You already know...
If you’re a mom who owns a DSLR camera or is thinking about buying one and you want to be able to confidently use it to take pictures you love, then you already know that you need to use it in manual mode in order to take advantage of its full potential.
I’ll spare you the spiel. No need to repeat what you’ve been telling yourself every time you pass the shelf where your camera’s collecting dust. You already know that you could be taking much better photos if you just knew how to use it out of auto mode. This is probably why you chose to buy a DSLR camera in the first place.
Not feeling like you have to hire a photographer several times a year just to get a decent picture.
Photographers are important. (I mean, I am one!) In fact, you love your family photographer. But it's just not feasible to book several sessions a year with her. Plus, it'd be really nice to just be able to catch those everyday moments with something better than the camera on your phone.
Even though the reasons to use your DSLR camera are obvious, the path to doing it successfully is anything but.
Shoot in manual mode? Great, but where in the world do I start? Perhaps you’ve even given it a real try before.
You’ve Googled “how to use my camera in manual mode” just to land on page after page of tutorials, blog posts, or video after video showing different approaches and ended up down a rabbit-hole with still no idea of where to start.
If you’re brave, you may have even opened your camera’s user manual….and quickly shut it after getting completely confused with the first paragraph.
Maybe you’ve asked a friend “who takes really good pictures” how to use your camera and she gave you a couple of tips, but as soon as she left, you looked down at your camera with all of those buttons and numbers and had no idea what to do next, wondering if maybe you messed something up.
Even with the best intentions and a never-ending Google results list of instructions, most new camera owners flip it back to auto mode and call it “good enough”.
Here's why most Moms who buy DSLR cameras with good intentions of learning how to use it, eventually abandon it all together
It’s not for lack of information. There’s plenty. But cobbling it all together into something that makes sense is tricky.
They try one approach and get stuck, so they move onto another approach just to get stuck again.
Once in awhile they’ll have an “aha” moment and figure something out, but aren’t sure how it fits into the bigger picture of shooting in manual mode, so they eventually give up all together and set the camera back down, regretting that they spent so much money on it in the first place.
Luckily for you, learning how to use a DSLR camera is not actually rocket science. There is a clear method to the madness and you’re totally capable of learning it.
That means that even if your camera has been collecting dust for years or hasn’t seen another mode since it hit “auto”, you can start learning how to confidently use it today.
The 3 Reasons Why Most People Fail to Learn to Use Their Camera in Manual Mode
1. They get bogged down with the technical side of things.
DSLR cameras are like small computers in your hands...only a lot less intuitive. When you look at the screen, there are numbers, fractions, icons, and dials. It can feel like a code you’re supposed to crack. It’s easy to tell yourself that you’re not “techy” enough or that it’s all just too much.
But all of those numbers and icons don’t have to be scary. Once you learn exactly what each one means and what it’s telling you, the whole process seems a lot less intimidating.
2. They don't have a solid foundation.
Like most things, the skills needed to use your camera build upon each other. The problem with random Google searches is that you might learn how to completely master one piece, but not have any clue how it fits into the bigger puzzle you’re putting together.
Instead, you must approach learning your camera like any other new skill and build a solid foundation first, carefully building upon it with one new piece of information at a time
3. They're not approaching it like they would any other new skill.
Have you ever learned an instrument? How about a dance routine or a new language? What’s the one thing you had to do in order to master any of these skills? You had to practice. You knew this when you attended your first music or dance or language lesson. You counted in the time and commitment it would take after class. But how much time have you set aside to intentionally practice using your camera in manual mode each day? Most would say little to none.
Once you start approaching learning your camera like you would any other new skill you’ve committed to learning, suddenly it seems possible to make progress quickly.
Even though many, many moms will attempt to learn how to use their DSLR camera in order to photograph their family, the majority will fail and not return to it.
The manuals cameras come with are confusing, the information online is not laid out in a clear way, and the tech part seems overwhelming.
Most will flip back to Auto mode or, worse, let the camera collect dust and file it in the “Buyer’s Remorse” column.
But learning to use your camera in manual mode is totally doable. We know that it’s not rocket science. You just need someone to lay out a step-by-step guide to get you there, laying a firm foundation of the basics and then adding just one new idea at a time until you have a well-rounded, full view of the big picture and how all the pieces came together.
I’d like to show you how I can help.
I’ve taken everything I’ve learned from earning 2 degrees in education, teaching for 10 years, and running a profitable photography business and put it into a comprehensive, step-by-step program that not only teaches you how to use your camera, but how to take photos you really love.
Digital Camera Academy isn’t so much lists of “how-tos” as it is a complete system that takes you from the very basics (holding your camera correctly) to the more complex and nuanced aspects of photography (shooting in manual mode and using compositional elements to up-level your photos).
Digital Camera Academy is the first program of its kind that is built with moms in mind. No filler, no unnecessary modules, and no complicated terminology. It teaches you how to use your camera in full manual mode, confidently prioritize your camera settings, and take photos of your family that you’re proud of.
Since Digital Camera Academy is an implementation program, you’ll be taking time to practice your new skills and celebrating your progress along the way. Not only do I make it simple, but I take nothing for granted and truly go step-by-step to make sure you learn to use your camera with confidence.
Take a peek inside the course...
Module 1: Getting to Know Your Camera
Let’s start at the very beginning. Forget everything you’ve learned before, what you think you know, or what questions you’re forming in your mind.
In this module, you’ll pick up that fancy camera of yours and start getting comfy with it. How to hold it, how to tell what sensor type you have, finally understanding what all of those different lens options are for, and figuring out where to find important buttons and dials. When you’re finished, you’re going to feel a lot less intimidated by your camera.
Module 2: AISing Your Camera
Now that you’re feeling good with that camera in your hands, let’s dive in deep to the 3 basics of photography: Aperture, ISO, and Shutter Speed. This is the biggest module, packed with great learning and practice activities that leave you nodding your head as you feel the pieces dropping into place.
Module 3: Training Wheels Modes
You’ve got the 3 big ideas down, but now it’s time to start implementing what you’ve learned. In this module, I’m going to reveal what I like to call the “training wheel modes” on your camera and how to use them to isolate and practice just one new skill at a time.
Module 4: Mastering Manual Mode
You’ve done all the heavy lifting. You’ve taken time to learn the principles and have even practiced them one by one. It’s time to take what you’ve learned and turn that camera to manual mode. You’ll be setting your shooting priorities and coming along as I walk through my own throught process while shooting. What questions do I ask myself? What decisions do I make? What settings do I change? You’re in control now and you’re ready.
Module 5: Upleveling Your Photos
Now that you understand how your camera works and you’re growing more and more confident in manual mode, it’s time to learn how to add in compositional elements to totally uplevel your photos. I’ll teach you about the Rule of Thirds, filling the frame, layering, and more. This is where you take your photos from “okay” to “amazing”!
Module 6: Celebrating Your Success
You’ve done it! You trusted me to get you here, committed to the course, and practiced until your arms were sore from holding up that camera. In this module, we’ll look back at all you’ve learned and celebrate being able to confidently use your DSLR camera in manual mode and take photos that you absolutely love.
" Emily’s course was exactly what I was looking for! She has everything laid out in a way that makes sense and builds your photography skills from the ground up.
I no longer feel intimidated by my camera! I am excited to pick it up and practice what I’ve learned! It is one of the best things I’ve done for myself."
14 Day Promise
Digital Camera Academy is the most all-inclusive, step-by-step implementation program for moms who are excited and committed to learning how to use their DSLR cameras in manual mode & take photos they love.
When you join, you’ll have access to the first 2 modules immediately and then one additional module will open each Monday. By the end of these 14 days, you’ll have received training on the basics of your camera and the 3 most important principles of photography. You’ll have had an opportunity to download the reference sheets and practice.
If you don’t feel totally confident that you’ll be able to use your camera in manual mode by the end of this course, simply reach out to [email protected], show me you’ve put in the work, and I'll refund your investment.
Here's What You'll Get When You Enroll Today
When you add it all up, that's a value of $950. But when you enroll today, you'll get access to everything for just:
Doors Close Soon
Doors are closing February 17 at 10:00 PM (EST). Don't miss your chance to join me inside of Digital Camera Academy. I'll be looking for you!
Enroll now & you could be browsing your lessons within the next 10 minutes...
Questions Students Ask Before Enrolling:
How much time will it take me to finish the course?
Will I need to learn a lot of complicated terminology, the mechanics of a camera, etc.?
Do I need to have certain lenses, a flash, tripod, or other photography equipment?
What if I have questions as I go through the course?
Do I need a specific brand or model of camera?
Can you remind me of everything I’m getting when I sign up today?
If you can say 'yes' to at least 5 of these statements, then Digital Camera Academy is perfect for you.
You just purchased a brand new DSLR camera and want to know how to fully take advantage of it and take photos that you absolutely love.
You’ve had your camera for years, but it’s always on Auto mode or you pass it up altogether in favor of your phone because you don’t know how to use your camera in manual mode anyway.
You’re smart, capable, and ready to get the direction you need in order to learn how to use your camera. After all, you’ve aced plenty of other courses in your lifetime.
You’re willing to put in the time and practice to hone a new skill. You know it’s going to take commitment, but you’re ready.
You don’t have time in your busy schedule to find a local, in-person photography class and travel downtown each week to attend, hoping that you remember everything you heard since you won’t have access to it again later.
You’ve already tried to figure out your camera in manual mode through tutorials, blog posts, and videos you found online.
You’re afraid that it’s all too complicated and the tech side scares you a little bit.
You are excited to take photos of your family that you’re proud of and that tell your story well.
You’re ready to finally understand the basics of your camera and decode all of those numbers, knobs, and lenses.
You have no problem investing a couple of hours per week as long as you know every bit of energy you invest is a strategic and meaningful step forward in mastering your camera.
Here's What You'll Get When You Enroll Today
The complete Digital Camera Academy program
An exclusive behind-the-scenes video of me photographing my own family while talking through my thought process and camera settings.
6 weeks of live Q &A sessions with me inside a private members only FB group
A quick start video guide to editing your pictures. Watch as I edit photos and find out which editing programs I like best.
When you add it all up, that's a value of $950
But when you enroll today, you'll get access to everything for just: