Is it crazy to think you can improve your photography stuck at home? Absolutely not. And I’m going to help you do it. Whether you are stuck at home due to a COVID-19 quarantine, or recovering from surgery, or taking care of a sick relative – you can improve your photography today.

But first, please know that I am taking this stay-at-home time very seriously. While I am trying to find the silver lining, I know that this time is hard for many people. I am worried about your health, both physical and mental – my own too, and that of my family.

Rather than saying “What can I do to help?” during tough times, I always try to offer specific suggestions. Helping to keep you busy, provide social interaction, and improve your photography – those are my gifts that I can share with you right now.

Also, it’s important to me not to try to profit from a situation where people are seriously ill and dying.  And given the economic uncertainty, I don’t want to ask you to spend more money either. Isn’t it amazing how quickly TV commercials & social media ads started targeting this crazy situation we are in?  Unfortunately, I can’t make all my products free, but there are a couple of things I can offer for free! Keep reading. 🙂

Let’s get started!

Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home

Idea 1: Learn to Shoot on Manual Mode – for free!

I have an amazing class, if I do say so myself. It’s called the Guided 365, and it offers short daily lessons that take you from a newbie to an accomplished photographer in the course of a year. In the first 30 days, you’ll go from camera basics to shooting on manual – and understanding it.‌

Registration has closed on this class until 2021, BUT I’ve created a free mini-course that includes the first 30 lessons, just for you! If you have questions, I’ll answer them on my Facebook page. Completely free! By the way, many experienced photographers who already shoot on manual who have told me they learned a lot from this unit and understand manual much better after working through it. (It’s not just for newbies!)
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To download this free photography mini-course, go to my classroom website: PhotographyLessons.Online. Log in or click the “Sign Up Now” link. Don’t remember your credentials? You can reset your password. (Hint: if you receive my newsletter email, you have an account. Just reset your password using the same email address.) Once you log in, go to your dashboard, then scroll down to the Freebies section. You’ll find the Guided 365 Mini-Course there.

This mini-course will be available at no cost for about 2 weeks.

Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home

Embrace the mess when you’re taking photos at home

Idea 2: Join Me for a Zoom Social Hour

Join me for a virtual photography chat/lesson on Sunday, March 29 at 2:00 PM CDT to discuss whatever you’d like related to photography or photo editing. Don’t have any questions? Join us anyway and we’ll chat about whatever. (As much as I’m enjoying this extra time with my family, I think we could all use a change of pace!) Register here:

Idea 3: Improve Your Photography by Practicing at Home:

  • Chose one color and shoot everything of that color you can find in your home and yard.
  • You know how we’re all supposed to have photos of all our valuable stuff for insurance purposes? Now’s the time to take those photos. You can practice your exposure, focus, and creative composition while you’re at it!
  • Or, just take photos of your favorite things. Make a memory book of things that make you happy.

    Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home

    Gather items that look pretty together to create photo-worthy vignettes from your favorite things.

  • Go on a scavenger hunt in your home and yard. For each letter of the alphabet, take a photo of a person or object whose name starts with that letter. Anything is fair game – challenge yourself to find beauty in laundry or a messy kitchen.
  • Think ahead to the holidays – do you have family heirlooms that might make beautiful photos to give as holiday gifts? Maybe a creative photo of great-grandmother’s tea set that your siblings & cousins would love to display. Don’t forget that Mother’s Day is coming up. Mom might love to see photos of your family using that gorgeous blanket she made for you.

Whatever you shoot, remember to show yourself some grace. Your house is lived-in hard in right now. Embrace the mess. Embrace the moods. Document the here and now so that you can focus on the good things that are happening and look back on the memories that will remind you to celebrate your inner strength.

Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home

Embrace the moods. We all need to acknowledge that this is a difficult time.

And post your photos to Instagram with #digitalphotographyformoms to share them and say hi!

Idea 4: Print Your Photos

Yes, I know I said I didn’t want to ask you to spend money, but here’s what I know.

  • Printing photos is a job that we often put off.
  • There might be some people whose lives would be brightened by receiving a photo in the mail now more than ever.
  • Mpix, who sponsors this blog, has consistently offered great deals over the past couple of weeks.

Ordering a few prints is not expensive, it might help you check something off your list (oh so satisfying!), and it will definitely bring much-needed smiles to people’s faces right now.

Idea 5: Improve Your Photo Editing

Finish a DPM Class

I know a lot of you have purchased my classes and haven’t finished them yet. Remember that your access to these lessons lasts as long as I maintain my website. No expiration dates. I’d love for you to post your homework in the forum!

Adobe Creative Cloud

Do you subscribe to Adobe CC and need financial help? I hear, but I haven’t tried, that you can log in to your Adobe CC account and cancel. Adobe will give you two additional months at no cost. The risk to this is that Adobe could increase prices when it’s time for you to resubscribe.

Idea 6: Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home by Taking a PPA Class

All Professional Photographers of America classes are FREE for two weeks.

Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home

Well, I tried to find beauty in laundry…

Idea 7: Organize Your Photos

  1. Organize your photos. Y’all. Now’s the time. How many times have you said “One of these days, I’m going to sort through my photos. Make them easy to find.”? This tutorial demonstrates how to organize photos using Lightroom.
  2. I know it’s a huge, tedious job, but scan those old photos and negatives. Photoshop Elements will help. Also, one of my free actions, available at the same place as the Guided 365 mini-course described above, will help you edit those scans.
  3. Back up your photos. This might be the single biggest silver lining opportunity of all. If your photos aren’t backed up, you will lose them someday. I recently wrote about photo storage and back up here.
  4. Have you ever thought about an online photo backup system that protects your photos for your family for generations? I’ve recently discovered an online backup system that I’m really excited about and they are offering 2 GB of storage for free! Check it out here. (You don’t have to sign up when you click on that link. Go to Storage and look for their 2 GB plan.) I’d love to chat with you about it. If you sign up for the free offer, let me know! You’ll see my phone number after you register. Call or email if you’d like to chat about how to make it work. (Also, if you need to follow my advice about the huge, tedious scanning job but just don’t have it in you, this company will do it for you!)

Ok, friends. Those are my ideas for how to improve your photography stuck at home. Are they helpful? Post a comment below to say hi if you need some social interaction! 🙂 And stay healthy.

Improve Your Photography Stuck at Home {What an Opportunity!}