She’ll help me? She’ll REALLY help me?

filed under: Miscellaneous on October 7, 2009

When I tell you I was discouraged by my 'photo-shoot' with my niece, that was an understatement. 

I was having this whole loathsome dialogue with myself… "Why did you agree to this?  You are lost here!  You can't take good pictures!  You're just a wanna be.  Quit trying to be something your not."

It was pretty rough.  I mean, not entirely… Inga Grace is such a cutie, even a total hack could have gotten a good picture of her.  But I had built up the whole thing in my head so much I really thought I was going to bust out a Audrey Woulard session or something.

And when I sat at my computer and looked at blurry picture after blurry picture and pictures with bad lighting and pictures with the wrong subject in focus… I slumped my shoulders down.

I looked at my camera…

…and I regretted trying.

I was embarrassed.  I was disappointed in myself.  I felt like I had failed.

I think my mom sensed that I was on the verge of quitting.

She emailed me and said that if I wanted to take a course in photography online she would foot half the bill.


(hope starts to ignite)

You would do that for me?

And I got an idea.

See, my sister had originally wanted Inga do a photo-shoot with Rialee Photography in Fargo.

But it was pretty spendy.

Her sessions run anywhere from a few hundred to thousands of dollars.  When Angie showed me her site I just sat in awe of the beautiful images.  The eyes.  The innocence.  The precious children caught in totally unforced and spontaneous joy.

Here's the amazing part in all of this… she teaches.

And I'm signed up.

Its not until next year… so I have a whole season of Holidays to get blurry in the mean time…

but I am not quitting.  And I have hope!


I am so excited to become the student of an artist.



To learn how to make my kids appear in pictures how I see them.

*Thanks so much for sharing your favorite photography sites with me… I enjoyed every single one!

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  • Michelle says:

    Yay! I’m so glad you aren’t giving up. If you call that untalented, I’d love to see what you’ll do with some formal training! I would love to take photography classes, but first I need a real camera, then some money! Oh wait, money first to buy the camera. Then the camera, then more money for the classes.
    ๐Ÿ™‚ Glad things are working out!

  • He & Me + 3 says:

    Those pictures are gorgeous and I can’t even imagine what they will look like after your class. Wow Awesome! What a sweet sister. Wish I could get some training like that too. You are blessed.
    Beautiful children too.

  • Dea says:

    I’ve certainly felt that way, but trust me you are very talented! None the less its very awesome that you get to be in that class! Cant wait to hear what you learn =] and those photos are beautiful, are you sure you dont need to clean off your computer screen or something? =]

  • Kristin Smith says:

    Oh I am sooo jealous. I love to take pictures and I wish I had the natural talent to see things like the professionals do! Best of luck to you when you start and enjoy practicing until then! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Laura says:

    That’s so exciting! I always think the same thing…I wish I could take pictures of how I see things in my head! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BP says:

    I’m so happy for you! You are so talented, it is exciting you get to take a class. I’m glad I can be along with you and see all you learn.

  • Lucy says:

    Your photography is beautiful – I wish I had an ounce of your talent! PS. Thank you for your comment yesterday. I’ve only been writing my blog for a few weeks now but you are my first comment! YAY!!! I am definitely going to be using your sugar cookie/icing recipe from tasty kitchen – that’s how I stumbled on your awesome blog:)

  • Sara says:

    How exciting! And you DO take good photos. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Getting one great picture of a kid almost ALWAYS requires several hundred blurry shots. I say this from :ahem: personal experience. ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kim says:

    Lucky you! You’re photos are beautiful. I really hope you will pass along any tips you learn! ๐Ÿ˜€

  • Christy says:

    Oh my goodness if that’s untalented I need to either throw away my camera or give it to someone else.

  • Kami Rude says:

    Sweet lady, you are too hard on yourself! I think your pictures are beautiful and brilliant! I understand that you will have a few that won’t turn out, but you need to understand as well that you have a LOT that turn out AMAZINGLY well! You are more talented than you think, my dear … ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Liz says:

    You have more talent in your pinky finger than I do in my whole body! Your pictures are beautiful! But I too have stared in defeat at blurry picture after blurry picture. I have even posted a few on my blog because that’s the best I could come up with.
    I have been wanting to take a photography course so I checked out your link. I am seriously thinking about it! I need to talk to the hubs about it first though.
    I am so excited for you!

  • Tina Fisher says:

    I like your pictures Amanda! I do know what you mean about capturing the picture the way YOU see it. When we were at a mutual friends, hmmm hmmm, I noticed a book on how to take photographs of babies. I thought to myself….yes, self taught….why don’t I self teach a little?
    So what did I do? I went online and ordered a book by Tom Ang, “How To Photograph Absolutely Everything”. I just got it and haven’t read but three pages. It’s a huge book and I am sure I will get some good tips. It was $16.47 on Amazon. Can’t hurt huh?
    I am also hoping to get a DSLR soon. That will help with how fast the kids move.
    I’ve seen all your recent stuff on your blog and you DO take great pictures! You want to know what picture you’ve taken that most stands out to me? You’re going to laugh….it was the one of your filled mason jars with “something” in it. It was a semi side shot. Do you know which one I mean?
    I also have a photo friend from high school who told me to join up with a group and they can help you. I suppose by saying what they did and such. My trouble is I don’t know the language enough to be in something like that…YET!
    It will all come…and lucky you….you are going to be taught! Will you teach me when you’re done?

  • Raising My 4 Sons says:

    Did you take these pics that you just posted? They are great! I especially love the first one!
    I’m a wannabe photographer as well! However, I don’t have a great camera and I get really frustrated when I miss shots b/c of my stupid camera, or when the quality isn’t as good as I know I could get with a better camera. How great that you are going to be taught by such a great photographer! Yay for you, and Yay for not giving up! When you have a dream for something…follow it! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Carrie says:

    Those pics are gorgeous! I can only imagine how your photos will look after a class! Don’t be so hard on yourself…you have a great gift! And it will be so fun to see that gift opened up even more! You’re awesome…can’t wait to see more! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • carma says:

    I bet you’ll absorb so much from your artist/teacher. It will be much more personable than an online course. And wait until she sees your enthusiasm…

  • Melissa - The Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans says:

    I often get frustrated when my photos don’t turn out the way I plan and *hope*! I can totally relate!
    Keep at it and soon you will get where you want to be! (or at least this is what I keep telling myself!)

  • Sarah says:

    Sooooo jealous! I feel like that sometimes too. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Looking forward to the day I can afford a Kelley Ryden workshop!

  • Jamie says:

    How exciting is this! Your pictures look amazing to me. I am the world’s worst picture taker (can’t even call myself a photographer). I’d like to blame it on the camera, but sadly I know the truth.

  • Edie says:

    Good for you! It’s easy to listen to the voice of defeat sometimes. Just keep at it and ask God to help you. It’s amazing what He will do when we lean on Him.
    Rich blessings to you!!

  • denise says:

    wow, what a great story! that’s wonderful that you get to have an artist who’s work you value teach you! i think you are very talented without classes but i suppose knowledge will give you even more power/confidence/tools to use your already great eye…looking forward to seeing your shots after the classes!

  • Sunshine Mama says:

    I am so excited for you. The student of an artist. And by the way, one photoshoot of blurry pictures does NOT define your photographic abilities. Camera’s are such technical things that one thing off could have done it. As long as you have the “eye” and the desire, you can do it.

  • Janmary, N Ireland says:

    Just been drooling over those photos on her photography site – wonderful is too inadequate to describe them.
    What a fab opportunity for you.
    I have done a couple of online courses with an English photography (CJ) and she may come to N Ireland to do a workshop.