Fab Find Friday…Chic Critique Forum

Written by Dawn.

True Story:  I owe my love of photography to Cilla.

See, several years ago she took newborn photographs of a mutual friend’s child.  Some of those were used on birth announcements, of which we received one. At the bottom of the announcement was Cilla’s website.  I had never heard of Priscilla Baierlein Photography so I immediately jumped online to check out her other work…and FELL.IN.LOVE!! I told Brandon I just HAD to have her take our family photographs that year.  Funny enough, at that point we had never even had family photographs…just photos of Jackson…but I just knew we needed to expand on the whole family and that she was the one who had to do it. I emailed with her and signed up for a mini session…

And then completely fell in love with the finished product.

I was hooked.  She has since taken our photographs on two additional occasions, including Carson’s newborn photographs (sorry to Jackson that he never got anything near as beautiful) and we have another date in the works.

I was finally blessed with my own camera last Christmas (thanks Brandon :)).  I stumbled around for awhile trying to figure out how to use it, too scared to do much in manual.  Then in June, I finally took the plunge…I understood my camera a bit more and knew I needed to take off the “auto” training wheels and switch to manual.  And I have been so thankful that I did…I LOVE the freedom of manual…the knowledge that I am in control of my shots.

But, of course, there is so much I want to learn. So much I NEED to learn. I actually really want to be told “wow, that shot is not that good.” And also instructions on how to make it better.

In entered, the Chic Critique Forum (http://chiccritiqueforum.com) and the uber-talented Stacey Woods of Stacey Woods Photography (http://www.staceywoodsphoto.com). You might remember Stacey from this awesome guest post she previously wrote for Our Cups Runneth Over.

Chic Critique Forum is an online community of photographers…ranging from extremely talented and seasoned photographers to newbies like me.  And all mainly women.  And many, like me, are wanting to improve on their skills.  It can be done one of two ways…first, the photographer can post a photograph and ask for general or specific chic critique and then other completely nice and talented photographers will spend some of their time actually helping you learn and fix your images. Seriously. It’s too good to be true!!  The other way is to sign up for a 4-week celebrity chic critique class…where a newer photographer posts up to five photos a week, the settings used and the general or specific chic critique…and boom…a ridiculously talented and professional photographer will critique all five photos…for 4 weeks.

I choose Stacey Woods as my photography critique and she has been amazing. Truly amazing. She has taken the time to offer real and constructive criticism. She knew I was new to all of this so in my critiques she has also made the extra effort to not only tell me what needs to be fixed, but has spelled out in black and white HOW to fix it.  Plus, I have the opportunity of viewing the photographs and critiques of others in my group.  So I am getting the opportunity to learn from them as well.  In four short weeks, I can already tell a big difference in my photography.

Why am I telling you all this since my four weeks is almost up? Well, because they are offering another session…and there is still time to sign up for any of you photographers, amateur or professional, looking to take your photography to the next level.  The classes start THIS coming Monday.

To prove again how wonderfully valuable these critiques are…I jumped on the chance to sign up again. This time I’m taking the class with Lindsey Silsby, of PiedPiper Photography.  She is even offering a mentoring session with her package!! I am beyond excited!!

So, for any of you interested, head on over to the Chic Critique Forum and check out the celebrity photographer and their class schedules.

And to think…it all started with a newborn announcement that arrived in our mailbox :).

(DISCLAIMER: No one at Chic Critique knows me…besides Stacey Woods, through our session. Otherwise, they have absolutely no idea who I am.  They are not paying me to say any of these things. Neither is Stacey or Cilla…I just find them all so amazing that I felt the need to share the opportunity with you all :)).

Cilla - October 28, 2011 - 9:22 am

Well…thank you :) You’re too good to me :) Now…that picture of Shannon and your niece (scared to misspell her name)…AMAZING! Seriously in love with it!

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