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a nice camera for YEARS! It was a DSLR back when they weren’t super affordable and not everyone had one. I would take pictures ALL DAY, EVERY DAY. I paid $1200 for this camera with my graduation money and I just knew that if I paid that type of money, I would take AMAZING pictures…. instantly. That’s how it works right?! Right. Nope. Not even close. I would snap away at EVERY event in college. Cookouts, parties, concerts, sports games, volleyball tournaments… you name it, I was there with my SUPER NICE CAMERA! I would take hundreds and then no one would see them until I spent time making them look extra awesome in iPhoto. People praised me for my skills. Was I really good?

No, not really. But no one else had an SLR and so that automatically made my pictures the best! So this continued for over a year… and then I second shot my first wedding right before my Junior year of college. I loved it…. but when I was shooting certain aspects of the day, I was disappointed that what I was envisioning for certain shots wasn’t shining through in my images. It’s like my camera didn’t catch my vision!!!! Come on you Rebel xti! Didn’t you know that I was trying to expose for the skin?! Not the blaring sun behind the bride?! So frustrating. It was then that I decided to go home and learn to shoot manually. 100% manually. No more auto, no more little green box…. I was going to learn it all.


I went back to campus after that first second shooting job and I switched my camera to the “M” mode and vowed to NEVER change it. It was HARD. I specifically remember shooting pictures at a volleyball game in the middle of the day. Clouds were coming and going and the light was constantly changing and I couldn’t keep up. How in the WORLD did people do this on WEDDING DAYS?! Even though there were  A LOT of over exposed pictures from that volleyball game, I didn’t change my settings. While everyone else was goofing off and having a care-free afternoon at the JR volleyball courts, I was experiencing a pivot point in my camera skills. From that point on, I shot manually… constantly. And that’s how I learned. I didn’t take a workshop, I didn’t take courses at college and I don’t have a photography degree. :) It’s not impossible to be self-taught. I’m living proof that it’s possible! But it takes dedication, a lot of frustration and commitment!! So happy shooting everyone… especially those of you that have a DSLR and are ready to learn your manual settings!  And by the way…YOU’RE the one that will be doing all of work once you’re shooting manually…. not the camera. And that’s what makes you a PHOTOGRAPHER…. not just the girl in college with the NICE CAMERA:)

Happy Wednesday!

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xoxo, Katelyn
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