For as long as I can remember, I have always loved photography. I never took the time to really learn the craft. As a child, I had a disposable camera that I would take photos of my dog Abby. Yes, the ENTIRE roll was of her: dressing her up and trying to get the perfect shot. I should dig up those photos at my mom’s to share. They are quite comical.
Quite a few years ago, my sister Adrienne received a nice DSLR camera: Nikon D3000. I took a slight interest in it, but I was in college at the time. I didn’t live at home. And, to be honest, I did not have the disciple to learn. I had a post back in 2011 of some of the first photos I ever took with my sisters camera. You can see them here. We all have to start somewhere, right?
While I loved borrowing my sister’s camera from time to time — Thank you, Adrienne!! — I still did not really know what I was doing. I knew nothing about photography. I shot in fully automatic mode. I got mad because “the camera didn’t work right.” Aka, user error. I put “learning photography” on my bucket list and never pursued it.
Until this year.
A friend of mine and I planned a road trip to Colorado. I knew this was just the PERFECT time to learn. We officially booked the trip early 2017. Our trip wasn’t until June. I spent nearly 4 months researching cameras and another month researching about lenses. I finally decided on the Canon T6i. Of course if I had a few extra thousand bucks in my back pocket, I would have picked the 5D Mark III. And you know what, even if I did have that extra money laying around, I would still start off slower. What if I ended up not really liking it? I know there’s always an option to sell a camera, but what a hassle. I do want to capture a lot of life moments so at least if photography didn’t end up being a huge passion of mine, the T6i didn’t break the bank.
In any case, I found myself in the internet black hole with watching countless hours of Youtube videos. It’s all so fascinating to me. I love learning the reasons why the camera functions the way it does.
Colorado was beautiful. Although I hadn’t taken any official classes at that point, I did get some beautiful scenery shots while we were there. But it piqued my interest even more. I enrolled in a Photography Certificate through UW-Parkside. 20 class (40 hours), plus an additional 2 classes (4 hours) of a Lightroom workshop. I had saved up the money to do it so I jumped into it head-on.
I am currently just over halfway through my classes. I went from shooting in fully auto mode to shooting in manual. I have learned SO MUCH about my camera. More than I ever would have by myself. I fell more in love with photography that I quickly snagged up my friend’s children to practice taking their photos. I was also taking photos during my lunch breaks. I have my camera with me all the time. My camera has already been to Denver & Colorado Springs, Colorado, Mackinac Island, Michigan, and St Louis, Missouri — all done in three short months! June, July, & August were some very busy months!
I even started up a separate website for my photography. It took me over 2 months to really start setting everything up. I’m happy to announce that it is officially launched!
I’d be honored if you hopped on over to check it out!
This was the first photo I took of the rain while trying to get that bokeh effect. I loved how it turned out so much that I have ended up using it on my website.
There are still a few updates that I will be doing on my photography page, but it’s at the point where people have asked to see more of my photos and to start booking with me so I wanted to get something together. I can’t wait to learn more and more about the craft!