Friday, March 26, 2010

Teaching My First "Photography" Class

Teaching a class in camera and photography basics never occurred to me, however, a student from one of my hand-coloring classes planted the seed and I watched it grow. Thank you Melinda!

Melinda’s husband bought her a wonderful new camera for Christmas and she wanted to learn to do more with it then leave it on automatic. Since I was fairly certain there were other people with the same desire, I sent out an email announcing my new class and before I knew it, 6 people signed up! Now what?

I am very honest about the fact that I am not a “technical” photographer. There are a lot of things I don’t understand about what digital cameras can do, but I have taught myself more than enough to get by. I decided I would use that approach and simply show them the features I use, while explaining basic photography terms like “depth of field”, “shutter speed” and “aperture”.

I had each student email me the name of the camera they would be bringing and then set out to learn what I could about those DSLR’s. I downloaded and printed the pages from their manuals I thought were important and highlighted what we would be talking about.

The class started inside my studio where they got comfortable with their equipment.

After that, we left for my first “field trip” to Capitol Park, a few blocks from my studio in downtown Sacramento.

It was the perfect day! Trees and flowers were blooming, it was a little breezy (they learned the importance of choosing the right shutter speed) and a slight cloud cover created the best “softbox in the sky” we could have asked for. On top of that, just being out with this wonderful group of people was so much fun! We laughed, they helped each other, they asked great questions and took a lot of very awesome photographs.

On Sunday we all came back and uploaded their cards to my computer and spent the afternoon looking at the images and reviewing the concepts from Saturday. Everybody agreed that looking at their photographs as a group, helped cement much what we had covered the day before.

Bob, Terry, Lee Ann, Penny, Teresa and Melinda – Thank You!! Your passion, enthusiasm and desire to learn, inspired me in so many ways and for that I will always be grateful.

Coming soon………some of the images made that weekend…………..


  1. Oh, I so wanted to take your class. Just wasn't meant to be. Next time for sure. Can't wait to see some of the pictures!
    I loved taking all of your other classes. You are a great teacher Dianne! Alane French

  2. Dear Dianne,

    Congratulations on starting to teach photography. It is not all about digital, there are other elements and those are the basics, the digital is phase two. As for the next step, it is Photoshop basics.

    Wishing you all the best,

  3. Thanks Alane! It would have been great to have you there, but there will be other ones.

    Thanks Egmont! You are right - there are basics and then there is "digital". I hope to add more photoshop to the mixture soon. Stay tuned..............