Five years ago, almost to the date, I found out I was pregnant with my first child. As a soon-to-be first time mom, one of the items on my “must have” list was a camera that “took great pictures.” I decided to go with an entry-level Nikon DSLR. Why Nikon? Well, because someone told me to – no other reason in particular at the time.
Here is a side-by-side comparison of one of the first pictures I took of Maddie with my Nikon D3100 and the last picture I took with that exact same camera and lens three years ago. Notice a difference (and I don’t mean in the child)?
Well, what changed? My camera didn’t change. My lens didn’t change. I changed. I changed HOW I was shooting. I stopped allowing my camera to make decisions for me. I learned how to shoot how I wanted to shoot. I learned about exposure, focus, light and composition. I took full control, and gosh, it made SUCH a difference.
I hear ALL the time that people want to upgrade their cameras so they can get better pictures! But, unless you are shooting in full manual mode and still not happy with your results, chances are the camera you own is just fine!
Of course, gear matters. If gear didn’t matter I wouldn’t have invested so much in the camera and multiple lenses that I currently own; however, I only upgraded my gear when I fully grew out of the camera I was using and when I decided to turn my hobby into a business.
I will forever be grateful for the one person who took the time to encourage me to shoot daily and teach me the basics of shooting in manual mode (thank you, Meghan!). She gave me the BEST gift ever – the skills and confidence to document my little girls. That is the most important thing.
When my sister found out she was expecting, she also got an entry-level Nikon D3100. I had learned SO much about photography over the past four years and was eager to teach my sister how to use her camera to its full potential! Here is one of her first pictures and her last -- again, same camera and lens.
I moved to Costa Rica earlier this year and took a break from client work, I had this little idea in the back of my head. I wanted to teach others. I had so much fun helping my sister learn the ropes of photography and saw how much she improved. So, I tried it. I did a trial run of a four-week beginner’s photography course. I had the pleasure of teaching and getting to know some amazing women at the end of last year, and I’m so looking forward to offering a second run of the course in February.
The course can be taken online only, or, for those who are interested in the Santa Ana area, we will meet weekly to discuss the class topics.
Hope to see you there!