Family Photography Classes I Took This Year
There are SO many opportunities to learn from others in the photography world it is hard to choose. With any profession, continuing education is important for growth and learning. When you work by yourself, you need to prioritize education, budget for it and schedule it in.
A lot of the time, I’m not sure what to take – sometimes I’ll hear about something from a friend, read about an opportunity or seek something out that I’m interested. When I was first starting out I took classes from Click & Co and Creative Live but this year I really wanted to get a different perspective and expand my photographic knowledge. While I might not use everything I learned in my commissioned work, I find it keeps me intellectually challenged and fills in deficits that I have about art in general.
There is a quote I read in a book from one of the workshops below that resonated with me and highlights the need for continued learning.
“There is a pretty clean formula for mediocrity. Simply stop doing the things that stretch you, stop asking questions, stop developing skills, and stop striving to discover your voice, and you will stumble upon mediocrity soon enough.” – Todd Henry
So in my attempt to slow down mediocrity, below are the four (4) family photography classes that I took this year.
1. Editing for Artist with Roxanne Bryant
I started the year with this class offered through Illuminate Classes. For years I tried to get into Summer Murdock’s class but gave up since it sells out within minutes every single run. Fortunately, I did snag a seat in Roxanne Bryant’s editing class and it was worth it. There was so much to learn about Lightroom and I knew very little about color theory. After the class, I had a much better understanding of why I liked certain photographs especially when it came to color and how to make better edit photos. Roxanne is a brilliant teacher who really takes her time in giving you feedback. The only downside is after taking this class you’ll want to re-edit everything.
Below is one image that I worked on during the class. The blue and the orange tones is something I might have noticed before but not appreciated how it adds to the image. In everyday life I am seeing how color theory is used and can appreciate the work that goes into creating magazine covers and TV shows and movies.
2. The Family Narrative/TFN Together
The Family Narrative is synonymous with family photography classes. Every year, the organizers find amazing teacher who highlight different aspects of the field. In 2017, I attend The Family Narrative in New Orleans and loved the founders take on family photography. This conference is really about raising the bar, being inclusive and thinking about family photography in an entirely different way. In March, I was supposed to again to the Atlanta conference but a pandemic was starting and there were so many unknowns. All the Boston attendees decided to stay home and the organizers graciously created an at-home experience for us to we could still access the information.
The organizers have also created a monthly learning program that I’m participating in.
3. Creative and Daily Practice with Angela Douglas
This was a new workshop for me and I only put it a fraction of the effort I should have. I love how Angela’s workshop took a different approach than my past experiences to force us to find a voice, experiment, encourage other creative outlets and expose the participants to other photographers that I may have never heard about.
Part of the course was self-portraits and here is one from the workshop.
It also helped remind me to experiment and try new things. Here is an image experimenting at a maternity session.
4. T.A.P.A.S. with Kirstin Lewis
While I don’t consider myself a documentary photographer, I love this genre and try to take some documentary photos throughout the year. Most of the photos of my own kids are documentary since they really don’t want to sit and pose for the camera. If you watch T.A.P.A.S. with Kirsten Lewis live it is free but there is always the option to purchase the class after the fact. Every time I watch, I pick up different tidbits about photography like layering and staying with the composition that I can incorporate into my lifestyle work. This year, I enjoyed the dynamic between Kirstin and Tyler.
I’m trying to plan out 2021 and I’m thinking about maybe a class on lighting and/or portraits. Send me your suggestions!