Step By Step With Lensbaby

with caroline jensen

100% online
register starting
June 5, 2017
current run
July 10, 2017
next run

register now >

Full Participation sold out.
Study Along seats available!

Lensbaby lenses are the perfect tool for nurturing creativity and strengthening your photographic skills. All Lensbaby optics and lenses are welcome to participate. Manual focus is one skill that can benefit multiple areas of photography, including nurturing flexible composition and thoughtful shooting. We will spend time honing this skill so that our hands, eyes, and mind all work together in an intuitive way. From there, we begin working with tilt and learn to understand how the focal plane shifts as an optic or lens moves. Finally, we will spend time learning how to integrate Lensbaby images into a storytelling sequence or thematic essay to add variety and emotion. You will find that the skills learned here will help you to become more confident in many areas of photography. Full participation students will benefit from the one on one guidance seasoned instructors, with years of Lensbaby experience, while study along students will benefit from observing and working through the lessons at their own pace.


3 weeks


daily shooting encouraged


4 hours of work per week


this course has prerequisites


Photographers need to be comfortable getting a correct exposure in camera.



Caroline Jensen, A Sony Artisan of Imagery, is a photographic artist living on the prairie. Her favorite things include cozy nights in front of her natural wood fireplace, camping in her Airstream, and read alouds with her children. Photography is her expressive outlet and features emotive black and white portraiture, unique macro work, colorful landscapes, and food photography. Her gear includes her Sony mirrorless cameras and lenses, as well as vintage lenses and Lensbaby lenses that express her photographic voice perfectly. She has been featured in many publications including: Dreamer Journal, Sony Alpha Universe, Pro Photo Daily, and numerous times in Click magazine as well as on the packaging of the Lensbaby Sweet 50 and Velvet lenses. She teaches three popular workshops at Click Photo School where she encourages creativity and development of visual voice. Her portfolio is available here.

A number of course alumni are invited to engage in discussion, share insight with students, and provide feedback and encouragement throughout the course.


Shooting and Processing
200-level (Intermediate)

Course Syllabus

Welcome & Preassignment

Week One

Reading:LCD zooming; Focus Peaking with Mirrorless Cameras; Bracketing Focus Various Ways; Creative Framing with Manual Focus; Managing Poor Eyesight

Assignment: Demonstrate your skills with manual focusing and outline two methods you practiced during the week. Only shoot with manual focus lenses during this entire week!

Week Two

Reading:Working with tilting lenses (options may be provided for students without tilting lenses, but tilting lenses are highly encouraged) and creative options, including macro and motion blur.
Assignment: Choose from three assignment options including non-living subject, moving subjects, and bonus exercises based on the student’s interest.

Week Three

Reading: Fisheye or Circular Fisheye; Pinhole or Zone Plate; Soft Focus; Vintage Manual Focus Lenses (for mirrorless systems) ; Creative Bokeh; covers fixed (non-tilting) lenses, optional optics and creating narrative or thematic essays incorporating Lensbaby images.
Assignment: Share a narrative or thematic photo essay. Basic and Advanced options allow the student to work conveniently within their schedule.

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 receive instructor critiques of the posted assignment each week and have lifetime access to a Workshop Alumni forum for continued peer discussion after the course concludes.

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.


  • Pam says:

    What a great class to get started with your Lensbaby. Caroline has great exercises for you to practice to really get comfortable shooting what Lensbaby you have purchased. Full participation, shooting daily and getting feedback, really helps with your learning. I highly recommend this class!

  • Donna Denee says:

    When I saw that this class was going to be taught, I decided immediately that I would try to get a seat in the class. I managed to get in and I’m so thankful that I did. I’ve had lensbabies for quite some time and I’ve never loved the over-the-top blur they can produce. I know from other people’s work that you can get beautiful calm and serene images from these beasts but I had never quite gotten them tamed. Caroline will run you through exercises where you will learn to tame them and will understand how they are going to behave. Then you can take that knowledge and start to create what you’ve been longing to create. Your assignments in the class will be built around the lenses you have, your desired effects and the ability you have – but you will grow in that ability over the three weeks. At the end of the three weeks, you will have a new found confidence in using these lenses and you’ll wish the class wasn’t ending. But even after the class, the material will continue to allow you to grow on your own should you acquire new lenses/optics or just feel that you’ve reached a new level of ability and would like to continue growing. Caroline and the TAs did an incredible job answering questions, providing feedback, and offering suggestions. If you have a lensbaby and you are less than “in love” with it, consider this class before deciding to sell the lens. :-) And if you have one and ARE “in love” with it, consider this class to grow even more proficient.

  • Melina says:

    I have been mesmerized by Caroline’s work, and particularly the way she uses Lensbaby lenses to create true masterpieces. I’ve been hoping that she would create a Lensbaby workshop for a long time. When I saw this workshop on the CMU calendar I literally squealed and signed up for the first run! The past few weeks have been a creative dream! Caroline introduces and covers each of the lenses and their unique properties. She works extensively with each student, setting goals, exercises and challenges based on their level of comfort and proficiency with the particular Lensbaby lenses they have accessible. She provides shooting videos of her own process that are remarkably helpful. Finally, her feedback is generous, detailed and wonderfully specific. Whether you are a brand new or veteran lensbaby shooter, if you want a creative challenge–this workshop is perfection!!

Have a Question? Contact us Here!

Write a Review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *