Beginners Photography Class

Beginners Photography Class

When I started Love, Lexington I knew that I was going to have to learn somethinganything about photography. I’d only really only used my iPhone for photos and while that was great for Instagram and personal photos…I was going to have to “up my game” if I wanted to have a successful blog. The weekend that I started Love, Lexington I purchased a Nikon 1 (that I still don’t really know how to use…) and figured that would be good enough to get me going. My photos were fine but I wasn’t achieving the look I wanted.

The mister has dabbled in photography for years (and does a lot of my photos featured on Love, Lexington) and decided to upgrade his camera. In doing so, he passed down his Nikon D300 to me.

Talk about being overwhelmed!

There are zero “auto” options on this camera. You can imagine my excitement when I discovered a hands-on, beginners class, taught here in Lexington by photographer, Kristin Tatem. A portrait photographer and photographer to blogger Beth from Seersucker and Saddles, offers the beginners photography class to focuses on teaching you the basics of using a dSLR (ISO, aperture, shutter speed) and helps you get your camera out of “auto”.

_DSC3454 (photo from the beginning of the class)

The beginners class is kept to 20 students which provides a truly personal experience. Kristin starts the class by reviewing the basics of what you need to know about your camera (what is aperture? what is shutter speed? what is ISO?), reviewing why lighting is so important (lighting is everything and is my first focus point now), and then she moves around the room helping to answer questions and assist you in working you camera should you still be struggling figuring out where those features are.

After a quick break for lunch (don’t worry…Kristin will feed you as part of your fee) you will move into what was my favorite part of the whole class…putting to use what you just learned!


Now…keep in mind, with 20 students and a live model, we can’t all be in the best spot to get the best shot. What I found most helpful was that Kristin talked us through how she would look for the right lighting, what to do with dapple lighting (coming through the trees), and discussed what settings she would set her camera on (in manual mode) to help determine what we should place ours on and help us understand those settings.

These photos (below) were taken the day of the class as I tried to get my settings right and move as quick as Kristin was able to move.

How cute is our little model?? 






I was able to take the tools that I learned from that day and begin practicing on my own. An added bonus to taking Kristin beginners class is getting to join her private Facebook group. In this group you can post your photos (and settings) and get feedback from Kristin and other students to help provide constructive criticism. This is great for helping you learn what you could have done differently or if you are finally getting it!

I still have lots of room to grow, but since this class I have become a lot more comfortable with my camera in “manual mode” and knowing what to adjust if my photos are not coming out how I would like them to.

Below are some photos I have shot over the past few months since taking the Beginners Photography Class with Kristen:

HighStreetFly-30 { High Street Fly Post }

The photo (above) was taken a the week after taking the Beginners Photography Class.




{ Entwine Blog Post }

Indoors can be  challenging. The photo shoot from Entwine (above) was good for me to practice focusing on my ISO and aperture settings down.



{Napa Vacation May 2015}

The best is learning from your photos. In this bottom photo from Napa, I see now that I could have used more light on the flowers. Since I did not notice this when I took the photo, I could edit the photo in Lightroom to brighten it up or to remove the shadows on the flowers.

KY Moonshine-16

{Rabbit Hole Distilling}

I love to practice when I can and I use random things around my house, like my new Moonshine bottle, to practice using my 55mm fixed lens. Love the bokeh that this little lens provides.

The beginners photography class has even helped with my iPhone photos for Instagram Posts (^ Pasta post). I always try to get near a window for natural lighting when possible.

 The photos (below) are from the Henry Dry Goods Instagram “take over” last weekend. I did have to enhance the photos in Lightroom as the weather this particular day was not ideal.




If you are interested in learning how to better use your dSLR (you know…the camera that may still be in it’s box or has never been taken off auto mode) this Beginners Photography Class is for you! There is also an online version that has a few editing classes. You can buy them separately or as a bundle here. The next class is  Saturday, August 15th and registration is now open. Remember space is limited so sign up early to ensure you get a seat!

Head on over to Kristin’s page to learn more!

7 thoughts on “Beginners Photography Class

    1. Love, Lexington Post author

      Hi, You’ll need to check Kristin’s website to look for class dates. She usually has 3-4 a year.

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