I wanted to show Mr Nutshell how appreciative I was for his thoughtfulness (even though I had earlier made a statement of my worth and bought myself a Kitchen Aid Mixer, wrapped up with a card to myself)....... he was explaining its fabulous functions ever so slowly and my eyes glazed over by the terminology and monotony of his computer freak voice. Weeks later he tried again, I still couldn't get it. My impatience made me a bit ranty, I just wanted to take nice photos, without the learning. You know, the ones with the blurry background and vibrant colours? How come I wasn't pulling it off?
Then I forgot about the camera and got upgraded to a new iPhone, then I found Instagram and recorded a lot of family moments on my iPhone. I hardly uploaded them to my laptop, more so when I need to start deleting, let alone print a thing.
Looking back I really missed wonderful opportunities because I wanted to use my camera well without taking the time to listen and I leant on my iPhone for that. I looked at a few community courses but they were 8 weeks long or over several weekends. Not a good thing for a mum with small kids.
When Jen from Lovely Living said she was going on the Angie Baxter Love Your Camera workshop I was keen to hear more about it. Sonia from Life, Love and Hiccups was running a competition for a workshop near where I live. I bought a ticket on the spot, because it was one Saturday from 9-4pm. It was completely doable. The focus of the course was to learn how to use your DSLR and be confident in taking portraits of your family and friends.
The pre-session work involved familiarising yourself where the settings were for ISO, aperture, shutter speed and light metering. When I opened my manual my eyes started to glaze over again, I didn't even know what those terms really meant. I wasn't in a panic though because Angie Baxter said by the end of the session I will know how to take a good photo!
I have a training background and I know you just can't make those claims if your content and one on one help isn't up to the task. In all seriousness I think Mr Nutshell was glad I was going to use this rather expensive piece of equipment in a way that will bring me lots of joy with telling a story about those I love through the images I will capture. He had to have, considering he'd have all three kids ALL day (I found out he lessened his load by taking them visiting to friends houses..... as you do).
I couldn't wait to jump out of the car and leave the sooking kids behind!!! I saw Sonia from Life Love and Hiccups waving at me through the glass doors like the mad woman that she is. Of course it was going to be a spectacularly hilarious day!
The first part of the morning was learning about the keys terms like ISO (the cameras sensitivity to light), aperture (how blurry your background will be), shutter speed (how long your shutter is open) and light metering (using the viewfinder to ensure you get a balanced exposure). There was no 'auto' mode, purely manual.
What I loved about this workshop was Angie's ability to explain everything in everyday terms/speak. Angie was a master at time management and got around to each participant during all the activities, to review their photos, answer questions and to get everyone thinking about their images. This was great for me because I had very little idea.
There was no sense of rushing through the content nor the practical aspects. Angie made sure we all understood and could show we understood. I made a mess of the first session and Angie was wonderful in working me through the steps in such a kind, professional and mentoring fashion. I felt so at ease and not embarrassed by my ridiculousness.
Another great aspect of the day was how the sessions and content were planned. We built upon the foundations and each time we went outside a little bit more was added for us to consider when shooting. I loved learning about composition, lighting and locations. Angie's tip about 'catch lighting' literally opened my eyes.
It's that reflection in your subjects eyes that indicates if you've found good light to shoot in. You can tell I am a blogger because I kept calling it 'captcha'. Sonia never even gave me that 'durrrr' face when she had to tell me for the millionth time the correct term! Love that gal!
Angie also talked about storytelling through images. I loved when she said 'take a photo of who somebody is not what they look like'. That is the story telling, the beauty within and how you can use the environment and surrounds to complement the story.
Sonia and I had an hysterical time together. It was a bit like sex! But clearly photo sex! We had to use each other to practice and we were constantly saying 'oh this is good', 'what position would you like to do', 'shall we change positions', 'ahhhh that's it, right there' and 'keep doing that'. Also a bit of Austin 'danger' Powers: 'do I make you horny baby', 'do I make you randy', 'yes, yes, yes'!
Clearly we couldn't do conventional shots, like everyone else, so we went under a dirty bridge, behind a brick wall and near a fence like good horny blogging photographers having photo sex!! Then Sonia 'forced' me (without much encouragement) to climb the bridge, then I got stuck, nearly lost my balance and like a good blogger, she kept taking photos!!!! BIATCH! She has the evidence right on her blog too! (Don't worry Sonia, just below I am returning the favour. To add another Austin Powers quote 'two can play at that game').
Sonia's photos are way better than mine, but from the beginning of the day to the end, even into the early evening and this morning I have noticed a huge change. I'm going to practice my big heart out til it becomes second nature and Mr Nutshell asks me to stop taking photos!
To learn more about the Love Your Camera workshops and their locations visit Angie Baxter at: www.loveyourcamera.com.au
To read more blogger reviews about experiences in the Love Your Camera workshop head over to Sonia at Life Love and Hiccups (you can see my TOTAL hotness too, ha!) and also Jen at Lovely Living.
Now... presenting some photos of the day of the stunning and hilarious Sonia (in the order they were taken)! We had a ball, thanks to Angie Baxter's friendliness, kindness and supreme experience broken down into everyday bite sized pieces for everyday people.
|Seriously Gemma, it's the beginning of the day, shall we change position?|
|Hard up against the fence, we are soooooo naughty!|
|OK, how long shall I hold this emo pose for?|
|Is this nonchalant enough for you?|
|Take the bloody photo, I can hear those filthy bats behind me ready to eat my face!|
|This is how you come to close to falling off the bridge!|
|What time is drinks?|
|I SOOOO LOVE THIS PHOTO! Isn't she GORGEOUS!|
|Who's a pretty lady hey, serial!|
|Park bench anyone?|
|I'm constantly thinking, constantly!|
|This is how you reach for top shelf ladies! Everything should be top shelf and if|
it isn't get out a bloody stick!
|There may or may not be a spiky plant poking the underside of my jeans right now,|
but I can totally pull off this hot look!
* I was not paid to write this review, I just had a great time learning to love my DSLR and I can highly recommend this workshop to anyone keen to learn how to love theirs too!