I'm super-excited to be writing today's blog post to announce the official launch of Cameras & Cocktails... this little idea has been in my mind for a long time, and I'm thrilled that it's finally up, running, and ready to go! Nearly every day, I get emails and questions from friends, clients, and even some perfect strangers who want to know what they can do to take better pictures without having to learn everything there is to know about photography. The vast majority of these come from moms who appreciate the beauty and value of good photography and want to document the lives of their little ones, but don't have the time (or energy) to dive head-first into the bottomless pool that is photography education... and fair enough - there's a lot to learn! Lots of people these days have great cameras but very little idea of how to take advantage of them, and they get frustrated by their seeming inability to make pictures that look like they want them to. I always try to answer people's questions, but photography is a big subject and email is a tough medium.
So I got to thinking: how could I make photography more accessible in a way that was both educational and fun?
And that, my friends, was how the idea for Cameras & Cocktails was born.
I designed Cameras & Cocktails the same way I would design as an intro-to-photography class for my friends... quick, light, and social, but with a healthy dose of good and useful information thrown in. Oh, and alcohol*! (My friends rarely show up if there's not some kind of booze involved :D)
Here's how it works: You find 5-7 friends/neighbors/book club members/whatever who would like to know how to take better pictures - whether they're shooting with fancy dSLRs, point-and-shoots, or just their iPhones. On the appointed date and time, we all meet at your house, I set up my projector and screen, and we toast to fun with a purpose! Everyone walks away with a swag bag of goodies, a PDF of all the information covered in the class, and a much better sense of how to capture those beautiful images that can seem so elusive.
A few months ago I gave my newsletter readers the opportunity to try Cameras & Cocktails out**... and it's been met with HUGE enthusiasm. Here are a few of the responses I've gotten from some of the people who have taken the class thus far:
- "This class was terrific. Annemie is clearly an expert, yet she is incredibly accessible and gave me the feeling that I, too, could learn to take awesome pictures."
- "I never would've thought to take a class on photography, but when my friend asked me to join I figured why not? I'm so glad I did! My family went on vacation to the beach right afterward and I got some GREAT photos of my kids that I never would have been able to get before!"
- "Cameras & Cocktails was the perfect Mom's Night Out activity! We got to socialize, drink wine, and begin to learn how to use the DSLR cameras we've all been using on auto mode for all these years!"
- "I left much more comfortable and confident with my camera, and excited to take better pictures."
- "I thought the class was the perfect mix of technical info and composition guidance - I really learned a lot. ...I would love to have you give a presentation for my sister's baby shower this fall!"
Interested in hosting your own Cameras & Cocktails party? I've got good news for you: in exchange for providing the venue, the refreshments, and the students/party-goers, you attend the class for free! With a busy wedding and portrait schedule, though, I can only book 2-3 classes a month... so get in touch soon!
* I'm calling it Cameras & Cocktails, but you know your friends better than I do, so if you'd rather host a Cameras & Coffee or Cameras & Cookies or Cameras & Cheeseburgers party, that's your call... the material is the same. It doesn't even have to begin with a C! :D
** The next newsletter is due out at the end of this week... if you're not signed up and would like to get previews of fun stuff like this, go get your name on the list!