As a photographer, I always get asked "What's the one thing you'd recommend to someone starting out?" Education is key, my friend! And without a doubt, the best thing I did to improve my photography game was join the Find Your Light Photography Workshop in Calgary hosted by the incredibly talented Liz of Spruce & Sparrow and stylist Donnell Blonjeaux of Dressed in Fray. It's a 6-week intensive workshop that includes online learning about everything from how to run a business, how to use your camera settings, how to compose a shot, and of course, how to use that magical light. Not only is there online learning in a group setting, but you get weekly tasks & feedback, and for the big finale, an in-person, full day shooting experience in three different lighting scenarios using different subjects.
What makes the find your light workshop so good?
I may have learned how to use my DSLR years prior, but it wasn't until taking the Find Your Light workshop that I really gained major confidence. I finally felt in control of my camera and ready to venture out into the world of family photography (and more!) I learned more in that 6-week intensive program than I did at a paid institute and the hands-on learning experience of shooting real-life families and ideal clients was like nothing else. Liz & Donnell were positive and full of information and real-world advice that you just don't get in schools. And honestly, without confidence, photography is an incredibly hard business to be in.
networking with fellow photographers & industry professionals
Networking with fellow photographers and industry professionals as part of the Find Your Light workshop has made such an enormous impact on me. Before the workshop I had no one to share this passion with, but afterwards I have a whole circle of women cheering me on and stumbling alongside with me. Truthfully, I found out very quickly that running a family photography business in Calgary can be kind of lonesome. Besides session time with clients, a lot of the business is behind-the-scenes & alone, either editing, doing administration work or marketing, but because of Find Your Light, I have real friends I can call on, talk to and get support from and that in itself is priceless in this industry.
in-depth education with live coaching & feedback
Find Your Light workshop is an in-depth experience. As I mentioned, in six weeks Liz & Donnell touched on how to run a photography business, design elements & composition rules to improve our shots, how to use camera settings in an advanced way, how to use light (a MAJOR game changer!), how to edit, how to style clients for photos/creative shoots, and of course, how to stay sane through it all! ha! We were given *optional* hands-on assignments each week and quickly received feedback on our work, which I believe is so important to grow. I loved the use of an online group setting for each class because we were able to share ideas & questions and learn that much more than we would've on our own.
With Find Your Light workshop comes an entire day full of real-world sessions, in which you can then use any of your images to build up your portfolio. I have never seen this in other photographer's courses and this was by far the most fun experience and the one that made the most impact on my business today. We did an early morning indoor shoot at a secret barn location outside of Calgary for a maternity session - a challenging light scenario in which I learned so much from. We traveled to Drumheller and after the group shared a meal together, we captured a young family session surrounded by that magical golden hour light. And it was magical! My first golden hour session and I will never forget it. Finally, when dusk hit and blue hour took over, we got to have even more fun and capture each other all dressed up! I still continue to post these images on my feed because the styling, the setting, every single detail, was so well thought out - just made for the perfect portfolio builder.
Things to know about find your light workshop
- The Find Your Light Workshop only happens once a year. Follow Liz of Spruce & Sparrow and Donnell Blonjeaux of Dressed in Fray on Instagram to ensure you don't miss any announcements.
- This workshop is designed for family photographers.
- Though it's technically considered a beginner workshop, I would say it would be wise to have a pretty good understanding of how to use your DSLR and perhaps a bit of experience working with families or you might be a tad overwhelmed.
- Last of all, you won't regret it!
what education or workshop have you taken to up your photography game? Will you consider checking out the find your light workshop?
Hey It's Me
Welcome to my Blog
I'm Marcella (pronounced Mar-Sella), your friend behind the lens at
Love & Sunshine Photography in Calgary AB.
Lover of nature, travel, dogs & chai lattes. And most importantly, my family.
Creative by nature, genuinely loves taking and editing photos, and thrives on building relationships and capturing meaningful connections.
This is where I’ll share my latest sessions, photography resources, fave things, and perhaps even some inspiring info for running your own business.