Photographing Your Family’s Everyday
with melissa stottmann
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Full Participation sold out.
The reason many of us have delved into the world of photography is to capture the fleeting happenings of our lives. Every day that passes is gone forever, yet your camera gives you the opportunity to record that vanished day. Come join Melissa Stottmann and discuss how to photograph every life event, including the (seemingly) ordinary moments. Together, we will explore the broad genres of family photography and bring it in closer, down to the very small details you are likely to forget. Come away from the workshop with a plan for the everyday, the special days, ideas to stay motivated, and a system for keeping everything in order.
daily shooting encouraged
4 hours of work per week
this course has prerequisites
Students need to be comfortable with their exposures in camera.
Melissa Stottmann is a newborn, children & family (including her own!) photographer from Wilmington, Delaware. Shooting primarily with her D800, though using film occasionally, Melissa can often be found with a 35mm or 85mm lens attached. Some of her loves: Rainbow flip-flops, the color yellow, design and decorating of any sort, quiet afternoons with her kiddos, yoga and reading everything she can get her hands on! Melissa believes that every moment is significant and uses her camera to bring attention to otherwise ordinary moments. Her portfolio is available here.
The following photographers also participate in discussions and provide assignment critiques as teaching assistants:
A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.
• 6 PDF’s
• 12 Videos
• 1 Set of Collage Templates for Photoshop & Lightroom
• Instructor-Led Online Q&A for Each Lesson
Study Along students will have access to all materials and will be able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum and receive access to their own private subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments.
Welcome & Preassignment
Reading: “Everyday Photography” The genres of family photography are discovered, discussed, and broken down. Learn to find the details in your photos that matter, decide which moments in your life you want to remember, and photograph your family in a manner that makes your heart sing. Extra Materials: Video “Editing for Impact.”
Assignment: Shoot an ordinary moment in multiple ways
Reading: “Extraordinary Days” Discuss shooting during the holidays, vacations, birthday parties, and small adventures of your life. Transcend simply photographing these events (and discuss apprehension you may have about shooting in public) but also how to enjoy them and tell a story without constantly being attached to your camera. Extra Materials: Video on creating collages with included templates for Photoshop and Lightroom.
Assignment: Shooting something extraordinary in your life by using a customized list to capture the important moments.
Reading: “Getting in the Frame & Family Portraits” You are shooting for the future, not OF your family but FOR your family. You need to be in the pictures. Look for creative ways to get you in the every day and extraordinary day images, both physically and symbolically. The second half of the PDF is about posing for portraits and loving family images. Discussion and examples will be given for posing an individual, small groupings, your family, and other families. Extra Mini-PDF to get you started with a speedlight
Assignment: Shooting an image of yourself with your family in a creative way or in a way that represents you
Reading: “Photographing the Passage of Time” Personal projects come in many forms and this week will explore ways to include your family within your personal projects. To wrap up, we will look at image printing and organization to create to help plan for the future.Extra Materials: Video- Creating a growing family photo album quickly and easily, Mini-PDF- Shooting Video (DSLR), Video- Putting together video footage for a short film (mobile videos & DSLR).
Assignment: Assess original family gallery to monitor your progress with memory keeping and begin a small or large scale project of your family
The CMU workshop is a 100% online classroom experience. Once you sign up, you have access to a course forum that is open 24 hours a day so that you can learn and join discussions on your own schedule.
Each week students receive a set of course materials– these materials generally include a PDF and/or videos. Throughout the week, instructors and TAs are present in the forum every day to answer questions and offer encouragement. Students receive an assignment each week that pertains to the topics covered in the course materials and class discussion throughout the week.
Full Participation students engage in an interactive online classroom experience that includes instructor-led group discussions and detailed, personalized guidance for the duration of the workshop. Full participation students post their assignments in the forum and receive instructor and TA critiques each week. They also have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.
Study Along students have access to all materials and are able to view all content and conversation in the main workshop forum. They also receive access to their own private Study Along subforum for peer study groups and image shares. Study along students will not be able to ask the instructor questions or request instructor feedback on their assignments, but they can follow along with instructor critiques of the Full Participation assignments.
Whether you are a Full Participation student or a Study Along student, the course materials are yours to keep.