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You’ll notice lots of photos of Maria sharing her outfits or her shoes or other fashion items here at Crazy Together. Heck, I bet there’s a decent chance you learned about us because of Maria’s Stitch Fix posts. I’m going to let you in on an open secret: the photos in those posts are almost always shot by Maria herself or a professional photographer -- never me.
In fact, Maria would rather use a tripod and timer to take a photo of herself than have me take it. These were both self-portraits that Maria shot in our driveway.
The main reason that Maria prefers to not have me be her photographer is practical: she has a LOT more experience as a photographer than I do. Over the years of taking and editing photos for the blogs, Maria’s developed her own style of photography and has high standards for the photos we share here and on Kinder Craze.
So imagine that you are very experienced at something and then have to watch an amateur with much less experience try to do that same thing. And then you have to share the results very publicly. It would be hard. That’s the situation for Maria and me. I try, but Maria just sees different things when she looks through a camera lens than I see. I’ll think her pose looks just fine, but she’ll think the camera angle is unflattering, or her posture is poor, or her hand looks awkward. I just don’t see those things through the lens and it causes a lot of tension. I often take a photo and hand her the camera without even looking at what I shot. It’s better for our marriage if I don’t try and shoot her portraits. So we just avoid it.
Even with that, I have developed a photography bug of my own. I just haven’t gotten nearly the amount of practice in that I need. Maria and I have been brainstorming for a little while about how we could level up my skills. Enter CreativeLive.
What is CreativeLive?
CreativeLive offers over 1,500 courses on a whole range of topics for creative professionals and hobbyists. Want to learn more about videography? They have classes on everything from basic fundamentals to distributing your film online and everything in between. Want to learn more crafting topics? They have courses on calligraphy and paper making and knitting and crocheting and so on. Most important to me, though, they have courses on photography.
The courses are cut down to bite-size chunks to make them easier to process and fit in to your busy schedule. And once you buy a course, it’s yours for life. You’ll always be able to access it and come back. If there’s one thing I love, it’s learning new things and CreativeLive makes it super easy. And, even better, CreativeLive schedules “On Air” courses that you can watch for free, as long as you watch them at the times they are scheduled to air. And we’re not talking the classes nobody wants. I looked at the list of On Air courses and may sign up for some myself.
Curious about the courses? Try taking a look at some them. The introduction to each course is usually available for free as a sample, so you can see exactly what you’re going to get, including what the topics are and if the instructor is someone you want to listen to.
Enough about what CreativeLive is. Let’s talk about how I plan to use CreativeLive to help me with my problems photographing Maria.
Posing for Portraits
Once Maria suggested CreativeLive for helping me work on my skills as a portrait photographer, I was on board. I scrolled through the huge number of photography courses and found one that seemed like it would help me the most: Posing 101: Essentials. This class has ten segments (most of which are 15-25 minutes each) covering the basic guidelines, posing for specific body parts, and posing various body types. This is right up my alley as I need help not just learning how to pose Maria, but to learn the basic philosophy of posing as well.
Before I started watching the class, Maria and I decided that we should do some “before” and “after” photos to show you just how much the class can help. We recently took a trip to the Detroit Institute of Arts and found a great spot to shoot some basic portraits so you can see what my photos typically look like. These are the very best ones in the bunch. Maria stayed on her side of the lens and let me do my thing without any direction from her. Then, after we were back at home, she found her favorites and lightly edited them for brightness and color.
So, nothing terribly exciting there, just some basic poses. They’re not bad, but I know I can do better.
Now that you can see what my baseline level of posing skill is, I’m going to start watching the CreativeLive Posing 101: Essentials and then come back in a few weeks to show you the results, along with some improved photos of my beautiful wife. I can’t wait to see how it turns out!
Improve your Photography Skills and Save 20%
If you really want to take great photos, owning a nice camera will only get you so far. You also need to train to recognize and frame a great photo through the camera lens. I’m excited to learn more about portrait photography from my Posing 101: Essentials class and (even better) I’m happy to share the news that you can level up your own photography skills, too.
CreativeLive is offering a 20% discount to the first 1,000 people who sign up for their very first photography class. Use discount code ISHARE20. The code can be applied to any photography class, offering you the ability to brush up your skills in any area of photography that you need. (1 coupon per user, offer expires May 31, 2017) Check out the courses here to get started!
Check back in a few weeks to see how my experience with CreativeLive turned out. I’m really excited to see what strides I can make in my portrait photography and I’m sure Maria will be eager to see some improvement, too. Hopefully we can get both be smiling at the end of our next photo session.