The photography class I took on Saturday at The Spot Studio was better than I could have imagined. For those of you living in the Dallas/Fort Worth area with DSLR cameras you’re not quite sure how to use I highly recommend looking into taking one of Peter Poulides’ classes…. After doing as much internet research as possible on the photography class offerings in Dallas (which practically amounted to nothing), The Spot Studio was the only option that struck me as professional, friendly and affordable. I signed up for the full-day beginner workshop – a 9am-5pm day that started out with Peter taking us (me plus 12 others) through the aspects that create an exposure and what type of exposure yields the best desired results depending on the situation. Sounds complicated but Peter does a great job of explaining and simplifying aperture, shutter speed, ISO, focusing, and how to start achieving creative exposures. The last part of the class was spent shooting a live “model” with different types of lighting. Our model Zoe was incredible, she’s only in high school but she was so comfortable and confident in front of 13 different cameras you would have thought she was a professional (I even told her I wanted her to give me lessons!). It didn’t hurt that she had the most gorgeous skin I’d ever seen and the prettiest blue eyes. Girl crush. Peter then uploaded the images from all our memory cards, chose several “bests” from each persons and showed us how they could be edited in Light Room (a phenomenal program that’s similar to Photoshop but seems SO much easier to use). The day ended with a slide show set to music with all the best pictures from the day.
I think a verrrrry common misconception about owning a nice, big DSLR camera is that 1) having one automatically makes you good at taking pictures, 2) that all your photographs turn out well, and 3) that you’re basically a professional with award winning compositions. SO not the case. I knew from the beginning that having a great camera and lens would not be enough for me – reading a good book (Understanding Exposure by Bryan Peterson) and taking Peter’s class have helped me feel like I have a firm handle on how to use my camera in the correct way. Now that I’ve honed my skills (crossing that off my 2012 resolution list) the next step for bettering my photographs will be to practice and practice again. And possibly a follow-up class or one-on-one session with Peter at The Spot Studio
P.S. If you’re worried about taking one of the classes because you think it’s too advanced I just want to tell you that there was a huge range of experience level in my class. Some people had never ever used their DSLR cameras before, some had never gotten off the “auto” mode, a few we’re coming to the class after owning their cameras for years but never feeling comfortable with them. There was even a 14 year old! Basically – the class IS for beginners but you will be shocked with how much you learn and the kinds of photographs you can achieve after just one day!
(All Images taken by MBM for A Piece of Toast)