"In all of living have much fun and laughter. Life is to be enjoyed, not just endured!"
~ Gordon B. Hinckley

Sunday, December 1, 2013

30-Day Challenge for December

It's a new month! Time for a new 30-day challenge! This is one I've been meaning to do since forever, and I'm really excited for it!

A long time ago, me and Trevor decided it was time to get a "real" camera! We did a lot of online researching different brands and models, checked out a lot of customer reviews and reviews from tons of websites, talked to several different camera stores and some friends who are photographers or know photographers, and spent quite a bit of time comparing features and prices...and in the end we chose to get a Nikon D5100! We did a lot of price-hunting too and were super lucky and even found a crazy good deal on one that had been refurbished by Nikon (so it was like-new and passed the same inspection as all their new ones do before leaving the manufacturer, and it came with a warranty that even covered water damage!).

I LOVE my camera! But in all honesty, my excitement to start learning how to take better pictures was quickly squelched by apprehension as I realized there are waaaaaaaay more bells and whistles on my beautiful machine than I know what to do with. Trying to learn the concepts of photography while trying to figure out what the heck to do with my camera (not to mention how to edit images, or format my card and a million other things) was just a bit too overwhelming, and I've been putting it off, and putting it off, and putting it off...and now it's been over a year and a half since I bought my camera, and I still don't know how to use it or how to take good pictures! I believe the proper word to describe this would be something between "ridiculous" and "pathetic".

My initial interest in photography was mostly along the lines of pursuing a new art form - playing with light and composition etc. Now I'm just a little over a month away from having my first baby, and I want to be able to document our new life with her! So I have some extra motivation in addition to my need to get out of this ridiculous/pathetic rut of having a great camera that I'm afraid of because I think is beyond me, and missing out on gaining a good skill because I'm intimidated by new information.

SO, for this month's challenge I am going to spend 1 hour every single day on learning something that will help me be a better photographer. (And by "photographer", I really mean "a girl with a camera who is less clueless than she was 30 days ago") There are such pretty, happy, wonderful things to take pictures of around Christmas!!

Things that qualify for my hour of camera time include: spending time composing and shooting, reading up on how to use my camera, getting familiar with different settings on my camera, learning about editing, practicing with my editing software, learning a new camera tip from a tutorial, and watching or reading tutorials on anything photography-related really. There's quite a bit of lee-way here. Basically the idea is to spend a little time every day, so it's not such a big scary thing when I decide I want to bust out the camera!

I have some good material to get me started, but please please please feel free to send me any tips of your own, or any links to tutorials, blogs, websites, classes, books, youtube channels, or any other sources that you think might be helpful! I would LOVE your help and input as I learn!

I'll try to keep up with posting links to sources I find particularly helpful for anyone else who is beginning photography too, or who wants to brush up on things. Several of my friends have posted on facebook about wanting to buy their first entry-level SLR and start learning, so I'm sure several of us are in a similar boat :)

Happy December! And happy shooting!


  1. I just got a DSLR too! (Santa came early this year ;) I've been doing some research (since I knew what I was getting for Christmas this year) and I've found a couple of sites that I really like:

    http://www.kristendukephotography.com/ - I just got her book too, can't wait to get it in the mail!

    http://clickitupanotch.com/ - This one has some great tutorials.

    Good luck! :)

    1. Congratulations on getting a camera! And thanks for the links! I'll be sure to check them out for my photography hour tomorrow :D