KelbyOne vs Udemy: Which One Is Better to Learn Photography?

Let’s face it:

Over the last few years, online education has grown dramatically.

Companies like Udemy and Creative Live have helped to make it more accessible for people from around the world. At first glance, both of these companies offer similar services: they provide users with a wide range of educational content on everything from photography, to cooking and just about anything else you can think of.

However, each company is unique in its own way.

With KelbyOne being an extension of Scott Kelby’s popular website and brand within the photo community – we took a deeper look at how his team stands out when compared to other learning providers.

So, today, we’ll compare KelbyOne and Udemy platforms and see which one is the better option for you as a photographer.

Here’s what to expect today:

  • The key features of both platforms
  • The pros and cons of each
  • Which one’s best for YOU? The verdict

Without further ado, let’s get started.

What Is KelbyOne?

KelbyOne is an online learning platform that offers thousands of online video trainings for everyone who wants to learn a thing or two about photography and related topics.

It’s by far one of the biggest online educational institutions in this niche and covers a wide array of lessons to help kick start your journey as a photographer.

This platform contains lessons for beginners, enthusiasts, intermediate, and even professional photographers who want to advance their skills. Aside from main photo courses, they also provide post-processing training tutorials that aims to help you as well.

Actually, it started as Kelby Training in the early 2007, as an online educational site.

Seven years after that, Kelby the founder, managed to merge with National Association of Photoshop Professionals and formed KelbyOne.

Their PRO Plan is priced at $19.99/mo.


  • Strictly photography-related topics
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Recorded and live training tutorials
  • Opportunity to build connections through KO events
  • Creative tool kit for hands-on learning


  • Membership isn’t for you if you need to learn about one topic only
  • Possibility to end up on waiting list

==> Click here to check out KelbyOne. 

What Is Udemy?

Udemy is another online educational hub available on a global scale.

They are committed to making learning as accessible as possible all around the world. They connect students to the best set of instructors that will help them grow exponentially in both skills and talent.

UD does not only focus on individuals who want to learn, but they also provide lessons for businesses, institutions, government agencies and other groups that might need the right training for a particular topic.

This site is also open to instructors worldwide who want to start their virtual class today. In short, you get to choose whether you become a student or a teacher in UD.

As a student, you can choose from over 150,000 courses currently available. These courses are of diversified topics, not just photography. You can learn about IT, Web Development, Finance, Communication, and so forth.

As an instructor, you can also choose subjects that you are an expert of. It can be of any niche, since the site is not limited to a single topic.

Their prices start from $10.99 per class.


  • Lifetime access
  • Good price/quality ratio
  • Interface easy to navigate
  • 30-day refund
  • Certificate upon completion
  • Covers a wide range of topics, not photography only


  • Recorded videos, no live tutorials
  • Price can be confusing because of different rates

==> Click here to check out Udemy.

KelbyOne vs. Udemy: Key Features


Enough of the site’s background, let’s move on to the more controversial part of this review: the key features.

Here, you will discover the similarities and differences between these two online learning platforms and I hope it will help you decide which one is the best fit for your needs.


  • KelbyOne:

Design-wise, KO is well organized.

Yes, they offer various courses related to photography, but they are properly categorized per classification.

For instance, if you wish to study about Photoshop in general, they have one main category for that and inside, you get to choose from a number of lessons that you want to participate in.

It’s quite easy to navigate through the entire site, and that really saves you a lot of time, honestly.


If you’d like to learn more about post-processing, you might want to consider Phlearn. Read my Phlearn vs KelbyOne comparison here.

  • Udemy:

Just like KO, this site did a great job keeping similar topics in one place.

You can make use of the different tabs containing the major classification of the lessons you want to avail of.

For example, you want to learn about economics and finance for your business, then you can head for the Business tab. Under that, you will find a number of sub-topics that are more specific.

If the training you want to enrol in doesn’t fall to any of the categories in the tab section, then you can simply type in what you need in the Search Box. It would be easier that way.

Another thing about UD’s layout is that on the homepage, you get to see what courses you are currently enrolled in.

They also have a list of suggested lessons below that are closely related to your subject of choice or the trainings that you are currently taking.

That way, it’s easier to find the next topic to study about.


  • KelbyOne:

You can participate in their lessons by paying a membership fee per month.

Unlike other online learning platforms that ask you to pay a certain sum on a per lesson basis, KO offers you an all-access pass for everything they have to offer.

It’s up to you how to utilize the entire month to cover all the trainings you need to get.

Right now, KO offers 3 types of membership programs:

  1. Campus Tour – FREE
  2. Plus Plan – $9.99/mo
  3. Pro Plan – $19.99/mo

Let’s go over each one of these types of plans quickly.

The Campus Tour plan serves like a sneak peak to what this site can offer. You don’t need to pay for this specific membership type.

However, as it is a free plan, you only get to access a part of the entire site, and not many lessons are available for you to watch. Right now, you can only have access to 23 free lessons by simply signing up as a member.

But hey, it’s better than nothing at all.

The Plus Plan on the other hand, priced at $9.99/month ($96/year) grants you access to 381 various courses with over 4000 lessons and 450 webcasts.

The Pro Plan (sometimes others call it the Ultimate Plan) with a membership fee of $19.99/month ($199/year) grants you access to everything on the site.

You get to watch the tutorials, webcasts, and they even offer you a toolkit which you can use to practice and put your learning to test.

With this plan, you can choose over 800 courses to take with over 10,000 lessons in it, everything related to photography.

  • Udemy:

Unlike KO, Udemy has no monthly membership fee.

Instead, they charge a per lesson fee. The price usually starts at around $10.99. So if you wish to learn about different topics, you have to pay for them separately.

One thing that makes this site so interesting is that they don’t set the price for the lessons – the instructor does.

So it should be no surprise that price per tutorial varies, depending on the instructor and the level of difficulty.

Even though it doesn’t have a membership program, you can still sign up and get access to a number of FREE courses of your liking.

Pretty awesome, isn’t it?


  • KelbyOne:

KelbyOne has about 45 to 50 instructors dedicated to teaching various photography lessons for beginners and advanced folks alike. They are experts in their specific fields and surely have a lot of experience both in the field and in the studio.

All the trainings in KO are taught in English, something that might give the site a disadvantage if we talk about it on a global scale.

  • Udemy:

On the other hand, Udemy has more than 57,000 instructors coming from different parts of the world offering lessons in over 65 different languages, depending on who your instructor is.

That’s really not surprising though.

UD has been considered a MARKETPLACE for both students and instructors who share the same interests and goals.

KelbyOne or Udemy: Which One to Choose?

Truth is:

These two e-learning platforms both give you an easier access to the education that you need (less all the hassle of commuting and tight schedules). And they are both great in their own ways.

And quite expectedly, both also have their fair share of cons.

Bottom line is, the choice is ultimately yours.

I couldn’t really speak for all of you since we all have different styles when it comes to learning.

What I can say is that if you wish to focus on photography topics and love everything related to it, then signing up for KelbyOne’s membership plan would be a good move.

On the other hand, if you wish to have more options with the lessons and prefer to learn in your own language, then Udemy might be the better option.

Udemy is also for you, if you want to learn about other topics besides photography. Click here to browse the courses.

KelbyOne and Udemy For Photographers

Let’s face it…

Photography has become one of the most popular hobbies.

It’s also a booming business; it is estimated that over 3 million people are employed as professional photographers in the United States alone.

In this day and age, learning the skill has never been easier.

The internet has made photography accessible to nearly everyone, and online tutorials have been created to help people learn how to shoot and edit their photos better.

One question you might be asking yourself is whether or not these platforms are worth your time and money, especially if you can get tips from magazines like National Geographic for free?

Well, I personally think it is worth investing in premium expert photography courses, and accelerate your growth in this industry.

I can’t stress this enough, but it’s important that you choose a platform that will suite your learning style, your pacing and your interests.

After all, it’s meant to help you further your knowledge and skills in whatever subject you wish to endeavour.

Now, I’d like to hear from YOU:

  • What do you think of this KelbyOne vs Udemy comparative review? 
  • Have you taken any online classes related to digital photography and editing?

Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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