{Photograph by Sally J Shim}

One of my goals for the past few years has been to improve my photography skills. Appah gifted me with a Nikon D300 2.5 years ago and I had every intention of figuring out how to move beyond the automatic mode but you know, laziness set in. Fast forward a few years and I came across Nicole's Classes, creative online courses that range from Photo 101 to Photoshop to Illustrator. I am a fan of Nicole Gerulat's clean + bright shooting style so I was curious to see what I could learn from her. Being a bit of a design freak I have to admit the clean layout of her website also caught my attention. I ordered her Photo 101 book and read it in one sitting. Her first piece of advice is to turn the camera to the manual mode. I listened and haven't turned it back to the automatic mode since. After owning the book for more than six months I finally enrolled in the Photo 101 course last month. I liked the fact that the course is only four weeks long and through my weekly homework assignments I was able to get feedback from Nicole on ways to improve. Nicole really emphasizes shooting clean and not to rely on Photoshop to improve your image. I still have a lot to learn but I think it finally "clicked" that photography is no different than any other creative field, the more you practice, the better you get. And I have to say the class has helped increase the number of good shots I am getting straight out of the camera, without any Photoshop tweaks [although I plan to take her Photoshop 101  + Photo Workflow courses soon]. Even though the class is over I want to continue to shoot on a regular basis so I can improve my skills and continue documenting life. And what can I say, I think I have some pretty darn cute models to help me out!

Reader Comments (16)

i just came across nicoles classes yesterday and was considering taking one of them. i am so glad to know that you have taken one (and used her book) with success. I can feel good about splurging for educational purposes :)

03.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjen v

you are the second person who has given rave reviews on nicole's book. i am going to go buy it now! and your boys are ADORABLE!!

03.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterkribss

love this shot and really am considering taking the class too! bye bye photoshop ;)

03.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterJoke

JenV // You should definitely take a class! I found it very educational and helpful to receive feedback from a professional photographer! :)

Kribss // Oh good, glad you are getting the book. You will LOVE it! And thank you, love my boys! :)

Joke // DO IT!! :)

03.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

i also have a nikon. i've been making it "work for me." despite having it for a year, i'm still quite a novice in using it. thx for the recommendation of nicole's classes.

03.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterallyn

werent you nervous snapping pictures of that motorcycle gang?

03.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterhongsons

your boys are so muh shee ssuh!! =D

03.2.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTruly Smitten

I love her classes. I've been a life long photography student. I took a couple of her classes when she taught in SF a couple years ago.
...practice makes perfect =)
(love your new site)

03.2.2011 | Unregistered Commenterjoyce

model material.

03.3.2011 | Unregistered Commentermartha

ALLYN // I think you would find the book + class helpful if you are interested in shooting manually. Good luck!

HONGONS // They were friendly like biker dudes! :)

TRULY SMITTEN // Aww...thanks, Sarah!

JOYCE // Thanks, Joyce!

MARTHA // They think so! ;)

03.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

Sally - I am so happy you started this blog! You have a good format going which is easy to read and follow and clean. I can't wait to read more! As for the photography, I'm going to head on over there right now. I could use some tips for sure! I have a Nikon D40 and have it only on auto as well. Most of my photos are yellowish when I take them indoors. Anyhow, your boys are adorable. Seriously. My husband is Korean so we have two biological half Korean kids. Best to you and everyone on here!

03.3.2011 | Unregistered CommenterTrisha

i've always admired your photos and that one of your guys is great!

03.4.2011 | Unregistered Commentercindy

i've been following your other blog for years and i've always loved your photography skills! even well before you had a fancy camera i saw what a gift you had for capturing beautiful images. =)

03.8.2011 | Unregistered Commenterskippee

TRISHA // Thank you! I would check the "white balance" setting if your indoor photographs are yellow.

CINDY // Thank you, Cindy!

SKIPPEE // Thanks so much! :)

04.19.2011 | Unregistered CommenterSALLYJSHIM

The subject is well taken on the shot. The focus blend is just amazing. This I can integrate with wedding photography.

09.6.2011 | Unregistered CommenterAndrei

I like your post. The photograph is well taken. I will integrate it with family photography

04.26.2018 | Unregistered CommenterMike Beltrametti

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