A Camera for Christmas?

Worldwide photowalk 2018 Kevin & XT3 close up-1.jpgEvery year at Christmas, zillions of people are bought cameras as gifts.

Many people go on to develop a genuine interest in photography, with their new toys being the catalyst that kicks it all off. I myself, fall into that category (albeit a long time ago).

But of lot of the cameras end up hardly being used. The new owners’ initial excitement, turning to frustration when they see all the dials and buttons and a realisation that with a big camera comes a big learning curve.

The camera often ends up not being used at all, or the new owner switches it to AUTO, hoping the camera will work its magic by itself, producing amazing images with little or no effort.

I estimate 80% of the people who come to me for lessons fall into this category.

What to do about it

For the past three years I have run a photography workshop just for people like this.

Every January, the course, entitled “Unleash Your New Camera”, runs over four weeks and is the perfect introduction to photography for those who need some help.

I often find the course attracts existing cameras owners too – who may have had their cameras for some time (it’s not unusual to find participants who have had their cameras for several years) and after years of procrastinating, finally make the decision to take some lessons.

While most of the people who attend the workshop do want to know what all the buttons on their cameras actually do, in reality, what they really want, is to understand how to take great photos… consistently.

Consistently being the operative word.

The problem with AUTO

Leaving your camera on AUTO will work for most of the time, but with the camera making all the decisions for you, you can expect a number of issues to arise.

38924-b29bf3_a1987d21916b4b47858d84ab66c22a22mv2_d_4032_2268_s_2Issues that can give you disappointing photos.

Typically I hear complaints like:

• Why are my photos so dark?
• Why are my photos out of focus?
• Why are my photos so grainy?
• I can’t even take pictures of my kids playing in the garden
• I try to take photos indoors, but the pictures are rubbish
• I never seem to be able to get those nice blurred out backgrounds

To name but a few.

Unleash Your New Camera is a fabulous introduction to photography because it teaches a solid foundation.

You can’t expect to drive a car without lessons – so why would you expect to take up photography without lessons? Of course, photography is more than just learning about which buttons to press on your camera. It’s an art form and like all art forms, whether it’s learning to paint, draw, sculpt, write, compose or play an instrument…

…someone has to show you how.

Not a cheap toy

If you now have a camera in your hands that has probably cost a few hundred pounds (at least), don’t you owe it to yourself to spend a few more pounds to figure out how to use it?

Learning together with others can be fun. You’re all in the same boat, all about the same skill level. You’ll probably make new friends and may even end up going out with your cameras together.

Unleash Your New Camera is now coming up to its 4th year.

It’s always popular, always oversubscribed and always booked early.

Want to know more? Unleash Your New Camera

As always, if you have any questions please post them below and I will do my best to answer them.


Learn Photography

If you’re looking for photography workshops, photography courses or photography lessons, check out our website at Hampshire School of Photography or call Tuesday – Friday 01252 643143

Kevin Ahronson

Kevin is a full-time professional photographer and has been teaching photography since 2009. He founded the Hampshire School of Photography where he runs photography workshops and gives one to one mentoring to photographers at all levels, from complete beginners through to those who want to turn professional

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