I was one of the lucky mom bloggers, who managed to snag a spot at the Epson/Jeanette Verster “Develop Yourself” photography courseΒ held this past weekend at The Oak Leaf restaurant in Sandton.

I have a Cannon point and shoot camera, it takes decent quality pics but I have always been FAAAAR too lazy to read the manual to try and figure out the best way to maximize my camera and Saturday morning was the perfect opportunity for that. While I lazily sat, sipping coffee and nibbling on a pastry, Ava ran riot outside with the other kids in attendance, and were spoiled rotten with french toast and chippie breakfasts & a dedicated child minder, Jeanette took as through the basics of how to make the most of our cameras and and tips on how to get the perfect photo’s of our children.

I learned a huge amount and loved every moment of the course, I only wish there was another one that I could send Walter on as he is CLUELESS when it comes to taking photo’s! But now at least I understand things like the rule of thirds and the difference between the camera’s focus area’s when shooting in landscape, portrait or sport mode. I also know about scanning the background of a portrait image, of moving my position around to get the best shot and not the subject I’m shooting, I understand leading lines better and how to tell a story with a photo, how to use pattern and symmetry and when NOT to use patters in a photo. How to maximize light in an image and use the natural surroundings to frame the subject I’m photographing.

I loved how Jeanette finished off the course with the following tips on photographing our children:

  1. Get down to their level
  2. For an open eyed shot of their faces, stand above them
  3. Use the zoom
  4. Watch them play
  5. Always keep their eyes in focus in a photo, the rest can be slightly unfocused but as long as the eyes are focused the picture will be interesting
  6. Details tell the story of the photo

And then we got to go outside and practice what we’d learned under the guidance of Jeanette’s skill and I was amazed at the improvement in my photos of Ava now that I understood the basic principles of photographing her.

Here are a couple of my favorite, edited photo’s from Saturday:

photo photo1 photo2

Once we were done practicing, Epson had a table set up with there totally fabulous Epson L800 Ultra High Capacity Photo Printer where we got to print some of our shots. Since Saturday, I have spent every spare moment of every day telling Walter how much I HAVE to have this printer! Have to! Have to! Have to! You see, I’m far too lazy to take the time to go to a print shop to get my photo’s printed. As a result, about 95% of all the photo’s I have of our children are soft copy. But with this Epson printer, I can print high quality photo’s from the comfort of our home office and laziness doesn’t even come into the equation. It’s our wedding anniversary in a couple of weeks and this printer is top of my gift list! *hint hint Walter*

Yesterday the good folk at Epson contacted me to find out if I’d like them to loan me one of these printers for a couple of weeks to give it a test drive and review. I freaking cannot wait…. you know I’m going to print the sh*t out of EVERYTHING right?!