Photo Credit: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr have turned smartphone users into amateur photographers. Now it’s time to go a step further and turn a fun, time-wasting habit into a real skill. Pittsburgh is full of photography clubs, low-priced, beginners, skill-building classes and intensive photography courses that can turn even the most amateur photographer into a pro. Dust off those neglected traditional or digital cameras and spend some time learning the true art of photography.

Pittsburgh Center For The Arts At Pittsburgh Filmmakers
477 Melwood Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15213
(412) 681-5449

PF/PCA (Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts) offers a variety of photography courses for the novice to the professional and those seeking college credit.

Courses at Pgh Filmmakers begin at $390 and typically run for 14 weeks with classes meeting once per week. The Pittsburgh Center for the Arts offers photography courses that begin at $290 for members and $315 for non-members. Courses at the Center for the Arts are ongoing with new classes beginning each week.

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Pittsburgh Beginners With SLP Camera Photography Group
Various locations around Pittsburgh

Step away from the point-and-shoot camera and pick up a manual camera with a single lens, shutters and everything but an automatic button. This group of photography enthusiasts stages meet-ups to help expose a larger audience to the beauty of full-functionality cameras. Start out with a Photo 101 meet up. Show up with that manual camera you’ve always wanted to learn how to use. The cost is $50 and will include two hours of instruction with both amateur and professional photographers at venues like Phipps Conservatory and the Pittsburgh National Aviary. Not sure you want to learn in a group? Individual and family classes are available as well. See the website to sign up.

Silver Eye Center For Photography
1015 E. Carson St.
Pittsburgh, PA 15203
(412) 431-1810

Head to the South Side for a studio dedicated to teaching the art of photography to young adults. Sign up teens aged 14-18 for Silver Eye’s Cool Pix Digital Excursion for Teens summer camp, a Monday through Friday day camp taught by Pittsburgh photographer and Robert Morris University adjunct faculty member. Three different sessions throughout the month of July are available at a cost of $300. The small 15 student per session class size helps students focus while learning how to properly use their cameras and learn how to compose beautiful photos. Cameras are available for loan. Register by phone or fax using the registration form available online.

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The Art Institute of Pittsburgh Online Division
1400 Penn Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15222
(877) 872-8869

For photography enthusiasts who are looking for more than just a hobby, The Art Institute of Pittsburgh offers a complete Bachelor of Science in Photography that is available through online coursework. Photographers with Bachelor’s degrees have a better chance of full employment as a professional photographer. The 55-course complete degree will equip students with the tools needed to be an expert in the field. Browse the website and the full course list for more information about how to get started if a career in photography is your goal.

Sally Turkovich Wright lives in her beloved city of Pittsburgh with her husband, Jason and German Shepherd, Zeus. She is a policy analyst by training, an eyewear stylist by trade and an amateur healthy-living advocate by choice. She also writes a column for Twoday Magazine. Catch up with her there at Her work can be found at