Practice, practice, practice. Then practice some more.
1. Practice on your kids until they threaten to run away.
2. Practice on a sweet family who won’t mind if you have no clue what you’re doing.
3. Take a class where you get to practice while you learn.
I did all three of those things this weekend. As much as I wish I would have taken the class before doing a family photo shoot, it was nice to have that practice the day before so I could know what I needed to work on. Things like keeping people in focus when they are moving around (unlike the food I’m used to shooting, kids move around a lot!), getting the lighting right, and getting great candid shots.
This was my first photography class, and I absolutely loved it. Jessica Downey (above) did a great job of going through all aspects of photography and giving us a chance to practice what we learned along the way. Things like…
Getting that beautiful blur and recomposing your focus.
Taking food photos outdoors,
And my biggest obstacle so far, keeping a moving object in focus. Jessica actually rode her bike up and down the street so we could practice keeping her in focus. Brilliant! It was such an “aha” moment for me, I’m still excited about it.
At the end of the day, Jessica’s assistants set up a photo shoot in a local field with a family and some cute props. What better way to practice than on a real family?
This was one of my favorite shots where I was able to capture the light in a glowy ethereal way.
And in this one, I used my new knowledge of keeping a moving target in focus to capture this cutie on a swing. I also love the little sun flare. Speaking of movement, here are two more…
I’ve had quite a few people tell me lately that my photography is “amazing” and “why do you even need to take a class?” Well the truth is, out of 500 pictures, I might get 20 really good ones. And guess which ones I post? The good ones. I’m largely self-taught which means there is still SO much for me to learn. That’s why it’s so important to keep practicing. Because for every great shot I post, there are 50 that look like this…
So you want to be a better photographer?
P.S. Our family is thinking of creative ways to raise as much money as we can in the month of December for Advent Conspiracy. All the money we raise will go to feed orphans and vulnerable children AND to provide a lifetime of clean drinking water for families in Chikudzulire, Malawi. Find out more about Advent Conspiracy by clicking the photo below.
I’m pitching in by pledging all profits from my Etsy shop for the month of December to the advent fund. Take a look around and use the code ADVENT for 20% off. Help our family help cuties like these have food and water in 2013.
Nothing catching your eye? You can donate directly to Advent Conspiracy here.