As I’m getting ready to release Momtographie Online back into the world next month, I’d like to introduce you to one of the fabulous women I’ve had a chance to work with here in the Washington DC area, and show you how her Momtographie experience has helped her take better photos of the special people in her life.
This is Jamie. When she emailed me last February asking if she could review my local Momtographie class for an upcoming article in the Huffington Post, I must admit I was a bit nervous! But, as her words profess in the article, she absolutely loved her class experience and I am so proud of her results after just a month of practicing what she learned.
Jamie Davis Smith
Nikon D7000m with the 35mm f/1.8 and 18-200mm lenses
Tell us a bit about your kiddos and what makes them each tick.
Sarah, age 2.5 is the comedienne in the family. She has a face that lights up the room and also a fierce independent streak that already has me concerned about her teenage years.
Ben, age 5 is the most affectionate one in our family. He is a big helper around the house and is always looking out for his two sisters. He loves school and learning but, right now I would say that Star Wars and LEGOs are what really make him tick.
Claire, age 6.5, is our sweet big girl. She has multiple and severe disabilities but is working hard to be able to communicate and learn how to walk. She loves being out and about. The first sign she learned was for coat and she uses it all the time to let us know she wants to get out of the house. She also recently learned the sign for candy and uses it all the time.
Tell us why you love being a mom!
I love seeing everything in the world again for the first time through my children’s eyes. I love learning from my kids. I love the sheer joy I get from just being with them no matter what we are doing.
Tell us what sparked your love of photography.
I was interested in photography pre-kids, but lost my motivation to keep up with it over the years. Seeing how quickly my children are growing motivated me to pick up a camera again. I want my children to be able to have a record of their childhood’s that really tells the story of them growing up and I want to have those memories for myself as well.
What was your biggest frustration before taking the Momtographie class?
I was not happy with the quality of my photographs (see below) or the way my children’s smiles always looked forced. I was not capturing the essence of my children and the moments I was trying to preserve at all. My son, who is always eager to please, has the worst “say cheese” smile I have ever seen. He never looked like himself in my photos.
What ah-ha moments did you have during the class? What were you able to put to use right away?
I had several ah-ha moments during class. On the technical side, I learned how to put everything together. Although I am still working on getting it all just right, I started shooting in manual mode the day after class and haven’t gone back. Learning how to find and use good light was one of the most important things I learned. I also learned several tips about how to interact with my kids while shooting and how to post them to get the effect I’m after.
Do you have a favorite photo you’ve taken? Why is it your favorite?
My favorite photo is the one of my son and younger daughter hugging. I took some composition tips I learned in class along with the tip just interacting with my kids to get them looking natural to get the shot. Both kids look like themselves in this photo and I think it captures their personalities perfectly. One day I hope to get a great photo of all three kids, but that’s probably wishful thinking.