Free Beginner Photography Class: Student Images

I feel like your images are getting lost in the lesson so I’m going to round up your images on Wednesday Mornings to get everyone excited about their progress and completing the new lesson.  I’ve missed a few student reviews… so I’ll label each of the following showcase images with the lesson that corresponded.

And let me just say that this class is the most incredibly encouraging bunch of people. Sarah and Teddy noticed that I sometimes struggle to get images up in posts because I have three kiddos/a crazy life and are voluntarily taking extra photos to illustrate concepts for me when I have heavy week. Amber reached out to me with much needed words of encouragement as we battled through an inexhaustibly sick season here in the house. Andrew… well, as my father-in-law, I just feel blessed that he’s engaged in the work I’m doing here and growing as a photographer. And Amanda keeps sticking with my class despite being on nearly equal footing with me technically (and more advanced than me in some areas since she learned cameras digitally and I started with film). Jessica was given her camera in February and just jumped right in with the rest of us bravely and is improving so much each week she’s able to post (her family was down with the same evil bug we were for the last week or so). I’m just so blessed by this group of people gathered around me to learn and grow together. Thanks, class, for making this magical.


Sarah just purchased a DSLR to upgrade her Point and Shoot.  So excited to see what she can do without the limitations of her P & S, because that girl was rocking her previous camera.

Shadowy Couple (center)

Taken with the point and Shoot, I love this self portrait of SaraBeth and her beau. She shot this with center-weighted metering mode to get the shadows to be that magic 18% grey color. The snow has great texture with highlights and shadows so she rocked exposure. I think this is a super fun portrait!

Lollipop Girl - Bright (0.33)

This girl is totally engrossed in her lollipop and the surrounding parade. This was taken for our exposure value lesson and SaraBeth used +.3 stop to make sure the image was bright and airy.

Hallway - Flourescent Mode

Taken with her new DSLR, this image was a practice in white balance. The hallway is lit by flourescent light and the wainscoting is indeed a creamy yellow. What I love about this image is the really wonderful use of leading lines. Your eye is drawn by the hallway straight out to the door.


Amanda is currently launching her own photography business in the Greenville area.  I’m actually pretty flattered that she’s continuing in my class 🙂  She too had a camera upgrade to a full frame camera.  We haven’t covered what that means… but lets just say it’s a super expensive pro-level camera capable of taking wonderful images in low light/high ISO because of a super large sensor.  I’m slightly jealous (okay… super jealous).

kelvin 6000
Amanda uses the Kelvin Scale for White Balance. This was taken at 6000 Kelvin and I love the creamy skin tones on the adorable little girl resulting from this white balance. I’m might just start playing with Kelvin myself…

I want to capture raw emotional interactions between families and couples in a way that pulls away from the technicalities of a picture and pulls into one of the most important aspects of a memory: Love.
This was from last weeks assignment to write a mission statement regarding how you want to tell stories with your images. Here is Amanda’s statement, “I want to capture raw emotional interactions between families and couples in a way that pulls away from the technicalities of a picture and pulls into one of the most important aspects of a memory: Love.” The facial expressions here encapsulate this. His smile, her whisper, the timeless setting: just beautiful.

Andrew Aldrich

Andrew has been so busy chasing birds with his camera during the start of spring migration and the visit of some of his grandchildren, that his image contributions have been few and far between.  I’m sure once spring migration ends we might see more of him 🙂

Makayla 052, Center metering

This is from the metering assignment and is using center-weighted metering. I love the face framing effect of the two hoods, the warm sunshine-y hue of the image despite the cold snow, and the sort of annoyed/amused expression of his grand-daughter (my niece!).

Snow Buntings, Agamenticus WR 160 copy digiscoped, Vortex Viper

Andrew popped in for the mission statement assignment with this image of a snow bunting. I’m really proud of him for writing out a mission statement because writing is far harder for him than even learning how to use Photoshop Elements! Here’s his statement “To capture beauty as the eye sees it, and as the imagination remembers it.”


Ever since the beginning of class, I’ve admired Teddy’s eye for details (his horizon lines are always as straight as possible) and his love for contrast in light.  He keeps developing these skills in each set of images he submits.

High and Dry

This image of this forlorn boat just grabbed my full attention when I logged onto our Flickr Group. I love the colors and that sense of loneliness. Teddy shot this for our program mode/exposure value lesson at +1 to covey the scene as it would have looked had it not been an overcast day.


Another dreamy wall-worth image aptly titled “Narnia”. This is a very tricky white balance. It was taken at dawn so Teddy wanted to convey the darkness of the snow while at the same time making us see the yellow of the tungsten/incandescent bulb.


Amber has been snowed in for the entirety of our class with two little ones 3 and under.  She’s bravely managed to get at least one photo up each assignment.  Amber was a true beginner at the beginning of the class, never having dared to take the camera out of Auto mode.  I’m ridiculously impressed with her growth.

Beginners Photography Class -EV - {-0.7}

This landscape photo of the backyard was a very careful study in exposure value. She liked the blue sky better in this image at -0.7 but the overall exposure at -0.3. Sometimes we just have to pick which one we like better (or get very well acquainted with our camera’s capability for combining multiple exposures or our editing software). I liked this deep blue sky best, but I also love the staggered composition of the trees.

Beginners Photography Class - white balance {shade}
What drew me to this image was nail polish over carpet in the hands of a three year old. Lets just say my carpet has a very pink and very teal spot from situations like this one… I also loved how this is a detail shot. Taken for the white balance assignment, Amber chose the shade present for this warm image.

Beginners Photography Class {Storytelling}

This is one image that represents Amber’s Storytelling with Images Mission Statement. I was drawn to the image because of her daughters proud expression at the work of her hands. Here’s Amber’s Mission Statement: ” I want to capture the beauty of this earth and the love, emotion and every day interactions of my family and those around me.” I think she rocked it right here!