SLR Lounge Premium is a selection of online digital photography classes for photographers of all experience levels, and delivers a plethora of content for beginners to pros for you to learn photography online.
First, my photography experience and style puts me well within SLR Lounge’s target audience. Also, my life experience as an ex-US Marine puts me in a category that less than half of one percent (<0.5%) of Americans occupy. Because of my experiences, I’m not easily swayed by hype, or marketing – and I’m certainly not afraid to wave the bull$hit flag.
I’m also a pretty frugal individual. I look for the best value in all of my purchases and investments. One of the first things I do when deciding to invest my time and money into anything like this is to investigate the instructor’s body of work. If their work is not worth emulating, then why invest in what they are trying to sell?
The SLR Lounge Instructors are founding members of Lin & Jirsa. Lin & Jirsa was founded as a wedding photography business in 2006, and now they are one of the premier wedding photography & videography studios in Los Angeles. Their work is stunning.
So let’s take a closer look at what exactly SLR Lounge Premium has to offer and whether or not it’s one of the best photography courses online.
Online Photography Classes – SLR Lounge Premium
SLR Lounge Premium combines top-notch two-way instruction with high quality post-production tools at a tremendous value, allowing you to take your photography classes online.
Think of it as a way to view a large selection of online photography workshops in the comfort of your own house.
If you’re one of the first 1,000 subscribers to SLR Lounge Premium, you can receive annual membership at a special discounted rate of $29/month ($348 billed annually) – basically a $60 discount on the regular fee. (Click here to see if the offer is still available.)
So what do you get for this joining fee?
Let’s tackle these one by one…
Over $1000 in online photography classes
This claim is no joke. These videos of the SLR Lounge Premium online photo classes are extremely well done.
Each online photography workshop presents several hours of valuable education. Subjects cover all of the education a beginner would need to launch themselves into a professional career in photography.
Indeed, it’s a great selection of photography classes online for beginners or professionals, and the pace of teaching suits all levels of photographer very well.
As well as watching online photography workshops such as those on offer with SLR Lounge Premium, the only thing missing for your improvement would be an internship as an assistant with a working professional… but you could do that while using this service!
These online photography workshops are hosted by a host of working professionals – see what I did there? ;)
A good majority of these online photography workshops are hosted by ‘Post-Production-Pye’. Pye is genuine, funny, extremely knowledgeable, and – maybe most importantly – very likeable. After all, if you’re going to be spending hundreds of hours with this guy, likeability is kind of a big deal.
I wish I could have selected instructors this good back in my College career. I can’t tell you how many times I shook my head and thought, “I’m actually paying for this.”
I absolutely love the SLR Lounge Premium “Unscripted” workshop. This is a series of videos from actual wedding and engagement shoots, providing a kind of online wedding photography course.
These wedding photography tutorial videos show you how to achieve great shots through proper set-up, lighting, posing your subject and problem solving. I think it’s amazing!
Each of the online photography workshops is broken down into bite-sized videos. I also think it’s brilliant that every little detail seems to be addressed.
Each Lightroom instructional video includes the actual raw file that Pye is editing, so that you can work along with him – I found it best to watch the post-processing videos on my Macbook while using my desktop to work along with Pye.
In the Photography 101 workshop, Pye actually uses beginner cameras from Canon, and Nikon. Whilst the SLR Premium membership doesn’t include any dSLR tutorials for beginners per se, it’s good to see that they appreciate that not all of us own the most expensive equipment.
The final thing I’d like to add about the videos might seem like a very minor detail. However, if you’ve ever watched an instructional Photoshop, or Lightroom video where the instructor uses short-cut keys, and doesn’t tell you what they used, it can be incredibly frustrating.
SLR Lounge Premium adds a pop-up in the bottom right corner of their videos when a key-stroke is used…THANK YOU!!!
Over 1000 Videos, Quizzes, and Assignments
All of this is available 24 hours/day on any device! I touched on the videos already, so I won’t say much about them in this section.
As for the… Quizzes?!?! Are they seriously listing quizzes as a benefit?!?!
Just the word ‘quiz’ may invoke some sort of mild school-related PTSD, but I think we can all agree that they are a valuable tool in assessing how well we’ve processed the instruction. However, unlike College, you have the option to skip them if you want to!
I think the addition of assignments is pretty brilliant. This gives you the chance to practice what you’ve learned, and submit it for comments by the professionals at SLR Lounge! This is extremely valuable!
Sometimes it takes me days to get a professional critique from my own wife (my wife is also a Professional Photographer).
I don’t want to turn this into a comparison review, however, I’m sure a lot of people will be wondering how this service compares to Creative Live. My wife, Kelly Williams, has been using Creative Live for a few years, so I’m pretty familiar with it. Creative Live hosts a wealth of valuable information – including content from SLR Lounge. However, they do not offer a subscription based service, and they do not offer professional critique through assignments. I’ll let you decide for yourself where the better value lies.
If you’re still unsure about the value of this training, take a look at some of SLR Lounge’s free content. You could also check out what the most respected Photoshop tutorial group, Phlearn says about SLR Lounge’s Lightroom tutorials:
“After making several hundred video tutorials for Phlearn I have a good idea of what it takes to produce them well, and SLR Lounge did everything right. There is some serious value here and I am happy to have found a comprehensive product that does such a good job explaining the ins and outs of Lightroom.”
$375 in SLR Lounge Resources
This includes SLR Lounge’s best-selling Lightroom Presets, their Web Marketing and SEO book, Paper Textures, Smoke Textures, and Cloud Pack.
I don’t know about you, but I usually look at shiny marketing ploys and ask – is that actually worth anything to me? Usually the answer is no. However, in this case, I find these freebies to be refreshingly relevant, and extremely useful.
Moreover, there is a video series for each of these resources, giving you in-depth instruction on how to use them.
Here are some before and after shots that took me 60 seconds to edit using the SLR Lounge Lightroom Preset Pack…
Before – a shot exposed for the highlights
After – using the Glam Color Preset, and the Eye Brightener Brush
The SEO and Web Marketing book is not a general SEO book. It is a step-by-step guide for photographers to increase their online presence.
For a detailed list of everything that is included, take a look at this post
All in all, it’s very hard to find anything to critique about the SLR Lounge Premium service. It is a collection of top-notch content that is priced VERY well. I’d have to say that it’s definitely one of the best photography courses online in 2016.
So, I’m sure you’re asking yourself…is this for me?
If you are a budding Wedding, Portrait, or Fashion photographer – 1000% yes! You will get 3x your investment just by using the service for a year. However, the real return on investment (in your photography business) will come after putting the practices learned into place.
If you are a working wedding/portrait/fashion photographer – 100% yes! The included resources (including the Lightroom presets), are well worth the annual fee.
Guest Review by Rick Birt aka Romeo Bravo | Fashion, Portrait & Boudoir Photographer | www.romeobravophoto.com