So this weekend, while pining for the Mister who was away at All Good for several days, I decided to use my Living Social deal for a 3-hour photography class and guided photo shoot through Red Rose Photography.
I’m well known for being “that girl” in the group snapping away at events with my big old DSLR that I snatched up from eBay back 3 years ago when I took a digital photography class in college. Since then I take pictures of friends and family just for fun, but I do love when I get an opportunity to do a more legitimate shoot. I was even honored to be given the opportunity to do my sister’s engagement shoot a few months ago.
I wanted to refine my skills and have the opportunity to talk to a few pros about directing shoots and improve composition. The class was really great. While the first half of the class was covering the basics of how the camera works (e.g. “what is aperture?” and “what does changing the shutter speed do?”), the class was still interesting. I’m self-taught mostly and with the class I took in college, I have all the basics down. The class was definitely full of total noobs (one woman couldn’t even figure out the buttons on her little point-and-shoot), but the few of us with some experience kind of stuck together and gave each other pointers which was actually really helpful. It was also nice to take a picture, show it to a professional photographer, have them tell you what they personally would do to improve the picture, and then use that for the next shot. So while I didn’t learn anything new about how my camera works, the photographers were really great at helping a few of us out with closing a few gaps between knowledge and actual skill.
Another great part about the shoot was that we had a live model to work with, Londyn. Londyn is an agency-represented award-winning model in the area and my God did she prove that she earned that introduction. At one point one of the pros asked me if I wanted to give her some direction and I looked over at Londyn with utter shock and informed the pro “she’s already contorting her body into positions I could never even imagine let alone ask her to do.” Seriously. She knew her body. She knew what worked. She would bend and move into these seemingly bizarre positions and then turn and stare right down your lens like she could see into your soul and *snap* you had a jaw-dropping image.
Photography really is one of those incredible art forms especially when it comes to jumping pictures. And no, I’m not talking about 5 girls on a beach holding hands and trying to coordinate a jump for a picture that would get framed in a “Best Friends” frame from Target. I’m talking floor-length gown, jumping and striking a pose while tossing your dress in a way that in person makes you look really weird, but on camera makes you looking like you’re literally floating in the air. It was really breath-taking to look at the pictures of Londyn suspended in air. There was such a panic in the countdown for her jump and there were numerous times I got her either just taking off or landing. But occasionally, you’d get one of these:
Other things I learned from this class:
- Don’t be afraid to lie down in the mud to get a better angle.
- More often than not, being below your subject is better than a shot directly at your subject when they’re standing. It elongates them.
- BUT if they’re on the ground, look down on them.
Point being – it’s amazing what you can do with a little practice. So go on, dust off that camera, and just take pictures.
Anyone in the Baltimore area looking for a great class, check out Red Rose Photography.