Hi, I’m Raymond, Host of the Beginner Photography Podcast
If you’re a new photographer looking to nail your settings quickly so you can capture great images when the moment arrives even in poor lighting then you already know that you need to take full control of your camera.
So I’ll spare you the spiel
No need to convince you of something that's already been drilled into your mind since you first took your camera out of the box.
After all you probably know that learning how to shoot in manual is the golden key to have ultimate control over your images, feel confident behind the camera, and start taking photos that make an impact.
You probably also head Manual is the preferred shooting mode for just about every professional photographer.
Here’s what you might NOT know:
Even if you’re lucky enough to take photos you're like, learning to shoot in manual means you can:
Get a Great Image Even When Light Isn’t Ideal
Even if you’re happy with your images, once you have a solid understanding of how your camera and settings work together in harmony, there will be no lighting situation that will be a challenge for you.
Explore Your Creativity
A camera is a creative tool, too often used to just document what's in front of it. When you know how to use the powerful tool in your hand you can explore new ideas and finally capture the world around you as you see it in your head.
Always Be Ready When The Moment Arrives
Stop relying on Auto to get a snapshot, use Manual to capture a greatshot. When you can prepare for the big moment, the surprise, the kiss, you can set your camera settings ahead of time to nail it and forever avoid the dreaded question “Why did my camera miss this?”
Open the Door To Owning Your Own Business
As a business owner your images are your product. Learning manual mode allows you to create your signature by quickly delivering a consistent image every time no matter the fast moving environment, light changes that may occur, or time of day.
Even though the reasons to learn how to shoot in Manual are obvious, the journey to doing it with clarity is anything but.
Perhaps in your most ambitious moments you’ve made the commitment to start.
You’ve read countless articles, watched about 34 too many online videos that simply leave you with even more questions, and maybe even started a daily photo project or reached out to some friends and other local photographers asking for their help and advice.
If you’re super committed maybe you even already bought an online intro to DSLR course before assuring yourself that you’ll take it in the mystical yet elusive “someday”
But even with the best intentions, many would-be photographers end up abandoning learning to use their camera, allowing up and coming competitors to swoop in and take a stab while they remain sidelined.
Here’s why most would-be photographers abandon learning how to use their camera.
Without a step by step plan to use it, most would-be photographers get completely lost before they even reach the starting line.
They fall victim to the crippling tech hangups (everyone on youtube makes it look soooo easy!), informational overload (I didn’t know I’d need a math degree just to take photos of my flowers), or a lack of clarity over knowing what settings will help them capture the image they see in their head.
Here’s why this is irreversibly crippling
As someone who is already busy with a career, high level studies, or kids who also have extra curricular activities, you literally can not afford to spend any time learning complicated menus, number formulas, or figure out why your photos just don't pop like ones you see online or shared on Facebook. No matter what you do, it doesn't seem to work. You result back to auto mode and settle for images that don't stand out before giving up completely and return to taking all of your photos with your phone.
Therefore learning how to use this foundational shooting mode on your camera is one of the few things that when it comes to growing your photography skills you NEED to get right the first time.
And lucky for you there are very few people actually doing it right.
In all likelihood other photographers have either failed in their journey to learn manual mode efficiently or are shooting photos but don't understand why they are changing their settings.
Even if you’re late to the party, there’s a golden opportunity for you to jump in, clean up the mess and learn to master manual mode and be able to quickly capture beautiful moments even in poor lighting.
That is… if you can avoid the same mistakes everyone else is making.
4 Reasons You Haven’t Learned
How To Use Your Camera
You Don’t Have Time
I get it, as a full time photographer, podcast host, husband and father, there doesn't seem to be any time for me to learn anything new either. That’s why I designed this course to be fluff free and full of the info you need to get shooting. No hour long lessons, no 100 page worksheets. Just what you need to take a photo right now.
All The Settings Are So Complicated
With the popularity of digital photography, cameras add more buttons and dials with every new model. This can create a false sense of overwhelm when holding your camera. The truth is, there are only three settings you need, and I’m going to show you what they are and how to use them to take your first photo using manual in Module 1.
Manual Mode is Only For Professionals
While Manual mode is the choice of most professional photographers, it is not saved exclusively for the world's best. Manual mode was the only option for decades before digital photography and is the cornerstone mode on even the most entry level cameras you can buy at any big box store. You can do this.
You Don’t Think Your Camera Gear Is Good Enough
Inside Auto to Amazing I take you with me on location to shoot where I use a 6 year old Canon t5 that you can buy used for under $200. In another lesson I challenge someone who knows nothing about photography to a shoot-out where I use the same $200 camera in manual and they use a $3500 camera and lens combo in Auto mode to prove that your gear is not holding you back! The key to taking a great image is learning to use manual.
It’s time you take learning to shoot in manual seriously and approach it accordingly.
I’m going to let you in on a little known secret
Even though you know that learning how to shoot in manual is the camera mode of choice for image makers around the world - It’s not an exclusive club.
Truth is while many photographers shoot in manual, there is an equal number of photographers who shoot manual all wrong!
This is because while you know that the barrier to get into photography is very low…
The barrier to effective execution is fairly high!
Otherwise every cell phone photo ever taken would be incredible, breath taking.
As long as you can avoid the biggest speed bumps that derail most would-be photographers, the path is paved for you to master manual mode!
A path that allows you to achieve high artistic quality, control, and clarity to capture beautiful moments from the world around you.
The key ingredient to all of this is a rock solid, proven, step by step implementation workflow.
And with your permission, that's what I would love to show you right now.
I’ve taken everything I have learned from more than a decade of experience shooting everything from kids to landscapes, more than 100 weddings and engagement sessions (and the info from 200 interviews with world class photographers on the podcast) and channeled it into a comprehensive step by step implementation training program that not only teaches you what settings do, but shows you the actual execution of HOW to know WHEN to change them AND WHY, so you can do the same.
Yes, you will learn the theory of what each piece does and what it means to the final photo, but more importantly Auto to Amazing will walk you through step by step how to shoot manual and find great light wherever you are by taking you on location with me where I will show you real world shooting situations and use the same 6 year old entry level gear that you may have to achieve incredible results. Taking nothing for granted as you implement it.
If you struggle to get the right combination of settings when in full manual, want to be able to quickly adjust your settings to take great pictures even in poor lighting, go from taking snapshots to making great shots and be comfortable with your camera to be able to capture the photo when the moment arrives then Auto to Amazing was made for you.
The end result, total clarity and confidence when behind the camera, leaving you able to finally capture beautiful and compelling images you will be proud of.
Auto to Amazing is the only program of its kind that…
Is built with rapid implementation in mind.
No fluff. You’re busy enough already, I want to teach you the foundational elements of photography as quickly as possible to get you out shooting manual in no time and set you up for future success with no bad habits.
Uses the same entry level gear you use
I understand that you may not have a top of the line flagship camera. I sure know I didn’t when I first got into photography. So in this course I use entry level gear, the same camera you may have picked up from Walmart or Costco to show you how much learning manual can improve your photography, no matter what camera you have.
Perfectly Balances Strategy and Artistic Expression
Photography isn't all about megapixels and f-stops. Emotion and feeling and context and light also play a huge roll in how powerful an image is. In Auto to Amazing you’ll learn both the technical strategy of HOW and the artistic elements of WHY so you can best know how to capture the photo that tells the story you want to tell.
Let’s take an in depth look into the course content
Module 1: Learning to Control Exposure
Exposure is simply how bright or dark an image is. Here you will be formally introduced to how your camera works and what settings do what, for you to capture an image. You’ll learn the only 3 settings used to take every photos… ever. By the end of this module you will be shooting in Manual, and no longer relying on auto to get great shots!
Module 2: Basic Composition and Artistic Expression
You will now be taking photos with intention. Composition is how you compose or frame your photos. This module does not deal with any camera settings but is so imperative to being able to go from taking snapshots to making great shots, it had to be included in this course. I show you easy to follow compositions that you can use when shooting with any camera, even a cell phone! Composition is a major part of capturing photos with artistic expression.
Module 3: See and Understand Lighting
Photography is simply capturing light. Shooting in manual means you control the amount of light that comes in your camera. In this module I walk you through how to find good light and use it to beautiful photos when the moment arrives! I take you on location to a park at noon with harsh lighting and show you how to see pockets of light to still create beautiful images.
Module 4: Practice
If you're like most photographers, you learn by watching and then ultimately doing. So I created a collection of practice exercise you can use to make the most of your practice time with your camera. You know your camera can take great photos but if you're unsure how to do so, this module will bring all the things you have learned, together so you can get comfortable with what you need to do with your camera so you can be ready to shoot when the moment arrives.
Module 5: Tech Library
After you learn manual there will still be some questions you may have going forward. Should I shoot in Raw or Jpg? How do I use my cameras built in light meter? What auto focus mode to use to get sharp photos? In this module I have created a several videos to address the questions that come after you have built your foundation. I have you covered.
Let me say this upfront
Auto to Amazing is the most comprehensive, step by step, fastest way for photographers who are COMMITTED and excited about learning how to create and capture beautiful compelling moments. It has helped many photographers who felt stuck, just like you break through and finally understand what they are doing. I am incredibly proud of this course.
Now here is the kicker...
Within 30 days of getting full access to the course you will have everything you need to shoot in manual with confidence, no matter the light.
If you complete the course and do not feel you have learned how to shoot in manual within the 30 days, I will give you
double your money back.
You have nothing to lose.
Here’s what you get when you enroll today
The complete Auto to Amazing Course training (Value $197)
Bonus #1: Edit On The Go With Lightroom CC - AND Bulletproof Photo Backups (Value $97)
As a photographer, getting your photos edited and keeping them safe are two of the most important things you can do. I walk you through my favorite way to edit on the go with Lightroom CC and then share different backup strategies to ensure all the new photos youll be taking are safe from harm in Bulletproof Photo Backups.
Bonus #2: Private members only Facebook group for 8 weeks of community + accountability WITH 2 Group Facebook live Q&As (Value $349)
Join me and other Auto to Amazing students for 8 weeks of community in a private FB group where we will share our photos from the exercises in the course and ask for help when needed. I will also be hosting 2 FB lives to personally answer any specific issues or questions you may have.
Bonus #3: Conquer Your Camera Field Guide. (Value $29)
Attach this physical field guide filled with the most popular photo tips and tricks to your camera bag or strap so you'll always have something to reference while out shooting.
Total value $672
Frequently asked questions
Q1: I’ve tried Manual Mode before and it was really confusing. Why would now be different?
I too was confused with manual when I first started shooting. I wouldn't be able to get the shot I wanted and would just go back to shooting in Auto. I’ve been in your shoes. The problem was I didn’t know what I didn’t know. After almost 2 years of continually taking bad photos trying to learn manual, very slowly came together. The problem was that I didn’t have a plan. Every video I watched or article I read was not written for the beginner in mind and I was left even more confused than before. That’s the point that SO many others give up at and then becomes your BIGGEST opportunity! When you have a step by step implementation program, there is no guessing, no wondering if you're doing it right, no confusion or overwhelm. Just clarity, which is the green light for growth!
Q2: What If I Don’t Have Time to Learn Manual?
As a parent to the wildest 4 year old little girl this side of the Mississippi, I understand how hard it is to find “free” time for ourselves. That is why you’ll find no fluff in Auto to Amazing. Nothing useless or over your head. Just the info you need to learn photography in the next 30 days. Just remember that lack of time, is why millions of other would-be photographers give up. They simply don’t make time for what’s important to themselves, which will allow you to start creating meaningful photos full of emotion and artistic expression.
Q3: Doesn’t The World Already Have Enough Photographers?
The world has plenty of photographers, but what the world does not have enough of is photographers who use their camera to tell a story by capturing beautiful moments. Photographers who want to use their camera for good rather than just take photos of their lunch. The world needs more photographers who are passionate about photography and want to make a change with their images. From the way you capture a child's smile, a beautiful sunset, or simply your everyday life. We need more photographers like YOU!
Q4: I Really Want to Dive In But I’m Worried I’ll Get Overwhelmed and Lose Focus.
Overwhelm happens when you don't have an actionable, easy to follow, proven path to stick to. I have created Auto to Amazing to be the antithesis of overwhelming. You’re not going to do it all at once. The course is broken down into short weekly lessons. You're going to follow the detailed, step-by-step lessons. So as long as you don't just skip around willy nilly, then I promise to keep you on track.
Q5: Will Auto to Amazing Work For Me If I Don’t Have A Professional Camera Or Expensive Lenses?
YES! The idea that you need a $2000 camera and $1000 lens to take professional images is one of the biggest myths in the industry that's designed to just sell more gear! I use a 6 year old $200 camera in Auto to Amazing to show you that the gear is just a small fraction of what matters most… Which is using manual mode to capture the perfect moment.
Q6: How Long Will I Have Access To Auto to Amazing?
How does, forever sound? Have you ever watched a movie for a second time to find something you didn't notice the first? Yeah me too. You will have lifetime access to Auto to Amazing. As your skills grow as a photographer you will be able to come back and pick up on new tips and ideas that will open you up to new possibilities.
Q7: What Is The Return Policy?
We are going to make a little deal, ok?
I am 100% committed to Auto to Amazing being the ONLY program you need to successfully build your foundation of photography and learn manual mode. If you are committed to learning how to shoot in manual once and for all and gain the confidence you've been looking for in your camera settings then I promise you, you WILL succeed with Auto to Amazing. And if you can show me you’ve gone through all the steps, did the work, and still feel totally lost with photography then I insist that you reach out to me within 30 days to give you DOUBLE your investment back.
Q8: Can You Remind Me of Everything I’ll Get When I Sign Up Today?
On top of the Auto to Amazing course which will teach you photography in the next 30 days with confidence, you will also get some pretty sweet bonuses. After you take Auto to Amazing and learn photography in the next 30 days you will be asking yourself “Whats next?” Well I have you covered! When you enroll you will get access to both my workshop courses “Edit on the GO with Lightroom CC” and “Bulletproof Photo Backups” where I walk you through the exact steps to keep your photos safe from hard drive failure or even theft! You will also get access to the private Students only Facebook group with 8 weeks of support and 2 Live Q&A sessions. Lastly (If you're in the US) I will mail you your own Conquer Your Camera Field Guide, filled with the info you need while you're out in the field shooting so you never feel lost again!
What Students Have To Say About
Auto to Amazing!
"I LEARNED a ton!! It was a fabulous way for me to "get" it." - Annie
"I wanted to say that this is the first time I went out and used ONLY Manual Mode! I've used A priority, but never full manual! It was exciting! and, I LEARNED a ton!! It's the first time I REALLY could see how changing the shutter speed changes how the light enters. It was a fabulous way for me to "get" it. I made the leap. And I thank YOU, Raymond for getting me to do it!"
"The creativity really started when I learned manual" - Saul
Learning manual was revolutionary to my next step in photography. Believe it or not it wasn’t as obvious of a step at the beginning though. Before I learned manual when someone mentioned it to me, I’d looked at it as an unnecessary part that I didn’t need. I believe that is because of the iPhone. It makes the job look so easy. But it’s just doing the same exact settings for millions of others with no individuality. But the magic, the creativity really started when I learned manual."
"Learning to shoot in manual gave me the freedom to become an artist with my photography." - Patty
"Learning to use manual mode was an amazing adventure that took me from 50 years of just “taking pictures” to using my camera to tell and illustrate a story. Understanding how to use the settings on my camera to change the appearance of my photos provided me with the ability to control both the mood and the message. I now know how to really “focus” on my subject in a way that drives the viewer’s attention where I want it to go. I can create an atmosphere of softness and light, movement, sharp detail, or a dark and mysterious look. Learning to shoot in manual gave me the freedom to be creative and to become an artist with my photography. I can also take attractive photos of the jewelry that I make and I am building my real estate photography business as well. For me it is a slow but enjoyable journey that gets more exciting each time I pick up my camera."
"Before I took the course I wouldn't have had a clue how to get the depth of field" - Mike
"I posted a black and white photo of my pug yesterday. I got to play with a friends new sony A7r4. Before I took the course I wouldn't have had a clue how to get the depth of field that I got in that photo. Prior to taking Auto to Amazing, I pretty much stumbled around in the dark with my camera set on auto took a lot of pictures and hoped for the best."
You’re just getting started in photography.
Learning manual is the foundational step to being able to shoot with intention. When you learn how to use your camera this early in your journey, you’re putting yourself on a journey that so many others fail to ever start and even more aspire to achieve.
You’ve been trying to learn photography for months (or even years)
But despite spending an embarrassing amount of time watching tutorials online, you’re just as lost as ever. What you're missing is not the explanation, but the implementation. That's why after each module we wrap it up with a real world exercise you can do from home to solidify your understanding.
Photography will play a major part in your life in 2020, 2021 and beyond!
Doing things like watching photography youtube tutorials, listening to photography podcasts, joining photography Facebook groups, and researching the best camera gear to buy tells me you’re serious about photography. Only problem is, without a clear strategy that ties them all together you'll experience nothing but discouraging “why do I even bother” results, followed by crippling overwhelm over what to do next.
You’re excited to learn the Auto to Amazing step-by-step roadmap
Even if you have felt side-tracked or let down before, you’re currently feeling renewed optimism knowing that by next weekend you could be shooting exclusively in manual and flexing your creative mussels which in turn will compound your image quality every single day.
You feel confident grabbing your access details knowing you have 30 days to test it out
It is really simple, you either do the work and learn to shoot manual mode without overwhelm but full confidence in the next 30 days (faster than you ever thought possible) or you shoot me a quick message asking me to undo this whole “learn how to use your camera” experiment.