studio 5

“You should step out of your comfort zone at least once a day,” said a friend of mine recently. She rolled her eyes when I told her that once a day was far too frequent.

On Sunday morning I stepped into Studio 5 where I was photographing the spring/summer ’14 lookbook for Quince Clothing. Daniel and I arrived early so with coffee in hand (The Grounds of Alexandria was just across the road) I took note of the light, the shadow, the colour. I stood for a good ten minutes, looking at the white wall in front of me, the cement floor below. I had one day to photograph five children, five babies and fifty outfits.

Whilst I have a very hard time calling myself a photographer (I was a writer first so I’ll stick to “writer who likes to take photos”) I’ll admit that I thoroughly love the creativity involved with a studio shoot. In Studio 5 I was given free reign so I got to play with composition and props and capture smiles, frowns, daydreams and spontaneous bursts of dancing. I can’t show you the final photos till September but I can tell you that I’m grateful for that day, two years ago, when I switched my camera from auto to manual. The challenge of learning my camera was well worth the reward that has come from taking photos – personally and professionally. Challenge is a good, good thing.

Many of you who have joined The 52 Project have mentioned a desire to learn to shoot on manual. If you’re interested in a workshop, Tim Coulson and I are hosting The Creatives – two Sydney workshops in May and July (only a couple of spaces left). If you can’t make it to Sydney, start with this manual photography cheat sheetΒ and then take photos – thousands of photos.Β 

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Showing 36 comments
  • Lamb Fox
    Reply

    Can't wait to see the photos from that shoot. I'll bet they're gorgeous! And once a day seems far too frequent to me too, I'll leave that to braver people.

  • Amber {we stood together}
    Reply

    Good on you Jodi. You are obviously so much more than just a writer. I always find your photos so inspiring. I love how you make use of your environment and pretty light and your composition is spot on.

    Learning how to use my camera in manual mode is one of the best things I ever did too. The creativity it opens up when you learn a few rules and techniques is amazing.

    Can't wait to see the photos from this session.

  • Hello Sisilia
    Reply

    Challenge is definitely a good thing. We always come out better than before.

    Can't wait to see the final results in September.

    xo,
    http://blog.sisiliapiring.com

  • G
    Reply

    I smiled at "writer who likes to take photos" … ultimately it doesn't matter what label you choose in the end but I am definitely on a similar wavelength to you with that x

  • Bettina Rae
    Reply

    I got my camera 2 months ago and I refuse to take it off manual. I can't afford the course but I figure I will learn out of frustration to capture the moment.

    • Jodi
      Reply

      That's the key – never take it off manual. The more you shoot the more it makes sense x

  • Reply

    To buy a dslr (and learn how to use it properly) is on my wish list this year. Your images and words have helped to inspire me. I wish I could get to The Creatives workshop! Can you (or any of your lovely readers) recommend a cheap, but good, camera to learn on? Unfortunately funds won't stretch too far at this stage! Thanks, Mel xo

    • Jodi
      Reply

      Mel, I shoot on a Panasonic GF1 and I love it. My sister-in-law just found one on ebay (with my preferred 20mm 1.7 lens) for under $500. If you want to go with Canon I would recommend the 60D and 50mm 1.4 lens (it's all you'll need). Good luck! x

    • Reply

      Ooh I'll check out eBay! Thanks so much for the recommendations, I'm off to start my search…

  • Truly Myrtle
    Reply

    You're living my dream πŸ˜‰
    I'm learning to use my new camera in Manual as fast as I can – starting a night class next week…. I am IN LOVE!

  • Coal Valley View
    Reply

    The Creatives sounds fabulous Jodi! Well done! Doing Tim's workshop has definitely changed the way I take photos for the better. While my DSLR remains on manual, as a beginner I'm still very happy to have my trusty iPhone on hand as I would have missed many a shot of the kids fumbling around with settings. Practice practice practice xx

  • Pink Ronnie
    Reply

    Beautiful, beautiful shots Jodi. Especially in love with that first one. Gorgeous capture of light & shadow.
    Ronnie xo

  • Ann
    Reply

    I think switching my camera to manual will be a good start to getting out of my comfort zone ; )

  • Maxabella
    Reply

    That's such awesome news, Jodi. I think you can safely call yourself a photographer!!! The workshop that Tim and yourself cook up together will be brilliant, I have no doubt.

    I'm doing a 14 week creative digital photography course at CATC this year and blogging about it on Village Voices. It's rather daunting, but I am thrilled.

    x

  • Reply

    Oh I just love Quince – especially for tweens. There is so little on the market for the 8-14 year olds. Can't wait to see your pics. You're a photographer now! And an amazing one too!

    • Jodi
      Reply

      Thanks Steph! I share your feelings re. tweens. Jodie (Quince's Designer) has managed to create a range that is trendy yet classic – beautiful prints and fun styles….perfect for that age group (and no short shorts – thank goodness!) πŸ˜‰ x

  • Steph @ this brown wren
    Reply

    It must have been magic to have such creative free reign! And such a muted background would have made those colours pop! Can't wait to see all your magnificent images…and equally can't wait til May πŸ™‚ x

  • bron @ baby space
    Reply

    how amazing jodi! sometimes people ask me if I have 'photographer' on my list of can-dos. I don't, exactly for the reason you said. I love taking photos so much but in my head I am a writer (maybe only in my head!). you know πŸ˜‰

  • Jane S
    Reply

    I love these photos Jodi! I was fortunate enough to participate in The Nursery on Saturday in Adelaide and it was a truly amazing day! I cried at the video Tim showed us of you speaking…it is beautiful x

  • Nikki Fisher
    Reply

    Go Jodi go! I remember the same reluctance to call myself a writer in the early days of my writing 'career'. Who was I to call myself a writer?! it is a really interesting thing to ponder, that which makes our heart sing and what it is that we feel we have to have done to make the identity valid…ie. when I am paid for the work that will make me a real – artist/photographer/writer – or when I am published that will make me a real – artist/photographer/writer. Or when self-doubt rears its unfriendly face, "I'm not good enough yet to be a writer/artist/photographer, other people are so much better than me". To anyone reading this who has something they love to do that makes their heart sing and wish they could earn an income from it, I say find a way, find a way. Live your dream in this lifetime it is possible. Jodi, I hope you don't mind me adding my long two cents worth here! Again, so fabulous and inspiring that you have done this and shared it in the way you have. Can't wait to see the photos xx

  • sarah
    Reply

    step out of your comfort zone. something i need to do more of. cant wait to see your pictures from what sounds like such a creative day. x

  • Amanda
    Reply

    This is something I need to do more for sure, step out of my comfort zone and embrace change once in a while. You are most definitely a photographer Jodi, I look at your glorious shots and dream of being able to take photos like you some day! Can't wait to see more of your photo shoot later in the year x

  • Claire
    Reply

    Just stunning photos Jodi, I can't wait to see the outcome! I think you can very safely call yourself a photographer- after all a picture tells a thousand words. x

  • Amy
    Reply

    Agree with all the comments.. such beautiful photos. So glad I found this blog! x

  • Kate
    Reply

    Cannot wait to see these!! The anticipation for September is killing me already πŸ˜‰

  • Iliska Dreams
    Reply

    Step out of your comfort zone… such good advise. Now only if I could learn to trust myself to do this.

    http://iliska-dreams.blogspot.com.au/

  • Brenda @ Mira Narnie
    Reply

    fantastic experience by the sounds Jodi! It will be lovely when you can show us the results of that day but your words truely have captured the essence, fun and creativity you felt during that session! Professional photographer I think you are! I attended The Nursery and have loved being on Manual ever since…it's amazing what you can achieve xx

  • quinceclothing.blogspot.com
    Reply

    Um, yes I think you can definitely call yourself a photographer. But it is very endearing to share your shyness in doing so, we all have those feelings for sure.

    You and Daniel are a dream team – creative, fun and Daniel's dancing is something else. Mrs Quince x

  • Col | Hello Olive
    Reply

    LOVE that last shot – stunning! x

  • this little mum
    Reply

    beautiful photos and thank you so much for the cheat sheet! i only recently purchased a DSLR and am just getting to grips with it but really want to be able to shoot on manual! i find having a blog is great motivation to keep experimenting and improving and that other people's blogs {such as your own!} are great sources of inspiration.

    http://thislittlemum.blogspot.co.uk

  • Yellow Finch Designs
    Reply

    wonderful news on the photo shoot jodi! i made the switch from auto to manual a little over a year ago and it has been such a rewarding adventure. and yes, taking thousands of photos is the best advice. that's what has helped me most.

    xo

  • Melissa
    Reply

    That is so awesome! I can't wait to see the photos. It is so great to work hard at something and see the progress that you made-slow and steady wins the race πŸ™‚

  • MANDY
    Reply

    Well done Jodi, I think you can safely add "Photographer" to your many talents, and it's been lovely seeing you move into this so naturally, exciting times ahead for you beautiful girl !!!

  • look see
    Reply

    You are indeed, a lady of very many talents! Photographer included! πŸ™‚

  • Lottie Storey
    Reply

    Wow, totally beautiful photographs.

  • Tamsin Sibylla Michelle
    Reply

    I am relating very much to what you write. I started off writing, a little bit here and there, then I started this mum blog but over time realised that I actually prefer taking photos for the blog rather than writing and so a few years down the line started my little portrait photography business here in Chile (www.sibyllamichellephotgraphy.com) and I just love the creativity and free reign that comes with it. I am also taking part in the 52 portrait project so thank you very much for that!

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