Review: Photo By You Workshop

I mentioned yesterday that my goal for the year was to learn how to work my camera. Here’s part 2 of accomplishing that and making this blog easier on the eyes.

Remember Emilie from Photo by Emilie?


I’ve sung her praises before, when she worked her magic on Campbell last Halloween. And remember how I wanted to sign up for her class at Oh Sweet Sadie Academy? I had a church commitment that day and I couldn’t. And then I asked BC to sign me up for one of her Photo By You workshops for Christmas. He didn’t.

I pouted. After all, I DID get him a stupid Xbox. With Kinect.

So, when Emilie emailed me and asked if I wanted to attend her workshop last weekend, I jumped at the chance. No, really…I jumped. And squealed. And maybe even danced a little.


I attended the Photo By You workshop. She does have other options for those of you who are more advanced or even for folks who aren’t local. Take a look at her classes page for more info on that. You can also pick up her Photoshop action sets and get photography tips. I’m loving the most recent one about white balance!

First of all, I need to tell you about quite possibly the best part of the workshop. This information is hidden way down at the bottom of “Things You Will Leave With” when in reality it should be in capital letters across the top of the page: Emilie’s husband is a chef and your workshop includes breakfast AND lunch, including Diet Coke, if you’re so inclined (and I always am). I’m still thinking about the salad with the fresh mozzarella. And the blueberry scones.

The other best part? The workshops are small, as in 6 people or less. This means that you can (and will) get all your questions answered as well as plenty of help when you’re practicing and taking actual pictures. Like the part where Emilie pointed out that the reason all my action shots were blurry was because I’d bumped the dial on my camera out of manual mode. Oops. Go check out Shelley’s action shots, if you want to see what I missed….like this one, for example.

Let’s look at a couple of pics that *I* actually took, shall we?


How pretty are the baby’s eyes???




Totally unprovoked, moving in to plant one on her brother…




Oh look…there’s Emilie!



The sweet little girl had WAY more personality than should be allowed in a tiny little body!

And, although the kids were done (I mean who wouldn’t be after being outside in the cold with 4 random strangers pointing cameras at them for half an hour?), look! I did that thing where the kids are in focus and the parents in the background are not!


You’ll also learn top secret tricks that up until now have only been known by professional photographers. Like this:


Are you a Utah local who now NEEDS to take this class? Great news! Emilie’s next Salt Lake workshop is scheduled for March 26th from 9-1. Even better news? There’s a discount available through March 1st. Use code “CRAP” and book the workshop for $189 (a savings of $36)! Included in your tuition: BREAKFAST AND LUNCH, a 60 page workbook, and Emilie’s Photoshop action set!

If you don’t live in the Salt Lake area & still want to learn from Emilie, you’re in luck. She offers a 1-on-1 online workshop, too.

I also heard a rumor that Emilie might be offering a class specifically for bloggers in the next little while… If/When that happens, you know I’ll make sure you hear!

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Review: Say NO! to Auto by Kristen Duke

So, I got a DSLR for Christmas in 2007. As in, when I only had 3 kids. And (here’s the pathetic part), I’ve mostly used it as an expensive point and shoot. So, one of my goals for this year is to learn how to use my darn camera. (And then get a nicer one. Kidding…mostly.) So, this week we’re going to talk about a couple of things I’ve done so far to improve your viewing pleasure ‘round these parts.

Let me start by saying that I’ve taken a couple of classes at blogging conferences and learned a lot of new words, but actually taking my camera out of auto? I still didn’t dare! I’ve also ordered a book or two, but to actually sit down and read said books? Not happening. In fact, I think one of them is still in the Amazon packaging. Maybe I should open it and make sure it’s what I think it is…

So, when Kristen contacted me a few weeks back and asked if I’d be interested in checking out her new e-book, Say NO! to Auto, I jumped at the chance. (You might remember her from Season 1 of CWTS…crafty AND she takes a mean picture. And we have the same couches.)


For $10, available for purchase in her sidebar, you get her 18 page booklet (in jpg format, scaled to 4 X 6 size for cheap and easy printing) FULL of stuff you’ll need to know to stop using auto. I love the fact that it’s a size that is easily portable!

I also loved that she included a glossary (because when you’re a noob, all those terms get confusing) and a handy ISO reference chart. I’m a math dork that likes very specific instructions, so the ISO chart was totally might have been my favorite part. Not super anal and codependent? Don’t worry! There are dozens of pictures notated with the camera settings used and other tidbits, too!

So, am I saying no to auto?

I’m getting there…

(Someone’s getting a new room of his very own. This picture’s your hint of what’s to come.)

(I took this when it was dark enough that I usually would have just given up and used a flash. Stay tuned to see what I turned that hideous Easter basket into later this week!)

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