Happy New Camera!


Did you get a shiny new DSLR camera for Christmas?  I remember unboxing my first DSLR camera, in 2006, and thinking “what are all of these buttons for”?  I wanted to take pictures of everything that was important to me, my kids, pets, garden, the list goes on!  And I wanted the pictures to be great!  Every. one. of. them.

Reality slapped me square in the face as I started reading the owners manual.  I’m a hands-on learner and technical jargon goes over my head.  I might as well have been reading the French or Chinese version of the manual because none of it was making sense.  I was ready to box up the camera and return to my trusty point and shoot pocket camera.  Thankfully my desire to use the “big girl camera” was stronger than my will to quit…there were flowers wilting and the kids were growing.  So, what to do?  Robert had been shooting for a long time and understood ISO, f/stop, shutter speed and how to make them all work together but it’s not always a great thing to have a teacher who you also share a bed and meals with.  We knew each other too well to be student and teacher.  I had another friend who had been shooting professionally for a couple of decades who very generously helped me but his main (and as it turned out, best piece of advice) was “read your manual”.  Did he not understand I don’t speak “manual”?  So, back to square one.  I had too many responsibilities at home to enroll in a photography class at our local community college so I turned to the internet for help.  I found PPSOP, the Picture Perfect School of Photography.  I enrolled in the Understanding Exposure and Your DSLR course.  It was an 8 week course, with easy to understand materials and fun assignments followed by instructor and peer critiques.  I still remain friends with some of my fellow students from that class.  If you, like I was, are staring at your shiny new DSLR in confusion and frustration check out the course or the book, Understanding Exposure written by, Bryan Peterson, one of the course instructors.  The book will help a lot but if you’re a hands-on learner and need instructor feedback the online course is invaluable.



And a big thank you to the first couple I ever photographed (below) after my kids and pets wouldn’t sit still for me anymore.  I asked this pretty girl on a shuttle bus if she would let me take pictures of her and her husband.   That is when I fell in love with shooting love.  It’s been a tremendous journey for me starting with that 8 week online course.  Whether you plan to start a business or take photographs of your family, pets and garden, I hope your journey is just as rewarding! Happy Shooting! 

I am not receiving any payment or benefit from PPSOP for this post or my endorsement of their online courses or books.  


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January 4, 2014 - 4:29 pm

Kristen Johnson - I have that book ! Time to read it again apparently! And maybe take the class this time :)