Before They Grow Up: Photographing Childhood – Click Photo School {Jill Kirtland Photography – Mid Ohio Valley Photographer}

During the months of January – March I usually take on fewer client sessions so I can focus on professional development. I believe the key to being a great photographer is to do continuous education so I can learn from other great photographers, gather inspiration from practicing other styles of photography, and to push my creative boundaries.

I just wrapped up the four-week online course “Before They Grow Up: Photographing Childhood” from Click Photo School‘s instructor and mentor, Kellie Bieser of Shutter & Glass Photography (Columbus, Ohio). It was a really inspiring class. I love Kellie’s work and was interested in seeing how she achieved her family and child photography. She loves doing a mix of portraits and lifestyle/documentary photos during her client sessions and personal work. I also love learning from someone who lives in a world of beautiful chaos like I do (she has 4 children and manages a business). This course took us through the art of traditional portraits to lifestyle portraits to documentary photography. Each of these can capture childhood in a special way. It helped you figure out where your comfort zone was and where you might want to develop yourself further. I also learned some great Adobe Photoshop techniques which encouraged me to unlock more of Photoshop’s potential (I primarily edit in Adobe Lightroom) and take another Click Photo School class (this time as study along instead of a full participant) on Unlocking the Magic of Photoshop.

There were people of all different skill levels varying from hobbyists to professionals in this class. I love how Kellie encouraged each of us and gave us such great constructive criticism during our weekly assignment critiques. There was also a lot of fun off-topic chatter happening in the course discussion forum!

Here are some photos I took of my children as practice exercises for the course: