Last Saturday, I attended a workshop that has been on my bucket list for several years. Stockton and I bought a DSLR camera before we got married in 2010 and it took me several years before I tapped into the potential of that camera. I shot in manual for my business (product photography and product modeling) using the secondhand knowledge that both of my sisters shared with me after taking this very DSLR workshop themselves.
Fast forward to this past Christmas when I opened up a shiny new Nikon and I decided that once and for all, I needed to get myself to Joanne’s workshop myself and hear from the pro’s mouth how to use this beautiful new camera to take beautiful pictures. Even though I was used to shooting in manual on my old camera, this newer and more sophisticated camera set me back several steps as I needed to relearn so many features that were different and more advanced. Also shooting a stationary object for product photography is WAY different than trying to capture lots of movement (hello 3 and 5 year old boys), emotion, and human features. Enter Joanne!
Joanne has been taking our family photos for years (she shot our engagement session back in 2009, which I believe is the first session we ever had with her). She is an incredibly poised professional behind the camera and she makes you feel confident and secure in front of the camera.
When she started giving these workshops several years ago, I remember wondering why in the world she would train other photographers (some of whom went on to open and grow their own photography businesses!). In a world where people are so protective over their trade secrets and intellectual property, it was completely foreign to me to hear of someone laying out all of their cards to others. I LOVE THAT SHE DOES THIS! Not only because I was lucky enough to benefit from her sharing, but because in this world of competition, I think it’s beautifully refreshing to see someone whose focus is on community instead of competition. YES! MORE OF THIS, PEOPLE!
We had a gorgeous model named Aria who was so pleasant to work with. She was patient and poised, which was helpful since it takes me about 100x longer to get my settings dialed in than Joanne. Everyone would have their chance to listen to Joanne’s instruction and then take their own photos, applying her tips for camera settings, posing, composition, etc. I was taking so many notes throughout the day just trying to soak up her every word.
Of course, in typical generous Joanne fashion, she was incredibly willing to follow up with any of us who have questions after the fact, even offering to critique our finished work (hey Joanne, if you’re reading this, feel free to critique away!). She sees continued communication as a part of our ongoing education and what we paid for with this class. Yet again, she goes so far above and beyond as a photographer to be a teacher as well.
She offers other courses, also, including how to shoot newborns and weddings. Her studio is in Goshen and it’s well worth the trip and the expense to familiarize yourself with your DSLR equipment and start taking better photos of your family and others. Hopefully this is the beginning of a lifelong hobby (I have a feeling it is). Thank you, Joanne. Thank you for teaching us that the pie is big enough for everyone to have a piece and for being a powerful witness of how we can thrive in community with each other, not in spite of each other.