I’m Officially Camera Ready!

Oh, the things I’ve gained from this blog.

It’s way more than an outlet. It’s the source of 98% of my social life. And I don’t mean that I spend most of my time online talking to people, I mean it’s how I met the vast majority of my in-real-life friends here in Boston. It’s given me the opportunity to go to fun events and conferences. It’s the reason I’ve been able to start a small business. And now it’s the source of a new hobby.

I never thought I’d be interested in photography. It’s the kind of thing the hipster dream girl does in an indie film, right? It’s not something regular people do. Especially those who lack any kind of artistic ability whatsoever. My stick figures drawn in Microsoft Paint are sadly better than my real-life drawings. I am TERRIBLE at art and wrote it off long ago.

But the more pictures I took for the blog, the more annoyed I was at how they turned out. My kid was cuter than this, dammit. I switched to phone pictures largely for convenience, which didn’t help at all with the quality. And finally, after considering all my options, I decided to take the plunge and get a DSLR camera. I never would’ve considered it if I hadn’t seen so many of my friends getting them and doing AMAZING things with them.

So I got it. I turned on my nice little (gigantic) Nikon and took pictures and… they looked pretty much exactly like the pictures I took before. I had to do something. I had to get myself out of “Auto” mode and learn what to do with this thing.

I got a few tips from photographer friends that got me through the last couple months, but I still didn’t know much about what I was doing. And while I could handle myself in Aperture-Priority Mode, it meant my shutter speed was adjusting and often giving blurry pictures because my hands shake.

When I heard from the ladies at Camera Ready Bootcamp, I figured this was a good opportunity to go for it in a low-key, comfortable setting.

We took a LOT of pictures at our class this past weekend. But I’m already seeing a difference.

Most of the morning was spent with this kind of tinkering. Change the ISO, change the Aperture, change the Shutter Speed, change the zoom.

At first it can be really intimidating to keep all these things straight. Which one should be high in low light again? Which one should be low in low light? Lots of things to keep straight at first. But by the end of the day it started to be second nature. There were a lot less throwaway pictures in my later photos as I got a handle on how to get the settings just right.

Kate and Ash who run the class are easygoing and fun, it made it easy to relax and not worry about getting it just right.

There were lots of great things in Kate’s studio to photograph, including some beautiful flower arrangements from Pollen Floral.

And we took plenty of pictures of each other. My friend Nicole was there and was a great sport about being photographed. (While I think I did a pretty good job at photographing her she’s pretty much the best subject because she already looks so good.)

Nicole isn’t so bad herself, she got some great pictures of me. I look nice in Manual Mode.

And once you’ve learned the rules, it’s time to break them!

I played a lot with Kate’s logo and the light coming in the window with some serious overexposure. I think it’s way cool.

I admit being kind of scared of a photography class, but it was great going to one that was fun and funky and filled with other bloggers and people who just wanted to get the hang of their cameras.

If you see me around, you’re a lot more likely to catch me looking like this…

Camera Ready will be offering their Bootcamp in the Berkshires, DC, New York and Boston in the coming months. The class includes lunch and a portrait session with Kate. (I’m really excited to see how my pictures came out!)

Disclosure: I received a blogger rate for the course in exchange for posting about the class. If I hated it, believe me, I would tell you. But I had a lovely time.

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