HOW TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR CHILDREN BEAUTIFULLY
Even if you are intimidated by your camera, your kids dont like to sit still and you pretty much just resigned yourself to snapping their childhood on your phone.
Do you know that sinking feeling...
Where you see your child do something magical, with a smile that melts your soul, in the most beautiful surroundings and you quickly grab your camera and take the photo and look back at it and... it's MEH. At best. The magic is gone.
Or when you take 27464 photos in one go, only to find that 3 are 'somewhat good and out of those, 1 missed the focus and in the other one, your child has one of their eyes closed.
Or maybe, you were getting rubbish photos, so you upgraded to a fancy camera in the hope that this would fix it, maybe even learned how to fiddle with some of the settings, but the photos are still not what you TRULY see?
And then it seems like everyone and their dog on Instagram is taking better photos than you?
BEEN THERE, DONE THAT, GOT THE TSHIRT.
And so has pretty much any parent who comes to our courses, so you're in great company!
here is what I learned:
ABOUT THE CAMERA
They're about connecting and seeing and THEN knowing how to make your camera do the same
Most people think :
- if only I get a better camera,
- if only I learn what this or that button does,
- if only I learn this or that technique from a tutorial somewhere on the internet
>>> THEN I'll take better photos.
But most people don't end up improving much. And most people get frustrated and give up on the hope of capturing beautiful photos that do their kids justice.
Because the problem is never the 'what does this button do'.
It's part of the problem. But it's not THE problem.
LET ME EXPLAIN:
Let's say, you want to capture your child running towards you - sharp.
Most tutorials out there will tell you that you need to set a fast shutter speed to capture the movement. But they don't explain all the other 'ingredients' that will help you capture an image that's as sharp as it is memorable.
We teach about shutter speed of course.
BUT WE DON'T STOP THERE.
We also teach you :
- How to make your focus follow your subject on the move so you get your child really sharp - did you know it could do that?
- How to compose your photo to really show their speed - not so easy to really show it on a flat, static, rectangle like a photo.
- How to position yourself to best capture those flying feet
- Whether to make your subject tack sharp or introduce a degree of blur to highlight the speed.
- We help you compose that shot in a way that makes sense from the point of view of how our brain processes the information.
- We help you recognise what that image is all about - story? connection? emotion? beauty? and how to compose to give it justice
- And we teach you how colour, light and texture light can help you lift the subject out of the background. So you take a photo like this:
In just a few weeks you could not only learn what that camera of yours does, but you could learn how to use it in combination with the knowledge of composition, light and storytelling, to take images that actually show your children for who they are.
Because this matters.
Because we just don't get do-overs with kids. There is no such thing as second-first steps.
Because all their little quirks, all the big and little moments that shape their lives and their childhoods are something that only YOU as parents see and appreciate fully.
And they are the thing that make them who they are.
There is simply no outside photographer who can come in and capture those unique things because nobody knows your children like you do.
Fundamentals of Photography for Parents
Learn the steps and techniques to taking photos that capture your children for who they truly are. Go from snaps to photos you'll be proud to frame for your walls in a few short weeks.
Perfect for any Mum or Dad or grandparent out there who wants to capture memories you will treasure, not just phone snaps.
Just think : in a few short weeks with us you could learn to:
Just listen to Hannah:
"Absolutely, without a doubt, the best money I have ever spent on anything kid related. I so wish i had done these courses 6 years ago, just before my 1st was born.
I recommend this to anyone who has kids and likes to take photos of them, so pretty much any parent, ever! My photography has improved significantly and I'm just sad the course are over, i have loved everything about them!"
WHAT'S INSIDE PHOTOGRAPHING CHILDREN?
If you have bought an online course before, then gave up half way through because ... life.. - well, we are a bit different.
This is A LOT more than a bunch of random tutorials. This is a proper, well designed, supported and paced course that genuinely delivers.
Before I set up Photography for Parents, nearly 10 years ago, I was a professional educator and course design pro.
Photography for parents marries my 2 great loves - photography and educating. #livingthedream
HERE ARE THE INGREDIENTS THAT MAKE OUR COURSE DELIVER
The one with all the materials:
5 core course modules, introduced on a weekly basis, plus a bonus wraparound module ( more on that below) - courses accessible online and in pdf version
The one with all the people:
you're not going through the course on your own - as part of the course you join an online peer support group, moderated daily by the instructor, where you connect, get help and go through this journey together with other parents like you.
The one with all the answers:
every week we run an live online class which is where your instructor goes through the key parts of your course, answers live questions and demonstrates techniques and additional illustration photos. The Live classes are run in the evening ( after the kids are in bed) and are always recorded in case you couldn't join in live
The one that's all about you:
Every week comes with homework to help you practice the elements we introduce in the modules. You submit those images to your instructor on a weekly basis and receive thorough, photo-by-photo, video feedback from your instructor - so it's all about you and your progress, nobody else's
The one with the bonuses:
a PDF workbook to help you go through the materials and practice the skills, handy cheat sheets formatted for your phone so you can whip them out on the go plus a Bonus wrap-up module with swipe files of photo ideas for children at different ages, handy checklists and more!
The one after it's over:
we don't just leave you on your lonesome after the course is over - you get access to a=our Alumni group - a Photography for Parents Clique if you will - which is where we continue supporting you, answering your questions, encouraging you to take photos through weekly and monthly challenges and peer support
What Aoife thought:
"What an amazing group and course. I’m so delighted I found PfP. Without doubt the BEST decision ever... I did it at just the right time when the kids were small and the memories which I have captured have been amazing. My photos are so precious to us and I know will be wonderful memories for the kids to look back on as they grow up. If you love photos and want to capture some precious memories.... get in touch... you will have such an amazing photograph journey with lots of support and encouragement"
Aoife Crawford Bonner
INSIDE THE MODULES - aka WHAT DO YOU LEARN?
Module 1: See what your camera sees
Our first module is dedicated to breaking you our of the snapping habit and giing you a fresh perspective. We show you how your camera sees the world differently than what you might expect in three major ways - the optics. the focus and the light.
At the end of the module you will have gained full control of your focus - no more guessing game and kids turning out all blurry, you will also gain an insight of how to use your lens ( there is a skill to it) and how to let the light help make your subjects stand out.
- The importance of focus and what it does to our brain
- Taking control of your focus - the Where and HOW your camera focuses
- Mastering focus formula - a process to help you determine what settings to use for each occassion
- To zoom or not to zoom and how it changes what and how your camera sees
- Learning how your camera sees the light and how to make it better, especially with tricky light
- learning how to shoot against the light - like a bright window and NOT end up with the person looking all dark
Module 2: On exposure and all things sharp and blurry
In our second module we take you off the auto setting and dive deep into learning about exposure - i.e. making sure that your images are not too dark or bright or blurry. BUt not only that, we pay special attention to how to make some of the things in your image sharp and others blurry through the use of specific compbinations of settings
How to work your camera in priority ( semi-manual) modes, how to capture detail or portraits with a great separation of sharp and blurry to make these elements stand out.
- understanding the mechanics of your camera - how does a photo actually happen inside
- taking your camera firmly OFF the Auto settings - learning the key factors ( aperture, shutter speed and ISO) and how they interact with one another
- How to capture portraits and those precious detail shots beautifully
- switching to Aperture priority and controlling your aperture - the how and the why
- taking control of what in your image will be sharp and what will be blurry - hello full control over blurry backgrounds, blurry foregrounds and pin sharp subjects in between.
Module 3: Capturing movement
One of my favourite modules, dedicated to helping you capture your kids in motion - whether they're wriggling babies, speey crawlers, wobbly toddlers or perpertual-motion-machines that most children are. We learn how to match your focus settings, your shutter settings and your composition to capture great movement photos.
Learn how to capture your children on the move, SHARP but also how to use blur and speed to really showcase and highlight movement. Big AH-HA moments here!
- switching your camera to shutter priority and mastering MOVEMENT
- learning how to capture moving things SHARP - yes, that includes those fast movingbaby arms and legs
- learning how to capture moving things BLURRY - and why would you want to do it?
- learning how to highlight action and energy and speed in your images and how to help yourself with composition
- creative techniques like night time light trails or panning or creative blur
- how to use your focus settings on top of your shutter settings to help capture things sharp
Module 4: And then there was LIGHT
We should call this module the AH-HA module because there are so many discovery moments here. Learning how just turning around or taking 3 steps to a side will change the light in your image completely and take your image from MEH to WOW. Learning how the kind of light you have will result in a completely different look.
How to find good light in your o=home and outside, how to use light in a way that enhances your images, how to find great light for a portrait and how to find beauty in the shadows. And if you have never thought about either of these, this is probably why your images so far are not consistently great
- Learning to see the different QUALITIES of light and how they influence your images
- discovering how to find good light in your home and outside
- learning what kind of light might be best for moody portraits and light and light abd airy baby shot
- learning to see the light - really see where it comes from, how it affects your child and how to bend it to your will
- learning how sometimes just turning around will make the hugest difference to the way your image looks
- getting creative with light : bokeh, light flares, startbursts, halo effect and more!
Module 5: Photographic composition and storytelling
Although we introduce elements of photographic composition throughout the course, this is the module entirely dedicated to it. We look at composition not just as a set of arbitraty rules, but more as something that helps you express what you really see and feel. We look at photographic storytelling and helping your images get look more impactful and stronger
Good photographic composition principles to help you really show the magic you are seeing. At the end of this module you will say goodbye to boring flat photos and will instead start taking rich images with lots of depth and eye catching composition.
- understanding how we 'read' photographs and how to compose so that the magic YOU see translates into what the others see when they pick up that photo
- fundamental rules of photo composition - we started you off with the rule of thirds but there is MORE
- Good crops, bad crops, crazy crops and everything in between
- storytelling through your photographs - how to make your images mean something and show something real, beyond 'my child looks cute here'
- getting creative and expressing yourself through photographs
- learning to go beyond your usual compositions and discovering different styles
BONUS Module 6: Idea Bank : Photographing children at different ages
This last module is a bit different. We us it to give you lots of ideas for photos with children of different ages - from photographing milestones to capturing what's unique about them at a particular stage and really getting into their world to capture where they're at. The module is packed with ready to take ideas and will let you take all that you have learned in the first 5 modules and apply it in real life sitautions. We also help you think ahead to the next steps in your photography education - should you want to continue.
Fundamentals of Photography for Parents
NEXT COURSE STARTS 14th Sept 2020
We have a nearly 90% completion rate on our courses!
That's students who not just signed up, but actively participated, submitted homework, joined in the webinars.
This is against the general average of just 10 - 18% for most online courses out there!
But will it work for me? - our guarantee
We know our course works. We have seen a few thousands of students go through our courses and really improve.
BUT, if you find that you gave it a go, gone through a couple of modules and it just doesn't work for you, you haven't learnt anything new, it's the wrong level for you, you haven't improved - we will simply refund you in full. Simple as that!
What did Michaela think?
"I can't recommend the programmes highly enough. The instructors are knowledgeable and inspiring and the course materials easy to digest and appropriate. I had never picked up a DSLR before and found I was taking better shots within days of the starting the course. If you want to create some truly beautiful photographs of your children but feel a little intimidated by anything other than your phone, this is the course for you. But be warned! Taking great photos is highly addictive..."
Because the longer you wait, the more irreplacable moments you miss, the older the kids get, the more they change. There are no do-overs with kids, no second-first steps, no second- first smiles. It just doesn't work that way. And if you change nothing about the way you do things...well, the results wont change
Fundamentals of Photography for Parents
NEXT COURSE STARTS 14th Sept 2020
Please note this will be our last Fundamentals course date in 2020,
the next course will start in January 2021
2 ways to learn with us:
OPTION 1: Fully immersed :
where you get all the materials, all the personal support, all the bonuses. It's THE best way to learn and get the most of our course if you ask us!
OPTION 2: Light Touch
All the core learning materials and support group but excluding some of the more interactive elements such as our live class, personal feedback on your images as well as the bonus materials - perfect for the more independent students
All the learning resources, all the community, all the support, all the personal help. Virtually foolproof
Core learning resources and instructor led support community
Are you ready to get started?
You are reading this because you want to take better photos of your children. You want to capture the memories - big and little ones. and you want to capure them in a way that shows the same magic you saw with your own eyes.
But to get there, you need to make that first step - change the way you approach your camera and photography, move away from snaps and start creating photographs that last.
This is where we come in. Join us - we'll help.
What photographic knowledge do I need to start the course?
For our Fundamentals course, you’ll be absolutely fine even if you’ve never picked up a camera before. If you have, but aren’t 100% comfortable with your settings, you’ll find the course will help you structure your knowledge and you will quite likely pick up a few new tricks as well.
If you’re relatively familiar with the camera’s manual settings, but want to try out new techniques and develop your composition – our Advanced, Level 2 course is the one for you. If you’re not sure where your knowledge puts you, just get in touch and we’ll be more than happy to help.
I can't tell if I need a Fundamentals or Advanced course
We created a placement quiz which should help you decide which level is right for you. Download it here: https://www.dropbox.com/s/kgxf0cn64b7uq9z/Fundamentals%20or%20Advanced.pdf?dl=0
What do I need for the course?
- A camera with manual controls – it doesn’t have to be an SLR, a mirrorless or a bridge camera are absolutely fine – get in touch if you’re not sure if yours is up to the job. These days, most cameras beyond the simplest of point-and-shoot ones ( does anyone even buy these anymore?) tend to do just fine.
- Ability to spend approximately 2-4h per week ( not necessarily in one go) on your photography practice. We suggest spending at least 15min daily for best results
- Access to the internet ( that’s a given but we had to mention it )
- A child / children you can practice your photography on
What happens in the course? How does it actually work?
The course consistes of 6 modules, each focusing on a different aspect of photography - 5 core modules and a bonus last module : Idea Bank with advice on follow on practice and development. The course is inclusive of a 1 week break after the first technical modules to allow for extra practice and ironing out any issues.
Every Monday morning, we will release the module's core materials for you to access and read at your leisure. You don't have to be online when they are released - when you log into your learning space, the materials will be waiting for you. The modules include little 'Ttry it now' exercises which you can follow to immediately put in practice what we explain in the materials.
On top of that, you get given weekly homework - nothing strenuous, we usually ask for a few photos which illustrate the skills we teach in that module. Usually, our students tend to spend weekdays on the module and the little practice exercises and do the home assignmemt at the weekend. We give you personal, detailed video feedback on those homework photos. Our students often say that this feedback is one of the absolute best things about our course. Please note that we do not provide feedback in our Light Touch version of the course.
Every week, typically on Wednesday or Thursday evening, we run a live webinar class, during which we cover and expand on all the key elements of that module, we answer your questions, we provide additional explanations and illustrations. These sessions are scheduled in the evening and always recorded, so that even if you couldn't join live, you can always relay them. Please note that this element os not available to our Light Touch students.
Finally, there is also our private Facebook group - for the students of your course only. The group ia a great opportunity to share your images, ask questions, chat to your fellow course mates. It's also where we post any additional materials and info and / or run little additional video demonstrations when needed.
Each course is run by an experienced instructor - professional children's photographer who is your main point of contact to answer your questions, provide your feedback and talk to in your FB group and in webinars. They're there to help and nurture and cheer you on in your photo journey.
What camera do I need? Does it need to be a Pro camera?
No. You DO need A camera. And your camera needs to allow you to make changes to some of the manual settings ( going beyond the ‘landscape’. ‘portrait’, ‘fireworks’ modes). You’ll often be able to tell if your camera has those just by looking at it - if it has a wheel with letters M, A, S, P or M, Av, Tv, P on it you’re good to go. Some modern cameras do not have that though, but still let you change those settings, so just drop us a line with your camera’s make and model and we’ll happily advise. We even have a few cameras for rental if you need.
Will I improve? I’m not an ‘artist’ type
Ah. The question not many people actually ask, but nearly all want to know. Obviously - I don’t know you or your ability BUT I have seen over 1000 students go through our courses ( in person or online) and every single one of them improved. Some improved more than others, some really got the ‘photography bug’ and moved on to start their own photography businesses, some just kept it as their hobby and a way to get better photos of their kids. Not everyone can become the next Annie Leibovitz but everyone can learn how to use the camera to deliver the kind of results they want ( like that blurry background in images or being able to capture your kids on the move - sharp!) and everyone can learn how to master their camera and principles of composition and light which make your photos much stronger. So yes, you will improve, even if you don’t think of yourself as an artist.