The Capturing Childhood Photography Workshop Made Me the Mom Who Lays in the Dirt To Get The Shot

I’ve loved photography since I was a kid with an auto film camera. I took selfies, landscapes and photos of my friends and family long before there was anywhere to put them but in a box under my bed. I was basically a budding blogger and didn’t even know it.

I tried taking a photography class in college. I signed up for it the same summer I started dating my then-boyfriend, now-husband. Because he and I were long-distance for awhile, we stayed up way too late AIMing (hey 2003!) the night before the first photography class.

Shocking no one, I slept through my alarm, missed the class entirely, and thought it was no big deal. I later learned it was such a popular class, I had been dropped when I didn’t show up and forfeited my spot. I was so upset, I denounced photography for awhile.

But like every creative curiosity, it came back to me again and again over the years. I kept saving for and buying cameras that I didn’t know how to use. I had a deep desire to learn more, but floundered whenever I tried to teach myself. Sound familiar to any mamas out there with beautiful cameras, eager interest, but limited knowledge? It’s maddening!

It wasn’t until meeting Melissa from Icarian Photography that I had the opportunity to learn again. She took our family photos with such obvious care and talent, I jumped at the opportunity to learn from her when she announced that she would be putting on a Capturing Childhood Photography Class just for moms earlier this year. It was my chance to redeem myself from missing out on that class in college and learn not just how to use my camera, but how and when to capture moments like this. Moments that matter.

Photo Credit: Icarian Photography

Wiping a one-year-old’s face as he holds Daddy’s hand? That’s a moment. A true portrait of life as a family. I was so excited to learn from her.

For Mamas! Bloggers! Instagrammers!

I learned so much in the Capturing Childhood Workshop. How to use my camera in manual mode, the basics of framing, the exposure triangle. Plus, the workshop itself was such fun. A room full of other mamas looking to learn how to use our cameras, expand our knowledge, find our creative voices in the midst of motherhood. Melissa and her assistant gave us the opportunity to really practice each skill among one another in a warm, enthusiastic, safe environment.

She had plenty of time for each of us, giving us tips and tricks for each of our individual cameras, even as they differed from hers. It was awesome.

Since the workshop, I’ve struggled more with metering than anything, but you know what? I know what metering is! I know how to adjust for it. I know about aperture, shutter speed, why and how a photo goes wrong. It’s all been in the practicing that I’ve gotten better because I have the tools to build on after taking this workshop.

I will also lay in the dirt to get the shot now (see the photo I got below!)

Not only have I managed to capture some of my favorite photos of my kiddo, I’ve also utilized the skills I’ve learned for this blog. If you’re a frequent reader or follow my Instagram, I hope you’ve noticed the increase in quality in the photos I’ve been posting! 19-year-old me is so stoked right now.

Below are some of my favorite photos I’ve taken since the workshop in April, including of friends and family (all photos of children posted with permission by their parents).

Side note: The ones I’m in are either self-timed or taken by my husband, but as Melissa said in the workshop, if you do the test shots and manage the settings, you get credit!


(This one!) Grand Teton National Park, WY


I never would have captured any of these moments without this workshop. I still have a long way to go, but I love that I have knowledge to build on, can see the progression of my own eye and skill as the months have gone on. I’m really so grateful to have had this opportunity!

Sign Up!

If you’re interested in this workshop, and are in the Bay Area, you’re in luck! Melissa has another one coming up November 18, 2018. The workshop fee is $385 and includes the full-day (8 hour) workshop, PDFs of all materials, breakfast and lunch, an Icarian Photography gift bag, and membership to the Capturing Childhood Facebook group where the photography discussions and learning continue.

For more information about the Capturing Childhood Workshop and to sign up click here. You won’t regret making the investment in order to learn how to use your camera, capture the moments that matter, and add an invaluable creative tool to your toolbox.

All images, unless otherwise indicated, are my own. All rights reserved.

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