Our Top Picks of 2015: CreativeLive’s Recipe for Success


The year is coming to an end and all I can think about is the amazing courses CreativeLive has had to offer. Along the way, I’ve been digesting as many courses as I possibly can, to help build my skills and to make myself a more competent and confident photographer.

For anyone on the scale of beginner to professional, there is so much valuable content available that sometimes the sheer volume of our catalog can be as daunting as it is exciting.

In order to help you create a higher level of knowledge, I’ve compiled a list of five CreativeLive courses that are integral to the fundamentals of strengthening and maintaining your skills as a photographer.  

Recommended Photography Classes of 2015

1. The Complete Wedding Photographer Experience with Jasmine Star

If you’re looking for inspiration, building your wedding business, and curious how to pick up new skills along the way, this Wedding Bootcamp from Jasmine is one of our best catalog choices.

All angles of wedding photography (seriously, any and every single kind) is brought to you by Jasmine Star through the incredible Complete Wedding Photographer Experience in which she takes you along on a live wedding shoot. I can’t begin to tell you how many lessons I took away from being a fly on the wall, but the shoot itself is just a small sample of everything she brings to the table. Jasmine also hits on many necessary topics including marketing strategies, dealing with the unexpected events, and how to use natural light to ensure that everyone looks their best.

Recommended Photography Classes of 2015

2. Photoshop 101 with Ben Wilmore

The most powerful tool for any digital artist is of course, Adobe Photoshop. That said, when trying to learn Photoshop, where should we even start? Ben will show you how to use Photoshop’s most important features by working through common, real-world projects and explaining the process. You’ll get to know the Photoshop interface, learn about the features you’ll use the most, and help in making your basic skills more concrete.

Ben’s clear teaching style makes this an invaluable resource for any beginner trying to pick up and start using Photoshop in a professional way.

Recommended Photography Classes of 2015

3. Studio Lighting Basics with Tony Corbell

Lighting equipment doesn’t come in a crackerjack box, so when you do plunk down the money for swanky new gear it’s vital that you get your money’s worth. In this course, Tony Corbell makes sure you get the bang for your buck with your lighting investment.

Tony is a celebrated photographer, educator, and author and in this class, he’ll help squeeze everything you can out of your studio gear be it basic or advanced. Most importantly he demonstrates practical ways to work with strobes and light shaping tools and get tips on creating the exact look you’re aiming for. He also goes over purchasing and setting up your own lighting equipment, which for me is a huge benefit considering the amount of available gear on the market!

Recommended Photography Classes of 2015

4. Mastering Long Exposure Photography with Matt Kloskowski

I don’t think I’ve ever met someone who dislikes long exposure photography. In Mastering Long Exposure Photography, Matt Kloskowski will show you how to take photos where movement appears in water and clouds fly across the sky leaving streaky goodness that is normally found on the tail end of a painters brush.

Matt is a best-selling author of over 20 books on photography, Lightroom, and Photoshop. In this class, he goes out into the field and demonstrates his favorite techniques. All the camera settings you’ll need, helpful tips on gear and equipment along with not just a how-to with post-processing, plus a robust set of presets that you can use right out the door!

If you’ve been wanting to add a new skill set of being able to create dynamic long exposure images, Mastering Long Exposure Photography with Matt Kloskowski is the class for you.

Recommended Photography Classes of 2015

5. Essential Compositing Techniques with Renee Robyn

Compositing photos is difficult and doing a good job can also prove to be not the most straightforward of tasks. In this course, Renee Robyn leads us on what feels like a an adventure through the confusing mist that surrounds compositing. She shows us with easy finesse how to build your vision photo by photo with all of the crucial photoshop techniques.

This course touches on working with layers, brushes, color manipulation, and masking techniques to create a mood or story in your image. Renee also covers what things to keep in mind when composting outdoor images and offers tips on what to look for while shooting stock images for your artwork.

These are my favorite fundamental classes on CreativeLive, this year. Together they have made such a difference in the way I approach everything in my own work from client management to creative exploration.

Let us know in the comments below how our instructors have helped to guide your photography most!

Casey Cosley

As a Seattle-based photographer, I incorporate the culture and style of the city into the sense and attitude of my work. I deliver a stunning and vibrant body of work for my clients, and am available for commercial & editorial travel and/or location photo assignments worldwide. Check out my work on Instagram.