I wish I would have taken a class like this a few years ago. I learned about photography through a lot of reading and trial and error.  I did take an online course of how to shoot in manual, which I’d heard so much about.  Frankly, even though I learned the mechanics of it and could do it, at the time I really didn’t know why I’d want to do it.  Finally it occurred to me (sadly, a little late in my photography journey) that there were situations that I struggled with nailing the shot in any other mode and that shooting in manual was my ticket to capturing those shots.

I put my camera in manual, struggled a bit, but quickly started jumping in my heart at the range of shots I could now successfully get.

I’ve been teaching Parent Photography Workshops for the last couple years and have LOVED the opportunity to teach people about lighting, composition, emotion and then how to use their d-slr's past auto and take more full control of its capabilities.  It’s been exciting to see many of those people just take off and start getting great shots of their every day live.

It wasn’t long before a few of them asked about a second class, which led to this class on shooting in manual and taking full control of settings.  This class is a little different than my first one as it is just an hour of teaching in class and then three hours of shooting together.  It is SUCH a thrill to see the light go on for each person as they practice getting the shot, possibly the shots that have been eluding them in their other camera settings!

It is a small group, 4-5 people so I can get to everyone. (My hubby was supposed to be a part of this class but he had to stay behind with a sick kiddo this day). After learning we practice on a  model.  I’ve so appreciated how encouraging the class members are in helping each other too.

We practice shooting in almost complete dark without a flash, with window light, with backlighting, with very dramatic lighting contrast.  We shoot with different shutter speeds to show how to create or to nail movement. We talk about flattering angles, how to get catchlights in eyes, placement and they get to see me interact with our model to get the engagement in photos that we want.  We talk about f-stops and how to create portrait blur and when you want most things in focus in a shot.  We also do the same shot with different photo recipes the give correct exposure each time but create totally different effects.

Kaia, our beautiful model, said she learned more in four hours than she did all year in her high school photography class.  I really feel that the practical experience of shooting together  makes all the difference in this class because there is no magic button on your camera….but you can create some magic!

Here were some of the comments after this last week’s class:

It was the best!! I can't thank you enough Cassandra, it really all came together for me!

I had a great time on Saturday. I have practiced a little and will keep plugging away until I can get comfortable:).... Thanks again for the great instruction and enthusiasm! It definitely fuels the fire!

I am so feeling so very grateful today for a lovely lady, CassandraHamilton, who just spent the past 4 hours teaching us about how to shoot in manual! OMG! The lightbulb went on in my head! I am starting to get it!! I am so pumped! Thank you, thank you, thank you Cassandra! Stay tuned for some photos.

Here are a few pictures of the ladies in action and also some favorites of my friend, Kaia, who was the sweetest and most beautiful model we could have asked for! (The one in my hallway with just the kindle lighting her face was to show the class how you can shoot in very low light like restaurants at night, theaters, and bedrooms with sleeping children).

Let me know if you might be interested in my next Shooting in Manual class!



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