Clicks Gone Wild offers two exciting options to learn how to get the most out of your digital camera. We have our popular
Clicks in Your Home Program or One-on-One instruction of our beginner, intermediate and advanced level courses which are taught throughout Arnprior, Renfrew and the surrounding area. More information about us and our courses can be found in the links above. Send us an e-mail at clicksgonewild (at) gmail (dot) com to book your course with Clicks.

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Dog-gone Delightful Share!

A few months ago, we had the pleasure of taking a road trip to Metcalfe to teach Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2 back-to-back to a keen group.  Johanne was one of the participants that day and she wrote this lovely testimonial to share:
"For my 16th Birthday (a few years ago now ;-) my parents gave me my first Canon Rebel, a 35mm. I loved this camera; the pictures I shot were crisp, clear and exactly how I wanted them. About five years ago, I decided to upgrade my Rebel to a digital version; with that said, I was very disappointed in the quality of the images I was taking and as such, lacked the interest in photography that I once had.
A friend of mine asked me if I'd be interested in participating in the Mastering the Basics Courses, Parts 1 and 2 that she would be hosting in her comforts of her home a few months ago.  I accepted and was quite impressed.  The atmosphere was relaxing and fun amongst friends, and Rhonda and Gemma's 'hands-on & try-it-out' instruction style kept the course interesting.  It was easy to learn and retain the information shared. 
Since attending these courses my dSLR has not had time to collect dust, and I'm even more pleased now with the outcome of my pictures than I was before using my old 35mm. Thank you Rhonda and Gemma for helping me rediscover my passion for 'good pics'.
Looking forward to attending the Manual Course in January!
~ Johanne"
Here is a picture of her dog, Pepper, that she took before taking the Mastering the Basics courses:
The second image is a picture Johanne took after taking the courses.  Notice that the new image doesn't use harsh flash to properly expose the picture, the colours are more true-to-life, the background is nicely blurred, and there is more thought put into composition.  
Nicely done, Johanne!  We love this image!  Thanks for letting us share!

Do you want to learn how to take better everyday photos?  We can teach you too. :) Upcoming Mastering the Basics, Part 1 and Part 2 courses are listed here: http://clicksgonewild.blogspot.com/p/class-schedule.html

Register for any of our January courses by sending an e-mail to clicksgonewild@gmail.com.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Happy Holidays!!

Wow!  2011 has been a big year for Clicks Gone Wild. We launched our very first course, Mastering the Basics, Part 1: Camera Features and Composition, in January of this year and the activity hasn't stopped since! We went on to write two more courses, Mastering the Basics, Part 2 and The Magic of Manual Mode, and both have been well received.

We are SO happy about all things Clicks and we really have YOU to thank. We're wishing all of our former, current, and future students a wonderful holiday season full of wonderful memories and images. We look forward to continuing with our courses after Christmas, with ALL three of our courses being offered for the first time in the New Year between January 14th and the 17th. Now there's some activity!! The new dates can be found under the Class Schedule tab.

Please pop over to our facebook page at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Clicks-Gone-Wild/314778345214738 , and "Like" us to get tips, keep up-to-date with Clicks news, and re-connect with former Clicks classmates.

Until the New Year.....  All the best!

Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Capturing Those Tiny Toes

A few months ago, before the birth of her first little one, Melissa attended Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2 courses back-to-back at the Arnprior Library.  Armed with her Nikon and a good eye, Melissa picked up some photography tips during our few hours together and used her new knowledge to do some additional self-directed learning.  We were so happy when she sent us these beautiful captures of her new addition.  Isn't she precious?!  We have a feeling this will be one well-photographed infant.  :)  Thanks for joining us, Melissa, and especially for letting us share!

Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2 are both full of great instruction for any point-and-shoot or dSLR owner.  Even if you have never taken your camera off the green box (auto mode), Gemma and I will help you make sense of your camera.  You will learn how to take full advantage of your camera's features (take control!) and to get better everyday photos!

There is a Mastering the Basics: Part 1 tonight (Tuesday, Dec. 6) in Braeside, with a few spaces still available.  Email us at clicksgonewild@gmail.com to register.


Monday, December 05, 2011

The Confidence To Try New Things!

One of the most rewarding parts of teaching is seeing results!  I was so happy that my friend, Cyndy, shared this image yesterday and gave permission for me to share with you.  Cyndy took both Mastering the Basics:  Parts 1 and 2 earlier this year.  She wrote about how happy she is with this image and how thankful she is that our Clicks courses have helped her become a better photographer and most importantly, boost her confidence.

I love how she used the available light here and didn't fire a flash.  It's a calm and perfect moment captured exactly how she wanted it to be remembered.  Both Gemma and I are so proud of her for taking the concepts we teach in our classes, practicing with her camera often and really running with them.  Capturing these special moments is of great importance to Cyndy, as she is an avid scrapper (in the "book" sense!) and sells Close To My Heart scrapbooking supplies to Arnprior and area.  Check out Cyndy's blog here:  http://arnpriorscrapper.blogspot.com/

The final public class of 2011 for Mastering the Basics: Part 1 is being held Tuesday, Dec. 6 at 7 p.m. in Braeside.  E-mail us at clicksgonewild@gmail.com for more information or to register.


Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Give the gift of photography skills

Just in time for the holiday giving season, Rhonda and I are happy to offer Gift Certificates available for our Clicks Gone Wild courses.

These are available in any amount and are perfect for all of the photo enthusiasts in your life!

If you know anyone who has a hard time understanding manuals and wants to learn how to how to use all of the buttons on their compact camera or dSLR, as well as composition and lighting tips, we'd suggest our Mastering the Basics classes. Or if they haven't figured out their fancy dSLR and mastered the exposure triangle, Santa may want to leave a contribution towards our latest course - The Magic of Manual Mode. A complete listing of our course offerings and the cost for each class can be found here.

Contact us on how to purchase these awesome little stocking stuffers!!  :)

Sunday, November 06, 2011

It's Going To Be a MAGICAL Week!!!

Gemma and I are on the countdown to this coming Saturday, when we launch our newest and most in-depth photography course, The Magic of Manual Mode.  WOO HOO!!!!  We have been writing, compiling, reviewing, and planning with great gusto to make this a truly fun, enlightening, and comprehensive course on the exposure triangle and shooting in Manual Mode.  And the best part is that we have a great group of keen people on board for this course - which makes our job super fun.  Great people + great info = fantastic photography.

The cost of the Magic of Manual Mode is $215.  We have a teensy little space left if you want to register and join us.  This course includes an extended in-person class with us this Saturday, Nov. 12 starting at 10 a.m. (in Braeside) and then continues for the three weeks following by e-mail and online forum.  We also are giving class notes for reference so you can spend as much time possible soaking up the inspiration and playing with your camera during the class!!  Students will have the opportunity to benefit from the optional follow-up assignments to solidify your learning and will continue to learn through personalized feedback.  As well, you'll be able to ask us any and all of the questions that will surely come up when you go home and put into practice the TON of information that will be presented this Saturday.

I'm so excited to share this experience with those of you already registered.  :)  We're really going to put those cameras to work!!  Shooting in Manual will forever change how you take and see images.

To register for this course, for more information, or to be added to our mailing list to hear about upcoming learning opportunities, e-mail us at clicksgonewild@gmail.com.

Here is a photo I recently took in Manual Mode.  You can learn how to do this too!


Wednesday, October 05, 2011

The mighty Point & Shoot camera

The kids are all settled in the back-to-school routine and now it is time for all of you photography lovers to make time to learn what all of those little buttons and gadgets on your digital camera can do! Both Rhonda and I hear all of the time from people who want to learn how to properly use their camera, but don't have the time. They put off reading their manual and those special moments that they want to capture on their own are forever recorded as blurry, poorly composed snapshots.  If this is you - you are not alone!

I learned long ago that it didn't take a fancy expensive camera to take decent photos.  Photography is something I've been passionate about my whole life and I was determined to understand how and why my camera worked the way it did. Bottom line, I never wanted to settle for out-of-focus memories and images that didn't look as the scene appeared to me at the time.

A whole new world opened to me once I could adjust settings and tweak my camera to get the desired image on the back of that tiny LCD screen (remember when they weren't much bigger than a postage stamp??). The best part was I didn't need to spend a fortune in equipment because my little trusty point and shoot camera was doing the job for me!

Thought I'd share a few images taken with my very first digital camera (a Canon A60 - nothing fancy!) to show you exactly what I'm talking about.  These were captured long before I splurged on a dSLR:

Sharp shot of two babies!!
(Nov. 2004)

My son isn't blurry even though this was taken indoors with no flash.
(March 2005)

Love the look of sharp focused details, like flowers set against an out-of-focus background? So do I!! Macro photography is fun and really easy with any kind of camera!
(August 2004)

Capture all foreground and background details to create compelling landscapes!!
(May 2005)

Most of the information I learned from my early encounters with a digital camera is packed into our class Mastering the Basics, Part 1. And trust me, these simple tips and tricks can go a long way.  Rock the camera that you own now!  We teach you that most of the functions and menu choices are available as standard options on any camera, no matter the price you paid for it.

Invest in the education first, is my philosophy, before making another camera purchase.  You will be surprised to find out what that little camera of yours can do! Sign up for our introductory course and let us be your talking manual for a couple of hours.  You'll be entertained and educated.  We'll open your eyes to the components of a great photo and walk you through what you need to know to do it all on your own.

For more information, you can check out our Course Schedule link above, or contact us.


Monday, October 03, 2011


We just received an upbeat e-mail today that read, "I just did a custom white balance off a feed sack in a barn!  And it worked!"  We share this enthusiasm and it makes our day to know that tips and tricks that people learn in our classes are working for them to get better everyday photos!

White balance, as well as posing, metering options, printing, and more  is covered in Mastering the Basics, Part 2:  Get Organized, Proper Colours, and Print.  This course is being offered on Saturday, Oct. 22 in Arnprior.  You can have any digital camera (a point and shoot or dSLR) to participate in this class. Pre-registration is required.  Contact us to register.

edited to add: White balance is now covered in Step it Up, Shutterbug!  ;)

Friday, September 23, 2011

Get really wild in Manual Mode!

Entry-level dSLR cameras are becoming more affordable and are quickly becoming the camera of choice when presented as an option in comparison to a quality point and shoot.  There is no doubt about it....when I bought an SLR and started capturing images, right away I noticed a difference in the clarity and colour of my images in comparison to my much-cheaper point and shoot.  And I was shooting on auto mode!

But looking back, I really had no idea how truly powerful my digital camera was, and that these images could really be better in so many ways.  It wasn't until I learned how to shoot in Manual Mode, controlling my shutter speed, aperture, and ISO for every shot, as well as choosing an appropriate metering mode and white balance, that I understood what can happen when you learn to use your camera to its full potential.  In fact, I could plainly see what happens - right there on the LCD on the back of my camera and later on when I downloaded my card to my computer!  Needless to say, there was such a difference that there was no going back.

As an illustration, here are some pictures taken in automatic mode with an SLR, as compared to the same image taken with the same camera in Manual mode.  Notice the flashy auto pictures in comparison to the properly-exposed manual pictures.  See the ability you have to choose where to focus in M.  All images are straight out of the camera, with no edits......

Here I want to blur the foreground and focus on the words on the label...

Obviously, it's easier to achieve this effect when I control everything in Manual, compared to the Auto snapshot.  And it's appropriate that I'm choosing to show you the difference between auto and manual through images of food taken on my kitchen table.  When I bought an dSLR, Gemma used strawberries in a bowl on our friend's kitchen table to show me the power of manual mode.   :)  It wasn't long after that when I said "so long" to Automatic mode and was taking the types of photos I had always envisioned in my mind, and all in Manual Mode. 

Mastering the Basics, Part 1:  Camera Features and Composition and Mastering the Basics, Part 2:  Get Organized, Proper Colours and Print (more of an intermediate course, really!) are fantastic introductions to the world beyond automatic mode, as well as the artistry of photography.  Time and time again, people are telling us that the tips offered in these courses help them take better everyday pictures with the digital camera that they have (dSLR or P+S).

When you have grown beyond the basics, whether on your own or through our courses, The Magic of Manual Mode is for you.  Our brand new extensive course, which includes in-depth instruction, examples, hands-on practice, follow-up help, support and encouragement through assignments and feedback, is launching this November!  Participants are already signing up and I can tell you that Gemma and I are so excited to teach this course and open up a whole new world of possibilities to other photography-loving people!   And here's even more great news - we're covering basic editing techniques as well!

Can't wait!!!!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Clicks want to come to your home!

A group of friends.  A few hours together.  Learning how to use any digital camera to its full potential. 

It’s as simple as that. 

When we launched Clicks Gone Wild last winter, we had a group of our friends together in Rhonda’s home.  We shared our journey into this big world of photography.  We shared many of our favourite photo tips and tricks.  And we had a ton of fun while learning how to take control of our cameras so our friends could be on their way to taking better photos.

That was the initial vision for our CGW classes and we love how the home parties have taken on a life of their own.  And for good reason – an interest in photography connects family and friends whom continue to learn, share and encourage each other on their own photography journey.

This past weekend, we were invited to a home in Metcalfe to teach Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2.  We are inspired by this group of friends who were so enthusiastic about the courses and kept their cameras clicking away after we were gone - seeing better photos immediately.  We know these friends will continue to support each other on their photographic journeys and continue their learning! 

Our public classes have the same great tips and tricks as Clicks in Your Home, along with our slideshow presentation that illustrates how changing simple settings on your camera can instantly produce better images. 

For the times when your personal schedule doesn’t fit with our public class schedule, consider taking advantage of the Clicks in Your Home program.  Our hosts enjoy a discount on their own course fee if they have five or more guests attend their Clicks party.  It’s a win-win situation for everyone!

Travel outside of the Renfrew/Arnprior is also available for any of our classes.  (We do charge a small travel fee in these circumstances.)  Last spring we taught a Mastering the Basics extravaganza in Napanee – our Part 1 class followed by Part 2 in one afternoon! 

Now there is no excuse to keep ‘pointing and praying’ for decent photos of your daughter’s birthday party, or to come home from a memorable trip with ho-hum pictures.  We want to share our secrets to those prized photos you’ve been hoping to take on your own, and you can do all of this in the comfort of your own home.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011


We love to hear how our classes result in better everyday images for our students!!  It makes us SO happy!  So we're pleased to share this testimonial from Jaime and some of the beautiful pictures she has captured since taking Mastering the Basics, Parts 1 and 2 with Clicks.  Thank you, Jaime!

With a love of photography, and knowledge that the shots taken with my older point-and-shoot camera were “decent”, I knew that there was room for improvement.  Equipped with a brand new Nikon DSLR, and only weeks before a trip to The Golden State of California, there were memories that would need to be captured.  I wasn’t na├»ve in thinking that my new camera was going to be what did it for me, and so I was looking for someone’s help in giving me an insight into the world of photography.  At the most appropriate time, I stumbled upon the “Clicks Gone Wild”, Mastering the Basics workshops.  With a tight timeframe before my trip, I did both Part 1 and Part 2 on the same day!  These workshops were amazing.  More importantly, Rhonda and Gemma were wonderful.  Their up-beat personalities, professionalism and talent, combined with the jam-packed information that they provided in these two sessions were remarkable. That afternoon, I walked out the door knowing that I was equipped with the information needed to turn my “decent” shots, into “memorable” ones.  Thanks to Rhonda and Gemma, I continue to learn every day, through every shot.  Thank You, Ladies!
Jaime Christie-Stewart
Participant in Mastering the Basics – Part 1 and 2 – April, 2011

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Free Photography Walkabout!!

We feel truly blessed that so many people have joined us in this new venture this year!  As a big thank you and an excuse to see you all again, we are offering a free Walkabout on Sunday, June 12 in Arnprior, for anyone who has taken both Part 1 and Part 2. 

Monday, March 07, 2011

Re-vamped Mastering the Basics

Hello shutterbugs!

Welcome to this latest adventure for us.  We had a 'test run' of our Mastering the Basics, Part 1 course in late January and the response was incredible!  We have been busy over the last month fine-tuning and are ready to launch our two-hour sessions filled with photo illustrations and tons of tricks of the trade.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Welcome To Clicks Gone Wild!!

Hello there!!

Welcome to Clicks Gone Wild blog...a place to find out more about our courses and upcoming schedule!  We're a pair of Ottawa Valley photographers who know how to click with confidence and are here to help camera owners unleash the power of their digital cameras.

Rhonda McMaster & Gemma Robillard

Gemma Robillard of Gem Photography and Rhonda McMaster of Rhonda McMaster Photography are teaming up to teach the basics of digital photography to fellow Valley residents.  We are both passionate photog moms with our own businesses offering professional custom photography services.