Firstly I just want to say how excited I am to introduce you to one of my photography students, in the first of what I hope will be a series of blog posts that will help us to get to know some of the members of my online photography community a little better!
To set the scene, I really love to share my knowledge and give up-and-coming photographers some little tips and tricks of the trade, so a couple of years ago I developed a series of online photography courses showing students how to make the best out of their DSLR cameras and really optimise their photography.
Two years down the line and I’m so delighted to have taught more than 5200 amazing students, in an unbelievable 121 countries – all via the brilliant media of video-based online courses, where I guide students through their learning bit by bit with lots of practical assignments along the way.
One of my favourite things has been getting to know my students a little better as they post their photographs in my online community group for photography enthusiasts – especially seeing a colourful array of images from all over the world!
Without further ado, I think it’s about time I shine a light on some of the talent that I’ve had the pleasure of coaching, starting with Carisa Wenstrom from Memphis, Tennessee (USA) who enrolled on my Photography for Beginners: Composition, Posing and Light course.
All images in this post are by Carisa - check out her beautiful work!
What is your experience in photography? How long have you been doing it, what do you like to shoot? Are you amateur, semi-pro or professional?
I’ve been a photographer for about a decade now (where does the time go??). My first subject was my daughter Lucy who was barely a year old at the time. I was hooked from the first *click*. Over the years I’ve explored different subjects like landscapes, weddings, etc. I kept coming back to portraits and still life which are mostly what I focus on today. I work full time as a graphic designer during the day, so I’d say my photography is definitely still in the hobby stages (with a few paid gigs here and there), but someday I’d love to really find my spot in the photography world and make a living from it.
What equipment do you shoot with?
Right now I use a Canon 60D, and I favorite my nifty fifty more than I care to admit (1.8 50mm). I’m saving up for a full-frame camera though, with my sights set on either a 6D or a 6D Mark II. And hopefully I can add a Sigma 35mm F1.4 Art lends to my arsenal one day if I get the Mark II (fingers crossed).
What were your biggest photography-based frustrations or difficulties before the course?
Posing and finding the right light. I love doing portraits - there’s something about being one-on-one with someone and making that connection that I feel really brings something magical to the photo. But posing has always been one of my biggest setbacks, and it’s something you don’t really think about until you’re in the moment and suddenly find yourself blanking on where to put your subject and what to tell them.
What made you decide to do this photography course in particular?
The fantastic reviews of course! And the fact that this course covered natural lighting and posing, which are two of my biggest focus areas when it comes to improving my portrait photography.
What were your favourite parts of the course?
I really like the Case Study section, especially the Engagement Portraits and the Gypsy Caravans. Both were great in giving me a hands-on look at lighting and how to pose your subjects. Plus both locations were absolutely gorgeous! It was great to see Rosie really use those beautiful surroundings to add that extra something to her work.
How has it affected your photography?
Before taking the course, I was notorious for shooting anywhere and everywhere. I was so focused on just getting my subject captured that things like lighting and posing where always an after-thought. It wouldn’t be until post-production that I would really notice the missed opportunities. Now, lighting and posing are at the forefront of my thought process and I’ve been learning how to use these attributes to really boost my photos to the next level that I’m looking for. It’s also saved some time in post which is always a good thing, haha.
I think you’ll agree, Carisa’s work is absolutely stunning, and it makes me really happy to think I helped play a small part in that!
Thank you so much Carisa for telling us a bit about yourself, and of course I am delighted to hear that you got some really specific benefits from taking the course.
If you’d like to see what the course is all about for yourself, I’ve got the course on sale for my blog readers at just £19.99 until the end of the week. Learn more here: https://www.udemy.com/creative-photography/?couponCode=BLOGMAY19
Or you might like to join Carisa and hundreds of other likeminded photographers over in my Facebook community group where you can join in some really fun monthly photo challenges – we’d love to see you there! xx