"The days are long, but the years are short. -- Gretchen Rubin
We've all heard it: Time flies, especially when it comes to children. One day, they're in diapers and the next thing you know, they're asking for the car keys! Although time really does seem to speed up as you watch your children grow, the good news is that you can capture the magical moments along the way. Not just the big moments, like a baby's first steps, or birthdays, or graduations, but the quieter, day-to-day moments as well. And if you learn how to take thoughtful, creative portraits of your babies and children, you'll have frame-worthy images to treasure for years to come.
This is a course to teach you how to be more creative with your portraits. As with my other photography e-courses, I focus on the artistic side of photography, not the scientific or technical side, so you won't have to worry about f-stops and apertures.
I'd like to teach you how to capture the enchantment of childhood in pictures, with its surprise of new discoveries, joy in learning new things, and comfort in the beloved familiar.
The next session of this course will run from Sunday, March 13 through Saturday, March 26, 2016.
How does this online course work?
- Each day for seven days, you'll receive a new lesson via email.
- You will have an additional week of "workshop time" with me in our online classroom, so you can catch up on any lessons you missed, or explore them further.
- All enrolled students will have the opportunity to share their photos, comments, and creative thoughts in a private Google+ group--an online "classroom" dedicated just to this course.
- You'll receive a beautiful PDF (downloadable book) of all lessons, for your personal reference after the course ends.
- You'll have access to the group's classroom for as long as you remain a member in it, even after the course ends. (FYI: My students from previous courses are still posting their work and interacting in our online classrooms.)
Day 1: The Big Picture
- Brief review of camera and photography guidelines
- The essential do's and don'ts for better portraits
- Inspiration from the Masters of children's portraiture through art history
- Recommended books and resources
- Meet your fellow students!
Day 2: A Day in the Life of Your Child
- How to create a "visual diary" for your child
- How to uniquely capture what your child loves to do
- "The rules of engagement"
Day 3: Action!
- How to keep up with the speed of children
- Capturing the "Game Face"
- Helpful resources to further guide you in action/sports photography
Day 4: Changing Your Perspective
- Outside-the-box thinking for composition and point-of-view
- Mastering silhouettes, profiles, aerial shots, rear views
Day 5: Beloved Belongings
- Portraying your child through objects of love and interest
- Setting up a still-life cleanly and creatively
Day 6: Tell Me a Story
- Adding the element of storytelling to your portraits
- Creative editing of your portraits
Day 7: Putting It All Together
- Safety and the internet
- Where to find further inspiration online
Days 8 through 14: Workshop Week
- Catch up on any lessons you missed, or explore lessons further with me and your classmates.
What You'll Need:
- A digital camera or a smart phone (it doesn't matter what type).
- Access to a computer where you can upload your photographs.
- A free Google email address, so you can join our private group on Google+ for the class, post your own photos, and give/receive feedback with the other class members.
Before the class begins, you should know how to upload photographs from your computer (or smart phone) to an online page. Never done that before? This link explains how to upload photos to Facebook, (it's the same procedure for Google+) with step-by-step visual directions and a YouTube tutorial.
Frequently Asked Questions
What if I have a full-time job?
That's fine, and it's one of the best parts of participating in an online course instead of a traditional course in a classroom. If you miss a day or two of lessons due to a heavy work schedule, just catch up when you can, and definitely during our workshop week. This is basically a self-paced course, so you will get out of it what you can put into it.
Will there be any assignments?
Each weekday for the first seven days will have a lesson, but you are under no obligation or schedule to complete it. The "assignments" at the end of each lesson are merely suggestions to improve your experience in the class and get constructive, positive feedback from me and your classmates. Do as much as you wish, but please know that the more you participate, the more you will get out of the course. The portfolio review that you receive from me after the course will be based on the photographs that you share with the class.
What if I miss a daily lesson?
No worries! There is no set time for you to be "in class." You will be sent an email with the password-protected site each morning, and you can check it at your leisure. If you miss a day or two of reviewing lessons and posting, don't worry. Catch up and post to the online classroom when you can.
How do I pay for this course?
You can securely pay with PayPal at the bottom of this page. If you don't have a PayPal account, it's free to open one and easy to sign up.
What if I'm not located in the United States?
I'm happy to welcome students from around the world, and since it's an online course, there is no specific time for you to be "in class." Previous sessions of my photography e-courses have included students from the United States, Canada, Europe, and Australia.
PayPal will convert any foreign currency to U.S. dollars.
Do I need to buy anything?
No. Suggested texts will be recommended to you for further inspiration, but you can find them at the library (which I fully recommend) or preview their contents online when available through Amazon.
Will refunds be offered?
(I'm including this just for legal reasons--nobody's ever wanted a refund. In fact, quite the opposite: I've been told by several students that my courses were worth more than the price they paid!) Due to the digital nature of this course, I cannot offer refunds, so please ask me any questions or let me know any of your concerns before you register, by emailing me at JoyfullyGreen.email@example.com. Depending on your own background and personal experience with photography, there may be certain days when you might already know some of the information being shared in the lesson. However, you still will be able to connect to the group, enjoy the class community, and share your images and experiences with photography.
Since July 2012, I've been the sole photographer at the blog JoyfullyGreen.com. If you are unfamiliar with my blog, I encourage you to take a look through the archives at my photographs, as well as the collection of my favorites for sale at society6.com/JoyfullyGreen. The vast majority of the comments I've received since I started my blog have been about my photographs. In fact, one of the commenters said, "You take insanely gorgeous photographs!" (I thought about calling this course "How to Take Insanely Gorgeous Photographs of Kids" but in the end, I decided to take a slightly lower-key approach!)
I've been happily and consistently teaching online photography courses since March 2014, with uniformly positive and enthusiastic feedback from students.
I've been taking photos for about four decades, ever since I was a little girl and received my first Kodak Instamatic camera for a Christmas present at the age of 7. Before my senior year at Vassar College (where I majored in Art History), I was a photography counselor at Wesleyan University's Center for Creative Youth in Middletown, CT, where I helped instruct high school students in photography (including darkroom development--anybody remember those days?). I have taken traditional courses in Black and White Photography, Landscape Photography, and Digital Photography in Philadelphia, as well as Visual Art and Design courses at Parsons School of Design in New York.
The cost of this course is $125 USD and covers:
- 7 days of in-depth lessons and classroom critiques. Each lesson is two to four pages, and then we'll meet in our private online classroom to work through the lessons via your photographs. (I will give you positive, constructive advice to guide you along and improve your work, instead of just saying, "Nice shot!")
- 7 days of additional workshop time with me and your classmates to build your portfolio and your confidence.
- Lifetime access to our online classroom where you can post your photographs and discuss them with your fellow students and with me.
- Ongoing advice and guidance from me about your photographs during the course and beyond. (Just because the class ends doesn't mean your development as a photographer ends, so I regularly check in with my previous students in our online classrooms.)
- A downloadable, printable book (PDF file) of all the lessons for your personal reference.
Ready? Let's go!
Click the "Buy Now" button below to register for this course. (Spaces are limited.)
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P.S. Any other questions? Email me at JoyfullyGreen.firstname.lastname@example.org