I was SO impressed with the improvement in her photos in just three weeks of Bootcamp! Not only with the technical aspects of the camera and light – but mainly how she manages to wrangle those four boys of hers into getting gorgeous shots of them (and many when she was snowed in during a blizzard!!).
In addition to the awesome video she sent us above, I got to interview Karyn about her experience and showcase some of her gorgeous “after Bootcamp” family photography.
This is what she had to say:
Hi! Thanks so much for talking to us about Beginner Bootcamp. Let’s start by telling us a little bit about you!
Hello! I’m Karyn from Andover, MA, USA. I just received a Sony A6000 for Christmas (a couple weeks before I started my Beginner Bootcamp Session, and had Nikon D40 before that). Before Bootcamp, I was a photography lover (have always loved taking photos since I was a kid!), but almost always shot in Auto. At most I would play around in the different Priority settings but only when I went out specifically to play around – never for actual people or events.
I have four boys under the age of four, which makes a lot of things – including having a hand free for a camera – quite difficult!
OMG, I can only imagine! So you are over in the USA – how did you hear about the 21 Day Beginner Bootcamp and what was your reason for wanting to join up?
My friend Catherine took the first round of Bootcamp and after the first week was raving about it. I’ve always wanted to take a beginner photography course but could never find the location and time to go to an actual physical class. I was skeptical of taking photography courses online but with Cath’s recommendation I decided to give it a try, and it has been great! It’s even better, in a way, than going to a “real life class” because you are home with your subjects (your kids!) while you are learning and practicing, so you can be very hands on as you learn. There are plenty of opportunities to make mistakes and learn from them!
That’s actually why I created it as an online course. I used to travel around doing group workshops but found so many mums couldn’t coordinate the care for the kids to be able to attend an in person workshop. What was your biggest ‘a-ha!’ moment in the Bootcamp?
My biggest aha was definitely LIGHT!! How incredibly important good light is, and also how important continued practice is.
Ah yes, the magical light! So important! What did you love the most about the Bootcamp?
I think that I was able to learn so much and complete the course from home, even when I have very little free time. It gave me something to do for myself, even if I had to squeeze it in at times. I love that I am shooting in Manual now and understand so much more about my camera. And, of course, I love the resulting images I am starting to see!
I’ve tried to learn this stuff many times before in different ways, and have taken little courses at camera shops, but you manage to make it very understandable and manageable!
I’m so pleased to hear this! Ok so how has your photography (and possibly your life?) improved since you did the Bootcamp? Have people noticed?
I know so much more about how to nail shots of the boys now, and I am excited to keep practicing and improving! I’m really looking forward to continuing on with Perfecting Portraits next. I even find when I am looking to buy new clothes for the boys that I am leaning towards things that are less distracting so when I dress them in the future I’ll have a good canvas to work with!!! I’m thinking about layers and colours and textures, which I wouldn’t have before.
My life has improved since completing Beginner Bootcamp, because in the chaos of my daily life with all these little boys I finally have something I am doing for myself that I really love to do.
I love hearing this so much! So what would you like to do with your photography now?
I don’t think I will ever get into family photography professionally, but I will keep practicing on my kids and my friends kids and hope to become a very accomplished “hobby” photographer :-) I’d love to get to a point where I am good enough that other people think I could do it professionally if I wanted to (even if it’s not true!)!
I think you definitely could do it professionally if you wanted to! Thanks so much for chatting today! Is there anything else you would like to add?
I think I’ve covered everything! I have really loved the course so much. The Facebook group is amazing – both for the other students and for the ability to get your feedback as we go – for example, I was able to get feedback on my snow photos before going out and taking more and making the same mistakes. I am learning so much by practicing and then being critical of the shots I am taking, and considering those things the next time around.
I have loved Bootcamp and gotten so much out of it – both technically and personally. Thank you!