A few weekends ago, I was fortunate enough to attend Beth Fletcher Photography's You Capture Workshop. I can't say enough about how perfect this workshop was: from the location at the Venue (the intimate, dimly lit setup made it feel like I was meeting Beth for drinks and we were simply having a conversation about a subject she loves--which we kind of were, minus the drinks), to the breakfest Beth provided (I love the included coffee mug so much; when I drink my weekend morning coffee, it makes me think of what I want to capture).
If you've read my blog at all through the years, you know that Beth is pretty much the only photographer who I trust to take our family's photos. She has a gift and a way with seeing things through the camera that most of us don't, and I think it's so important to capture moments with my family because life goes so very fast. That said, I unfortunately cannot pay Beth to follow us around and document our day to day life.
Unfortunately times two, I am also not good at capturing my own children. Sure, I have a nice camera and I think my kids are cute, but when it comes to getting them to hold still, I fail. Most times when I try to photograph them, I end up frustrated at all the blurry, out of focus pictures. Or the way our photo sessions end in all of us in tears. Sound familiar?
This is where the You Capture workshop really spoke to me, because guess what, you guys? There are ways to capture your children that don't involve tears or drinking heavily following your failed attempt at photography. I know that you're sitting here thinking, "No, but seriously, Erin, you don't know my kids." BUT I DO. I have two children who generally dislike the camera. They don't smile on command. They don't like to hold still. They react to the camera like Superman reacts to Kryptonite. And yet, I came from this workshop and took photos of my kids. Photos that didn't end in tears. Photos that captured WHO THEY ARE. Photos that, to me, are worthy of printing and hanging on a wall, because they make me smile--and isn't that what really matters when it comes to photographing your children? Photos that I, without a doubt, would not have captured before this workshop. I came home feeling renewed, refreshed. I opened up all the blinds in my house and let the sun shine in on us, snapping away in the light and loving the results.
I can't--and won't--give you the full scoop on all that I learned (or even a half scoop), but I will tell you that the class is worth every penny of the registration fee AND THEN SOME, because seriously, taking good photos of your kids is not something on which you should put a price. I took a lot out of this class with me, things that are so simple to do but that I never would have thought of without guidance.
Things that enabled me to capture the joy on my son's face after he was told to jump on the bed.
The contemplative toddler face, as he "fixes" his truck with glue and tape, because I didn't say, "No! Put the glue away! I don't want glue in this picture!"
Or the way he takes playing trucks so seriously.
I could go on and on and spam you with the hundreds of photos that I've taken of my kids since this workshop, but I won't. It's true, though: there are hundreds of photos that I've snapped in the two short weeks since I took this workshop. Hundreds of photos, when only a month ago, my Nikon was gathering dust on the shelf. These seasons in our life are so short, and I want to remember every little moment the best I can.
Here's what I want you to do after reading this: think about the pictures you take of your children. Do they make you happy or do you feel like you could do more? Do you look at the pictures that others take and wish you could do that? Do you simply wish you could capture more of the beautiful, every day moments? Then sign up for the next You Capture workshop. I can tell you this much: you will not regret it. I know that not everyone who reads this blog lives in my area, but that doesn't matter. Check out the linked site, because Beth is also offering this course via the phone. Trust me, it would still be just as worth it over the phone, because you'll still glean the same valuable tips and information. But hurry, because she keeps the course small (which I love!). The next workshop is on March 24th, which gives you plenty of time to find a sitter, request off work, or do whatever you need to do to get there. My only regret is that this workshop wasn't around five years ago. I can't imagine the photographs I'd have if I'd gone through a workshop like this when Luke was a baby, but I can't wait to use all that I've learned to capture new memories.