BlogHer '08 Session Planning: What do you want from a Photography session?

BlogHer Original Post

In the first of what will probably be numerous such posts, I am here to ask you what you want.

We've lined up a fantabulous photography mentor for a session in BlogHer '08's How We Communicate track, and we want to know how you want her to focus the 75 minutes she will have for her session.

Meet Ma Ra Koh. This is a rare case where her About page tells you a really compelling story. As she says:

I didn’t find photography.

Photography found me.

And then it healed me.

You have to read her story in her own words, but suffice to say, it may make you look at the art and craft of photography a little differently.

But back to the session: you can learn more about Me Ra's approach to photography instruction at her Refuse to Say Cheese site, but she proposed four different topic areas she could focus on during the session. We'd like your feedback on the top two for you, and why. Here they are:

1. The Magic Three: Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO
Learn what these three technical words mean and have any possible intimidation and confusion completely dispelled. You’ll have a better understanding for how your SLR works and get better results overnight. These three features are magical for a reason!

2. Enhancing Your Images
How do you enhance your images after the photos have been taken? How do you decide whether an image is black or white or stays in color? Me Ra will walk you through her philosophy on enhancing images for your blog. She will also demo a major part of her post process with Lightroom’s software. You will leave with tips and tricks to enhance your photos, change the toning, add the vintage black and white looks and make your blog images pop!

3. Seven Secrets the Pros Don’t Want You to Know
Have you ever looked at photos in a magazine or on someone’s blog and wondered how they were getting those results? Come hear the seven secrets to getting better photos that the pros don’t want you to know. Me Ra will walk you through simple secrets behind composition, storytelling, blurred backgrounds and countless recipes behind beautiful images.

4. Refuse to Say Cheese and Capture the Story
We live in a society where everyone says “SAY CHEESE” the moment a camera comes out. But what happens if we step back and become an observer, documenter, even story teller of our families and friends’ lives. Me Ra brings perspective as both an author and a photographer to teach you storytelling elements that will visually enhance the stories you are sharing on your blogs!

Now, I'm a total photography amateur, so I actually had to ask Me Ra about a couple of the acronyms used above. So, in case any of you are at my level, here's a few definitions:

SLR refers to the type of camera where you can change the lens. The actual words to SLR are so wordy that I usually say (you can switch your lens with an SLR as opposed to a point and shoot).

ISO is a lot like film speed and the fact that most people don’t know what it is or stands for is the reason it’s so great to teach because it’s the very thing that can help you not have to use your flash ever again. Again, I don't use the acronym’s definition, but if you want it, ISO stands for International Organization for Standardization.

So, there you have it...options for taking better photos technically, better post-production on the photos you've taken, and/or better storytelling or, I suppose "storyboarding" of your photos before ever shooting.

What would you be most interested in focusing on if you attended this session at BlogHer '08? Me Ra and I are dying to know.

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