Thursday, May 20, 2010

Inspired and Encouraged

Almost a month ago I was lucky enough to attend the first of many photography workshops now being offered by Donna Boucher. My intention was to post about it before we left for Kiawah Island, but I got hung up on the editing thinking I was going to invest in Lightroom (editing software). Then I realized that Adobe is releasing a new version in the coming months so I'm going to hold off a bit. I did not want to wait any longer, however, to talk about the workshop as it was the highlight of the month for me so I quickly edited in iphoto all of the following photos taken that day.

The day long workshop was geared toward "inspired beginners". There was a nice small group of us so we were all able to ask as many questions as we wanted, and we asked plenty. If Donna drinks, she definitely had a drink when we left her place;) The day started with monkey bread:

As far as I'm concerned, any day that starts with monkey bread is a good day. She also served a yummy lunch. We were spoiled.

Donna's daughters were our models for the day. They were both as sweet and patient as they are beautiful. And they are truly stunning. In my humble opinion, they have the perfect hair color.

Top ten things I learned at the workshop:

1) How to find the light. Photography is, after all, all about the light. Donna pointed out how to find it and how to make it work for us.

2) Focus on the eyes and make sure they are reflecting the light. It makes all the difference.

3) It is okay to have your own style. I happen to like less saturated images and I learned how to achieve this effect in camera (and through editing/post processing). I also like pictures taken in window light when one side of the face is sort of shadowed (like the one above). And I like that you can tell that it was overcast outside.

4) A great local spot for a photo shoot:)

I can't wait to take my girls here.

5) How to operate my camera manually! Until now I'd always used aperture priority. Now I can find just the right exposure and adjust the settings as I see fit in a given situation. I'm practically a professional after this workshop;)

6) Either I have arthritis or my new lens is HEAVY. Which means I have to be mindful of keeping still and use a faster shutter speed for sharpness.

7) How to take a good action shot!

8) I like averted gazes as long as I can see the eyes. I think I read this somewhere before and it's true- if you can't see a good portion of the iris it doesn't look as good.

9) And smiles like this...when you wonder what the person is thinking. This picture reminds me of the Mona Lisa:

10) Katie is as silly as she is sweet and is a perfect muse:

It was a wonderful day, full of fun people, photography, learning, sharing, good food and a new Land's End bag. I wish everyone could have a day like this every month.

If you are in the area (or not- Madison is a great place to visit) and have an interest in learning how to take better pictures, I highly recommend this workshop.

Donna, thank you! Consider me inspired and encouraged:)


Allison said...

Wow--fabulous post! I adore the one taken inside with the overcast light. Sooooo . . . you know I am an amateur photog as well, and since I am no where close to Madison, please please please tell me how to "find the light" too. Pretty please?

Becky said...

Great synopsis of a great day!! I have been practicing my metering and it finally clicked!

denise said...

I love her! How amazing you got to go to a workshop of hers. Jealous ;) Great shots.

Donna Boucher said...

Oh Holly! This is a fantastic report ;o)

I love how you learned some things that I didn't teach...
like how important it is to find your own style.
You got great light in the girls eyes and your action shot is amazing!
The capital shot is wonderful.
And Mona Lisa is right!

I am thrilled that you enjoyed, were encouraged and inspired.

You just made my day, Holly!

Stephanie said...

Holly - I am so happy you got to do this! Your pictures are amazing. Where is that train? Greenway?

I am so with you on the hair color. I love Ruby's lighter red but those girls have THE BEST red. :)

When are you guys done with preschool? I hope we can get together sometime!

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Maria Melee said...

Holy cow, these are gorgeous photos. And gorgeous subjects.