Finally, I can now use my ‘proper’ camera (kind of)

Camera workshop

I LOVE photography and I adore taking snazzy images so you can imagine my delight when my husband gave me a very swanky (and expensive) camera for Christmas a few years ago.

I’ve used it loads since then. It’s travelled to Florence and Rome, captured Elsie as a newborn, snapped our loved up friends on their wedding days and more besides.

But here’s the thing. Besides pressing the button and looking through the window screen thing (technical ey?) I didn’t actually know how to use it. Properly that is. In fact to hell with that. I’ve been scared of even attempting to use it. Playing with dials and pressing loads of buttons? No thanks. I’ll just stick to auto!

Anyway over the years I felt a little bad about this, after all a fancy camera (a Canon DSLR if you’re interested) deserves to be used to its potential and so when I was kindly invited by Joe Blogs to attend a photography workshop, well, obviously I just had to go. Anything to get rid of the guilt!

So on Sunday, I spent the day with a brilliant bunch of bloggers who’d travelled from across Yorkshire to attend the workshop at the Copthorne Hotel Sheffield. The workshop was led by Yorkshire based photographer Pandora Maund, who also runs Going Digital Yorkshire and was – to be frank – brilliant but also mind boggling. What can I say? It seems there is much more to this camera lark than simply snapping away!

Pandora very kindly talked us through how to take our camera off ‘auto mode’ (scary stuff I tell you!) and explained how to use our camera properly, by showing us the main camera functions and talking about things like exposure, composition and white balance.

And once we’d found out how to do lots of fancy stuff? Well, naturally it was time to put our skills into practice!

As the hotel is located slap bang next door to Sheffield United we went outside to snap the Bramhall Lane stadium, and each other, in all of our glory. Here are some pics that I took, as I attempted to put Pandora’s top tips into practice, completely unedited I hasten to add! No filters. No nothing! Ok, so they might not be AMAZING but hey I got my camera to do stuff. And I’m proud of that I tell you!



And my lovely model? The adorable Lemon Freckles who I had so much fun with on the day. Just look at her fabulous hair! Green with envy or what?!

So did the workshop help I hear you cry?!

Well, yes, I think it quite possibly did! Getting to grips with my camera’s functions was certainly not as easy as I’d hoped but now I kind of know what I’m doing or at least know what I’m supposed to be doing, I do think with plenty of practice, that my camera skills will most definitely improve.

And I’ve already been putting them into practice! *pulls proud face* Here’s a few I took of my favourite ‘subject’ on Monday, spurred on by the workshop. *Note – I have edited these because I love them so much!


Elsie swingElsie swing 2Elsie head


So will I be putting my camera back on auto mode? Well, I can’t say for sure but I do know this.

Thanks to Pandora and her patient explanations, I’m definitely happy to at least leave it off for a while and see how I get on. David Bailey, you had better watch your back ;-)


Many thanks to Pandora, the team at Joe Blogs and of course the Copthorne Millenium Hotel in Sheffield. You’ve made a photography lover very happy indeed! And here’s the olibigatory group shot! (Quite clearly NOT taken by me). 

Team Photo


With love (and pouts),




Mama and More
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18 Discussions on
“Finally, I can now use my ‘proper’ camera (kind of)”
    • Thank you!! Was a great course. If you get the chance again, grab it! (Although you don’t need any help, your pics are always stunning!) x

    • And you Dannielle! Thanks so much. Looking forward to seeing your pics from the day and hearing how you’ve got on. Pandora was amazing wasn’t she?! x

  • Love the black and white swinging shot. I too have done the same – went on a photography course that really helped me better understand my DSLR and now I never use the auto button. Lots to still learn but the course was so helpful. And if you like the bokeh effect (where background is out of focus) a 1.8 50mm lens is great for this.

    • Ooooh top tip! Thanks so much for sharing Nomita! Thank you for your kind words too. I’m just a little ashamed of myself that I haven’t got to grips with my DSLR properly before now! x

  • Oh the photos of your lil lady are lovely!
    See once you figure out the ISO-Shutter speed-aperture triangle, it just gets better and better! The more you practice, the easier it will become! Go you! :)

    • Thanks so much Marlyin! Yes all that kind of stuff is still a mystery and will def take much more practice but I’m on the right track now I think. Finally ;-)

  • These are really beautiful pics.
    I signed up for an on line photography course ages ago which i really must do as I have yet to complete it. Looks like you had a great day – carry on the grand work x

    • Thanks Tracey! So kind of you to say. Yes, hop to it! (You’ve definitely got the eye for a great pic judging from your Instagram pics!) x

    • Thanks Pandora! Praise indeed! As you say practice makes perfect (kind of) so i’ll keep at it I promise. Thanks for being such an inspiring teacher :) x

  • Utterly stunning shots of your gorgeous girl, love the black and white shot and the light dancing in her hair. You have the gift girl. So sad I missed this for a family party (which rocked) but would love to make another one. Husband gives me sessions and although I’m not too shabby behind the camera, always great to refresh. David Bailey is def shitting himself with this post-beautiful x

    • Thank you so much! The course was brilliant and that last line in your comment made me laugh so much I spat out my tea! :) (Thank you!) x

  • I’m trying to get to grips with a fairly new camera too but I have to admit I use the auto mode or macro the most. No idea what I’m doing when it comes to the other settings! Will have to check out this photo course – they run them all over the country I think? Absobloody gorgeous shots of Elsie by the way – especially that black and white one – wow! x

  • I am totally a P&S photographer, who sticks with auto mode all of the time. The only thing I really wish I could to is to get those pictures where the focal subject is crisp and the background is blurred. I have no idea if that is even possible on my camera. I wish someone would offer a class for P&S camera people in my city.

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