Wow, it’s been an exhausting week! Eli and I are on the road A LOT and this past weekend you probably saw that my bridal shower was held in Richmond, VA. I was mentally and physically exhausted after the weekend, but in the best way! I think I was basically overly happy and excited for too long, like over 64 hours to be exact. I mean that’s awesome, but when we got back home, I was dead to the world. It’s just so hard to really get back in the groove of things when your schedule is always inconsistent. I’ve been working non-stop since I got home with blogging, lots and lots of laundry, unpacking and packing again (because of course we leave again today), catching up on emails, wedding planning, all of it. On the 10th we hit just two months until our wedding day (YAY), but that also calls for meetings with the planner and adding 100 things to the to-do list. But all these things aren’t keeping me from teaching Eli how to become a photographer. I’m so glad we have a schedule that allows him to learn something new each week before Thursday comes around. That way we don’t have to keep pushing back our lessons and we can stay focused on at least one consistent thing in our lives.
On Tuesday I handed Eli the camera and told him to just start shooting away. There was a beautiful golden glow, so it was the perfect time to take photos! I made sure he knew what to change on the settings to get the lighting right, and he remembered everything! 1st- aperture, 2nd- ISO, 3rd- shutter speed. We are training him to shoot like my personal style. I like my images brighter and concentrated on the face and eyes for portraits. At first he was trying to get all fancy and artsy-fartsy, which is great, but in some ways just isn’t my style. I tend to lean toward a clean look without too much going on surrounding the subject. So Eli went for it and practiced on my little face! 🙂 His first day of practicing was SO impressive!! There were definitely some moments where he would get frustrated because he couldn’t get the settings down quick enough, but there were also moments when he got super excited because he loved the picture!! We haven’t touched too much on lighting and working with the sun, but I just mentioned a few things that he could practice. When we get into the lesson on lighting, I will share tips and tricks that I have learned over the time when shooting in natural light. For now you can see Eli’s first practice session below. You’re going to see some pictures that he really loved and ones where he forgot to change the settings or maybe even hit something totally wrong. I also switched up the lighting on him and took him inside near a window. I think he did an awesome job for his first time without having a ton of knowledge about lighting, posing, or White Balance. GO ELI! After you see his photos, he will give a quick run down of what he thought of shooting for the first time! P.S. these are 100% raw – zero editing!!
Pictured above was when Eli stepped into the shade and I was still in the sun, but he didn’t correct the settings so it ended up darker.
The photo above is not the style we want to work with. We like even lighting from head to toe. Here the sun is only shining on my face. While some might think this is pretty, it’s just not a style that we want to use.
I think you can tell he messed around with the white balance here and didn’t even realize it! He thought he was changing the ISO. He took quite a few photos like this…
The indoor photos were more frustrating but he just played around and tried his best!
The following photos are taken with a phone- sorry ’bout it. Eli and Behr are best pals. They’re the cutest, sweetest boys ever. LOVE THEM.
First of all, to any of you reading this who are actually photographers, my hats off too you!!! This shiz is really really hard. At the same time, when all things come together and you hit that button at the right moment, the results can feel so rewarding. I must admit that I am the type who prefers to “get” things immediately, without having to read the instructions or take lessons. In other words, I usually am quick to “dive right in” to whatever I am trying to master. The downfall of this trait is that when I make mistakes, I can get easily frustrated. I might think to myself, “what the heck?! why was that picture not perfect??? I mean I’ve been training at this for like 2 days, I should be a pro by now!” and you can see how that is no way to treat the learning process. 🙂
Thankfully, I have an amazingly skilled and patient teacher who not only encourages me when I am doing things right but also calmly explains what happened and how to fix it when I am doing something wrong. I am just so blessed to be able to learn alongside my partner, and she is gracious to put herself on the other end of the lens for my sake (because I know how much she actually hates having her picture taken alone…)
From a technical standpoint, I am starting to understand how all of the elements of the camera work together and adapt to the lighting and framing situation you are in. I am still struggling with knowing what ISO should be set at in certain lighting situations, as well as not bringing the shutter speed down too low. It is truly a balancing act that is going to take many many repeated lessons to fully understand. Again, I cannot appreciate you photographers enough for your one-of-a-kind multitasking skills. I was having such a heck of a time adjusting camera settings to be just right that I completely forgot about communicating with my “client” and that is when I realized that this profession is much more than I ever gave it credit to be.
Overall, I am very very excited to continue to work on my skills as a photographer, including communicating and helping future clients feel confident and comfortable when they are in our lenses. As Remy said earlier, our schedule is simply insane but I love being able to take time out of the day to spend time with her and especially when I get to take beautiful shots of her in this amazing spring weather. Seeing her through the lens and then looking at the pictures afterwards gives me, personally, a whole other viewpoint on how gorgeous she actually is… yeah I guess this training isn’t so terrible after all. 🙂