Entries by ania

Happy birthday to us!!

We turned 9!

10 years ago I had a baby. 

And she was perfect and magical and despite not sleeping much and eating seemingly nothing she somehow thrived and filled my days with love. I lost myself in that new motherhood experience - it changed my life it ways I never expected and appeared to make my heart grow to twice its side.

Baa Baa black sheep, have you any fun?

But as me and her were learning to find our new ways in the world, and by world, I mean baby groups and and the occasional baby class with baa-baa-blacksheep on repeat, I found myself missing some parts of pre-motherhood me. I had always been active and creative and an educator and I was craving a challenge, a stimulus for my brain. 

If I couldn't find something that would give ME that experience, damn it, I'd create it.

Photography felt like a natural fit and something that was a gift to both the parent - who would get to explore a creative passion - and the child / family - who would get their lives photographed beautifully. 

So around the time my daughter turned 1, Photography for Parents was born. First as a tiny little local class for local parents - to begin with, under a different name - Time for Mums. 

But then, like a proper child -  it grew and changed, found new challenges and many unexpected joys, went online, found a community and lo and behold - here we are ( looking forward to the teenage years when we rebel and find an unsuitable boyfriend! ) 

Our people:

It could never have happened without our amazing instructors who put all their passion and knowledge into their stidents - Katia Muscara, Penny Carolan, Kitty Phillips and Johanna Shannon Little - these ladies are AMAZING and we wouldn't be the same company without them. 

And it would never be the same without the amazing community of YOU - being so active and supportive and inspirational in our Student and alumni group! 

Thank you to every single one of our students - who entrusted their photography education to us and shared their photography journeys with us - I am grateful to every one of you and appreciate you giving us your custom

And what better way to celebrate than with a sale!!!

First of all, there is the big one - £100 OFF our our Fundamentals Course  - the flagship course which most people start with and which will give you everything that you need to start taking better photos of your children. From the very first lesson!  

The special course fee is only £129 ( full price £229) but that discount is available to the first 9 bookers only. ( 9 bookers, 9th birthday - coincidence? Not, we thought it'd be neat that way.) EDIT: I'm afraid all 9 places at this price have already claimed yesterday! BUT since the sale is still on, next next 9 places are priced at £139 - if you're too slow to catch those, they'll go up again!

GO HERE to find out more about the course and grab one of those places!


If you're more advanced with your photography or want the next step on from our Fundamentals course, grab £50 OFF our Advanced course !

The discounted fee is £179 ( down from £229) for 6 weeks of lots of learning, breaking into full manual, learning emotional storytelling and composition beyond the basic rules. Our students tell us the course is transformative and 'the best money they ever spent!.

GO HERE to find out more and book your discounted place!


Photo editing is a completey essential skills for any photographer these days. And no, it's not the same as slapping a filter or two on. We take you by the hand and teach you editing from the ground up - understanding not just the 'how', but also 'why' so you can learn how to create the effects you want from your photos.

To help with that, we give you £25 off our Photo Editing course 

 GO HERE to find out more and book your discounted place!


Natual light is beautiful. And amazing. And we all love it. But sometimes, it's November afternoon, on a rainy day, in a north facing bedroom of Britain, and you just.need.more.light. And why not have a little creative fun while you're at it. And make your images TOTALLY natural. 

To help with that, we give you £25 off our Shooting with Flashcourse

 GO HERE to find out more and book your discounted place!

But tick-tock - the sale will end on Sunday 21st July! 
And one more important nugget of information - while the links reference boking our nearest courses, they can be deferred to a different date for up to a year at no cost. SO there's no good reason NOT TO grab those prices! 

And on that, note, if you're looking for me, I'll be grabbing a large piece of cake to celebrate with! 

Happy Birthday us!

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Photographing Joy


Fake smiles - be gone!

Awkward poses - no more! 

Boring photos - never again!

We're bringing the FUN back to photography!

THE BEST childhood photos are those that make you smile. The ones that want to brurst out of the frame for all the joy and happiness they spark. The ones that show TRUE emotions!

You know what I mean - belly laughs, not stilted half smiles,  armes spread with joy, little feet leaping off the ground, imagination and creativity at their best.

If 'Smile for Mummy!' is not working for you, we've got something else - a mini online photo course that's all about fun

✔️ we'll give you ideas for capturing genuine moments of fun and joy  (and ideas for fun things to try with different kids ages!) 

✔️ we'll give you tips and techniques of how to capture these moments best ( how to use composition and your camera settings for the best impact

✔️ we'll show you how to use body language, colour, props and storytelling to create photos that SCREAM fun

✔️ we'll talk to you about how to be in the moment and notice the loud and quiet joys in your children's lives

✔️ we'll encourage you to get in on the action and get into the photos yourself

 


photographing joy

starts Monday 27th May

AND IT'S FREE!

  • 5 daily lessons covering different ways of capturing the joy of childhood - from colour, movement, body language, light to storytelling, and more! 
  • Support Facebook group so you're never left to your own devices with unanswered questions
  • A CHANCE TO WIN our full flagship online Photography course! JUST for taking part!

Is this for you?

Are you a parent? Do you have a camera? Then the answer is YES

While our full paying courses cover both the technical and more compositional elements, our bootcamps are for anybody, of any ability! 

Because what you could be doing, is capturing photos like these: 


5 more reasons to join us: 

1. HANDS ON LEARNING

Because NOBODY learns just by watching. The format of the bootcamp is very much about having a go - whether you're a complete beginner or further along in your photo journey. Every day will come with a specific photo challenge so you'll know exactly what to focus on - and have some JOYFUL photos to cherish at the end. 

2. PLENTY OF SUPPORT

You will be joining our dedicated FB group where you'll be able to share your photos, get advice, ask for help and get inspired by your fellow bootcampers.

3. BABIES AND BEYOND

Maybe you have a baby, maybe your kids are at school - their smiles, their cuddles still melt your heart - you'll get to photograph both in our bootcamp

4. IT'S FREE!

Free, no charge, gratis, no tie-ins, nothing. We make no mystery of doing this bootcamp to show you how much fun you could have in our 'full' courses but there is absolutely no pressure to sign up! A tasty taster.

5. WIN OUR FLAGSHIP ONLINE COURSE!

Yes, you can win our Flagship online Photography course ( value £229) JUST for taking part. AT the end of the course we will draw a lucky winner who will get their pick of our online courses. It's that simple. 

How to join us:

1. Click on one of the buttons below to be redirected to a registration page

2. Complete the registration  - if you are an existing or past student, you need to enter the email you already have registered with us. If you're new to us, you'll need to set up a learning profile on our site - don;t worry - it's free 🙂 

3. Await confirmation email and get your camera ready for the course start! 

This category includes our current and past students on paying online courses as well as past bootcamp participants - in short those who already have an account registered on our Learning site.

It does NOT include those who just downloaded our freebies or took our self-paced email based courses.

If you're never attended any of our courses ( even if you joined our free email based course) this is a category for you. As part of the registration we will be creating you a brand new account on our learning pages which you'll need to access the material.

lets have some fun!

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Mayday Sale!

  • Long, warm days - ✔️
  • Beautiful sunshine and great light -  ✔️
  • Stunning colours and textures all around you -  ✔️
  • Plenty of fabulous photo opportunities -  ✔️✔️✔️

There is literally NO BETTER TIME to get your camera ourt and get clicking. 

With summer just around the corner, now is the time to get properly acquainted with your camera and learn how to take your photos from a forgetable snap to a keepsake that captures your child and who they are beautifully. 

We know what it takes and have the recipe for taking your photo skills from 'Mamarazzi' to 'your family's photographer' - and beyond if you wish! 

Our recipe : 

  • one part camera know how, 
  • one part understanding photographic composition
  • one part seeing and working with the light,
  • and one part inspiration, encouragement, personal, specific feedback and peer support.  

You get a really holistic approach to learning how to photograoh your children - one that marries the technical with the creative and shows you exactly how to approach your photography.  You get a supportive peer group that goes through the course with you. And you learn through doing - with home assignmemts, practice exercises, challenges - on which you get individual feedback so you can see how far you got. PLUS we have a very active, encouraging and helpful student and alumni community which stays with you long after the courses end. 

Our students tend to agree: 

Michelle Footer :
'If you’re thinking about taking one of these courses.....do it!
I’ve had my camera for a long time and despite having taken an adult education course to learn how to use it I never really figured it out! However after having done level 1 with Photography for Parents I not only know how the camera works I can also take photos which I am proud of.'

Shannon Molloy : These courses are just brilliant!
I recently completed the Level 1 course and have joined 3 boot camps. Ania has a beautifully clear way of explaining everything - ranging from the technical to artistic. The detailed feedback provided on each homework assignment is constructive and helpful, and I feel so much happier with my photography as a result of my learning with PfP. Additionally, the alumni group is lovely community and a fantastic way to keep supported and motivated between courses. Thanks Ania and PfP!

Dalia Seaborne : This is both the best baby class I took and the most enjoyable online course I ever done. The course is very well presented in easily to digest chunks, with a lot of short exercises along the way. There are plenty of opportunities to ask questions both in online group and webinars, and time to catch up if you fall behind (as we all know how unpredictable life is with the little ones), and, very importantly, you get an individual feedback on your homework photos.
I cannot recommend this course highly enough, and I am so grateful for Ania for creating this amazing course and community, teaching busy parents how to document their family storied beautifully!


Wait, did you say SALE?

YES! From today till the end of Monday, 5th May you can get yourself a deal and book our course ( or courses!) with a lovely discount. We have 3 courses starting shortly and they're ALL discounted.

PLUS a bonus for those who are ready to book - if you book by Saturday - rather than, you know, sitting there with your finger hovering over the button and then buying at the last possible moment (you know who you are) - you get an extra £5 off with a code EARLY5

This is the course for you

  • If you're new or relatively new to photography and / or your camera
  • If you're using your your camera mainly on auto and are frigtened if its buttons and dials
  • If you want help on how to start composing your images with care

Level 1 - Fundamentals:

  • starts 10th June 2019
  • 6 week course
  • £189 ( instead of £229) if booked by Monday
  • learn more about it

This is the course for you

  • If you're already relatively comfortable with your camera
  • If you're shooting in priority modes or started trying our full manual
  • If you want to be pushed and stretched on the creative side

Level 2 - Advanced:

  • starts 20th May 2019
  • 6 week course
  • £189 ( instead of £229) if booked by Monday
  • learn more about it

And after you've taken the photos...

BUt we don't just teach you what to do in camera. We can teach you what to do after too! Our super popular Photo Editing course ( based on Adobe Lightroom) is startng soon too! 

We take you through the process of photo editing, with step by step instructions and applications, live weekly class and an instructor led support group. 

Photo Editing - in Adobe Lightroom

  • starts 13th May 2019
  • 4 week course
  • £115 ( instead of £139) if booked by Monday
  • learn more about it


And in case you were wondering : yes, everyone improves!

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How to photograph an egg – part 2

In the last post we explored a few different way in which you could approach photographing an egg. Today - we have a fewmore for you! 

This one egg is not like the other...

This composition principle can otherwise be called 'pattern disruption' but come on - doesn't mine just roll off the tongue? 

The idea is that as we look at anything, we are pre-wired to look out for things that might potentially be important to us, carry some information, or just be different enough from the rest to 'mean' something. 

So if you create a repeating pattern, and then replace one of the pattern elements with something else, you are drawing the viewer's attention to that particular thing, and that's what makes it stronger and makes it stand out. 

This photographic principle is really widely used - once you know it, you start noticing in lots of places! 


Strength in numbers:

If you want to highlight multiple subjects and not necessarily only draw attention to one single 'thing', you could consider grouping objects. There are generally three ways to do it : 

Like with like 

when your objects are pretty much the same - grouping them together can make for a more dynamic composition, especially if you set their 'sameness' against a contrasting backgound.

Opposites attract

We're going here for drawing attention to what makes the subjects different, while still showing they have commonalities - such as shape for instance! 

Alike but different:

when the subjects in question are 'nearly' the same, but not quite and it's those minute differences that make them interesting

Now, WHICH of the three approaches you choose depends entorely in the subjects you have and what's important to the story. It's fun to play around! 


The broken egg

'You can't make an omelette without breaking eggs' goes the old saying. 

As much as eggs are beautiful objects, ultimately, what we want from them is to be yummy. And to show that I'm afraid it will reguire us to break them. 

Here is something that food photographers know well - we respond more to photos of objects which display some sort of tension.

Maybe they promise some action and make us want to respond to it - like watching a drip of yolk bursting over the edge of the egg and about to make it's way down ( which makes us want to catch it.

Maybe they simply imply that something has happened that altered the state of the object, which makes our subconscious brain wonder - what happened? why? Like showing an egg that's a little craked - who did it? can we peel it now? what's hiding inside? 

Sometimes just a simple action of placing an instrument of 'threatened destruction' - like putting a knife next to an otherwise perfectly fine objects will create a response in our brain.

In short, when it comes to food photography, don;t be afraid to break a few eggs...


Have you read part 1 of our guide?

It's HERE - How to phhotograph an egg part 1


How did you like our little mini-egg series? And did it inspire you to capture some photos of your own? 

If so, you should DEFINITELY be intering our Easter Egg photo competition! Ends Monday !

PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 

All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 

You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April

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How to photograph an egg – part 1

We have a little Easter treat for you!  There is no Easter without eggs and so today, we'll give you a little tutorial on how to photograph the humble egg.

In this, and a couple other tutorials following in the next few days, we'll be showing you a few differenet ways to capture THE EGG, paying attention to a number of different composition principles and style conventions. 

Today, we're giving you a few examples on how light can affect the way that your egg looks and how to achieve it without studio lights, constly props etc. 

Let's start simply: 

The minimalist egg

White egg ( mine was duck's ) on white plate, and white background. Pure simplicity. Nothing there to distract from the oval beauty of the egg. 

What I did:

I placed the egg and the other props by a window with indirect natural light coming in. That means, the sun was not directly opposite the window, so the light was gentle, rather than harsh. 

I used a white foamboard as a background placed on the table and put a simple white plate on it. Then I placed the egg on one of the edges of the plate and composed so that I could capture a fragment of the plate in such a way that the curve of the plate creates a partial frame, bringing the eye to the egg. 

All elements - the backdrop, the plate and the egg were white - allbeing in slightly different shades of white - this allowed me to create a minimalist, shades of white image that uses shapes as its main composition principle. 

I used solely natural light from the window - the gentle light created only gentle, wrap-around shadows which highlighted the eggy shape and made the egg look three dimensional rather than flat but were not too harsh at the same time. 

I experimented with reducing the shadows by bringing another foamboard to the side of the picture, but found that the added extra light didn't work out in this composition - it took too much of the shadow away and made the composition look flat. 

Important note on exposure. The images you are seeing are SOOC ( straight out of camera) = no editing beyond a gentle crop. To make sure I got the right look and the right exposure in this white on white on white image, I ended up overexposing by 2 exposure stops - otherwise the image was looking very ashen. I did that in manual, but if you're shooting in semi-auto modes, you can use the exposure compenation button. 


The drama egg

Just as our last photo relied on small and gentle shadows, this one takes full advantage of more dramatic light to highlight the egg's texture ( I just loved how freckly it was ) and shape. The shadows are deep and sharp, the backdrop inpenetrably black. The light shines and reflects of the shiny egg, giving it a bit of a sheen. 

What I did:

This is a tale of 3 black tshirts which I used to 'dress' my white foamboards. My egg was placed in virtually the same place as in the last picture, with the window by its side, slightly elevated compared to the plate I used previously. 

I then used the curtains to narrow down the beam of light coming onto the egg - I wanted the light to be coming from one direction only and since it was overcast and all I had was indirect light ( which worked so well in the previous image) - I needed a way to shape it a little. 

I dressed my whiteboards in the black Tshirts and placed one behind the egg and one on the side facing the light. By using a dark surface there, it meant that the light which would be hitting it from the window would be absorbed and not reflected back onto the egg, allowing me to shape the light more precisely. I used the third Tshirt to drape over a little box the egg was resting on. 

How is the egg staying up? Bluetac and a match placed strategically behind it. 

Composition wise, I used an approximation of the rule of thirds and allowed more space on the side the light was coming from. 

From exposure point of view, the same way as our cameras make white look ashen, they make black look a little more charcoal like. But I wanted black-black and a good contrast with the shiny part of the egg.  So I ended up underexposing by -1.7 stop to make it look just right. The image above is again unedited, straight out of camera. 


The double egg

This, to a degree is a version of the Drama egg from above. 

I used to intertwined forks to create a little seat for the egg and placed them on a shiny surface. I wanted an uninterrupted black background but to achieve it, I had to improvise. The only shiny black surface I could find in my house was the surface of the cooker. I used my black tshirts draped over my foamboards again, this time using 3 of them and creating a mini booth for the egg so that I could direct the light to come from one direction only to limit the glare on the cooker surface. 

I was careful to compose in a way that highlights the symmetry of the composition.

Exposure wise, I had to underexpose again to make sure my black background showed up as true black. 

I did perform one small edit after downloading the images from my camera. Due to the nature of my shiny surface ( - working cooker!) , I couldn't get away from the white markings ( to regulate hobs and temperature)  and they showed up in the original image. I used adjustment brush in Lightroom to get rid of them. See the photo of my set up and the  unedited image below - the white markings are showing in the bottom right part of the frame.

If you enjoyed this little round up of ways to photograph an egg, you'll be delighted to find out we have a couple more to come over the next few days! 


Part 2 of our guide is now up! 

check it out HERE: How to photograph an egg - Part 2

PHOTO COMPETITION !!!

You have a chance for to win a place on one of our online photography courses! 

All you have to do is to take a photo of an egg ( any egg - chocolate, fried, hatching)  and post it to Instagram or on our Facebook Page , tagging us in, at any time between now and end of Monday 22nd April. 

You MUST tag us in (otherwise we won't know to include it in the draw) and hashtag  #photoparentsegg

 

The winner will be picked at random on Tuesday 23rd April