I've always wanted to try my hand at photography. I'm the designated photographer for my friends and family, but I don't have actual technical experience. I've been so bored at my 9-5 job lately and I decided I needed to invest in my hobbies, and maybe someday even make some money off of it!
My coworker's brother is a wedding photographer, so we connected and he suggested Shaw Academy's online photography course. I wasn't really interested in an online class, but he said that there was a free month trial so I might as well give it a shot.
Being the skeptic that I am, I decided to try Youtube tutorials first. But after spending countless hours scrolling to pick the first video, I gave up on that as well as decided to just have a practice photoshoot instead. I invited my two friends over for an outdoor photo shoot, but I couldn't adjust the lighting properly and every shot was overexposed. Oof.
I looked to see if Shaw Academy had any info on lighting, and noticed it was covered in the first module of the course! The total course, which is 4 modules, would come out to less than $150. This was less than I thought it would be, but I decided to just take the course until I got to the lighting part and then skedaddle.
Shortly after signing up, an advisor reached out to me. He explained that he was there to provide hands-on support and tutoring services for any of the courses I took. I felt bad, thinking that I was just going to bail once I got what I needed, but I thanked him and we chatted for a bit about his background - I was surprised to learn that he was an experienced Visual Communications professor!
When my first class began, I really liked the professor as well - she was super engaging and patient with everybody's questions. When we got to the lighting lesson, I quickly found out what my mistake had been (listen to your light meter!) And although I had originally just signed up to learn more about lighting, I realized how little I knew about the other subjects. I also found out that the interactive modules and quizzes are optional. They're actually sort of fun, but with my full-time job, I didn't always get around to them. You can even watch the lectures at your own pace if you miss the scheduled times.
When my free month neared the end, I hesitated to cancel my membership. I was ¼ of my way to an equivalent to an Associate's Degree in Photography, and with their real-life assignments, I was learning and putting my knowledge to use. So, I didn't cancel, and over the next few months, I completed the other three modules.
I'm so grateful I decided to commit to this course. After years of having an interest in photography, I finally know how to create the perfect shot in my mind and actually capture that on camera. Next, I'll be moving on to the Adobe Lightroom course so I can edit my photos better. I highly recommend Shaw Academy for anybody looking for clear instructions, hands-on learning, and an affordable price.