In a social-media world, most people are using sites like Facebook to house and display family photographs. And, most of those photos come from smartphones. Local photographer Amber Shader wants to show you how to make the most out of your smartphone's camera with her new "Small Wonders Workshop" later this month.
Everybody over the age of 30 probably remembers when a photo taken with a phone was just a fuzzy, one-inch square. But, the times, they are a-changing and now many smartphones boast an 8-megapixel camera, rivaling many traditional point-and-shoot cameras.
Most importantly, though, these smartphones come with camera applications, which means that every friend on Facebook seems to fancy themselves as the next Ansel Adams or Annie Leibovitz. Using the filters and enhancements that can be found through applications like Instagram or RetroCamera, no longer do photographers have to slave in dark rooms to achieve the kind of lighting and after-effects of professionals.
But, you still have to have some photography knowledge. Some knowledge of the applications would be handy too, right?
That's where local photographer Amber Shader, owner of First and Little Children's Clothing and Accessories Store and Amber Shader Photography, comes in. As a business owner, Shader spends a lot of time uploading photos to her social media accounts, hoping to give friends and potential customers a glimpse into the services she offers. She's hardly an anomaly, though. It seems as though most people are documenting their lives through sites like Facebook and applications like Instagram.
"People today don't have time to do the sort of photo albums that our parents and grandparents did," Shader said. "I mean, most of the women I know just don't have time to scrapbook or even make baby books anymore."
Shader went on to explain that most people, whether they realize it or not, are actually still making "scrapbooks." They're just called Facebook photo albums now.
"We can all see what we're all doing all the time," Shader said while editing photos in her Main Street store First and Little a few weeks ago. "But, when I look through people's pictures, most of them are not telling a story and I can see the opportunities they're missing for the really great photo that they probably really wanted."
Shader then explained that most people think that a person needs a fancy camera or years of photography experience to capture moments worthy of "a story." Not so. According to her, great photos can be taken with almost any smartphone. Most people just need a few basic photography lessons on lighting, settings and storytelling. She's going to dole out those lessons later in the month in her "Small Wonders Workshop."
"It's going to be very hands on," Shader explained. "I'm going to talk about things like lighting and how to capture those fleeting moments with children that you want to last forever."
Shader will also go over her favorite apps—the ones that she's tested out herself that give her the best results. People will recognize some of them, like Instagram. Others may not be as familiar. She's got app suggestions for printing pictures as well as fun apps that add captions and other special effects.
Her first class will be Saturday afternoon, Oct. 26. She said that a good bit of the class will be outdoors on Main Street so people can immediately put the information they get into practice.
"A light lunch will be included in the price so people don't need to worry about that," Shader said. "The only thing they need to do is make sure they bring a fully charged phone."
Shader has also put together goodie bags for each participant that will include a little photography memento for each person.
"It's going to be a fun afternoon," Shader said. "And, at the end of it, I think people will walk away taking the kind of Facebook-worthy photos they've always wanted to."
MORE INFO: See more of Shader's smartphone photography skills by searching #smallwonderwrkshp on Instagram.