Printing your memories with Chatbooks | prints & monthly photo books

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Last week Kristy and I taught our first round of Your Life, Your Memories, a new workshop in our photography series. The goal of our new class is to teach our students a system that enables you to continually sort, save and print your photos. The digital age has many benefits, but it also means that a lot of us have an overwhelming amount of digital photos and memories that we aren’t sure what to do with.

During our class, I talked about my favorite place to print photo books and square prints that are affordable and easy to display…Chatbooks! I first learned about Chatbooks a few years ago and I have been printing with them ever since. I am a little behind on printing my monthly books and teaching our class was a great reminder of what a simple process it can be as long as you keep it a habit.

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I shared on Instagram that I was going to catch up on my books during our “staycation” and Chatbooks was kind enough to offer a discount code that I could share with my fellow photographers, friends, and blog readers. It $10 off your first Chatbooks order with the code: BOOKWORM that you can enter at checkout. My friend just ordered a set of 24 cardstock prints and they were around $9 with shipping after this discount!

I have been working away on sorting my images and I am excited to soon have some more Chatbooks prints and photo books on the way.

I order each photo book individually because I like to make them each month but there are also ongoing book series that you can set up that makes it automatic either from your social media accounts or from your favorite photos on your phone. How cool is that?!

The 5″x5″ prints are printed on cardstock and are the perfect matte finish. I love displaying them around our house and on my desk at work.

It is always so exciting to find that little turquoise envelope in my mailbox and it is so fun to actually have updated photos in our house to share and display. Our kids always enjoy looking through the books and we keep them right on a shelf in our kitchen so they are easy to access.

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If you haven’t ordered from Chatbooks before, I highly recommend it! And I would love to hear what you get if you do! <3

Your Life, Your Camera | Intro to DSLR Photography Workshop | DETAILS

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This past weekend we taught another run of our introductory DSLR photography workshop, Your Life, Your Camera. Kristy and I wrote and began teaching this course in 2014 and it is exciting to see how much it has grown and the amazing local photography community that has been built as a part of this. We have met many so many amazing people along the way and love connecting with others who share the same passion for photography as we do.

We always ask for detailed feedback after each workshop and so much appreciate with our participants take the time to respond because it helps us make this workshop the best and most helpful it can be.

I get a lot of questions about our class and so I thought I would give a brief summary of what a day in the life of our workshop looks like…


Kristy and I spent a lot of time discussing how we could best use our four-hour workshop to educate and also allow for lots of hands-on assistance and practice. Our goal is for everyone to leave feeling more knowledgeable not only about photography but also about their own unique camera.

Kristy and I both shoot with Canon cameras but we are familiar with many brands including Nikon, Olympus, and Fujii We have some participants that come having some experience using their camera and some that have never even opened the box and we are able to work with both of these situations.

We start the class with introductions and a conversation about what makes a “good photo” and the emotional connection behind them. We then move into the more creative side of photography composition and engagement with your subjects.

We have a powerpoint presentation that helps us explain this information as well as small group discussions to really make sure everyone is understanding the concepts. This part of the class is fun because these topics relate to any type of camera you are shooting with, even if it is your phone.  Learning DSLR photography is a process and we love that this information can be taken away and used immediately to improve your overall creativity with photography as a whole.

The next part of our workshop discusses the more technical aspects of DSLR photography. We break down the exposure triangle and then discuss metering and how to choose your manual settings. Choosing your settings allows you to have full control over your camera versus letting your camera decide for you in automatic mode.

After discussing these topics we move into a visual demonstration and then allow all of our students to follow along as we set up different shots and then decide together what settings would work in different lighting situations. It is very important to us that this section of the class has enough hands-on practice to allow everyone to get comfortable with their own cameras and the concepts of metering. Due to our small class size, we are able to help each student individually as needed.

We gather together again to finish our presentation which includes a discussion on different types of natural light situations, choosing your ideal location, white balance, lenses, focal lengths, storage and editing program tips. This class does not cover a lot of discussion about editing.

Our goal for Your Life, Your Camera is to teach you how to get the results you want so that when you do eventually move on to editing you are able to enhance your photos instead of trying to fix them. Choosing your manual settings allows you to take control over what your camera does instead of letting it guess on automatic mode. We want you to leave with the knowledge and confidence to keep shooting in manual after our class is over.  Our class ends by talking about what’s next and then having more hands-on camera practice in small groups.

We do offer an intermediate and advanced DSLR class that many of our YLYC participants have taken. We are teaching another run of our intermediate class in March and I will make sure to share those details then. I hope you enjoyed hearing more about our class and please let me know or email us at kristy@kristydooleyphotography.com if you are interested in a future workshop. <3

 

Coffee Talk Tuesday | Currently…

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Good afternoon! Is anyone else forgetting which day of the week it is? The kids had a long weekend from school for MLK Day and I have been feeling confused all day…It also means trying to fit everything into a 4 day work week which usually means there is a lot of juggling going on…

With the holiday break just a few weeks ago and a random snow day, I really am looking forward to having a full week of school at some point soon…Figuring out how to juggle work and kids in school is a constant challenge as their schedules and mine are somewhat inconsistent but it is a work in progress!

Yesterday we embraced the day off with negative degree temperatures and had a playdate with some school friends. We are at the age where play dates consist of the kids playing (in another room) and us moms chatting, which is the best! We had many years of not even being able to have a full conversation so I totally appreciate this so much now.

What are you listening to? 

I have been taking a little break from audio books and have been binging on true crime podcasts after getting some awesome suggestions last week on my Instagram post.  I listened to Bear Brook Podcast which was just fascinating and I am just a few episodes into The Cold Podcast.

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What are you watching? Nothing right now.

What are you eating?

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I am obsessed with this strawberry licorice, it is amazing, and addicting. I made the mistake of keeping it at my office desk, and it didn’t last long…

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I am also going to a cocktail making class tonight! I currently only know how to make one cocktail so I am really hoping to expand my horizons a little.

What are you wearing?

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I am loving my UGG boots. They are super warm and cozy and make the perfect “commuter’ boot. I think they are super cute and perfect for getting around town when I don’t want to wear my huge Bogs winter boots. Winter is long here and having winter shoes you love makes such a big difference!

What are you looking forward to?

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We are teaching our first 2019 YLYC class this weekend and I can’t wait to meet everyone! Teaching is one of my very favorite parts of my work and I always get excited about meeting a new group of photography friends when we teach our beginner class. We have quite the class lineup this winter and spring and it is exciting to think about how much our classes have grown and being able to watch so many amazing photographers blossom in the process.

I hope you are having a great start to your week. <3