

I thoroughly enjoyed doing this course. Jim's way of teaching is clear and so easy to understand. I have done a number of online courses & found a lot of the information goes over my head. Each of the topics were beneficial and flowed in a logical way that allows you to develop your knowledge on the journey. The project at the end of each topic was a great way to test out what I had just learned and improved both my technique and confidence at the same time.

Kylie Tipping - Australia

Jim Hamel is an excellent teacher of the course. He is very hands on and will critique your photos, helping to make me a better photographer. Jim provides detailed packets on each days course. I continue to refer to these cheat sheets to capture better pictures every day I go out to shoot. I have seen a marked improvement in my photography & even have received many new followers on Instagram as well as added comments from my friends on FB. This course is great for beginners as well as those that may require a brush up. As I mentioned before, Jim taught the lesson well. Have signed up for additional classes with him. Thanks for the great learning experience.

Bob Truran - USA

This wonderful course took me from knowing absolutely nothing about photography to the point that I am absolutely hooked. Jim’s course is the perfect solution for me to become a better photographer.

Carol B - United States

Ready to Master Your Camera and Start Taking Beautiful Shots?

You’ve paid a lot for your camera. So get it off auto mode. Create pictures you’re proud of.

Master the Lightroom tips and tools that will bring your photos to life and save you tons of time!

Paypal or Credit Cards accepted

60-day Money-back Guarantee

Instant Download

© 2006 - 2021 Digital Photography School,

All Rights Reserved | Disclaimer