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Photo Essentials at Balanced Exposure

Adam and I got our Cannon DSLR camera for Christmas in 2008 and I have spent nearly 6 years using the camera with the mode selector safely stationed in “Auto”. Every now and then I twisted the dial to one of the neato scene selectors, but not very often. I’d watch Adam twist and turn the dials, examine the numbers on the back of the screen and be moderately impressed with his skills, but many of the settings he chose were based on recommendations he read online or lack of fear to just play around with the camera (what a novel idea!), so neither of us really had a clue what we were doing.

Earlier this summer, my friend Kathy and I were talking about how we both have these fantastic cameras that we barely know how to use and I mentioned that I had seen Groupon deals for photography classes. After checking out what was available, we roped in our friend Julie and all purchased a $49 Groupon for the 4-hour Photo Essentials course at Balanced Exposure in Schaumburg. Our hectic summer schedules kept us from taking the class earlier, but we were finally able to go on Saturday and it was really stellar.

Julie, me and Kathy cheesing it up at the end of class in front of the portrait backdrop!

Julie, me and Kathy cheesing it up at the end of class in front of the portrait backdrop!

Russ, the photo pro who teaches the class, is knowledgeable and personable and you get to spend a large portion of the class practicing hands-on with your camera. I have a long way to go before I can proficiently and quickly pick the best settings for my photo op, but I’m much more confident in what all the buttons mean and that I’m not going to totally screw up the camera by messing around with them. I even signed up for 3 more classes at a great in-class discount. Now that I know a little, I’ve been bitten by the photography bug! I have no aspirations to become a professional or anything, but just to be able to confidently capture all our family memories would be an awesome skill.

Yes, I know both of the pictures are terrible...this is an example of how you get to practice how various settings influence exposure.

Yes, I know both of the pictures are terrible…this is an example of how you get to practice how various settings influence exposure.

The girls and I have plans to get together on Thursday to practice our newly acquired skills. Russ told us that we had to practice within the week or everything we learned in class will go in one ear and out the other. With any luck we’ll be able to put our collective mommy-brains together and remember the important stuff. No more Auto-mode for me…the training wheels are off!! If you are in the Chicago area and you are looking to learn about your DSLR camera and improve your photography skills, I’d highly recommend Balanced Exposure. I think the Groupon is offered nearly all the time and it is a great deal.

Looking so serious. I hate candids because I suffer from terrible resting bi$%hy face (RBF)!

Looking so serious. I hate candids because I suffer from terrible resting bi$%hy face (RBF)!

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