Petra Collins Masterclass Review – Best For Photography?

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If you are here and reading this article, it is safe for me to assume that you are a shutterbug like me. Trust me when I say that we have all been there. I am finally ditching the point-and-shoot camera from my college days. It was not an easy choice. That camera had been my ride-or-die companion to countless vacations and nights out. Replacing it felt like getting a new best friend.

But my blues completely vanished when I saw my shiny new camera (DSLR), a beautiful piece of technology that screamed artistic finesse. But then the reality came crashing down. I fumbled with unfamiliar buttons (there are tons of them), lost in the technical jargon of YouTube tutorials. I wished for something more than just a blurry picture of my cat (adorable but not precisely National Geographic material).

Well, that was me, a wide-eyed photography newbie clutching a super heavy and expensive camera that felt more like operating heavy machinery blindfolded rather than a creative tool. That is when I came across Petra Collins’ MasterClass. It felt like an answer to all my photography prayers.

For me, Petra Collins is not just an average photographer. Her work reflects everything I aspire to achieve: a kaleidoscope of dreamy self-portraits full of vibrant colors with just a touch of surrealism (check out her Instagram to see what I mean).

Her photography is like a beautiful painting that will stop you in your tracks and make you wonder, “How did she do that?”

So, with a healthy dose of excitement (and a bit of desperation), I signed up for Petra Collins’ MasterClass. I was eager to learn the secret behind her captivating images. In this review, I will share my opinion of Petra Collins’ MasterClass and take you through my journey.

By the end of this review, you will see if this class is as perfect as her Instagram feed or all words and no show. 

Here’s what a complete photography rookie like me learned from the mastermind behind those captivating, dreamlike photographs.

Grab on your cameras, and let’s start shooting (through this MasterClass).

Petra Collins Masterclass Quick Overview:

In case you’re pressed for time, here’s a brief summary for your convenience.

You’ll learn how to:

  • Fundamental of photography
  • Edit your photo series
  • Understand your subject
  • Adjust and manage exposure and focus ring
  • Identify your inspiration
  • Working with natural light and studio light

Time Duration 

This class is 2 hours and 5 minutes long.


  • Learn from a globally recognized photographer
  • Understand her unique aesthetic
  • Learn resourceful techniques for DIY photoshoots
  • Explore storytelling concepts within photography
  • Connect with other aspiring photographers


  • Lacks information on technical aspects of photography
  • It might not suit everyone’s photography interests

Alternatives to Petra Collins’ MasterClass

If you like Petra Collins’ MasterClass, you may also like Jimmy Chin Teaches Adventure Photography, Tyler Mitchell Teaches Storytelling Through Portrait Photography, and Annie Leibovitz Teaches Photography.

All these classes explore different genres and styles of photography and will be a fantastic addition to your educational journey if you are exploring photography.


Petra Collins’ MasterClass is great for aspiring photographers who love her photography style and want to explore creative photography with a supportive community. Those with advanced skills seeking broad technical knowledge or other photography genres may need additional resources and would benefit more from other courses.

Petra Collins Masterclass Review

Who is Petra Collins?

Petra Collins is a Canadian photographer, but more than that, she is a visionary artist. She has made a unique space for herself in the world of contemporary photography. Collins has been a photography industry staple for more than a decade. She constantly pushes creative boundaries and is recognized globally. She is a true inspiration for all aspiring photographers.

Collins’ work has been featured in prestigious publications like Vogue, Rolling Stone, and The New York Times Magazine. She has exhibited her photographs at famous institutions like the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Victoria and Albert Museum in London. These accolades are a testament to her skills and talent, making her a revered contemporary photographer.

Petra Collins’ signature style is instantly recognizable. Her work has a captivating blend of dreamy surrealism, splashes of colors, and self-portraiture. She primarily uses a DIY approach and incorporates collage elements in her photographs. She creates a unique visual language that blurs the lines between photography and art.

Also, check: Should you get MasterClass? & MasterClass Cost!

So, why is Petra Collins a perfect MasterClass host?  

Here’s what makes Petra Collins the ideal host for a photography MasterClass:

  • She is a self-made artist and a beacon of hope for struggling photographers and artists worldwide.
  • She believes in constantly experimenting with her craft, and her techniques and visual voice are something no book can teach you.
  • In her class, she explores the technical aspects of photography, the significance of concepts, storytelling, and creating a personal aesthetic.
  • Collins uses cheap and readily available materials and unconventional strategies. People who want to create impactful photography without needing a high-end studio setup can learn a lot from her.

With her blend of artistic vision, technical expertise, and down-to-earth approach, Petra Collins’ MasterClass offers a valuable roadmap for aspiring photographers eager to explore their creativity and develop their own artistic voice.

Also check: Annie Leibovitz Masterclass Review

Who Should Get Petra Collins Masterclass?  

Petra Collins’ MasterClass is perfect for a range of aspiring photographers, each with their own creative goals:

Photography Beginners: Even if you are a complete novice (and so am I) and don’t know much about fancy cameras, Petra’s class offers a welcoming view into the photography world. She will help you learn fundamental concepts in an understanding way. She is a great teacher and encourages constant experimentation and exploration.

Lovers of Dreamy Aesthetics: I spend hours looking at Petra’s pictures on Instagram, completely mesmerized by her style and dreamy visuals. If this feels relatable to you, then Collins’ class will be a golden opportunity for you to learn from the artist herself.

Budget-Minded Creatives: Petra’s DIY approach is what I love as a budding photographer struggling to meet two ends. It is a breath of fresh air for anyone who wants to explore photography but does not have the budget for a big studio and expensive lights. Her approach makes photography accessible to a broader audience.

Aspiring Storytellers: Photography is more than just capturing a pretty scene. Anyone who thinks otherwise is lying to themselves. Petra encourages you to use your camera to tell a story, not just click pretty pictures. She will help you develop your concepts and inject emotions into your images.

Those Seeking to Develop a Unique Voice: Nobody understands the importance of learning technical skills more than I do, but there are a few things more important than that, like finding your artistic voice. Petra Collins will teach you that and help you discover your unique personal expression that truly sets you apart from other photographers.

What does Petra Collins’ MasterClass cover?

Petra Collins’ MasterClass is 2 hours and 5 minutes long. I know it does not seem that long, but she covers a lot of ground in such a short period. The class is divided into four main lessons, each with several sub-categories. 

The class is the ideal length for me, with many applicable tips and tricks. Petra starts small and then adds existing skills to improve the original images. She also covers photography’s editing and modeling part (often forgotten in other courses).

Like all other courses on the MasterClass platform, Petra Collins’ class comes with a supplementary guidebook summarizing her video lessons. It also includes projects that she suggests you complete to retain the skills learned in the video lessons.

The MasterClass platform also provides a community space for engaging with fellow learners. It allows you to exchange insights, seek support for challenges, and celebrate your achievements with a group of individuals who share similar interests.

The lesson plan is as follows:

  1. Gearing Up for Inspiration
  2. Understanding Your Camera and Lighting Techniques
  3. Portraits and Understanding Your Subject
  4. Creating Your Series

Summarizing Petra Collins’ Video Lessons

Petra shares her journey to becoming an influential photographer and promises to help you begin your own path. She introduces you to the technical tools and creative inspiration you will harness throughout her session.

Collins breaks down the session in the introduction and gives you a preview of everything you will learn in the class. If you are a complete beginner, the class also comes with a Guides section where you will find a glossary packed with terms all photographers should know.

Petra introduces herself and explains what motivated her to pursue film photography as a career. We all know artistic fields tend to be volatile when it comes to making real money. She discusses her journey and the big break that jumped her to the big leagues.

Petra familiarizes you with her unique photography starter kit and explains how to build your own. She explains how to work the camera and lenses and use materials that will help you expand your aesthetic. These materials don’t have to be expensive, and she teaches you how to DIY your own backdrop and props.

Petra emphasizes the importance of continuous learning, reflection, and curiosity when generating new ideas. Then, she challenges you to identify what inspires you outside of photography.

Your camera’s settings are meant to expand your creativity, not inhibit it. Petra takes you through the various modes in which she operates her camera to effectively capture natural and source light.

Petra shares her experience and how she got comfortable with camera settings and lighting techniques. She then outlines the camera settings that impact the exposure of your photographs, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. She elaborates on each one to provide a foundational framework so you can feel confident taking your own photographs.

Amid the rays of golden hour, Petra demonstrates how to adjust your camera settings to capture natural light. Then, she asks you to practice shooting on your own to see how you can affect the exposure of your photos. In the following lesson, she teaches how to work with a source light.

Petra demonstrates how you can create your own studio lighting using flashlights, headlamps, and fluorescents. After showing you how to adjust your camera settings for source lighting, she encourages you to shoot some photos of your own. For her, the foundation of photography relies on the principle of being self-sufficient, and she teaches you how to accomplish that creatively.

Using her sister as her subject, Collins explains her own step-by-step process for capturing light, choosing locations, and creating meaningful compositions.

Petra introduces the photographic form that defines so much of her work—portraiture. She explains how to understand the broad definition of portraits and how to capture the specific essence of a collective feeling between you and your subject.

Collins dives deep into the visual layers that affect portrait photography. She breaks down how every decision you make—from choosing locations to angling your camera above or below your subject—influences the meaning and impact of your composition and, eventually, your end result. She warns you to be mindful of your angles and positions while working with subjects.

Petra combines everything you’ve learned so far to demonstrate how to create a meaningful portrait and the importance of engaging with your subjects to ensure they feel comfortable throughout the process. Then, she prompts you to take your first set of portraits.

Once you are done clicking pictures, Petra shows you how to select and edit photos. To explain this, she edits her collection to choose one final portrait. While doing this, she explains her reasoning behind this process. She emphasizes the importance of better editing skills to become a better photographer.

In the final section, Petra interweaves the technical and creative skills she has taught throughout her session and encourages you to use your photo series to capture your unique artistic vision.

Petra introduces you to the concept of a photography series—and how a series expresses the larger picture of a single image. She explains the roots of one of her most profound and personal series.

Petra demonstrates developing a vision for your photography series through reflective analysis and reflection. Then, she propels you to create a unique vision for your own series.

When Petra creates a photo series, she builds an environment, a story, and an entirely interconnected world. In this lesson, she invites you to join her as she guides you through the development of a nostalgic series that became one of her most impactful works to date.

Finally, Petra demonstrates the various techniques she uses when creating a series of photographs. She ties together all she has taught you in this session as she photographs a series featuring her sister as the subject.

Key Points I am taking away from Petra Collins’ Class:

As a photographer, I always preferred staying behind the lens and avoided being in front of the camera. Petra Collins provided me with a newfound understanding of how I perceive myself. She explains that you can only love your art if you love yourself; her advice resonated deeply with me. 

Because of Petra Collins, I have started taking more self-portraits and am thoroughly surprised at how much I enjoy clicking my pictures. It is what they say: you are your harshest and the most forgiving critique.

I spent all my savings buying a new DSLR camera, which must be the case with a majority of aspiring photographers. Lack of funds is the reason why most of us don’t have studios or fancy lighting and other pieces of equipment. Petra Collins provides you with a genius alternative.

She is the DIY queen, and watching her create props and sets from everyday household items was genuinely inspiring. I will never let budget come between my creative dreams anymore.

I started this class with a basic understanding of photography (especially with my new camera). By the end of this course, I could not only hold my camera correctly but also have more information on the technical aspects of photography. I now understand camera position and angles and their impact on my final outcome.

Lastly, this is my first time working with a living subject (not counting my cat). So, I never knew the significance movement plays in fashion photography. Watching Petra click pictures of her sister explained how to work with subjects collaboratively and get the best possible result

What did I Like about Petra Collins’ MasterClass?

As an aspiring photographer, stepping into Petra Collins’ MasterClass felt like entering a secret creative playground. Here’s what resonated most with me:

Dreamy on a Budget: Surely, I can understand the allure of fancy studios and top-of-the-line equipment in photography, but Petra Collins taught me that these things are not required to create stunning visuals. She kept emphasizing being resourceful, making photography accessible for all.

I learned how to create dreamy effects with everyday materials like colored gels, DIY props, and even household items. Her techniques helped me transform my mundane apartment into a fancy studio, and it felt like an exciting opportunity for a broke beginner.

From Selfie Queen to Surreal Visionary: To be honest, most of us (budding photographers) start our photography journey with selfies. Petra not only acknowledges that but also applauds it. She builds on selfie techniques and helped me look beyond that.

She encouraged me to explore self-portraiture; I have never looked back since then. I constantly use her self-portrait techniques to capture pictures to express myself that transcend the simplicity of a regular selfie.

The Power of Play: Most photography tutorials focus heavily on technical jargon, which can sometimes become overwhelming for beginners. I appreciated Petra Collins’ efforts to simplify the process.

She also encouraged experimentation and overcoming one’s fear of failure. This helped me view photography as art and let my imagination run wild. Her playful approach ignited a spark in me to experiment with new locations and subjects.

Beyond the Expected: Of course, I understand the importance of technical skills in photography, but Collins explained that it is more than just that. Beyond aperture and shutter speed, there are concepts like storytelling and injecting emotion into your photographs.

She taught me how to use lighting, composition, and post-processing techniques to create a mood and tell a story. 

Finding Your Visual Voice: Thanks to social media, anyone with a camera is a “photographer.” And, with a sea of photographers out there, it feels scary to enter this already competitive world. Petra emphasized the significance of developing your artistic voice to stand out in the crowd.

She used her pictures as case studies to explain her creative process. The idea is to be unapologetically original, discover what resonates most with you, and then translate that into a personalized visual language.

Petra Collins Masterclass Conclusion

So, did Petra Collins’ MasterClass turn me into a professional photographer overnight?

Let’s be honest; the path from camera newbie to Instagram-famous artist is probably paved with a few more out-of-focus attempts and creative roadblocks than what her MasterClass covered.

But here’s the thing: trying to achieve her level of fame was not even the point (at least for me). If you expected to be as impressive as her after taking this MasterClass, then I am sorry to say you are a little delusional.

This class was not about instant success but about igniting a fire, a passion beyond megapixels and trendy filters.

Petra Collins’ MasterClass inspired me and provided practical knowledge. It was about the technical aspect (although learning to navigate aperture settings without getting a headache was a definite plus), the freedom to experiment, the power of storytelling through photographs, and the importance of developing a unique artistic voice. 

Thanks to Petra, the camera in my hand stopped being a deadweight or just a tool and became a possibility to express myself more clearly to a world that hopefully understood me.

Beyond the technical knowledge and creative inspiration, this MasterClass also fostered a sense of community. I enjoyed connecting with other aspiring photographers; sharing dreams and challenges was an unexpected perk. There is a power in seeing yourself reflected in the journeys of others, a sense of “we can do this” that transcends the isolation often inherent in the creative process.

So, is Petra Collins’ MasterClass worth it?

Absolutely! Petra Collins’ MasterClass is incredibly worth it!

If you’re a photography enthusiast who wants to explore photography’s dreamy and unconventional side, then this MasterClass is a goldmine. It is not a magic potion that will transform you into a world-famous photographer but an inspiration, practical guidance, and a supportive community that can help you move forward in your creative journey. 

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