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.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Photographing Everyday Moments With Your Children

Recently, we launched a contest over at Ottawa Valley Moms for a $50 gift certificate to any of our public courses.  We are so pleased to see so many moms and grandmas entering the contest and saying hello on our facebook page!  We love MOMS!!  And it is no secret that Gemma and I both love to photograph our children and adventures as "mom".  So today, I have put together a few tips and tricks to share with all you shutter-happy mommies out there!

1.  Let go of the notion that the only perfect picture of your child is the one where they are staring straight into the camera with a big smile.  While these are beautiful, if they are the only images we capture,  we miss all the other quieter or normal moments.  (Did I say quiet?  I meant LOUD!  And yes, photograph the louder moments too.)

2.  Take your camera out on a regular day, not just special days like Kindergarten graduation and hockey championships.  I want to remember how I really spent time with my children.

3.  Get down at a child's level to photograph them.  Although shooting from above can result in a neat image, when you crouch or lie down, you start to see the world as a little one sees it, and trust me, it makes for beautiful images!

4.  Take pictures of your children doing things they love to do.  Their happiness will show through in the images (and they will love to look at them too).

5.  Get in there and get close-ups of the details.  A picture of the details on their favourite toy or dress, the way they hold their hands at their sides, or a page of a favourite book they are reading, are sure to become  treasured memories for both you and them.

I'm sharing some images from one of the last really warm days of Fall.  Together, they capture the spirit of a 15-minute morning bike ride and explore.


Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Stop! Or these mamas will shoot!!

( C'mon, you knew it was only a matter of time before we used that line!)  But I couldn't resist. Check it out:

These four wonderful ladies are armed and dangerous after taking our Magic of Manual Mode course on Sunday afternoon.  That's right - these fancy cameras are being used as we speak to their fullest capabilities (and that makes Rhonda and I ecstatic!!).  They can freeze a running child's expression with ease.  They understand how to blur backgrounds with the simple turn of a dial and were rocking it all out during our practice time!! 

We have already seen a few examples of the improvements they've made in their photographs since we taught the course and are so proud!  

You're going down, Auto Mode! 


Wednesday, October 03, 2012

Magic is in the crisp air!

And so is fall.  The colours all across the Valley are so vibrant and inspiring!
If you would love to create some of your own autumn artwork and own a dSLR, we have just the course for you! 

Our most advanced class, The Magic of Manual Mode, is running on Sunday, October 14, beginning at 12:30.  This is is going to be another information-packed afternoon of learning, hands-on instruction and a complete booklet of reference notes to take home. 

If you're tired of producing images that are only worthy of the delete button, then we want to encourage you to use your fancy camera to its fullest potential by learning how to use M on your dial to create your masterpiece.   You will spend five hours with two professional photographers who present it all with visual illustrations in and easy-to-understand manner.  We walk you through the exposure triangle, metering, metering modes, white balance and even talk about photographing in various lighting situations plus share basic editing techniques!

We have a couple of seats left in the October class and won't be offering Magic again in a public format until 2013.  If you are interested, please send us a note by e-mail or message us on our Facebook page. 

The photo magicians are standing by...


Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Great Results!

I saw some of Carrie Rayner's images last week and asked her if we could share them here with you. Carrie  took our beginner course and has a passion to practice and learn more about photography. We see so much improvement and skill in Carrie's images! Way to go!

Are you ready to get your photography learning on too?? Our new public Fall course schedule is posted here:  Course Schedule

Advance registration is required for our public courses - so don't hesitate to sign up and start taking photos like Carrie's this fall!!  Please register by sending us an e-mail.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Our Vision! Friends and Fun at Clicks In Your Home!

Back in Fall 2010, when Gemma and I first sat down to hammer out the details of Clicks Gone Wild, the idea of home parties, now called "Clicks In Your Home" was our primary vision.  We asked ourselves, "If we were still shooting in Auto Mode and knew a little about photography - but wanted to learn more - what would be the best way to learn?"  The answers included....with friends, hands-on, in-person, in comfort, with multiple viewpoints, picture examples, with humour, without judgement, with FUN, hanging out, sharing, all while using whatever digital cameras the students currently own.  Clicks In Your Home began in Rhonda's living room with two sold-out courses on a Saturday the following January, and we are pleased that this has been a very popular option ever since!

Last Wednesday, we were thrilled to teach a fantastic group of ladies in Burnstown and enjoy lunch with them as well!  Thank you so much for hosting and for allowing us to share this beautiful image!  Friends, learning, and fun - this was and is our vision.  And when the course is over, you have your friends to support you as you continue to learn and grow on your very own photographic journey!

If you haven't met the Click Chicks yet - a big hello to you!  We're standing in the back row on each end.  :)  (Gemma on the left, Rhonda on the right)

You can read all about Clicks In Your Home here:  http://clicksgonewild.blogspot.ca/p/be-clicks-host.html

Anyone interested in learning more about their camera and better photography skills can also take any of our four Clicks courses at public courses or through one-on-one tutoring sessions.  We have got you covered!

Thursday, June 07, 2012

A look inside Focus on the Features – BEGINNER LEVEL

Anyone with a digital camera - it's perfect for true beginners, new camera owners or anyone who needs a "photography refresher"

$50 (Public Class or Clicks in Your Home); $75 (Clicks One-on-One)

Any kind of digital camera - a point and shoot or dSLR

Just 2 hours in length

Our introductory course to digital photography teaches all of the essentials “beginner tips and tricks” along with more in-depth photography concepts.  It is aimed to get anyone with any level of experience behind the camera understanding how to efficiently and properly operate their digital camera and produce better everyday photographs.  Often many lucky new camera owners are intimidated by all of the buttons on their fancy new camera and we designed this class to help true beginners and more experienced camera users alike. 

We ease into ‘what all of the buttons do’ by giving a brief rundown of universal features on all cameras – from deleting pictures to showing the difference between a compact point-and-shoot camera to a more sophisticated digital  SLR (and what SLR stands for!).  Focus on the Features helps you to venture off of “the green box” by covering: explanations of the standard preset shooting modes, how to achieve great focus, controlling your flash, we introduce the concept of ISO, and end with a section on best lighting situations for a beginner photographer. 

Our main goal of this course is to teach our participants that cameras create some incredible photographs when the user takes control and turns the dial away from Auto Mode.  We give you the confidence to try new shooting modes, tweak a few settings and get you to do much of it it as we go through our presentation.  All of our courses are accompanied by a visual illustration of everything we teach to help the learning process.  We’ve also provided many comparison slides (a photo taken in Auto Mode vs. a photo taken in Landscape Mode, for example) to show you exactly why you should be taking control and playing with your camera.

After this two-hour class you will not only have demystified a lot of the buttons and knobs on your camera, you will be inspired to try out a few new techniques and have some great pictures to show for it!

When, Where, and How Much?

We offer a lot of options for learning and people often ask us, "What is the best way to take a course?" and "How much do your courses cost?"  Information about pricing is always available on our blog, but we thought it would be helpful to give you a breakdown of costs in a post.  :)  Choose which option best suits your learning style, budget, and schedule.

There are four different ways to learn about photography with Clicks Gone Wild:

1.  Take a public course.  

We offer all four of our courses to the public throughout the year.  The majority of these courses take place in Arnprior, but occasionally we offer them in other places.  Anyone can register for a public course and join other people at a similar level of photography.  Each beginner course is $50.  The intermediate course is $75.  The price for the intermediate course reflects the more in-depth level of information being taught.  Also, as the difficulty level of our courses increase, class sizes are smaller.  We need a minimum number of participants in all courses to cover our time and rental of space.  The cost of The Magic of Manual Mode is $215.  It is our most advanced offering, four hours in length, and includes a booklet of comprehensive notes.

2.  Host a Clicks In Your Home Party.

You can choose to have Gemma and Rhonda come to you and your friends and teach any of the courses.  These courses are the exact same as the public offerings, except they are taught at a place and time that is most convenient to you.  Every host or hostess receives a $20 gift certificate to be used at a future course or to give away to a friend.  More details about Clicks In Your Home are available here: http://clicksgonewild.blogspot.ca/p/be-clicks-host.html  We make hosting easy for you by customizing an e-mail for you to send out to all your friends and providing the education and entertainment at your gathering.  This is so much fun!  Also, if you do not have the minimum number of participants, you and your friends can decide to split the minimum cost for a Clicks In Your Home party.

3.  Take a course one-on-one.

Both Rhonda and Gemma are available to teach any course to you one-on-one in a private session.  There is an increased cost for this option.  For example, a beginner course which is $50 in a public group, is $75 in a private session.  We are available at your convenience, with a focus on weekday days or evenings, and the occasional weekend date.  Contact us and we will find a time that works for you.

4.  Book us for private tutoring.

If there is a specific area of photography that you would like to learn more about, private tutoring may be for you.  This is different from taking a course with set topics.  For private tutoring, one of us will contact you to discuss exactly where you are at in your photographic journey and what topics you would like to focus on in your session.  The hourly rate of $50/hr. includes this phone or e-mail consultation.

Please see the below chart for all costs associated with our courses and if you have any additional questions, feel free to contact us.

Our final public courses before Summer are being offered in Arnprior on June 11, 13, and 25.  After that, public courses will resume in Fall.  We are still available for private tutoring and Clicks In Your Home over the Summer months.  :)

Monday, May 28, 2012

Amazing Colours!

If I have the time, one of my favourite things to do on a Monday afternoon is spend some time in my kitchen chopping up good food to have as easy-grab snacks throughout the week.  Today's treats were so colourful, I couldn't resist photographing them to show you what proper colour can do for your images - make them pop!

If you find colour is just "off" in your photographs, we can help you figure out why in our intermediate course, Step It Up, Shutterbug! being offered this Wednesday, May 30th in the Richard John Meeting Room at Lorne's Electric, starting at 7 pm, and again on Monday, June 25th, same place, same time.  To register for either of these courses, send us an email here.   In Step It Up, Shutterbug, we teach you how to get proper colour in your photos and use colour effectively when composing your images.  We also teach how to adjust shutter speed and aperture, and why, as well as metering modes, and more.

There is no pre-requisite to this course.  If you feel you are ready for intermediate photography, then this is for you!  Also, if you took Mastering the Basics, Part 2, in the past, you can come back for a refresher and qualify for our alumni rate for this course.  This is a great deal seeing as we have added more topics!

My two oldest kids better hurry home from school, because Little Miss got her hands on the fruit and is making a good dent in the bowl!

What do you think I should do with this beautiful rhubarb that my mom passed my way?  Make strawberry-rhubarb crisp for dessert, of course!  But first, I'm heading back outside to enjoy this beautiful day.

Have a happy Monday!


Saturday, May 05, 2012

Capture The Moment With Manual Mode

"Flowers" picked for Mommy last a little while.  An image lasts forever.  How do you want your forever-memories to look?

These two images were taken moments apart with a beautiful camera.  Your camera is a fantastic tool that can help you take pictures, but the important part of this equation is you and your knowledge and skill.  Do you own a dSLR and still struggle with proper exposure, focus, and colour?  Learn how to take control of your settings on that camera and shoot in full Manual Mode with our course The Magic of Manual Mode, Sunday, May 6 at noon, just outside of Arnprior, Ontario.  Contact us today by email at clicksgonewild@gmail.com for last-minute registration. 

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Thank You, Women of Renfrew!!

Rhonda and I are recovering this morning from a busy afternoon and evening of spreading the word about our courses and passion for photography! We were proud to be one of the 60 vendors with a display at the 6th annual Girls' Night Out in Renfrew.

I grabbed this photo of our display quickly before the doors opened at 5 p.m. There was a steady flow of ladies through the door until 10 p.m., we were beyond impressed with the turnout. (The no kids/no men allowed in the building policy proved to be an excellent excuse for many gals to get together and enjoy the night.)  We heard that more than 700 gals attended the event - WOW!!!

Thank you to everyone who stopped by our table to chat and learn more about what we do - the feedback and encouragement was incredible! (We both were losing our voices around 9 p.m. from talking non-stop to so many lovely ladies about our program!) A special big thank you to our former students who kindly shared glowing reviews of their experience with us. :) It means a lot to us to hear the positive response from the friends we've made on this exciting Clicks journey.

We look forward to hearing from our new Clicks friends who expressed interest in our public courses, Clicks in Your Home program or private tutoring. If you're just checking us out today for the first time, take a peek at the tabs above to learn more about the topics covered in each of our courses and learn more about Rhonda and I as instructors. We also invite you to pop over to our Facebook page and 'Like' us, and share our information with your friends.

I've noticed there's already a few new Facebook likers and e-mail inquiries this morning... we can't wait to help each of you demystify those buttons, make sense of your settings and let you go wild taking beautiful photos!!  :)

Have a fantastic rest of the weekend, everyone!

Monday, April 09, 2012

Capture Your Everyday Moments Confidently

There were big smiles all around yesterday as I sat at my computer with my three-year-old and showed her pictures of this cat.  This is our neighbour's pet, and earlier in the day, my daughter was quite concerned that she was "stuck" in the culvert at the end of our driveway.

All of these images were taken in Manual Mode, which gives the photographer complete control over the exposure triangle.  Manual Mode allows you to take the pictures you envision in different lighting situations, with all sorts of subjects.  And we can teach you how!  Clicks Gone Wild's next course date for the Magic of Manual Mode is Sunday, May 6, from noon to 5 p.m., in Braeside.  To register, send us an e-mail at clicksgonewild@gmail.com .

Learn Manual Mode and feel the same sweet success that my daughter felt when she "rescued" this feline friend.  :)  Your every day is beautiful and meaningful. Capture it with confidence.


Tuesday, March 20, 2012

And the winner is.....

We want to give a big shout out to everyone who entered our Everyday Photo Contest over on our Clicks Gone Wild Facebook Page.  It was so wonderful to see all the likes on the images!  We asked some photog friends to help us judge the photos to determine a winner.  We were looking for the best image overall, based on technique, creativitiy, and relation to the theme "This is what my everyday looks like..."  And the winner is Amanda McCue Van Dalen.  She has won up to $75 in Clicks Course Cash or $50 to the charity of her choice.  Congratulations!

Tuesday, March 06, 2012

Clicks Everyday Photo Contest Over On Facebook

Clicks Gone Wild photography courses teach people how to take better everyday photos.  There are many people clicking more confidently as a result of 1, 2, or even more of our courses, and we LOVE it!!

In an effort to spread the word about our informative courses and to reward one lucky snap-happy Clicks supporter, we are having our first ever photo contest.  (Yeah!!!)  And to the people who have suggested this along the way - as always, we thank you for your ideas.  :)

Check out all the information for the Clicks Everyday Photo Contest below and our upcoming course schedule at http://clicksgonewild.blogspot.com/p/class-schedule.html  

Thursday, March 01, 2012

We love our work!! And you will love The Magic of Manual Mode!!

Gemma and I had a 'work day' yesterday, and together we oooohhhhed and aaaawwwwed over some images that Allyne, one of our participants in The Magic of Manual Mode (November 2011) had posted.  We loved her baby picture so much, that we asked permission to share it here with you, as a side-by-side with an image from before the course.  Isn't this fantastic?!  Images like this are a result of education and determination.  Allyne, you have both, and talent to boot.  :)

(NOTE: These were both taken with a dSLR)

Seeing people producing images like this is one of the reasons we love teaching photography!  Parents love getting fantastic pictures of their children as they grow.  (And we've taught a lot of grandparents too, who of course want brag-worthy photos of their beloved grandchildren to share!!)  When we ask participants in our courses to introduce themselves and tell what they like to take pictures of, the answer is often "the people I love."  We couldn't agree with them more!!

The Magic of Manual Mode is our advanced course, teaching how to correctly expose images by taking full control of all of your settings in Manual Mode.  This is the perfect way to learn how to use your digital SLR camera to its full potential!  What is unique about our courses is the relaxed, in-person instruction and the sheer volume of information we cover in an enjoyable and logical way.  You learn by watching comprehensive slides and trying everything you are taught.  We (Rhonda and Gemma) are both there to teach, support, and help you along the way.  The Magic of Manual Mode is a five-hour course, which includes a quick break to eat.  And time flies when you are having fun and learning about something that you are passionate about!  We provide very detailed course notes to take home with you and the opportunity to submit assignments for feedback when you return home and start to put into action your new knowledge and skills.

Today, March 1st, marks the opening of registration for our March session of The Magic of Manual Mode.  This course is being offered on Saturday, March 24th, 2012, starting at 10:30 a.m. at the Arnprior Public Library.  Registration is limited and is on a first come, first serve basis.  The cost of this course is $215.  To register, please send your registration request to clicksgonewild@gmail.com and we will send you an e-mail with details on how to pay to register.  Looking forward to seeing you there!

**Thank you to Allyne for letting us share her work.  We would also like to share her business page.  Check out Kristal Products here:  http://www.kristalproducts.com/

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Hungry for better photos?

Last week was Pancake Tuesday and there’s nothing I love better than a day which dictates what we will eat for one of our meals!  As I stood in my kitchen mixing together the pancakes I was amazed at the similarities between pancakes and photography.  

Yes ma’am (or sir), there are many similarities between fluffy flapjacks and fabulous photography skills!!

Let’s start at the beginning.  Auto Mode – isn’t that just your basic ‘Just Add Water’ box of pancake mix??  Basically all you can control is how much of the mix you’re going to make, the size you make them and how long you cook them for (trying not to burn any, of course!).  With Auto Mode you can only control what it is you’re going to shoot, the orientation (a portrait or landscape presentation) and when you’re going to hit the shutter button.  Sure, you can form some in the shape of hearts or stars, but most turn out boring, roundish-shaped and hopefully, golden brown.  Very few stand out as a work of art.

Just add a squirt of Aunt You-Know-Who and breakfast is served!

Beginner Level
The reality is that we know many of you have a hankering for something more – the out-of-the-box variety satisfies you in the moment, but an hour later you’re back in the kitchen looking for something else to eat.  That’s why we have revamped our program to introduce the new Focus on the Features and Focus on the Frame.  They both give you more control over the ingredients that you’re fueling your body with, and usually yield more appetizing results that you will be talking about for the rest of the day!  “Oh my, Gemma’s pancakes were the best I’ve ever tasted!!!”  (Or something to that effect.)  ;)

These introductory courses give you each and every ingredient so you don't have to settle for the box: basic operational information, illustrations of the presets, composition tips, good lighting techniques and thorough explanations of each adjustable setting.  These tools allow you to confidently make the switch from Auto Mode and play in the presets or understand why and when to tweak some of the semi-manual settings on your digital camera.  We’re giving you all of the essential tools – the whisk, spatula and frying pan – the necessities for a decent pancake breakfast (or lunch, dinner, whatever meal time you choose!).  And we’re right there to tell you on what shelf you’ll find baking powder (more on baking powder later…)! 

Intermediate Level
Our newest addition to the course schedule is Step it Up, Shutterbug!  This is what all of you pancake lovers will want to take if you’ve perfected your concoction of flour, sugar, baking powder, salt, butter, eggs and milk.  You’ll venture out and add a new flavours, perhaps some applesauce and cinnamon, blueberries, or ripened, mashed bananas, if you will.  J  We may even whip up a crepe or waffle along the way!!  You’re also upgrading to an electric griddle so you can cook three or four at a time, not just the one-at-a-time variety in the frying pan on your stove.  (Mmmmm… my tummy is rumbling!) 

Imagine how happy your family will feel when they can sit down at the table and enjoy breakfast with you – the amazing cook??  You won’t be frustrated any longer since you can now provide nutritious flapjacks made from scratch in no time at all.

Advanced Level
Now if you really want to up the ante as you pursue your passion for photography, we have developed The Magic of Manual Mode - for those who won't settle for anything less than the best.  You want to make your pancakes from scratch and cover them in pure maple syrup made from the trees in your own backyard. Living in the Ottawa Valley, we all know it’s a time-honoured tradition that requires patience, perfect timing and work, a lot of hard work.  Yet you can ask anyone - the delectable results can’t be beat.  We even add a heap of fresh raspberries and sprinkle of icing sugar to the top of the stack.  Yum, yum!

Alrighty, here’s my little confession… sometimes (not often) the pancakes on my family's plates came from a box.  It’s usually when we’re camping and I don’t want to lug all of the ingredients and equipment to make perfect pancakes.  And that’s okay.  It's just like when I don’t want to think about the light, composition or my settings on my camera.  At the end of the day, I’m still a photographer and I’m still a decent pancake maker.  J

As a special treat, here’s my family’s favourite breakfast:

Want to know another secret?  I’ve perfected my recipe over many years of practice.  Plus, all of the ingredients on their own aren’t nearly as delicious as when they’re all together, stirred with love, and the more you do it the better cook you become!

Truthfully, I don't even look at the recipe any more - I intuitively know how much flour/wheat bran/milk is needed to make the batter just right.  That's because I make them at least once a week (I have some serious pancake connoisseurs in my house!).  Similarly, when the camera is in my hands, I don't have to think about the settings like I did when I was starting out; it all comes naturally to me.  There's one big factor in my recipe to photographic success: I don't leave my camera packed up in the bag and stored in the closet; it's always in a convenient location, loaded with room on the memory card and lots of battery power.  This simple tip makes it a pleasure to pick up the camera, since no time is wasted and I'm more apt to practice when my gear is ready and waiting for me to play.

I recently learned the key ingredient to good pancakes is the baking powder – without that they’re just panpucks, flopjacks.  You'd better load the family and head to the nearest Pancake House, that's for sure.  (I learned that lesson the hard way.)  The baking powder is essentially the educational component in your desire to take better photographs.  You can have all of the other ingredients in the bowl, but if you omit the baking powder you will never get your usual, much sought-after pancakes of yumminess.  

Whether it be through courses or your own self-directed learning, you need to know all of the options and limitations of your camera.  And you can’t be disappointed if you’re leaving the baking powder out and expecting a brunch fit for a king.  Sure, you may get lucky every once in a while and have a few tasty keepers in the batch, but the only way to ensure beautiful results every time is to keep the baking powder handy.  ;)

Isn't it time to feed your desire for capturing moments that you can be proud to share with your family and friends?

We know you can start by bypassing the Just Add Water boxes filled with ingredients you can't pronounce and empty calories, and begin stocking your cart with wholesome ingredients for a change.  (Warning: Once you start, you may come back for seconds!!)  And when you're good and ready, we've got a few Maple trees out back - grab your sap buckets and we'll help you boil it all down to sweet perfection.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spring Course Dates Posted!

Spring around the corner.
Spring in your step.
Spring into action and learn how to use that
nifty digital camera of yours!!

The new Spring course dates are now posted.  Registration is first come, first serve, so don't delay and register today.  :)  To register for any Clicks course, send your request to clicksgonewild@gmail.com and we will send you a note letting you know how to pay to secure your spot.  See you this Spring!!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Manual Mode - We Can Teach You!!

You imagine it.  You want it.  You can have it.  Beautiful images aren't easy to capture, but here's the great news - they are achievable with knowledge and work!!  And we can teach you.

Our next session of The Magic of Manual Mode is on March 24 starting at 10:30 am at the Arnprior Public Library.  This course is 5 hours in length, with a quick break for lunch.  

We teach you how to expose your pictures properly in Manual Mode, as well as basic editing tips.  You will have the option to submit your images post-course for feedback from both of us.  This course is getting rave reviews.  We teach these concepts in a very clear and logical manner, through a slide presentation and a lot of hands-on instruction, and you walk away with a very comprehensive package of notes, support, and a ton of new knowledge!

Registration for this course begins on March 1st.

Say goodbye to pointing and praying.  Who's the boss - your camera or YOU?  Take full control in Manual Mode....

Tuesday, February 07, 2012

When you talk, we listen!

With a full year of teaching photography classes to our fabulous new Clicks friends under our belt, we have been brainstorming and have come up with some exciting changes and additions to our Clicks Course line-up.

At the end of each class we always encourage our participants to provide us a bit of feedback and we welcome all suggestions.  The most common message from our wonderful students is that they are so excited by the wealth of information that we give them, but they would also love more hands-on practice; time to dig into their menus and find how to turn off and on certain settings as we suggest them and then having a few moments to play with their camera after each adjustment.  So behind the scenes we've been working hard to make sure every course is still jam-packed with information and providing a bit of time to try out things as we go along.  The final result was adding an entire new class to our beginner/intermediate series of courses.  All of these courses flow logically from one topic to the next, building a solid foundation for all of our students to walk away and click confidently in their day-to-day photo-taking activities. We've also made sure to keep each session around the two-hour mark, and to teach some extra concepts in the intermediate course.  These are all suitable for anyone with a little point and shoot camera or a dSLR.  We love these improvements and we know you will too!  The more we teach, the better these courses become!  :)

You'll get the same enthusiastic vibe in each class, plenty of photographic illustrations throughout our presentation, Rhonda's awesome teaching style and Gemma's expertise with the cameras.  Plus, you'll have time to play with your camera so you can get excited about all of the concepts as you learn them!  So here it is, the all-new Clicks Gone Wild course options:

Focus on the Features
The changes to our former Mastering the Basics, Part 1 course will certainly benefit even the most novice of camera owners.  We've added a few more starter tips on basic camera operation.  We provide ample photo illustrations of the preset modes and will give a strong case for utilizing the hidden powers of your camera and harnessing available light.  This beginner class, now called Focus on the Features, is perfect for anyone who wants to learn about the buttons and do-dads on their camera and is stuck on Auto Mode (the green box).  A full list of topics covered can be found under Course Options.

Focus on the Frame
Much of the creative aspects of our former Mastering the Basics, Part 1 is in this new class, with a few of the elements from the former Mastering the Basics, Part 2.  This is where we show our students how to improve the composition of their images.  We'll talk about the artistry of photography and some additional tricks on your camera that will truly give you flexibility when shooting.  We've included more in-depth natural lighting techniques and share how we get those sought-after blurry backgrounds.

Step it Up, Shutterbug!
Sounds fun, doesn't it?  We promise, it will be!!  Rhonda and I are thrilled to introduce a new intermediate-level course to our roster.  This is where we take our students to the next level and really delve into some serious photography tricks of the trade.  Most of the topics from the former Part 2 are now included in this course, as well as more advanced tips.  We talk about how to get proper colours and move that dial into your semi-manual settings in Aperture Priority and Shutter Speed Priority Modes.  These modes are available on all dSLR cameras and most point and shoot cameras, but we suggest participants have those options available to benefit from the entire session.

For a complete listing of the topics covered in each of these classes and our more about our advance course, The Magic of Manual Mode, check out the Course Options page link above.

And anyone who has taken the former Mastering the Basics series and would enjoy the opportunity to come back and see the new and improved classes, please send us a note (especially those who took the time to send us their thoughts!!).  We'd love to have you back!

In the meantime, mind the dust as we get the presentations all polished and ready to release in late February!  We promise that new public course dates will be announced soon - we eager to start teaching our first sessions with our new format!


Monday, February 06, 2012

Exciting Changes Coming Soon!

Please be advised that as we are entering our second year of Clicks courses, Gemma and I are re-vamping courses and policies.  We know that these new changes will result in improved presentations, more hands-on time during our courses, and ease of booking Clicks In Your Home gatherings.  Please be patient as over the last couple of days our blog has undergone a few tweaks to reflect these changes.

We look forward to seeing you in 2012!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Who Takes Our Courses, Anyway??

After nearly a year of helping camera owners demystify their digital cameras, we still get a lot of questions and inquiries about our Clicks Gone Wild courses. (And we don't mind, we love talking about photography!!)  Where to begin?  I need a really expensive camera to take awesome photos, right?  What class should I take??

Gemma & Rhonda have taught a wide variety of skill levels in the past 12 months - right from true beginners who need to learn the very basics of the basics on a compact camera, through to people who are ready to control all of the settings on their dSLR in Manual Mode.  All three of our courses will certainly assist you in taking your images to a new creative level!!  So if you're hesitant to join in on the fun for any reason, send us an e-mail and ask for advice on which course would best suit you.

What we know is unique about our courses is the environment created in each of our classes and the camaraderie between us as teachers and the the small group of wonderful people.  Whether it's a public course in a library or a gathering in someone's home, we teach you face-to-face, in real time, and provide picture examples.

You can ask questions.  There are no silly questions.  You can laugh.  You can be inspired.  You are with other photography-loving people at your own skill level. Sit back, relax, meet someone new, learn a lot, keep in touch, and come back for more if you wish.  Let us teach and entertain you.

Together, we share our skills and knowledge and make it just as enjoyable as it is informative for you.

Which course should I take?

Do you just know the very basics of your camera and typically keep your camera dialed in on Auto Mode, a.k.a. "the green box"?  Rest assured that we have taught many people like you. We recommend you check out Mastering the Basics, Part 1 where we cover the basics and so much more.  Learn what all the preset modes are for and what they do to your images.  Also learn about how to focus properly to be guaranteed a few non-blurry photos.  We introduce you to the basics of composition and give ample tips on how to capture better everyday moments.

If you have a firm understanding of the basics and know how to get good focus in your images, you may want to take an intermediate course.  Learn all about proper colour, organizing your picture files, zoom, proper printing, metering modes, and more in Mastering the Basics, Part 2.

Both of our Mastering the Basics series have been designed to use with any camera - the concepts are applicable to a basic point and shoot camera to a dSLR.

Bring it all together in our most advanced course, The Magic of Manual Mode. This course is designed for dSLR owners and includes an extended in-person session and online follow-up private forum for questions and assignments.

And if you're not quite sure where you fit in, send us an e-mail or inquire about our private tutoring sessions.

For a list of courses and what they each cover, see here.

Whatever stage of the game you're at, we look forward to teaching you!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Happy Almost Anniversary to Clicks Gone Wild!! Enter to Win Gift Certificates!

Happy Almost-Anniversary to us!   On January 29th of last year, Clicks Gone Wild courses were launched with 2 sessions of Mastering the Basics, Part 1.  Since then, we have taught many people how to capture better everyday photos.  And we love it!  Thanks so much for your continued support and for spreading the word so we continue to fill courses and increase people's confidence with their digital cameras!

In true anniversary fashion, the next public course for Mastering the Basics, Part 1 will be held on Sunday, January 29 at 12:30 pm in Braeside.  Please send us an e-mail for registration information.  As always, registering for our courses requires advance payment.  We would love to see you there!

Mastering the Basics, Part 2, which was scheduled for last night, has been re-scheduled due to the snow storm.  We will be teaching Part 2 less than a week from today on Tuesday, January 24.  There are 3 spaces available in this class, so if you have been waiting for Part 2, now is the perfect chance to get in on the action and take control of the colour in your images, metering, file organization, and your prints!

We're celebrating our anniversary over on our Facebook business page and invite you to come celebrate with us and enter to win one of two prizes - a $25 gift certificate and a $50 gift certificate (that's a free Part 1 or 2, or a nice discount for The Magic of Manual Mode).  Here is the link to our Facebook page:   Clicks Gone Wild on FACEBOOK 

There are 3 ways to win, so be sure to take advantage of all possibilities to increase your number of entries into the draws!

1.  "Like" our facebook business page.  (Liking the page is different from liking the status updates, but we love it when you like a whole bunch of things!).  When we reach 200 likes, we will draw for the $25 gift certificate.  :)

2.  Share our status update about the anniversary draws on YOUR facebook page to be entered in the $50 draw.  The deadline to enter this draw is midnight on Jan. 28 and your odds are fantastic!  Thanks to everyone who has shared so far.  Anyone can do this, whether you have gotten around to taking one of our courses or not.

3.  And as a special thank you to those people who have taken classes, if you leave a comment about one of our classes on OUR business page wall, you will earn an additional entry into the $50 draw.  Thank you!

So pop on over to Facebook to enter.  Even if you have taken all of courses and want someone else to win, we would love for you to share the update and your experience with others.  You all are really the reason why we get to keep doing this, as word-of-mouth is our best advertisement.  Thank you!

Hope everyone is enjoying all that snow - and more importantly capturing lots of seasonal photos!!!  :)

Gemma & Rhonda

Saturday, January 07, 2012

Snow can be a photographer's nemesis

But not if you know how and when to properly adjust a few key settings on your camera!  We're here to help you figure out all of the technical mumbo-jumbo, get outside and capture some awesome winter images.  :)

I bet you have taken many, many photos of your kiddies playing in the snow and the person turns out looking darker than they should be and the snow is an icky grey/bluish tone.  Let me show you exactly what I mean... this cutie was having fun playing in the snow with my boys on the weekend and I took this photo of him in Auto Mode on my dSLR:

It is nothing like how the scene looked like to me at the time, and what stands out to me the most is that the little boy is underexposed (that's a nerdy photography word for 'dark').

So I flipped the dial over to Manual Mode and adjusted a few settings to get the image I had intended on taking of him in the first place.  I now have a perfect exposure on my subject with white snow, natural skin tones and shows the true vibrant blue colours of his snowsuit.

To get you on your way to taking images like this, Clicks is offering the second installment of The Magic of Manual Mode on Saturday, January 14 for dSLR owners - and it's not too late to join inl!!  We demystify the exposure triangle, teach you to understand light metering modes & white balance, and offer basic editing tips and much more.  If you're serious about mastering your digital camera, this is the class for you!!

If you own a compact point and shoot camera, there is no need to fret.  In our Mastering the Basics, Part 1 (on Monday, January 16) we teach you to confidently take your camera off of Auto Mode, put it in Program Mode and never look back. And with the concepts we teach in Mastering the Basics, Part 2 (on Tuesday, January 17) we take using Program Mode to the next level and really tap into all of the image options.  Here's a similar situation to the above photos, but I used my handy point and shoot camera instead, along with some of the tricks we teach in Part 2:

Again, the snow is greyish, and his adorable little face doesn't jump out at you like it should.  In fact, Auto has done a terrible job at focusing properly on my pint-sized subject.  But I have Program Mode ready and waiting for me to use, and tweak a few of the adjustable options. 

Much better - his face is much crisper, the colours look truer to life and I have white snow!!!  And the best part is that I have unleashed the power of my little digital camera!

We discuss how to get snow looking white (as it should be) with some of the tips we teach in Mastering the Basics, Part 2.  Click on the links at the top of the page for more information about each of our classes.  To sign up, or be the first to be notified when we announce new class dates, send us an e-mail to clicksgonewild (at) gmail (dot) com ... or click here.

edited to add: This information is now in our new Intermediate-Level course, Step it Up, Shutterbug!  ;)

Happy Winter, Everyone!!
(Thanks to my little buddies for helping me out taking these example shots!!  Big hugs from Auntie Gemma.)  :)