The SMF Photography Basics Workshop

Growing up, I had always hoped to attend a photography workshop, but I could never find any in the State College area. I would look to take trips to New York or Virginia, but between school and extracurricular activities, the time never seemed to work. So, when we began SMF, I promised myself that we would one day host a workshop in State College! This event was both eye opening and humbling for me. The amount of work that went into it stunned me, but the fact that people took an interest, was the best feeling ever!

Evan was constantly asking why certain things were taking me so long :/ Honestly, I wasn't prepared for all the work that this one-day event required. EVERY. SINGLE. TASK. Was far more of a process than I had anticipated. Selling tickets meant, looking for ticketing sale programs, creating a new website, taking new photos for the website, making questionnaires, etc., etc., ETC.! It was not what I had envisioned, but it made me that much more thankful for my team! If it weren't for them and all their help, we would not have been able to put on such a smooth and education-filled day!

Like I said, I was SO humbled that people signed up for our first public workshop. It was a (scary) leap of faith, and I wasn't sure if anyone would take an interest at all! So I want to give a HUGE thanks to our 6 attendees! We loved getting to share our photography lessons with you all!

On Sunday, March 1, we welcomed 6 Pennsylvania photographers to my parent's house in State College! Some even came from Johnstown and Philadelphia to learn with us! Meet the crew!

On Sunday morning, these six photographers were welcomed to the house with goodie boxes that were filled with personalized notebooks by Lucy and Fay, Catherine's homemade Chocolate Chip Cookies, pens, the day's agenda, and SMF photography tip sheets!

With the help of our sister, Mauvette, and Dad, Catherine and Evan assorted breakfast snacks for everyone complete with coffee and muffins from The Pump Station Cafe (OUR FAVE))!

While we snacked on our breakfast, we introduced ourselves, and got to know a little bit about everyone! We began the morning learning about our cameras, the settings, and shooting on manual! Before the workshop, Evan familiarized himself with each type of camera present so that we could teach everyone how to find and adjust their specific settings. We had to relearn a lot about Nikons!

After a morning full of technical work, we enjoyed Catherine's Taco Chicken Bowls! They were made in the crockpot, and Catherine made sure to get up at 4am so that it would be all ready by lunchtime! Thanks to our sister-in-law, Em, for sharing this amazing recipe with us!

After lunch, Catherine and Evan took everyone outside to practice using their cameras on manual mode. Evan was kind enough to act as the model. Meanwhile, I took everyone's headshots in our sunroom!

We spent the afternoon learning about equipment, lighting basics, composition, and communicating from behind the camera. Soon we would get to put all of our learning to use by shooting a live session. Since the majority of our attendees were interested in family portraits, we ended our day shooting a family session!

I'll be honest, out of all the sessions that we shoot, our most unpredictable shoots are usually family or newborn shoots. Just because I never know how good (...or sometimes not so good) of a mood the families will be! So, when I read that everyone was most interested in family photography, I was a LITTLE nervous. What if it was like my one session where the little boy HATED the camera, or a shoot where the kids were fighting the whole time?! One thing was for sure, this would be a learning experience!

Thankfully, we lucked out with the Swaugger family! They were not only ready for their family portraits, but they were all so excited! Thank you to Diane, Van, Ethan, and Ally for being amazing humans and such a wonderful family for our portrait session practice. We loved hanging out with you and appreciate you spending your time with us for this session!!

We ended the workshop with our group photo, and a Q+A to finish off the day! Look at this fine looking crew!

Thank you to everyone who helped in making this workshop a success! Whether you shared our posts, ordered the breakfast, went grocery shopping, picked up our tip sheets, wished us good luck, watched our photography tips, reviewed education with me, drove to State College to attend, shared your charger, or laughed off me misspelling my own name on the agenda print-out (yes... that happened) WE CAN'T THANK YOU ENOUGH! This would not have been possible without every single one of you, and I am incredibly grateful for you and your support.

We can't wait to continue to see your work and to share our lessons with you on this photo journey! LOVE!!


P.S. OH! And to everyone worried about my last-minute wedding dress shopping...

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