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Photo by Kristen Herzel

September Photo Newsletter

Back to School

for Kids of All Ages

September Workshop


Two-Session Photo Workshop

How to Photograph Kids

Wednesdays  7:00 - 8:30   September 19 and 26

There are hundreds of books on how to photograph your child or grandchild, but in this  workshop we will hit the essentials and get you snapping those precious moments with your little ones.  Children make the most endearing subject matter on the planet, but you need a minimal understanding of how to use your camera to really capture the joy.  After completing this class you will be delighted  that your pictures look like they were taken by a professional, but even better, since you have  access to all those wonderful, natural moments in your child's day.  All cameras welcome. 

Session One:  Discussion of equipment, technique and tips 

Session Two:  Review your work from the intervening week.


photo by Owen Biddle



 September Photo Field Trips: 

On Campus 

University of Pennsylvania and University City

          Monday  September 24  6:00 - 8:00

In September, as the students return, this dynamic part of the city really comes to life.  University of Pennsylvania's urban campus and the surrounding neighborhood provide an exciting visual mix of green areas, sculpture, modern and classical architecture, and of course, young people in their preferred habitat!




Haverford College Campus and Arboretum

Sunday  September 30  2:00 - 4:00

This photo trip offers a completely different campus experience.  Haverford College is in a quiet setting, rich in natural subject matter, including the arboretum, a pond and a rustic cabin - all great ingredients for stunning photographs.


September Photo Salon







Sunday 3:00 - 4:30  September 16


These are very friendly, relaxed get-togethers at my apartment in Lansdowne. Photographers of all levels are welcome to share pictures, get photography tips, and discuss camera equipment. You can also get ideas for entering photography contests, submitting to photography magazines and having photo shows. Feedback from the group provides encouragement and inspiration to go out and take more pictures. These informal photography critiques offer an excellent opportunity to start identifying themes in your work and to get ideas for new directions. Group size is limited, so if you can come an RSVP is required by email or call (610) 626-7854. Cost is $10.  These Salons often fill-up, so it's best to confirm your spot early!





Back To (Owen Biddle Photo) School 


Good for $25 Discount on any Fundamentals Course for the Month of September!!!!


To take advantage of the coupon, just mention this discount when you register.



Poll For advanced photographers

- We're taking a poll. 

We are offering three advanced five-week courses open to those who have been taking pictures for a while and are seeking a challenge to stretch in new directions.

1) Advanced Photography is designed to help advanced students define themselves as photographers

and to move towards independence with their picture-taking.  By the completion of

this class, students are ready to take on more professional photography projects

2) Flash Sometimes considered the final frontier for photography students, this is where you learn to take control of light and time to get those spectacular shots.  Dancers in mid-jump, candids at events and celebrations, your cat leaping for a toy....  Flash allows you to bring the sun inside and master all those challenges of color, motion and depth-of-field in low light conditions.

3) Assignments from Art HistoryThis is not an Art History class; rather, looking at the paintings and sculptures of different figures and schools in Art History, we will develop photographic assignments.  Students will be challenged to draw inspiration from examples from Art History to create new work.  For example, without relying on computer manipulation, we might exploit depth of field and soft focus to capture the style and atmosphere of an Impressionistic landscape.  Or we may use forced perspective and wide angle lenses to capture the uniquely elongated look of a Giocometti sculpture.  Or we may use advanced lighting techniques to replicate the feel of a candle-lit interior by de La Tour.  The possibilities are endless....


If you are interested, let us know which couse(s) you like. Email us or call at (610) 626 -7854 and we'll add you to the poll.  Once we know your interests we'll go ahead with scheduling.


Upcoming DSLR Fundamentals Classes


Please note:  Private individual classes are always another option. Call (610)-626-7854 for details and scheduling.

All classes held in Lansdowne

(click on links for more information)

Fundamentals 1:  Camera Operations   is for students who are just starting out, or want a
good review of the basic camera functions.                  

Wednesdays  7:00 - 8:30    10/3,  10/10, 10/24,  10/31 (note: no class 10/17)


Saturdays  3:00 - 4:30  10/6,  10/13,  10/20, 10/27

Fundamentals 2:  Applications  is for students who have some comfort with the camera and want to start applying their skills to expand their photographic range.

Saturdays  1:00 - 2:30  10/6,  10/13,  10/20,  10/27

Fundamentals 3:  Composition  takes photography beyond the subject, and encourages you see the artistic and compositional opportunities in everyday life. Here is a chance for your right brain to come out and play!


Fundamentals 4:  Lighting Across the Genres is for students who are  ready for the next critical step: lighting.  Explore sophisticated means of controlling both natural and artificial light for portraits, landscape and still life to get just the mood and effects you want.


Check out the coupon above for a discount on these Fundamental courses for September!

Photographer of the Month:

Kristen Herzel





Here's what Kristen has to say:

  “I first started in photography about 7 years ago when my son Ben was a toddler.  He was very active and it soon became clear that I needed to trade my point and shoot in for a DSLR so I could have better control.  Though I had some in person lessons with Owen, I learned most of the basics online, through websites like I Love Photography and Digital Photography School.  ILP, which is now defunct, was particularly helpful to me, but I remember feeling like such a misfit because most folks on that site did posed portraits, and I had so much difficulty getting my little boys to sit still for portraits.  But when I posted photos of them just doing their thing, I got all kinds of critique about their dirty shirts or about how they weren't smiling at the camera.  After a few years, my kids got better at sitting and I got better at portraits, but it was boring and stressful for all of us.  And who really needs a formal portrait of their kids every few days?  So I returned to shooting them just doing their thing, with a goal of finding the best, most interesting, way of capturing them doing their thing.  Although my favorite website is defunct, I have met many, many photographers online and we follow each other, share photos, challenge and critique each other.  Most of these folks are women with children, and I think most of us would call ourselves lifestyle photographers.  One project I do off and on is a 365, where you take and archive a picture every day.  Lots of days, of course, I couldn't go to a beautiful park or climb a mountain, so I took photos of my kids going to school, playing in the yard, playing with the dogs.  Here's a sampling of those everyday photos."

Charming?  Without a doubt!  Lovely?  Absolutely!  Beautifully composed?  Flawlessly so!  Technically sophisticated?  Totally!  Full of heart? Yes!! What else can we add?  Thank you, Kristen, for showing what gems everyday pictures of our children can become when we take the time, patience, devotion, and love that you put into these creations.

Click on thumbnails to see full images.

kristen 001b.jpg



Photo Tips for Taking Children

by Kristen Herzel

This month we're introducing something new - a guest photo tipper!  Our photographer-of-the-month so obviously  has mastered photographing children, we thought we could all learn from what she has figured out over the years. Kristen has very generously agreed to share with us a few of her secrets.  Here they are:

* The light is the most important thing.  I often don't even bother to shoot if the light isn't pretty, or at least interesting

* Shoot from different angles.  Make sure to include eye level.  So many people shoot down on kids.

* Wait for the moment, where the kids interact, or the child is absorbed in a toy, or the child is surprised or excited

* If the child isn't looking at the camera, make sure to show what he is looking at

* If your background doesn't contribute to the photo, it is detracting from the photo.  Frame your subject.

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