When my son was born I knew I was going to be taking a lot of pictures. What else was I going to put on my Facebook feed? Just kidding (sort of). So I went out and bought a fancy hybrid camera. Then I proceeded to be overwhelmed by how to use it, put it a drawer, and only brought it out on special occasions. Since I never actually learned how to use it, when I did use the camera the pictures were mediocre at best, see below, and I usually ended up using my iPhone.

My early attempts with the camera. Blurry. Wrong date. Not good.

Flash forward five years later and I signed up for Isla Studio’s 3hr Beginner’s Photography class through Verlocal. As the day approached I was a little nervous. Would I be the only true beginner? What if I was the only one with a hybrid and not a DSLR camera?   I’ve tried reading my manual and I just COULD NOT figure out all the different settings, why would this be any different?

When I arrived I was greeted by Lindsay, the owner of Isla. (Pronounced like the Spanish word for island ees’-lah, not the Scottish eye-lə. Not that I made that mistake.)

Lindsay was warm and welcoming from the start. She has an impressive resume, including a master of fine arts in photography. Although this was her first class in Austin, Lindsay has been teaching this class for seven years. We were obviously in capable hands.

We started out by introducing ourselves and sharing why we were there. Those reasons were varied from taking pictures of family to landscapes to construction projects. My first two fears were immediately allayed. I wasn’t the only true beginner and I wasn’t the only one with a hybrid camera.

Then we got down to business. Lindsay covered terminology, camera modes, exposure, composition, and more. Surprisingly, at least based on my past experience, it was both interesting and easy to understand.

Sharing the ins and outs of our camera. (Taken with phone BEFORE I knew what I was doing with my camera)

Throughout the class Lindsay used examples that made sense of complicated subjects. You know that feeling when something you have been struggling to understand all of a sudden clicks? That happened to me multiple times in the class. In case you were keeping track that was my third fear completely shot down! I wasn’t the only one who felt this way, as another student stated, “I’ve been trying to figure this out by watching YouTube and you are much better than YouTube.” A very high compliment in my book!

The class getting a better understanding of their camera.

Don’t be discouraged by the thought of a three hour class, it was interactive and entertaining. Lindsay took many breaks to walk around and make sure everyone understood how to apply our new knowledge to our individual camera. You can tell she is really excited about photography and her enthusiasm is contagious. She didn’t hold back. She assured us “we give all of our tricks in this class.”

Making sure everyone in the class understands their camera.

Now I am walking around trying to apply my new skills. What do you think?

Trying my hand at increasing exposure for more light. My son wanted to be a tank for Halloween.
Practicing the rule of thirds on a beautiful day in October.

I can’t wait for Isla’s not-yet-scheduled photography walks in Austin!

Hey Husband, I already know what I am asking for Christmas this year.

What about you? Is there something you’ve wanted to learn or a skill you’ve wanted to improve? Visit Verlocal to see what classes they have available. You will be surprised by the wide variety.

Share your thoughts now.