Monday, 15 September 2014

Learn How to take Better Pictures with your Phone

A few weeks ago, I started playing with my photography skills. You may have noticed if you've been following me on instagram lately. During the last half of August, I registered for the SnapShop Phone Course by Ashley Ann Photography/Under the Sycamore.

Before this course, I knew next to nothing about photography. One of my sorority sisters did a quick workshop with us a few years back to try and teach us what all of those functions on our cameras meant, but I didn't really retain much of it unfortunately. (Which was entirely the fault of the student, not the teacher. My friend S, who shared her tips, takes amazing photographs.)

Plus, I now take pictures almost exclusively with my phone. When I'm out with Seb, I don't carry our other camera around (which I'm pretty sure is damaged a little anyways), and I find my iPhone can usually take pretty decent pictures. So, while I could do the point and shoot thing to capture whatever I'm taking a picture of, I wanted to learn more about how to take my pictures from ordinary to interesting. Ashley describes the course as "written in a personal and conversational way, this course contains all my thoughts and approaches to capturing life with a phone camera." One look through her instagram feed had me drooling. I can learn to take pictures like this on my phone??? Sign me up!

While I'm not at that level yet by any means, I do think I was able to apply her suggestions and snap a few "interesting" pictures while I was practising in the summer.

Playing with sunstreaks

Practising lines and rule of thirds


  Trying new tips for indoor pictures and angles

The course is entirely online through her blog and via instagram. It's module-based, so you can work through it at your own pace within the 3 week window the course is open. Ashley provides her students with a hashtag to use so they can all see each other's pictures on instagram and leave each other comments/feedback. 

I love the specific practice ideas and prompts provided, so it's quick and easy to start practising her tips right away. As I mentioned before, I had no previous photography knowledge, and I really felt I gained so much from her course. She easily explained the basics of photography and how to use my phone to capture everyday moments in a practical and realistic way. She also shared a ton of her own photos as examples so we had lots of guidance and ideas of what we were working towards. Past students can keep following the course on instagram to get new prompt ideas after their course time has ended.

What I also appreciated was this was not an app-heavy course. She did get into editing with apps a bit, but the course doesn't push a number of expensive phone apps, so you could fully participate without spending more.

So that's my newest hobby! Photography :) I'm enjoying it and look forward to playing around with all of the tips and tricks I learned in the SnapShop Phone Course.


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