Do you want to learn how to create your own beautiful memories?
Do you own an expensive camera but only ever use it in automatic mode?
Do you envision an image in your mind but can never get your photos to turn out how you want them to?
If you answered YES to any of these questions, then this class is for you!
Learning to use your DSLR photography course - $249
This five-week hands-on photography introductory class in the east end of Ottawa will cover the following topics:
Getting out of auto mode and understanding how and why your camera's shutter speed, aperture, and ISO (the exposure triangle) work together to create beautiful photographs
Using natural light (sun) and artificial light (flash) in a variety of shooting scenarios (indoors and outdoors)
Understanding the rules of composition and how to use them to create artistic photographs rather than simple snapshots
Learning what the different icons and functions on your camera's LCD screen are and how to use them to create the photographs you envision
Practical strategies for taking photos in a wide variety of settings and circumstances (e.g., of your children and grandchildren, nature and landscape photography, travel photography, food photography)
The 'Learning to Use Your DSLR' class, which I created in 2014, is incredibly popular with parents, individuals who travel, and with small business owners. Sessions sell out quickly as the class is only offered five times each year.
The photography course is 5 weeks long and meets once a week from 7–8:30 pm in my Orleans studio. You need to own either a DSLR camera or Mirrorless camera that allows you to shoot in manual, shutter, and aperture modes.
Each participant takes home a 50-page course manual that will reinforce what you learn in each lesson both during the class AND in years to come as you grow and improve as a photographer. When you graduate from the class you become a member of a special graduates group. In the graduate group, you can continue to learn and participate in our photography challenges as well as ask questions and receive feedback on your images.
The course is hands-on and there will be homework assigned each week. I check-in with my students on a daily basis in our private Facebook group to give feedback on your photos and answer questions.
Class space is limited to ensure an optimal learning environment for all participants. Classes are offered on weekday evenings (Monday through Thursday). The class is perfect for hobbyist photographers of all ages 16+ and not for those who own their own photography business or who intend to start one.
Worried about missing a week because of travel of illness? Not to worry: I have video recordings of each course so you don't fall behind and the course may also be attended via live video conferencing.
Graduates of the class can also register for Intermediate level workshops. Previous topics have included Landscape & Nature photography, Sunsets & Silhouettes, Urban Photo walk, Baby & Child Photography, Introduction to Lightroom, Night time/Holiday Light Photography.
"Sara has a great way of presenting this material a variety of ways. The content is accessible to people that aren’t savvy or are intimidated by their fabulous DSLR. I was looking for something that would help me get over my own limitations and start using my camera to its full potential. This class and the way Sara creates a learning environment has encourages me to get off the "green box."
"If you are looking to take better pictures with your DSLR in a fun, hands on environment, this class will exceed expectations. I can’t believe how much I learned in just 5 weeks! It was exactly what I was looking for and my photography skills have improved tremendously. Sara was an amazing teacher and I cannot recommend her enough!"
"Sara, I just wanted to thank you for the excellent photography course. It truly exceeded my expectations. You really are a natural teacher! I didn’t think I’d understand all the concepts and terms so quickly. I found the course very organized and I loved how we built on our knowledge every week. I’m so sad it’s over! The good thing is I’m more motivated than ever to pick up my camera every day and practice everything I’ve learned! I’m also looking forward to any future courses you might be teaching! Thanks again!"
"Sara has built a very concise course that will teach you the basics with enough content to keep you busy practicing for years! It's exciting to see your photos steadily improve over the 5 weeks."
"Sara's Learning to Use Your DSLR Class was just what I was looking for. Her step-by-step approach, the small-group format and the weekly assignments made getting to know my camera less intimidating and fun."
"For years, I had used my digital camera only in Automatic mode, becoming increasingly apprehensive about moving to Manual. Sara's well-thought-out, step-by-step approach, with appropriate exercises at each stage and constructive feedback, built up both my skills and confidence. When I look at my "before" and "after" photo libraries, I am amazed and delighted by the difference!
"Sara is a fantastic teacher, I've had the opportunity to take her "Learn to use your DSLR" as well as post class workshops. She is professional and invested in her students. I can now take better photos and have a solid understanding of lighting, positioning subjects and using the manual settings to capture the images I want. I have a renewed excitement to take photos. I think the best part is that she continues to support you with a closed FB group for graduates of her class. The small investment has turned my expensive camera into a tool I use and the value gained has more then exceeded my expectations. I took the class in 2015 and I still get coaching from her. You will celebrate your growth as an amateur or hobbyist and you will be happy with your decision to learn from Sara.
"Before taking this class I only ever took pictures on Automatic mode, I would bring my camera places but would often come home frustrated because the photos rarely did the moment justice. I also felt the owning a DSLR was a waste because there was not much quality difference between what I was capturing with my new camera and what I could get which my Sony or my iPhone (with the right lighting)… 5 weeks later I have already forgotten what its is like to use Green square mode (as Sara always put it), I have gained the confidence and the knowledge to look at a situation and know what mode to use on my camera! This has completely transformed my attitude towards photography! I have always wanted to do a 365 day projects, but before this class I was afraid that I would take the same picture day after day and that I wouldn’t get bored and quite before I had completed it. Now that I have learned so much about composition, perspective, capturing motion, freezing motion, depth of field and so much more, I feel like 365 days worth of pictures would not even be enough photos to express all the ideas I have floating around! Thank you Sara for completely transforming how I will capture the moments of my life!"
"The fact that there is homework actually forces you to practice and learn. The class itself goes over the fundamentals of your camera but it's really up to you to learn at your own pace. I appreciated the assignments and apply the basic knowledge to everything I shoot now. It gets easier with more use for sure!"
"The wealth of knowledge we gained in these five sessions is incredible. I’ve lead many book, blogs and tutorials, nothing compares to what Sara was able to teach in 5 short sessions. I can’t thank Sara enough. I’ve never been very happy with my photos. That has now changed thanks to Sara. I now know where to start when I see a problem and how to fix them quickly so I don’t miss the shot. Thanks Sara!"
"If you're looking to get better use of your DSLR I would highly suggest Sara's class! I was finally able to get better pictures of my children and capture such wonderful memories. She taught me not only how to take technically better photos but also how to see things differently. I get such wonderful comments on my photography now. My skills have grown so much and I have Sara to thank for that!"
"I took Sara McConnell Photography's Learn to Use your DSLR a few years ago and have been putting the concepts she taught us into practice since then. My goal, when I took the course, was to finally learn how to use my DSLR in manual mode (except auto focus). The concepts she taught us helped me to make this switch and I generally only move to an auto mode if I'm handing my camera to someone else to take a photo!
Sara's method of teaching is logical and easy to understand. Each week, there is practical work to allow you to apply the concepts you've learned. She begins by isolating each of the various concepts and then puts them all together at the end. She's created a great private FB group, where she supports her students in the class and provides feedback on our photos each week.
I took Sara's course because I wanted more control and flexibility over my photos (something as simple as deciding when to turn the flash on vs no flash or choosing the focal point myself). I finished the course feeling far more comfortable with each of the manual settings. Sara also runs an ongoing FB group that graduates become members of. It has been a continual source of support and help since the course ended.
If you're considering taking this course, don't delay. It's worth every penny!"