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Win a Photography Mentor – for those just starting out in photography


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MCP Actions Blog has the privilege of a giving away a FREE 9 week photography mentoring by Erin Bell. She is an incredible photographer and teacher.  And has guest blogged here in the past and will again in the future.

This cannot be bought.  She is doing this for FREE.  She has a small group that she hand picked to mentor.  And she is allowing one more person into the group – someone who reads the MCP blog!  The winner will be picked at random on Monday and will start immediately.

How to enter for your chance?  Comment on this thread and tell me why you would like to be her mentee, a few sentences about your photography experience and what would you plan to do with your knowledge after the mentorship is over.  Please make sure before you enter that you have a digital SLR and that you consider yourself still a beginner.


Details of her 9 week program:

Each week there is a lesson and an assignment. Participants will be asked to post two images a week that pertain to the assignment. Images are critiqued by two other mentees as well her. She will critique every image posted.

The group has been set up for beginners. The ideal mentee is someone who has a dSLR (this is a must), very motivated to learn and do assignments, and has a slight understanding of settings. Settings and how to operate your camera will be explained to you. People who already understand completely how ISO, aperture, and shutter speed relate for instance will probably find the group too simple for them. If you kind of understand the basics, but need it better explained and want to become better, this is a good group for you.

The following is a list of explained topics:

Part One: Understanding your Camera

Week One- Understanding Settings

Week Two- Creatively Using Apertures

Part Two: Understanding Natural Light

Week Three- Window Light

Week Four- Outside Lighting

Week Five- Backlighting

Part Three: Understanding Composition

Week Six- Creating Pleasing Compositions

Part Four: Understanding Post Processing

Week Seven- Erin’s Basic Workflow

Week Eight- Digital Perfecting

Week Nine- The Black and White Conversion

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  1. Angie in OH on September 27, 2008 at 2:24 pm

    I definitely consider myself to still be a “beginner” photographer. I have taken photos of my children for years now, but just got serious about learning about photography and my camera five months ago. Since then I have spent countless hours pouring through photography blogs, buying several of Scott Kelby’s books and devouring them, and reading my camera manual over and over. There is still so much that I just am not grasping and that I am having a difficult time understanding. I am extremely motivated to learn though and would do everything I could to be a good student and learn as much as I could. What a privilege it would be to be part of Erin’s class! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to possibly have her mentor one of us.

  2. Sarah Galbraith on September 27, 2008 at 2:27 pm

    ooh, I would love, love to have a chance for that type of mentoring!! I do have a dslr and I have a small understanding of the things mentioned, but would/need/love to know more! I have been taking pictures for family and close friends now for a while and would love to take it to the next level by really understanding my camera settings!!I eventually want to be a ‘Photographer’ and have my own studio. I am learning one picture taken at a time! Pick me, please!! 🙂

  3. kimberly on September 27, 2008 at 2:29 pm

    I recently bought a dSLR camera because I wanted to learn how to take amazing pictures of my future children, but now, that having future children seems to be delayed for reasons I can’t control, I still want to learn ways to capture the beauty of other children. I would like to take this course so that I have a tool to make positive use of this time in my life. So, that I can understand my camera enough to let my creativity run free.Thank you for this opportunity, Kimberly

  4. Allison Hoffman on September 27, 2008 at 2:41 pm

    Pick me, ooo, Pick ME!! I got my dslr in July, and although I’ve read countless books, I’m an avid reader of countless photography blogs, and have the two cutest girls as my models, I’ve been slammed by this new camera. I was truly overwhelmed by the capabilities of my dslr and although I’ve made some progress and my pictures don’t turn out black, I would love to be able to move to a level of understanding and competance. I’ve actually been doing more studying and looking for a more organized approach to learning. Right now it seems to be hit or miss the lessons that I pull together from various sources. I would like a more organized approach understand what I’m learning and how it applies to various situations and be able to think through a picture and put it together, rather than just trying different hints and tricks – hit or miss.I am pregnant with twin boys. And as I look at the photography blogs I swoon over the newborn shoots. I woud hope to be able to produce a quality shoot of my newborn boys when they arrive. Especially being able to capture the dynamic of twins and the relationship between my two girls and their new brothers.I know that the winner will be selected at random, but for those who do not win (hopefully not me) would you be able to recommend sites/photographers who also offer this mentoring?

  5. Amie on September 27, 2008 at 2:49 pm

    I would love to the chance to be mentored. I have a Canon Rebel XTi and I love experimenting myself but I would love to have a better understanding of how everything works. I have read books, been a blog stalker and experimented with my camera so much but I just feel I have so much more to learn before it clicks in my head. I would love to understand it all so I can move foward and start taking better pictures of my kid and my family. I would love the opportunity to be mentored by Erin Bell!!!

  6. Pam Breese on September 27, 2008 at 3:49 pm

    Oh how I would love to have this prize!I love photpgraphy and I am absorbing as much knowledge as possible from blogs, websites, forums, and books. I have used a lot of friends as “guinea pigs” and have learned a lot about my own Canon DSLR. I am trying to invest in better lenses before updating my camera body, trying to make all the right decisions.

  7. Kelly on September 27, 2008 at 3:55 pm

    I would love to have the chance to be mentored by Erin! She does awesome work and it’s so wonderful that she wants to share her skills with other photographers. Please pick me!

  8. Kimberly Stone on September 27, 2008 at 4:01 pm

    I am a beginner that has loved photography as long as I can remember. I purchased my dslr about year ago and have been trying to absorb as much as possible with the help of ILP and reading books. I would love to have this opportunity of being in Erins’ group. My goal is to become a photographer with my own studio at my house and do on location shoots as well! I hope to be lucky enough to get this opportunity. I personally think I would learn better this way! I also want to take this chance to thank Erin again for doing this for us!~Kimberly (kimberlyscklli-ILP name)

  9. addy on September 27, 2008 at 4:01 pm! I am very much a beginner. And would love to be mentored. I have a dSLR camera and an understanding of the settings. But I need the help with lighting and nailing the exposure. Please pick me!thank you

  10. Robyn on September 27, 2008 at 4:45 pm

    I bought my husband a dslr for christmas last year and use it more than he does! I want to learn how to take amazing portraits of my children. Thanks!

  11. rachel on September 27, 2008 at 5:03 pm

    I have always loved taking pictures for my friends and family last month I got my first DSLR and now I wonder why I waited so long to get one. I am just starting off correct exposure and sharp focus seem more like luck at this point. I am a quick study and adore Erin’s work. I learned about her from ILP and everyone has such wonderful things to say about her as a mentor. She seems as sweet as can be and is amazingly talented. Long term goals I want to become a full time photographer and finally say goodbye to my day job so I can still enjoy my daughter while she is young. In the short term if I was selected I would working on building my portfolio so I can be one step closer. Thank you for holding this contest and thanks Erin for being willing to mentor. =)

  12. Gina N on September 27, 2008 at 5:17 pm

    I would love to be a mentee!! I am always trying to figure out how pro’s do the things they do….great poses, great light, etc…I am just starting to learn how to go manual….and its so scary! I hae had some friends and family ask me to shoot holiday pics and newborn shots but I am so afraif that I am just not there yet..this is just what I have been wanting and needing to get a little more confidience and help in going semi-pro!!

  13. SandraC on September 27, 2008 at 6:00 pm

    What a wonderful chance! Just this week I have been thinking of looking for a mentor, to bring my photography to another level. I shoot lots of pics but I still think that it is just blah. I’m still stuck at the snapshot level. And I’m scared of going manual! Everything is being shot on Program…..

  14. Kate in OH on September 27, 2008 at 6:32 pm

    Oh, I would love to win this mentoring class with Erin!!!I would still consider myself a beginner. I am self taught. I have a ton to learn and a willingness to learn everything. I have a canon xti. The lenses I own are the 50mm 1.8, 85mm 1.8, kit lens and the 75-300mm. I have checked out and purchased several photography books.Read and re read them. Including my camera manual. Joined forums. And still know I would benefit hugely from a mentor. Looking over the outline so many of the weeks made me think, oh, i so need to learn about that.I am also a visual learner so see others images i just know i would learn so much more. The other part that is appealing to me is the accountablity of have to post 2 images a week. I already take a ton of photos on a daily basis trying to teach myself. So I know that would not be difficult. With the new knowledge I would put it to use by taking that very huge, very scary step, I have been trying to take for a few months. Of taking money from clients for images to be printed and hung in their homes.I would also, share this knowledge with others as that is another way I learn. Through retelling and helping someone else.Thank you for the opportunity to be Erin’s mantee

  15. Barb on September 27, 2008 at 7:37 pm

    Wow – what an amazing opportunity! I saw that Erin had started a group and that it was already filled, and I was sad that I had even missed the opportunity to put my name in. :(I like to think that I have a basic understanding of iso, aperture and shutter speed, but even after studying photography for what seems like non-stop since February, I still stumble when I’m working my camera’s controls. And I know mentoring with Erin would ensure that I really *get it*!Plus, the rest of the information given during the duration of the mentorship looks amazing! I love Erin’s style and agree so much with what I’ve read from her in the past that I think she’d be a perfect mentor for me.Just the other day I was working on a photo of my own daughter and was second guessing my composition, which I hadn’t done before. I’m feeling really stuck and this would be so helpful.Parts 2, 3, and 4 would have me in absolute heaven!!! I use only natural light and would love to be mentored on back light and window light!!!Just thinking about being accepted as a mentoree to Erin has my heart skipping a beat. :DWhat would I do with it? Well… I’ve got a business that I just recently (the beginning of this month) took “professional”, and while I know that I can create work that others love, mentoring with Erin would ensure that I create work that I really love and feel good about – consistently!Thank you so much for this amazing opportunity!

  16. Shawna Taylor on September 27, 2008 at 9:31 pm

    Oh what a wonderful opportunity, I would love to be chosen as her mentee! I’ve had my XTi for just over a year now and I absolutely love taking photos but I would love to continue learning about all the different manual settings especially from a wonderful photographer like Erin! I’ve purchased several photography books (mostly by Scott Kelby) and I’ve been getting lots of compliments from friends & family who have seen the photos I’ve taken of my kids just messing around and practicing and now I’m also starting to get requests from them to take their photos as well. But I still feel like a beginner although my ultimate goal & dream is to eventually be able to start my own photography business!!

  17. Tyra on September 27, 2008 at 10:13 pm

    I would LOVE to win this mentorship! I feel I have so much to learn still, like how to shoot out of my auto settings…I really need to understand the manual and raw stuff to make my photography grow into what I wish it to become! I have only been shooting pics with my SLR for 6 months. This would be amazing, and help me step further towards my dreams~

  18. andrea on September 27, 2008 at 10:32 pm

    OOOOOOO I’d love to have a chance like this! I have an awesome SLR and don’t really have the slightest idea of how to move it off of auto! Having a trainer would be MARVELOUS!:)

  19. Jennifer on September 27, 2008 at 10:37 pm

    My name is Jennifer – and I just read this post via my RSS feed – and felt I needed to answer and enter this…I know with as popular as this blog is, my little entry may be buried in the plethora of entries -As I said, I am Jennifer – just starting out, and just got my DSLR a year ago. I am a single mom, of 2, Aubrey is 9 and Zachary is 4 1/2 (he’s also special needs and though I could leave him the costs involved are great not physically really but emotional for him.)I have always loved taking picture, being creative and designing – now I find myself working so hard on learning this wonderful thing called photography…the in’s and out’s the up’s and downs – it’s amazingly rewarding – and something I hope will become something I do full time that will support myself and my children. Right now, and ever since I got divorced we have been living with my parents – it’s time to start learning how to break free of that.I long to do this with everything that I am, I have the passion, the conviction and the want – and I strive to learn something new EVERY SINGLE day – I have challenged myself to do so. If you choose me to become part of this, I can sit here and promise you with 100% conviction I will give all of myself to it….

  20. Laura on September 27, 2008 at 10:47 pm

    Oh My Goodness, what an awesome prize. I would love to be accepting into Erin Bells class. I am looking at starting my own business. I have been shooting my own children for a few years but recently purchased a Canon XSi and would love to be able to take it off of Auto. Thank you for the opportunity.

  21. Christa on September 27, 2008 at 10:48 pm

    I would love the chance to be mentored! I have had my dslr camera for a little over a year and have fallen in love with everything photography since! My photography experience so far just includes taking lots of pictures of my children and those around me and studying other photographers on-line work. I love finding a photographer who has the ability to take your breath away with his or her photos. I would very much enjoy having an experienced photographer to help me out with what I can do to better my photographs. I have several friends and family members who are also getting dslr cameras, if I was to be mentored I would then do my best to turn around and help teach them what I know!

  22. Maureen on September 27, 2008 at 10:54 pm

    This is the opportunity I’ve been hoping for!! I have a Nikon D300 and just purchased a Nikon 24-70 2.8 and the Nikon 2.8 70-200. I also have a couple of other lens. Knowledge of better photography has consumed me. I am 56 years old and have 5 grandchildren. 2 of them are showing interest already at their young ages in photography and I would love to have more knowledge to share with them. My love of photography started when I had my first child but as a young mother, wife and career woman it got put on hold. In 2000 when my first grandchild was born I purchased a new camera and now 5 cameras later it is my passion to be a better photographer to leave a legacy to these precious grandchildren of their childhood and something for them to remember as times shared with me. Please, please, please consider me for this slot! I promise to work hard and learn as much as possible and then to pass on my knowledge to my grandchildren. My daughters are so proud of the photos I’ve done of the grandchildren that their friends have asked me to take portraits of their children as well. Mentoring with Erin would just be the greatest!!!

  23. Tanya T. on September 27, 2008 at 11:02 pm

    I had a Canon Rebel and recently upgraded to Canon Rebel XTi and I love taking pictures of my children but sadly I use automatic mode most of the time. My pictures just don’t look as good when I shoot in manual mode. I have tried many times and just don’t get the results I want. Help me understand my camera better and make all my pictures beautiful!!!!! Thank you!

  24. Penny on September 27, 2008 at 11:10 pm

    Hi..I live in Australia, would I qualify?Still reading? Great. I take photos – lots of them, and I’m pretty proud of quite a few, but I have a feeling they are flukes. :o) I do this and that with my camera and manage to squeeze out some really nice shots. (The odds are good when you take hundreds ;o))I’d love to have some teaching, I’d love to be able to take my photography to the next level, I’d love for someone to explain what’s beyond the next level and how to get there. I’d love to be taking photos of other people, other people’s children. I’d like to be confident in my own photography.Thanks, Penny

  25. Amber Wiseman on September 27, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Although I have done some photography work I consider myself a beginner and still very wet behind the ears. After becoming a stay at home mom of three I chose to pursue my passion for photography in greater depths. I tried desperately to learn my camera and the technical components, but I found that I had a difficult time because I was doing it all on my own and had little to no help when I had questions. Most of what I have learned has been through trial and error, whether it be right or wrong. I am desperately seeking to learn more about aperture, ISO and SS…correctly. This mentor will be a great tool and benefit to one lucky reader.

  26. Gina on September 27, 2008 at 11:14 pm

    What a wonderful chance this is!! My husband bought me a Rebel XT last year (as a gift for birthday, Christmas, anniversary, Valentine’s day…) because he knows how much I love to take pictures of our three children. I have learned a fair amount through trial and error…but it would mean so much to me to take even better photographs of my family. Our photographs are treasures. They hold our memories in color, freezing special, humorous, loving, adorable, emotional moments for all time. I’m also a scrapbooker, and strive to have the best photos possible to use in our books, which everyone in our family loves to look through. When we all gather with extended family, looking through photos brings us back to those joyful times, unites us, removes whatever differences might be holding us back. I love taking pictures to capture our lives. I love sharing our pictures, sharing the stories, bringing my family together through the memories.

  27. Laura Hull on September 27, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    I am sooo a newbie, it hurts. Being a life long learner, I have taken to learning how to take better photos. With the birth of my son, and taking a photo a day for his first year, I remembered how much I love to take photos. I also needed something that was just for me. I have found that outlet in photography. It is what feeds me right now.I am staggered by the shear amount of things I need to learn. I started out with at D70 and recently added a D300 to my bag. What I did find out is that the camera is way bigger then me, and I am stumbling around trying to live up to owning it. I just felt that I needed to take it to the next level. This is the chance I have been looking for. I am crossing everything that can be crossed in hopes that I get to do this. I hope to someday grow a business in the field.

  28. Melissa on September 27, 2008 at 11:27 pm

    Oh Man! This is the answer to my prayers!!!! I have been wanting to get in with someone like Erin so they could be a mentor to me in my new beginnings. I have the Nikon d70s and while I feel somedays that my pictures look good and am very pleased with the outcomes I still have those days where I’m like what do I do now? Having an opportunity like this would be a god send and I would cherish it forever. Thanks so much for offering up a great gift. This is truly awesome =)

  29. Hana Zuber on September 27, 2008 at 11:39 pm

    I have a Canon 40D and have been taking pictures for a while but would like to get out of program mode and be able to shoot on manual. I love photography, but am missing some of the basics so a mentoring program sounds like just what I need. I started taking pictures of my prek kids in my classroom about 6 years ago. kids photos are my favorite, then come flowers.I would love to set up a photography business, but I want more of my pictures to be rid of that flat look. Memories through photos are precious. They capture a moment that most likely won’t happen again. I like to give that “gift” to people.This would be a great opportunity. It is a tremendous offer.

  30. Casey Cooper on September 27, 2008 at 11:51 pm

    I would love to win a 9 week mentorship to learn more about the exciting world of photography. I just found out that I’m due in March and am trying to learn as much as possible prior to this time in order to capture timeless photos of my child like so many I see here and in reader’s websites. I have a Canon Rebel XTi and currently shoot in manual, but I still struggle with how to to pose and set your subject in different lighting situations. Lighting is my weakest area that I feel is an absolute must to master in order to take great photos and would love to learn from a Pro!

  31. Jackie on September 27, 2008 at 11:52 pm

    How can I possibly express what this opportunity would mean to me? Here are the adjectives that come to mind when considering this opportunity: Energizing: This class is the spark to really develop my photography talentRewarding: Capturing the spirit of a person is my payoff for the work in this groupInspiring: Erin’s teaching and feedback will bring great ideasNurturing: My creative spirit demands to be fed and Erin’s class is the perfect foodWhy and I the candidate to select? As a full-time mom to a young child I am not able to attend a photography course or any of the amazing seminars I’ve been reading about. This is frustrating because I want so badly to learn everything I can about my new passion, digital photography. Books just aren’t cutting it any more. I’m hungry to really understand my camera and experience real feedback on my photos. This format is perfect for those goals! Additionally, as a mom working out side my home, I deeply respect Erin’s time. Not only am I committed to the course and its assignments, I find it amazingly generous that she is even willing to take on a group.What would I do with the knowledge? I would bring the beautiful images I see in my head to life! I see so many stunning photos around me everyday. I long for the knowledge to capture those images.

  32. Jessica on September 27, 2008 at 11:57 pm

    I would love to have a chance to be learn more about photography! I do own a DSLR but don’t know how to use it, so it’s still on the point-and-shoot mode. 😀 My experience with photography is limited to simply taking snapshots of everyday life, but I would love to be able to translate the photo I see in my head to film. I’m not looking to open my own photography business, but simply to take wonderful photos of our family and friends, and then maybe offer to do free photoshoots for new babies or couples we know that would never be able to afford to have professional photos done. This would be a wonderful thing to win; thank you for the chance!

  33. Lauren on September 28, 2008 at 12:34 am

    WOW! What an incredible gift! I am an aspiring photographer that seems to keep taking two steps forward and one back! It would be fantastic to learn the basics that I seem to keep fumbling through. I have a nice camera ~ a Canon 5D, some quality lenses, and Photoshop CS3. BUT, with all of that, my photos still seem to be missing something. I am really hoping to branch out and start my own business someday soon! I would be GRATEFUL to be chosen!Thank you! Oh, I hope I win! =)

  34. Tara Pugmire on September 28, 2008 at 12:35 am

    Jodi, I have been taking photographs for a while, but am not patient enough with my self to learn it on my own. I have been through some training with you, which was awesome and left me only wanting more. What I would love is for someone to look at the pictures I take and critique them. I am a mother of four and have found that having a passion of my own helps keep me sane. I love photography and want to be better and better all the time. Finding someone who is willing to critique and train you is priceless. Nedless to say I totally want to have this opportunity with Erin Bell and will jump through any hoops she wants to throw at me. So hope I get the opportunity. You Rock!

  35. Kathy on September 28, 2008 at 12:56 am

    You can’t get any more beginner than I am! Yes, I do have a DSLR, but I still want to know when my pictures will show the same results as others who have the same type of camera. It’s all about the camera…isn’t it?!? ;)My biggest struggle…composition, lighting, point-of-view.In my eyes, that’s what makes a photographer stand out! Good luck to everyone!

  36. Missy on September 28, 2008 at 1:06 am

    As I was reading what the class would be covering, I got so excited!! Those are things I need to know better!! I’m definitely a beginner!! I got my DSLR last Christmas and am still learning about the settings and things. I LOVE learning and could definitely take this info and run!! I’ve loved her posts in the past, so this would be a great opportunity for me!!

  37. Laurel on September 28, 2008 at 1:21 am

    I would absolutely love this!!! I have had some experience with photography, but would like to become consistent. Sometimes my pictures turn out awesome, and then other times the look so bad. I would love to learn more about photography, so I can stop being so frustrated. My husband is in school to become a vet, and I am a new mom. I want to stay home with my son as much as possible, so I would like to have a photography business that is successful enough for my husband to focus on school.

  38. Jackie on September 28, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Addition to my earlier post: During the mentorship I would use any pictures taken of friends to solicit donations for the Histiocytosis Association of America. Histiocytosis is a rare blood disorder that affects my niece. It is so rare that it is considered an orphan disease and receives little government research funding. Learn more about Histiocytosis at Jackie Vanover

  39. Jeanine on September 28, 2008 at 7:08 am

    Ah, this is just what I need. I have a Canon 40D with a couple prime lens and have been getting familiar with Manual and RAW but can’t seem to get out there and really use what I know. I think that since I’m self-taught I don’t trust what I know. I would love to have the basics clarified and then go beyonnd what I know and learn so much more. I’m ready to move on but didn’t know how to do it. This would be great for me. I’m at a time in my life when I have more time to put into my life-long passion for photography.

  40. karen on September 28, 2008 at 7:44 am

    Hi Jodi — Oh, I would absolutely LOVE to be a part of this mentoring group. When my husband gave me my dSLR a few years ago, I had every good intention to learn everything about it but, as so often happens, my four kids needed me more and…I have to admit, I’m still using it like a point and shoot. Embarrassing, huh? Now that my oldest is off to college, I feel like I finally have time to devote to learning how to truly use my camera. I would love to take awesome pictures of my family. Pick me, please!! Karen

  41. Emily on September 28, 2008 at 8:04 am

    I have taken pictures with my p&s for years, but recently bought a DSLR not only for the speed to shoot fast enough for my daughter, but to actually LEARN how to take a great picture. I am a beginner and have a gist of the basics, but would really like to learn more of what my camera and my imagination can capture.

  42. Susan on September 28, 2008 at 8:45 am

    This is exactly what I need. I’ve been taking pictures for years and can’t get off the green box. I am working really hard (through reading websites and playing with my camera) at understanding my camera. My ultimate goal is to be a photographer with Now I lay Me Down to Sleep. I know it’s not a goal most photographers have, but I lost my first son when he was a month old. This program was not in our area at the time. I can’t really put in to words what it would mean to be able to give another family the pictures I didn’t receive of our son. I know it will probably take me years to get my skills where they should be before I can apply, but the first step is really understanding the mechanics of photography. Thank you for your consideration. Susan

  43. evie on September 28, 2008 at 8:48 am

    My name is Evie and, although I’ve been shooting with my XTi for a little more than a year, I still consider myself a beginner, an amateur. There are many things I have gleaned on my own from reading books and looking at people’s work on flickr but there is something to be said for working closely with someone who will look at YOUR work and tell you how to improve it, how to specifically take steps to make it better. For years, I have floundered through life, looking for something to feel passionate about and just couldn’t find anything – until photography found me. I feel like I have the makings of a really great photographer and I think having a mentor is just the thing I need to help me get past the hump. I have been admiring Erin’s work on Flickr for a while now and it would be such an honor to be chosen for this program.

  44. Amy S on September 28, 2008 at 9:05 am

    I would love a chance to take part in Erin’s mentoring program! Her photos are beautiful, and I aspire to one day be able to “capture the moment” as she does. Most of my photography experience has been taking point & shoot snapshots of my 2 adorable but incredibly active little boys. Lately, I’ve been trying to move beyond the snapshots (many of which end up being of the backs of their heads-grrr!) and have been taking photos with a Canon Rebel XT and 17-85mm lens. I am finally starting to venture into manual mode (scary!) but definitely need some guidance! Thanks Jodi for offering this fantastic opportunity!

  45. Lydia on September 28, 2008 at 9:15 am

    How gracious of Erin to share her time and experience with others! I would love to be apart of this opportunity, thanks Jodi for facilitating this. I have been in love with DSLR for about 1.5 years and I think I am just on the threshold of finding my sweet spot. I consider myself a beginner because I have not gone pro and I have loads to learn yet. I started with the XTI and have recently upgraded to 40d with 24-70L mm. I am natural light only with a little help from my speedlight. My husband lives in Russia I am home here in the US with our 3 punks. We will be visiting him in late December so it would be quite wonderful to have learned all Erin has to share to really capture this time in our lives. As for the future I plan on going pro next year in May.Thanks- Lydia

  46. Dina on September 28, 2008 at 9:27 am

    This is an amazing opportunity! I’d love to have mentor. I am a beginner. I started out like many others as a mom with a camera. I really just want to be able to take great photos. At this point I don’t have any plans on going pro. That would be years down the road. I have so much to learn.

  47. Meredith Thompson on September 28, 2008 at 9:46 am

    oh wow….the thought of this just gives me chills. i would definitely call myself a beginner – i purchased my canon 40D early in the year and have been immersed in everything photography since. i work a full-time job and have a hubby and one-year old, so my time learning has been quite limited. i have learned to get the most out of nap times and after 8 p.m. bedtimes. i find myself yawning my head off throughout the day due to staying up late the night before reading/playing/practicing. my brain only thinks photography over the past months. my family and friends have been gracious enough to let me practice on them and i have slowly eased from the green box into manual setting. more of a behind the scenes girl and not liking all the attention on me, the thought of being behind that big black box and caputuring memories for people and their famillies to treasure years from now just makes me giddy. i tell my husband all the time that i have never found that one thing that i felt good at or just clicked with until now. and what a feeling!!! the greatest thing ever is to feel like you have finally found your niche! always a big dreamer but not one to actually think i would be able to follow through….my ultimate goal is to have a successful photog business (i’m interested in natural light, on location portrait photography) and quit my day job. i would love love love to have an opportunity to learn from a pro….i spend countless hours perusing workshop websites and realizing i don’t have the time or money at this point. i love to learn, and would be honored to soak in all that erin has to offer!!! thank you so much for the opportunity to apply.

  48. Kim on September 28, 2008 at 10:42 am

    I would LOVE LOVE LOVE to win this contest for Erin to be my mentor. I have loved photography for a long time and anything I can learn is so beneficial to me. Photography is my hobby because I have another full time job. I think anything Erin could offer to me would benefit me for my “retirement days”. I would love to be able to learn more to be more creative. I don’t want to have to rely on Photoshop to fix my mistakes.Kim

  49. Susan on September 28, 2008 at 10:50 am

    I want to throw my hat into the ring! I need help! I’ve been shooting for less then a year, I have some of the basics down: Understanding my camera, a few of my settings – but it’s the “making it pop” that I fall short in. Is it the lighting? the set up? the post processing? I don’t know where I’m missing the boat – so this event would be my life-saver!! Oh please pick this lost soul!!

  50. Gail on September 28, 2008 at 10:57 am

    My gosh…to be in Erin’s mentoring program would be so incredibly awesome. My husband bought my Canon dslr for my birthday last year and I’ve been playing with it, but am still such a beginner. I’m constantly taking pictures,but they just don’t look the way I think they should. Just to have Erin’s critique would be fantastic. My youngest child has just started high school and I want to be able to take incredibly photos to document this time in her life. She has expressed an interest in photography and is going to get her first dslr for Christmas this year. I really want to be able to pass on good advice to her and help her develop a love of photography.

  51. Elizabeth on September 28, 2008 at 10:59 am

    Thank you, thank you so much for this incredible opportunity. MCP blog is always the first thing I check when I open my email. I can’t tell you how excited I was to find out that Erin Bell was providing a free mentoring session. Wow! There is so my much I need to learn. After 2 years, I finally bought my Canon 5D and the 24-70mm 2.8 lens but, I am struggling with focus, lighting, and the photoshop workflow. I need help! My goal is to be a professional photographer one day. I would be over the moon if I were chosen.

  52. Tammy on September 28, 2008 at 11:19 am

    I would so love to win this contest. I just bought a dslr this summer and have been practicing on my kids and family. I am a stay at home mom of a 3 year old and 1 year old. I have tried many different things but have always had a love for photography. My dream is to one day be as good as Erin and have a photography business. It would be such a blessing to be able to learn from Erin. I try to always have my camera with me, with my kids being so young I want to capture every moment. My 3 year old loves taking pictures and we just bought her a camera of her own!

  53. angel on September 28, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I have a rebel xt, but would love to advance to a 40d. I have had a love for photography since I was 9 years old and have been very active in taking pictures for the past 3 years. I want to learn more about the pop factor! Making the picture look FANSTASTIC!! This would be a cool opportunity to have a mentor to learn lots more about my camera and photography!

  54. Kimi Boustany on September 28, 2008 at 11:27 am

    I did things a little backwards. :=) Really, that seems to be how I approach most things in life. Which explains exactly why I need help!! I have used a film camera for years. Never really understanding the whole aperture process. Keeping it mostly on auto. When digital came out Hubby bought me a 2 mega pixel camera and I was stoked! A little over 2 years ago I asked for Elements 4 for a birthday present. Starting using my daughters 6 mega pixel camera and things snowballed from there. I have a Nikon D80 with 3 different lens. I have done a little work that I have gotten paid for. But I find my work is really hit or miss. i can’t get anything consistent. The whole natural lighting concept is a total mystery to me. I seem to use my flash for everything. Which means I am loosing some backgrounds. 🙁 I do have a basic understanding of ISO, shutter speed and aperture. I now have CS3 and LR2. I find myself relying on the software to fix my images instead of starting off with good images out of my camera. At this point my camera has become part of my arm. LOL! I am a Realtor by trade so I have loads of time on my hands and I am trying hard to find a way to bring in money to pay the bills. The housing market has died a slow painful death! I have Photography business cards printed and ready to give out. I also bought and set up a website but I have no confidence in booking a session. If I have to narrow it down to one thing… lighting seems to be my worst enemy. I just don’t know what to do?? This would be a dream come true. I have been self taught, in both the software and using my camera. Please take me by the hand and help… it would change my life!I mean really, are you supposed to take 95 pictures and only like 4 or 5? Erin, thanks so much for giving this opportunity to someone and Jodi.. I added you to my Google reader and check your site everyday. Thanks for all you share!~kimi~

  55. Shawnee Pedraza on September 28, 2008 at 11:35 am

    I’ve had a love for photography since high school, I received a cannon 35mm for Christmas. I took this camera with me everywhere I went. I had to save my money each week just to have the film developed. As I got older and went off to college I studied education. I was fearful of rejection when it came to my work so I continued in education. I went on to teach kindergarten for three years and had two babies. I started to shoot pictures of my son when I was on maternity leave. My love and passion instantly returned!! I could not believe how alive it mad me feel to hold that camera. I decided that I was going to take a year off of work to spend with my children and learn as much as I could about photography. I’ve never had formal training and I would be so honored to have Erin as a mentor.I would like to take my photography to the next level. I want my own business within the next couple of years. Children’s photography is what I want to pursue, it’s a dream of mine.

  56. Keely Black on September 28, 2008 at 11:36 am

    Hi there, My name is Keely Black and I am an aspiring photographer. I love to take photos of children, families and would love to break into weddings. I have started to build a bit of confidence this summer and do portraits for my friends, but I still have so much to learn and so many questions for an experienced photographer. I have seen Erin Bell’s work and love her photographs. I know that she would be able to teach me so much and answer my many questions that I have for her. It would be an awesome experience to be able to be mentored by an accomplished photographer like Erin Bell. If I am chosen for this awesome experience then my plans are to apply all my newfound knowledge in creating exciting and creative portraits for children, families and babies in my area. Hopefully like I said start feeling confident enough to do weddings, which is something I would really love to do. Thank you for offering this opportunity to me and other beginners, I really appreciate the offer. Here’s hoping I get chosen!! Cheers. Sincerely,Keely Black

  57. Candice Roberts on September 28, 2008 at 11:38 am

    How exciting is this!! I purchased my 40D not to long ago too . My husband was deployed alot and I didn’t want him to miss a minute of our 2 boys(It also kept my mind busy). I now cannot get enough of it! There is just so much more I would love to learn and I think it would be great experience to have a mentor 🙂

  58. Alisa Conn on September 28, 2008 at 12:26 pm

    WOW, this would be unbelieveable if I won!..I have been taking pictures for about 7 months on auto and just venture into the world of manual mode. I consider myself a beginner becasue half the time I just take the picture becasue it looks great in the view finder then come to find out its totally blow out because I did not look at the information on the bottom of the screen. What I would do with my talents is help out needy kids. I have a f/t job but have been thinking how to give my gift back to the community. Last week I contacted Brooklawn – a boys shelter for abused and trouble kids and told them I would take 20 seniors per year and take their senior portraits and give them $25 worth of pictures of their choice for free. I also hope to work with a girls shelter also.

  59. Olivia on September 28, 2008 at 12:38 pm

    What a wonderful opportunity for someone. No matter how ends up being picked for this mentorship I think it is wonderful and that Erin is sharing her knowledge with people. Like Jodie and Erin there are so many gifted photographers in this world who are doing more mentoring and sharing that benefits those around them instead of keeping their secrets locked up and only to themselves. Thank you ladies!

  60. mommyknows on September 28, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    I am totally a beginner. I love to take photos, but afraid to take my d300 off auto. Recently, friends have been asking me to take family photos. I’d love to understand my camera and photography better, maybe even make a side income from my photography. Kim @

  61. Laser on September 28, 2008 at 1:31 pm

    I am a beginner for sure even though I am 70 years old. I have always loved photography but only could afford point and shoot for most of my years. I have been using a Canon digital camera for a few years now and try some of the manual settings but am not sure of anything. Now my family went and bought me a Rebel XTi with an extra lens so I need to learn how to use it properly. I am a very visual person and need someone to “show me”. Once I see how it done I am able to absorb how to do the procedure.So perhaps you will choose me, but if not that is okay too, I will keep plugging along trying to learn!

  62. Kathleen Elam on September 28, 2008 at 2:01 pm

    Just considering taking on a free mentee is an awesome thought. Thanks so much. Whomever is chosen will no doubtedly be learning from a phenominal phototgrapher. I have been in the business for about a year, but I also am a fulltime elementary school counselor and mother of three. I just enjoy the sheer pleasure of photography and capturing life as it happens. I have owned several DSLR’s and now own the Sony A350. Gotta say this is my fave so far. I hope to take the knowledge that I acquire fom Erin (if I am chosen) and continue to use my skills to give back to my community. I live in a high poverty area in southeastern Oklahoma and THE MAN (corp. photog.) has a monopoly on the market around here. Everything from yearbook pics to sports and especially seniors. I hate for the kids around here not to be able to enjoy the things that they should because they cannot afford a 400.00 proof package. I want them to be able to have these opportunities and not shy away becuase they think they cannot afford to have them. I would love to continue to improve my skills and give the benefit to all my kids (all 700 of them).

  63. amylouwho on September 28, 2008 at 2:48 pm

    I would love to be Erin’s mentee, I’ve just perused her web site and found her images stunning. Just the types of pictures I would like to be capturing every day. I love that she uses natural light for everything. That’s what I really need to learn how to do. After the mentorship is over I would plan on continuing to learn while capturing life around me, my family and friends. Not just the special occasions but the beautiful in the ordinary day.thanks for the opportunity!

  64. Catherine in Georgia on September 28, 2008 at 4:04 pm

    Oh what an answer to prayer…I have had my DSLR since Christmas and have taken some wonderful photos—on auto. I have read 3 books on digital photography, but something is just not clicking in my mind. I know what your actions can do for a photo, but I need to be able to start with solid photographs. I have the ability and desire, I now need the basic building blocks to be the photographer I know I can be. Thank you for this incredible opportunity…

  65. Heather Messmer on September 28, 2008 at 4:25 pm

    I knew after reading this post that I had just had to reply and ask to be considered for the open mentee position. I would consider myself a beginner in the field of photography. I received my dSLR in the summer of 2007, though just recently began practicing with the other settings on the camera. At first I was so intimidated that I didn’t dare move from the automatic setting. I spend most of my time practicing my skills on my two little girls; though have also completed a photo session with my sister’s family. I’ve enjoyed practicing and expanding my knowledge, however, I know that I still have so much to learn and would be honored to learn from a professional of Erin’s ability. If chosen for this opportunity, I would take the knowledge gained – nurture it and continue to expand my photography skills. I recently opened my part-time on-location photography business and want with all my heart to grow my business into a venue that will help support my family. My dream is that my passion for photography will replace the need for me to work a FT position outside of the home, so I could be at home raising my girls. Thank you for the opportunity to be considered, Heather.

  66. Mallika on September 28, 2008 at 8:00 pm

    I would love an opportunity to have an experienced mentor. While I am not exactly a beginner, I have still a lot to learn. I’ve been in business less then a year and my business is booming. I read, read and read…then practice, practice and then practice more 🙂 But to have a mentor in a small class! Now that would be an amazing experience that would help take my photography to the next level. I still have imposter syndrome and I’m desperately trying to shake it. But it’s tough and I think it requires searching for more teaching opportunities like this. Thanks for considering me! Mallika Malhotra of

  67. Debi on September 28, 2008 at 8:12 pm

    I have spent the past 25 years in a career that has been rewarding (computer software). It has helped me achieve many goals. It is not my passion. I have made the decision to focus and invest my time/energy/money into something I love for the latter half of my career. I would use the knowledge gained from this opportunity to express my intrepretation of people, places and experiences as purely and precisely as possible. The end goal would be two-fold: 1)Support myself by building a ‘raving-fan’ client base and reputation 2) Give back to others through some form of non-profit photography. Thank you for your consideration.

  68. Jenn on September 28, 2008 at 9:24 pm

    I would love a chance to have a photography mentor! I have loved photography since my first photography class back in middle school. My parents helped to encourage my interest by getting me a SLR film camera ( a Canon A1). Years later, as the digital age came into swing, my husband bought me a Digital Rebel. It was just this year that I took an online photography class to learn how to use more of the features of the camera. I am now re-hooked on photography and want to learn more. I would someday love to photograph children and families as a small business. I don’t see myself ever having anything as formal as a studio but rather I would like to go to people’s homes or settings of their own choices to capture natural photos. I am a person who must feel completely prepared for situations so in order to move my dream forward I need to learn as much as I can. I would love this opportunity!

  69. Kerri Tindle on September 28, 2008 at 9:46 pm

    I bought my dSLR 2 1/2 yrs. ago and just started my own business (mostly for friends) to increase my skills. I’ve learned a lot but still need more technical information, especially about lighting! I think you learn so much more from people who’ve actually been in the profession than you can from a book. If I win, I’ll use the knowledge I’ve gained to grow my business and hopefully, someday, help others.

  70. Amber Crowley on September 28, 2008 at 10:56 pm

    I love taking pictures and have a basic knowledge but so many times I see something that is magical and try to capture it and am then left frustrated that the magic does not appear in my photos. Only through dumb luck sometimes am I really happy with my pictures. I would love to learn properly how to capture the magic that I see all around me and I think this would be an amazing experience.

  71. angela on September 28, 2008 at 11:23 pm

    Oh my goodness, what an aMAZING opportunity! I have a dslr and study my buns off every chance I get. I read like crazy and stay up till ridiculous hours reading forums and tutorials – but to be honest, am frustrated with the lack of “real person” advice. I now what aperture, shutter speed, and other basic terms “mean” by definition, but making them “click” (ha ha!) from a real-life perspective always leaves me wishing I had a “big sister” to show me the ropes. I have been beginning a business this year as something I can do alongside being with my children. I LOVE the opportunity to join in others’ lives and help them capture the minutes that really matter, but I realize each shoot just how much more I have to learn – this would give me more technical know-how to support the art and emotion I stay up for. Pick me, pick me!!! Hugs…

  72. Wendy on September 28, 2008 at 11:48 pm

    I would absolutey love,love,love to be mentored by Erin Bell. Like most comments here I have a passion for photography. I have a dslr and am trying to figure it out. I would like to take better portraits instead of just candid shots. I am a regular blog stalker on your blog as well as others trying to learn and perfect my picture taking. I want people to look at my pictures and think “WOW”. My pictures arent WOW! Please pick me.

  73. janeth on September 29, 2008 at 12:45 am

    I would LOVE to have Erin Bell as my mentor; her work is AMAZING!!I would definitely give my best to learn from the Best!! I have a Canon 20D and I try to learn something new every day. Photography is my passion!! To have a mentor like Erin Bell would be a dream come true 🙂

  74. Heidi on September 29, 2008 at 1:05 am

    A mentor?! Oh, I could sooo use that! For the last 3 years I have been stalking blogs, lurking on the message boards, buying Scott Kelby books, reading my manual, admiring online galleries and trying to teach myself a few things. I live in a pretty small town and there are no courses or other learning opportunities of that nature here. I feel I have come a long way already, but have so much to learn! I just started trying to explore my manual settings a few weeks ago after using program mode for over 2 years. I love my dSLR and photoshop– I feel like I have great tools, but I severely lack guidance on how to utilize what I have! I would love the opportunity to learn from Erin Bell! I am trying to help others in my small town get great photos at an affordable price.

  75. Erin on September 29, 2008 at 2:55 am

    What a sweet way to share the love! I do have a trusty old Canon Rebel XT. It has been my tool, in preserving some of the sweetest moments of my own life, including my 4 small children. As I am now venturing to preserve other’s lives, I am consummed with learning all I can. I can proudly say that photojournalism, composition and creativity are my strong points. Technical camera knowledge….well, not so much, but I yearn to learn! Once I learn from Erin, I plan to PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE….until I master these techniques. I plan on becoming the most sought after photographer in my neck of the woods (or suburban sprawl)! Thanks for the opportunity!

  76. Stephanie on September 29, 2008 at 5:02 am

    I would love to get some more knowledge and input on my photos. I have a hard time choosing which photos I like best. I am a beginner trying to start off with childrens photography, and my goal is to become a wedding photographer. As many others mentioned books can’t give you the new hippest ideas like blogs do these day and learning from someone over the internet seems to be a fantasic way of learning. I have a Canon Rebel XTI and would love to learn more. After I soak up everything I have learned I will go back in my old photos and know what to edit better and take advantage of living in California and all the wonderful things it has to offer a photographer and put my knowledge into that.

  77. Felisha on September 29, 2008 at 6:21 am

    This is such a GREAT thing she is doing, I would love to be a part of this program. Learning is great and you can never know too much.

  78. Maureen on September 29, 2008 at 6:24 am

    I literally tossed and turned all night long thinking about this amazing opportunity!Like everyone who posted here, this opportunity would mean the world-is a dream come true!I am the very busy mother of a very busy 4.5 year old. My husband and I struggled for 12 years (12!!!!!) with infertility. On our very last treatment, we were finally successful! We spent so much money on infertility treatments, that I always knew I would have to work when I had my baby. I did NOT, however, have ANY idea how difficult that would be. My office is 44 miles from my home. I feel each and every inch of those miles when I drive away. I waited my whole life to meet her, and actively tried for 12 years to make her a reality. Every second away, is precious time LOST. I work for a non-profit organization whose mission is to end death and suffering from cancer-I work in government relations-working to change policies that affect cancer patients and their families; lobbying for more research money, and access to quality care. It’s a very fulfilling career-yet it pales in comparison to being a Mom.I have always been in love with photography. I so wanted to pursue it when I was younger, but was persuaded to study something “more stable”. Ha. My photography passion has lasted my whole life-as has the frustration of not knowing what I’m doing!My life has been too busy working to pay for infertility treatments to pursue what I truly love.When my daughter was born, photography became an obssession. I couldn’t get enough pictures of her-and I didn’t just want snapshots….I wanted beautifully composed photos with gorgeous natural light…I wanted catch lights in eyes, and sunshine in hair. I wanted to make beautiful pictures for other Moms. Tough to do with my Kodak easy share. But sometimes I made it work.For my birthday in May, my husband gave me my first dSLR-a Rebel Xti. My life has not been the same since. I’m not a good sleeper by nature-but I have spent countless sleepless nights surfing the web, looking for pointers on how to make the camera work for me. I am DETERMINED not to shoot on automatic, and to learn how to use this, but it feels so overwhelming and complicated. I’ve sought out classes-but our adult ed courses are so limited. I’ve done some shoots-for friends-of their children and some pregnancy shots-but even though I didn’t charge any money-I was sooo nervous-not wanting to let them down by my lack of knowledge. EVERY photo seems very important-it’s a precious moment! I’ve sought out a mentor-but the woman (a friend) I approached saw this as threatening.I so want to learn this art. I have an “eye”, I know what I want to do, I need (NEED) to learn how to make my instrument work for me, rather than the other way around.What will I do after the mentorship as chosen? I would love nothing more than to start my own business of children’s portraiture. I want other Moms and Dads to have beautiful pictures of their babies-sunlight in their hair, catchlights in their eyes, impish smile, pudgy hands. I’d love to be able to leave my job-which takes me so far away from my little girl. I’d also LOVE to help mentor other Moms to capture their children’s lives this way.I know you have a very difficult choice here-and I wish every one luck. I still PRAY you pick me (very selfish, I know!), but this would be LIFE ALTERING for me!Thank you for your considerationMaureen

  79. Chevy on September 29, 2008 at 7:56 am

    Oh my gosh! Oh I want in on this class like mad. I have had a dSLR for almost 2 years now.. I am JUST starting to gain some sort of idea of how to use the darn thing. I can get somewhat the outcome I want, but I have NO idea why I am getting there. lol Does that even make sense? I know how to adjust settings, I just have no idea behind the why and how that makes them work together. I would love to learn the art of great composition. I really do NOT have a clue about that. I have tried to learn about the Rule of Thirds.. right over my head. ;0) I very much love working with natural light.. and have learned a little bit about how to face a subject for good lighting on their face, but after that.. I could use lots of teaching. So I hope that I am chosen for this class. I would just be beside myself with joy and I am so ready to learn from someone other than myself. I have searched high and low through the town that I live in, and there are absolutely NO classes. So this would just be the most awesome experience ever!!Thank you so much!! – Chev

  80. Katie Pieczynski on September 29, 2008 at 8:27 am

    I am definitly a beginner when it comes to photography. It started when I had my daughter 3 1/2 years ago. I have read/practiced almost every day. I live in a small town and there are not that many photographers here and a lot of the people here can not afford to spend money on photographers. I would love to become good enough that I could offer photography services to my friends/family/strangers in this town at a resonable price. I would do it more for the love of taking pictures.

  81. Angie on September 29, 2008 at 8:47 am

    Would love to be mentored by Erin!!! I am fairly new to the photography game and think I have reached my peak of learning on my own. I have started shooting manually but have struggled along with it. I plan to continue on with a business and would love this opportunity. Thanks for considering me!!

  82. Heather Willden on September 29, 2008 at 10:16 am

    I feel like I am just starting out with my camera. I’ve had it for two years, but I SOOOO don’t know how to use it. I leave it on auto all the time. I want so badly to learn how to take nice photos with it, and possibly turn it into a career. I took a digital photography class as an elective while in school, but it ended up being on the basics of using photoshop – which I loved, but it wasn’t in depth enough. I still have no idea how to use actions or my camera. I have tried to take additional classes, but they are always full. I have bought books at the book store, but some of it just doesn’t make sense. I wish I had someone to ask. Someone to guide me and teach me what those settings really can do for me.I am a single mom and just about done with being a full-time student. My window of opportunity to spend the time to really learn is just about over… Several of my friends have taken online classes with professionals, and I would LOVE that opportunity. I would be the happiest person ever, and also the biggest mouthpiece, promoting that I was given this opportunity by Erin and MCP. I love your blog. Thanks for sharing your talents.

  83. Bonnie on September 29, 2008 at 11:22 am

    I have been taking pictures for years and have always longed for the time when I could learn more about photography in order to become a professional photographer. I am a Mom of 5 boys (2 sets of twins, one set 7 years old and the second set 1 year old with a little 5 year old in the middle!)and believe it or not I am now trying to study photography. I have been checking numerous books out of the library, networking with other photographers, checking out photography websites and practicing a lot! All the technical terms seem confusing but with time I know that I can learn what I need to know. I would LOVE the chance to learn from Erin. I know her feedback would be priceless!

  84. Marinda Fowler on September 29, 2008 at 11:56 am

    Hello! I would love to be mentored by Erin! I have had my dSLR since January and am finally starting to feel comfortable with it. However, my photos aren’t exactly turning out as I had invisioned them… lol. I love photographing my children, family and friends. I would love to have some guidance so that I could better create lasting memories for my children, family and friends. Thanks so much! Marinda 🙂

  85. Shaila Hardy on September 29, 2008 at 12:43 pm

    I would love to be a part of this class. I’ve been teaching myself photography for the last year, and have wanted a class, but hey, college students are poor! I’ve had my Canon Rebel XTi for just about a year now. I’ve taught myself everything I know. I’ve learned photography through taking pictures of my kids…especially my 8 month old, since he sits still enough for me to play with the settings. I’ve always had a great love for photography that started in 5th grade when I was in a class where we first started with a homemade pin hole camera from a oatmeal box and developing them in a dark room. My dream then was to have a dark room in my own house. Obviously times have changed!! I bought my first film Nikon slr 6 years ago, but never learned to use it, only shot on auto and was always frustrated when my pictures came back from being processed and I couldn’t ever remember what I had done while taking the picture. So if I had the chance to get into this class, I would take my knowledge and try to start my own business. Specifically focusing on babies, kids and families. I’m a stay at home mom, of three handsome boys (5, 3 and 8 months) and a husband trying to get into medical school. Extra income would help out a ton! Oh how I love photography and love MCP Actions blog!! It has taught me a lot about editing!!!!!!

  86. Karen on September 29, 2008 at 1:12 pm

    I love her work!!! I been a blogstaker of her blog for a while, it will be an honor to learn form her, I love her work!I love photography but just start photography as a part time when my students beg me to take their seniors portraits. So I have lots of things to learn.

  87. Laurie Flickinger on September 29, 2008 at 1:57 pm

    Oh my goodness! This is just what I need and have been looking for. I was given my first dSLR for Christmas last year and my husband wonders how much longer the exposure button will work bc I use it so much. I would love to understand my camera better so that I can document my children’s lives as they grow up in a way that I can be proud of. I never do anything half way and I would LOVE to learn from Erin. Her photographic style is what I am going for! Thanks!

  88. Michelle on September 29, 2008 at 2:59 pm

    I would LOVE the opportunity to be mentored by Erin! Her work is so amazing. I have always had a passion for photography but really never tried taking pictures off of auto mode until this past year. I still have a lot to learn and believe she would be the best teacher to learn from.

  89. Dana on September 29, 2008 at 3:05 pm

    I love photography and I really love to capture special moments for people to treasure. My husband is active duty Army and I am often a “temporarily single mom” durring deployments. I have 2 children and I consider myself a mom first and foremost, but photography gives me the ability to be a mom and do something I love.I still consider myself a beginner but I’m slowly learning the basics but I would love to have someone to learn from. This is such an amazing opportunity. I would love to learn from her because I have tried to learn via books but I’m still working on it. I have a Nikon D70 but I know that I’m not using it to it’s full potential. I think that with this class I could improve immensely. I’ve had the chance to take pictures for several friends and they are super supportive of my goals. I can definetely see where I could use improvement…primarily in the basics (using ISO/Apt etc correctly) I love the creative part of photography, finding the special link between people in a photograph, capturing their personality. I think that with what I learn in this class I could take my photography to the next level, making my work more technically correct. Plus then I could get the shot I see in my head without having to photoshop it so much! This would be the jumping off point for me in actually making the step to pro.

  90. Meredith on September 29, 2008 at 3:10 pm

    Last year I took a digital photography course online and became addicted to it. I haven’t found anything since that has engaged me like that and I feel my photo skills (such as they are) stagnating. I don’t know what to do about it. I bought Photoshop and get books out of the library like Scott Kelby’s and Deke McClelland’s and do the tutorials, but there’s nothing like having someone experienced look at your photos and tell you what’s wrong or right. I am definitely a beginner, but the whole process interests me like nothing else ever has. I don’t know what I would do if I really became fairly adept at it. I guess the sky’s the limit.

  91. Nishita on September 29, 2008 at 3:30 pm

    I am just begining a part-time photo business. I specialize in Kids, babies and High school seniors. My goal as a Mentee would be not only to understand how to use my equipment better but also to understand better how to use available light and make it work for every client I photograph. I am often shooting at a client’s home and cponditions are often not perfect. Given that I am working with kids makes it more challenging as well as fun. I am always evaluating how I can get that expression from them and not have to pose them too much. I am hoping I get better at this as well during the mentorship. This is actually very important as oftentimes I find myself having to create moments due to session time contraints.

  92. randy johnson on September 29, 2008 at 3:56 pm

    We have a 30d and take our children’s photos however she would love to venture out. This entry not for myself however but for my wife. She has a great desire to do more with children’s and family photography.Thanks,Ran

  93. Jessica on September 29, 2008 at 6:13 pm

    Wow, so many great comments!I am a 25 year old photography beginner. However, currently I work for a children’s home where I do all of the photography. I was hired nearly a year ago and have spent a lot of time researching and reading about photography to make myself better for the sake of our agency. I’ve invested in my own DSLR and enjoy taking photos on my own as well.The agency I work for includes an emergency shelter for children who have been neglected or abused, a foster care program and a home for children whose parents are unable to raise them. Unfortunately the need is great, and the photo opportunities are endless. I love photographing kids, but I feel like I still have a lot to learn. I would love to improve in order to make our publications more compelling. http://www.childrenatheartministries.orgI‘m not sure of the parameters for this mentorship. I live in Austin, TX. But I am certainly very interested in improving my skills. I would love to study under Erin.

  94. Sarah Morin on September 29, 2008 at 8:15 pm

    Oh, I would love to be mentored by Erin!!! I’ve got a beautiful (almost) three year daughter and I’d love to be able to take photos of her that do her justice and will make her proud when she gets older. I’m also the designated photographer at functions with families and friends so I need to get better! I recently bought a SLR camera and I’ve got some understanding of the functions. I’d like to learn more and although I’ve read more books than I can count there is nothing like being part of a class where you can ask questions and receive feedback on your images. If I win my goal would be to be more consistent in my shooting. Thank you for this opportunity and I love your blog!

  95. Lisa Hensley on October 1, 2008 at 10:29 am

    Kobi Yamada says it best when he says…”what is the one thing you think of that always makes you smile?” Well for me that would be Photography!!! It is my eat ice cream, a hot warm bath, lay in bed all day and listen to the rain feeling!!! Except there is one problem, I can’t figure it out! I am like the cook with no SPICES, or the sewer with no SCISSORS, or the scrapbooker with no GLUE. I have just enough tools but no skills to complete the project. My husband has tried to explain the whole aperature and shuterspeed thingy to me for years and he has now given up on me, and I can’t afford to go back to school. So I spend my days blog hopping and whishing my name was “Tara Whitney” or “Erin Bell” or “Audry Woulward!” With 6 girls and 1 grandson I would sure benefit from REALLY, REALLY, REALLY good camera skills, and thanks again for this Mentoring Opportunity! I hope one day I find the opportunity to “Pay it Forward!”

  96. ally.ladak on October 9, 2008 at 7:21 pm

    Pick me, ooo, Pick ME!! I read countless books, I’m an avid reader of countless photography blogs, I am here to learn photography and photography painting! I’ve actually been doing more studying and looking for a more organized approach to learning. Right now it seems to be scattered lessons that I pull together from various sources. I would like a more organized approach understand what I’m learning and how it applies to various situations and be able to think through a picture and put it together, rather than just trying different hints and tricks – hit or miss.I know that the winner will be selected at random, but for those who do not win (hopefully not me) would you be able to recommend sites/photographers who also offer this mentoring

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