I loved the feel of the weight of the camera, the sound of the shutter and every once and a while the quality of an image I'd capture...by fluke.
For the last decade, I've taken literally thousands of photos. But other than a few half-hearted attempts I've (and I'm ashamed to say it) I never REALLY learned how to use my camera.
But I still loved taking pictures, composing and capturing daily life for me and my family became a definite passion. But I would get so frustrated not knowing how to get my camera to take the picture I saw in my head. For the last few years, I'd even stopped getting out my big camera and started using my iPhone for most of my picture taking.
But deep down I never felt like a "real photographer". Even when people hired me to take family pictures, or even weddings...I'd always try and talk them out of it, "Are you sure you want ME? You know I'm not a real photographer right?" But they'd say they'd seen pictures I'd taken and assured me they liked my style or whatnot. So I'd charge them next to nothing, and do my best. I'd be incredibly nervous before, but then always enjoyed the actual shoot-- interacting with fabulous people, joking with them, trying to vanquish over-posed smiles and coax genuine ones from them. I'd work waaaay too hard in after-shoot editing, trying to make the images I took look how I wanted them too. Things I knew my camera could do, if only I would learn! I sure hope no one regrets having me take their photos for them.
Ben encouraged me to "just take a class". But deep down I was always too afraid that I wouldn't get it. If you know me and numbers, you might doubt my capacity as well.
And I'm sad to say, I let those fears stop me from doing something I really wanted to do, for a long time.
But last fall my friend took a beginner photography class taught by Rhonda Steed.
Rhonda for YEARS has been one of my photography heroes. Long before I knew her personally I followed her blog and all but drooled over her gorgeous images.
She has an AMAZING ability to not just take beautiful photos, but to take meaningful, story telling photos, always with incredible light and details and all the things that make me love good photography. I adored her style and longed to do the same caliber of artistry.
Funny enough, Rhonda and I became good friends when we lived for a time in the same Ward. She proved to be as amazing at friendship as she was at photography and she soon became one of my heroes not just for her photo skills, but for her genuine, and unbelievable generous spirit (not to mention the girl is just so much fun!)
So when I found out she was offering her course again this spring, I invited a sister in law who just bought a camera a Christmas time to come along with me as I tried to tackle this decade old desire.
And I'm beyond ecstatic to say, I think it might be sticking this time. (fingers crossed) I've barely put down my camera in the last two weeks, and every time I expose properly, or know just what aperture I want, I honestly get a bit giddy.
Taking pictures of my cute family interacting in my dumbly dark basement, and actually knowing how to make it so I could get their little grins (without a silly flash) made me so happy.
|My little posers... which I'm not in love with...they're cute, but it lacks interaction and story...other than the story that Levi couldn't handle me taking pictures of JUST Hadley, so he decided to jump in)|
|Hadley's trademark crooked grin|
|My friend just had a new baby and was kind enough to let me practice (I'm pretty sure I could shoot newborns ALL day!)|
|We also threw a baby shower, for Sweet Navy....and even though you can still tell they're inside with awful lighting, I was less frustrated than normal trying to take pictures of the decorations|
|This is me attempting back light..with Hadley with her pants on inside out.|
|Potty training can be pretty boring...it was a lot more fun playing with my camera|
|Aaron was surprisingly kinda into me taking pictures one day and kept looking right at the camera|
|You still taking pictures mom?|
|I want to do this one again, but have his face in focus instead|
|Kids jumping on the trampoline might not be the easiest of subjects, but they're sure fun!|
(I love the concentration in Levi's face)