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beginners class: recap | indiana county, pa photographer | tips + tricks

By January 24, 2011 One Comment

Sit back folks, this is a long one! 🙂

First of all, I want to thank my friend Robin for being born 30 years ago so that we could celebrate her birthday at the Three Rivers Casino where I could win lots of money-dolla dolla bills YO! I would like to thank my friend Nicole for moving to the city so that we can visit her every time we venture down that way….and she provided a “hot cot” for us the night before my presentation (which saved us from driving “to and from” Pittsburgh a million times in the days to come) and for suggesting the hot apple cider from Starbucks and dinner at Lu Lu’s Noodles-delish. Plus she is just launching her Wedding/Event Planning business, so we got to chat about business stuff-woo!!  Nicki Ann Events-watch out for her, she’s a go-getter and she’s going to be fantastic !…….. AND my new friend DimitryBabichenko for being an awesome-tastic chauffeur and taking us to an amazing sub shop called Uncle Sam’s….  AND setting up the photography workshops that I am NOW about to tell you about! 🙂 (ok and my Mom for baby sitting, it was just too cold to leave her in the car while we gambled! KIDDING PEOPLE, JUST KIDDING!!)

*some of these photos are courtesy the camera phone 🙂


So what are these photography workshops I speak of? Well, you may remember over the past several months I’ve been talking about a beginners class that I would be teaching at the Carnegie Library on Sunday, January 23rd. My friend Dimitry dreamed up this idea that we could provide FREE classes from beginning photography up thru the advanced classes. He contacted several photographers and wa-la, here we are! So if it wasn’t for him, this probably would have happened!

First of all, I just have to say, I LOOOVED that everyone was decked out in their black and gold to support the Steelers. Second of all, I would like to say holy crap it was cold and third, I would like to say, I was sooo nervous! The whole way there I was repeating “i’m good enough, i’m smart enough and gosh darn it, people like me” in my head..tee he he.  Let me explain! You’d think that teaching a beginners class would be easy right-I mean it’s for “BEGINNERS”-how hard can that be? Well, in my opinion, THAT is the hardest class to teach. Trying to dissect something that now comes second nature to you can be intimidating. Think of it this way-you just KNOW how to go grocery shopping. You know where everything in the store is, you know what aisle the things you need are located where and you go in, get what you need, you know where to go to pay. Imagine teaching someone who has never been in a grocery store STEP by STEP how to navigate the aisles while pushing a cart thru a massive crowd coming towards them. My point is that there are several ways to get to the spice aisle, and there are SO many varieties and depending what ingredients they pick will determine the quality of the meal they will be producing. Make sense?!

I got to where I am in my career by doing it myself, in other words, I’m self taught. Other photographers out there have many many years of schooling under their belt. So I was teaching from MY experiences, how I got to where I am, the tricks and tips I’ve learned along the way. Depending on who is teaching you how to navigate the grocery store aisles, you WILL eventually get to the right one, but they may take you a different route (based on how they’ve learned). So there I was standing in the front of the room, praying that everyone would understand my route (my way of teaching), that they’d be able to find the quality ingredients amongst a sea of the generic (using the creative settings instead of relying on the cameras pre-manufacturing settings) trying to fit all the material into 1.5 hours……and hoping that they recipe they end up with will be AMAZING (understand what I was trying to teach AND be able to apply it to their own experiences)! I know have a new found appreciation for teachers/presenters/anyone else who shares their knowledge. It can be intimidating no matter how well you know the material! I did notice some people light up and have what I’m assuming were “ah-ha” moments. 🙂

Here are a few that Greg was able to snap-and a few I took while demonstrating some things during class. Because of how full the class was, it was a little hard to navigate around the room-so Greg was mostly confined in the back…..but he tried!

I’ll admit that I not only did this class to help teach someone who wanted to take better photos of their children, who maybe wanted to be able to take better vacation photos or perhaps were starting their own journey in the ‘self taught” world of photography…..but I also did it for myself. Sometimes, putting yourself out there and doing things that are “uncomfortable” help you to grow. So thank you all 40 of you who attended the class! It was great to put a face to some of you whom I’ve been friends with on facebook for quite sometime now and it was nice to meet some new faces and for all of you OTHERS who traveled over an hour to come see me in the big bad city…thank you!! I saw some old friends, some old clients and some of my future clients. I love YINZ!! I hope all of you walked away from class with at least one new friend and a few golden nuggets. Now get to cookin!! 🙂 I’d love to see what you come up with. Shoot me over some of your images and explain how you’ve applied what I taught you in class! Maybe I’ll share a few on my blog! 🙂

BIG THANKS to Mpix for sending me some stuff to share with all of you along with the free gift card and free shipping coupons! Woo! It’s the sister company of the lab I use to print all of my photos and their consumer site is fantastic for all of you who are looking for a place to print all of your personal photos! And to B&H for sending some stuff too and a bigger thanks to Dimitry for bringing them and lugging them the whole way down two flights of stairs just so you could have them!! 🙂

So for those of you who are interested in learning EVEN MORE about photography….there are several other classes being offered in the next upcoming weeks (Sundays)-I might even sign up for a few of them myself. Be sure to check out the Carnegie website for a full listing of classes. There are some amazingly talented photographers teaching: Leeann Marie (March 13th ) , Dmitriy Babichenko (March 27th & April 17th) , John Craig (Feb 27th), and Val Head ( April 10th & April 17th).

ONE MORE THING, a friend and class attendee, Tiffany Ray shared this link. For those of you who are just beginning and you want to improve your skills. This website-twopeasinabucket.com by Joanna Bolick will break it into 12 different lessons to do over a course of 12 weeks. Great find and some fantastic information!! 🙂 Thanks Tiffany!

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