Fun Photo Workshop

I have always loved taking photos.  Back in the point-and-shoot days, my photos were eh.  Shortly after Scott and I got married, we got a fancy camera for Christmas.  I have a mother-in-law obsessed with taking photos, just like me.  She and I would swap lenses and advice.  Still do.  She made the statement, “Better smile, a Whitaker is taking your picture!” famous.

B.C. – before children – I had a fab job working for a non-profit in communications.  While taking photos wasn’t necessarily in the job description, we often travelled with our youth ambassadors and had to snap pics.  I also worked with our convention photographers (some AP guys who are incredible) and learned by osmosis.  I always knew what I wanted to capture, but the camera didn’t always interpret what my mind saw.  I’ve taken a few formal photography classes and loved them all.  That was back with my film SLR, practically the dark ages, now.

Fast forward to A.C. – after children – and my focus on photography (pun intended) has completely shifted.  I’m looking to capture soccer games, dance recitals, academic meets, 4-H competitions and all the little moments in between.  I was becoming increasingly frustrated with the result of my photos and spending way too much time in PhotoShop making them look better.  Enter, Kristen Duke Photography.  {You  may remember her from the tutorial that led to a stellar 4-H project.}

Kristen offered a two-hour workshop right up the road, so I talked to Scott and asked him if he could “give” me my birthday present a little early.  A friend and I, Renee, headed to the t.u. golf club (don’t get me started on the locale) for an amazing two hours.  I finally feel like my camera and I love each other again.  It is SO lovely.  As for photo #2 below – what in Betsy’s name was I laughing about?  Who knows.

To all my Houston peeps, she’s offering a class on June 2 – get yourself registered!

My poor family is enduring me taking more photos.  I told them they’re just going to have to deal with it.  The biggest lessons I learned from the workshop and Kristen:

1.  Get yourself – yes, you MOM – in front of the camera.  Get your settings on the camera done and then hand it off.  While I have photos of me with the kids, I want more.  I’m coming to terms with the fact that my hair will never be perfect, my mom belly may never go away and sometimes I will look dorky.  But I DO NOT CARE.  In 50 years when I look back at our photos, I want to see me with the kids and Scott, not just the kids and Scott.

2.  Don’t give up.  If you have a challenging lighting situation, just keep at it.  Find someone else who loves photography as much as you do and help a sista out.  Renee, I’ll be calling you.

3.  Get yourself a 50mm, 1.8 lens.  That’s what I’m asking for next.

4.  Don’t rely on photo software to make a bad photo good.  Do rely on it to make a great photo even better.

It’s good to be in love again.  Thanks, Kristen!



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