virginia beach photography class

'Only Little Once' Workshop | Hampton Roads Photography Education

Oh, Facebook Memories. Gets me EVERY time. I open up my FB app and am suddenly inundated with adorable images of my babies. WHY must they grow so fast!? I'm proud and broken-hearted all at the same time. Word on the street? This doesn't end. 

Ain't no 'hood like Motherhood. 

It's been amazing to watch my girls grow and change - but these snapshots are also a great reminder of how MY photography has grown! I was that Mom with the new DSLR taking ALL the pictures in Auto mode with no idea how to manipulate natural light or what all the buttons meant on my fancy camera.

Can you relate? While reading this if you find yourself nodding in agreement, then I have a photography workshop just for you! In the years I've been offering "Only Little Once" it has grown to share the love of photography with dozens of local Moms and hobbyists.

I'm gonna have to take a moment to humble brag on a few ladies. Here are their amazing before and afters! You guys - this is better than those weight loss side-by-side comparisons, LOL!

Hampton Roads Photography Education

MomTog Kristen has grown SO much in a short time. From auto mode with on-camera flash to manual mode with natural light. Check out her photography journey over on her Facebook page:

Little Moments Photography by Kristen Stewart

hampton roads photography education

MomTog Abigail has grown leaps and bounds! Although she had dabbled with manual mode before the workshop, she struggled with nailing focus and accurate white balance. She now captures beautiful and timeless images of her kiddos straight out of camera. No editing necessary! ;)

hampton roads photography education

MomTog Emily loved taking pictures of her littles, but was still frustrated with settings. She's now confident in her skills and is dabbling with editing! Love this before and after of her oldest girl. :)

The Facebook group is so motivational and positive!
— Kristen

After the workshop, all attendees are added to our VIP Grad Facebook group. It's a thriving community of supportive Moms and hobbyists just like you. No big, scary page with thousands of other strangers. Just a tight-knit group of ladies who love taking pictures of their littles, pets, and the world around them. It's a safe place to grow, ask questions and find inspiration. You'll also be able to join in our PhotoWalks we have 1-2 times a year. Check them out here:

Neon District PhotoWalk

Brock Environmental Center PhotoWalk

We can't wait for you to join us! :)

Still not sure if this is for you? Want to start learning now?! Join our FREE group, the "Stay Little Lounge" over on Facebook! Scroll through the posts and videos for inspiration, education and community. See you there!

Keep on clickin'! :)

xoxo

Erin

The Art of Imperfect Workshop Recap | Hampton Roads Photographer Education

Ever realize how passionate you are about something when you talk about it to someone else? This is how I've always been. When I get talking, I use my hands a LOT. I start talking louder. 

 Really loud.

 I get extremely passionate and excited and can't shut up. I really can't control it. It all just rushes out of my mouth and I feel a little bad for whoever was listening on the other end, LOL. My husband usually laughs at me and says, "You've got that look in your eye again." It's true. But, it's an excellent gut-check for me to have these little outbursts. Did I mention I have very patient and understanding friends and family!?

It means something has lit a fire in me and I should probably follow that calling. If not, it's like trying to walk around with that kind of energy inside all the time. Not always a good idea, ha!

The Art of Imperfect Workshop started because of these spirited talks I've had with others about lifestyle photography. That imperfect art of capturing families in an authentic and story telling manner that goes beyond a simple pose.

Saturday's workshop was such a dream and I'm so grateful to all the attendees, models and artists who made it possible! Six months ago, this workshop was not even on my radar. The fact that it happened still feels pretty surreal. Here are some of my favorite images from the day!

Makeup: BlushTones Artist: Meg Bryan

Models: The Meek Family - The Fulrath Family

Special thanks to BlogStomp and Lens Pen for helping spoil the attendees!

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I loved the controlled chaos of the shooting portion of the workshop, LOL! So much fun, I can't wait to see all the images. :)

So grateful for these fabulous families - are they cute or what? :)

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The sweetest group of photographers joined us as well. Thanks to Dana Rae Photography for sending over these awesome behind-the-scenes shots. So much fun! 

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Loved my time with these talented ladies! I can't wait to see them grow as artists even more. Family Photography takes a certain heart - and these gals have it! xoxo

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Interested in joining the next workshop? Be sure to sign up for the EAP Education Newsletter and you'll be the first to know details once they are released!

Brock Environmental Center PhotoWalk | Hampton Roads Photography Community

You guys have heard me brag on my workshop grads before - but I'm not kidding when I say that they are increeeeedible. I'm so grateful they found my classes, but even more thankful for their friendships. Over in the Only Little Once grad private Facebook group, we're sharing images, inspiration and support. It's a solid group of women and Moms who love photography and have said, "yes!" to pursuing their creative goals.

Their talent and genuine kindness to one another blows me away. Every month, we participate in fun challenges and I cannot believe how much growth I've seen! Many of them are beginning to specialize and it just makes my heart so happy.

This was our 2nd official PhotoWalk - last Spring we went to the Neon District in Norfolk, which was really fun. You can read about it HERE! This time, we decided to explore the Brock Environmental Center in Virginia Beach. I've head magical things about the sunsets there and wanted to scout it at golden hour. We had fun experimenting and challenging ourselves to think outside of the box. It was so refreshing and I loved the opportunity to shoot for myself after a busy Summer season. 

After sunset, we headed over to the Leaping Lizard Cafe off of Shore Drive, which was delicious! Highly recommend their salads and veggie lasagna. Perfection. :)

Here are a few favorites from our night!

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To me, photography is an art of observation. It’s about finding something interesting in an ordinary place… I’ve found it has little to do with the things you see and everything to do with the way you see them.
— Elliott Erwitt
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Do you want to be in the know about upcoming photography events and workshops? Sign up for the EAP Education Newsletter and you'll immediately receive FIVE Tips for Finding Light Indoors right to your inbox. Nothing spammy, just nerdy photog love!

Struggling with learning Lightroom or wanting to take the next step? I offer one-on-one mentoring sessions year round and would love to talk all things photography with you! 

Happy Friday, friends!

xoxo

Erin

3 Tips for Getting Littles to Look at the Camera | Photographer Education

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Photographing little ones can be a challenge - I totally get it! Whether you're in the backyard with your own kids or working at a family session, having eye contact with the lens can feel like a game of cat and mouse.

"LOOK HERE!!"

"Just look for ONE second!" 

"Over here!" *frantically pointing at the camera*

Been there, done that. And can I say, sometimes it just doesn't cut it. Depending on the disposition, patience, mood and sugar level (ha!) of a child, they might just not want to look at the camera. And most of the time, this is totally fine. I do always aim to get a close-up portrait of each child during a session. Some willingly stick their nose in my camera, but others take some coaxing. If I've done my job of connecting with them early in the session, it does go smoother.

Here are three tried and true tips for getting those little ones to look at the lens. Try one at your next photo session! :)

hampton roads photography education
A two-year old is kind of like having a blender, but you don’t have a top for it.
— Jerry Seinfeld
  1. "Peek-a-Boo!" This is a classic move and one that usually works with babies. Even toddlers and school age kids love to play this way. I will hold the camera in my face and pop up over it with a funny noise or expression. Really play too - kids know when you're faking it! Dart behind a tree, a sand dune, whatever is available so that when you pop up they burst into laughter. Even a smirk will do. Then, snap the shot!

  2. "What's Inside my camera?" This is my go-to for very shy kids. I will tell them a fish (or another small object) is inside my camera. If they look closely, they'll see it. This creates beautiful, soul-filled images of kids looking right into the lens. Smiles are optional for this, but if I gasp suddenly "OH, there goes the fish! Did you see it!!?" it coaxes out a grin or a curious expression.

  3. "Lady, there's something on your head..." I like to use this one with older, more resistant kids. There's no shame in my game! I will place something ridiculous (a twig, a leaf, a rock, a kid's lovey or small toy) on my head and balance it in place. I ask them crazy questions and as they look at the object, I get close with my camera. Then, if I knock it suddenly off my head (usually acting like a lunatic lol) they will giggle and I snap away.

That's it! A few, helpful tips to try out on your littlest subjects next time. Let me know how it goes! 

Are you wanting more guidance and session tips while photographing families? Check out the Art of Imperfect: A Guide for Family Photographers and be ready for Spring and Summer sessions!


 

Cheering you on!

xo

Erin

 
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The Art of Imperfect: A Workshop for Family Photographers

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Wanna hop in my time machine, real quick? Okay, buckle up.

Let's rewind to the Spring of 2013. I had a busy three-year-old and an infant. My life felt full in so many ways, but the artist in my heart... well, she was kicking her feet around and making a stink.

I tried to squelch her with thoughts like:

"I'm a stay-at-home Mom, it would be selfish to put my desires first."

"We don't have the kind of money for me to invest in building a business. That would be reckless."

"There's no lack of talent around here, I mean - isn't everybody a photographer?!"

Oh wow, my psyche can play some serious mind games. And not to mention the loads of guilt about ALL. THE. THINGS. if I even toyed with the idea of starting a business. Whew!

Still in that time machine? Cool, let's keep moving.

Fast forward to Summer of 2013. My sweet husband and friends were cheering me on about sticking my toes in the proverbial pond. I was ready to start photographing families and building the "portfolio" that all the websites said I had to do first. Um, okay. But - how?!

Friend, let me be real. IF, a local photographer had offered a workshop where I could:

  1. Learn some easy tips for managing a family session
  2. Practice that 'unposed' lifestyle look I was obsessed with
  3. AND give me insight on editing in Lightroom

I would have been ALL over it. Sign me UP! But, when I looked around, there wasn't a soul offering something for me as a newbie family photographer. I could travel to the west coast or to a big, expensive conference - but there was no way I could afford that in the beginning. 

So, after years now of specializing in families, I decided it was time to create it myself. A workshop for that 2013 Erin who was desperate to learn and grow as a family photographer! 

Can you relate to that fire in your heart? Photographing the love and connection in a family is a HUGE gift. You are documenting their current season of life, with all the beautifully imperfect moments. It's not something I take lightly and it continues to light my soul up! 

If this connects with you, I'd love for you to attend The Art of Imperfect on Saturday, September 30th in Virginia Beach. Click the button below for ALL the details. Can't wait to see you! :)

Have a few questions about the workshop? No problem, let's chat!

Calling all MomTogs! | Hampton Roads Photography Workshop

hampton roads photography workshop

Have you ever taken one of those learning profile quizzes? The ones that have you answer a series of questions and then tell you how YOU best learn? I know as a teacher, this was always something I loved to do for myself and for my students. It helped me see myself in a better way.

I discovered that I was certainly a hands-on type learner. The quickest and easiest way for me to grasp concepts was by actually doing it. I needed my teachers to be a guide, so that I could eventually take over the reins and become a master at whatever it was I was learning about. I love to be coached! After years of doing theatre as I kid, I like to think I take direction pretty well ;) 

Are you the same? Have you been trying to master your DSLR camera with YouTube videos and Google? While there is SO. much. information out on the internet - it can sometimes be frustrating. I find myself just searching for a straight answer at times! If you learn better hands-on and are searching for a fun (okay, super goofy extrovert) coach to guide you - I'm your girl!

 I have had the privilege of sharing my love for photography and teaching dozens of Moms how to shoot in manual mode, understand their settings, and take their photos from just snapshots to real ART. I would love to have you join us on Saturday, July 22nd for the next 'Only Little Once 101' Workshop in Virginia Beach! 

Take a look at these BEAUTIFUL images from some of our 101 grads! So proud of these sweet Mommas! :) 

hampton roads photography workshop
hampton roads photography workshop

I am in love with these! The Target cart just screams #MomLife!

Adorable images by MomTog Jill E. 

hampton roads photography workshop
hampton roads photography workshop

Aren't his curls just adorable?! Love these beachy, July 4th images!

Lovely work from MomTog Nicole B. 

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hampton roads photography workshop

In our private Facebook group, we have fun, monthly photo challenges. June was all about the "faceless portrait" and I just love these creative examples!

Stunning images by MomTog Emily O.

Will you join us and get out of Auto Mode? Stop guessing and start mastering your camera! I can't wait to see you :) You can find more information HERE or click the link below!

xoxo

Erin

Introducing the 'Stay Little' Lounge | A Photography Community for Moms

It's funny how things work out. Never would I have imagined years ago when I left my teaching career that I would become a small business owner. I thought being a 'stay-at-home-Mom' would be the extent of my actual work. I never anticipated that from this business, I would still find a way to keep teaching. That it would become an outlet of creativity in my life AND bring so many new and incredible people into my inner circle.

I have had the privilege of teaching and mentoring over fifty Moms and photography enthusiasts. I have been encouraged and amazed by their talent, generous hearts, and ambition to 'just get it right in camera!' These women amaze me on a daily basis.

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It's because of my love for this community of women that I'm launching the 'Stay Little' Lounge Facebook Group. This group is a Photography Community for Moms, and it's a FREE and safe space for Moms to share, learn and grow in their photography. I often see Mothers placing their creative ambitions on the shelf until their children "are just a little bit older". Now sometimes we need to self sacrifice for our kids, but let me encourage you, Momma - You are a better wife and mother when you can dig into something creative, artistic or beautiful. It looks different for everyone, but I whole-heartedly believe that every Mom has her thing. If photography lights you up inside, I'd love to invite you to join our growing community. 

You are a better wife and mother when you can dig into something creative, artistic or beautiful...

Here's what you'll find in the 'Stay Little' Lounge:

  • an encouraging community of Moms who LOVE taking pictures 
  • a place to share images of your kids, ask questions, and support others
  • accountability to practice your skills and dust off your DSLR
  • fun challenges, including our first - the Ten Weeks of Summer Photo Challenge
  • FB Live Q&A's with Erin every Wednesday through the Summer months
  • exclusive opportunities and discounts for events and continued education

Are you in?! Click the link below and come join the community!

 

I can't wait to meet you and see where your creativity takes you.

xoxo,

Erin

Bring Your Camera | Hampton Roads Photography Class

When I first became obsessed with learning my Canon Rebel, I would bring my camera on as many outings with my girls as possible. Now, during this stage of exhaustive motherhood, I had a toddler and an infant. I had been shooting for awhile, but was just really understanding manual mode. I'd also started following several incredible photographers and became a member of the Clickin Moms community.

I was blown away with other MomTogs and how they were catching these incredible moments while out with their children. Why couldn't I do that?! So, the camera went in the diaper bag, usually wrapped around a spare burp cloth and I just said a silent prayer that my daughter's sippy cup wouldn't leak all over it. 

Swinging Baby! June, 2013

Swinging Baby! June, 2013

I was particularly drawn to images of kids at restaurants, swimming at the pool or cruising the aisles of Target. Probably because this is how my life looked! I wanted to capture each moment and stage of their development and our days together. 

First Haircut! January, 2013

First Haircut! January, 2013

But, oh goodness, was there plenty of frustration and growth during this period. For starters, overhead lighting at Target is not ideal for a custom white balance and shooting at the beach around 11 am while my kids RUN around wildly is.. a bit hard you could say, haha! 

I wanted to capture each moment and stage...

However, I was persistent. I knew that if I could shoot in these challenging scenarios, anything was possible. I had no inclination to start a business at all, I was just a Mom who loved photographing her kids. And her friends' kids. And any kid or face that would let me.

Norfolk Zoo Playdate with friends! March, 2013

Norfolk Zoo Playdate with friends! March, 2013

So Momma, bring your camera. Let go of the anxiety of feeling awkward and just bring it. You're already packing the entire contents of your house when taking out small children, so what's one more thing?! LOL! 

Trust me - you'll be so grateful you challenged yourself AND captured unique images of your kids' everyday life. Images they will look back on with fondness. Images that represent your love for them and also your own determination to work on a hobby that lights you up. 

Ready to get out of Auto Mode?? I would LOVE to help! Teaching Moms is a huge source of joy in my life. Only Little Once 101 Workshop is Saturday, May 13th in Virginia Beach from 2-5.

The workshop includes: 

  • A manual for note-taking 
  • Opportunity to practice your new skills
  • Access to the private, Facebook group full of incredibly supportive MomTogs
  • Photography challenges
  • Continued education and opportunities to grow your skills

Use the coupon code, MomTog, and save 10% by registering early!