Ditch the auto settings on your DSLR or mirrorless camera and start taking beautiful photos with confidence and ease in this six-week manual photography course for beginners!

Manual Mode Photography
for Beginners

Before I Tell You All About This Fun and Creative Course, Let’s Talk About Who This is Really For…

I don’t know about you, but when I first picked up my camera, I was so overwhelmed by all of the different things I had to learn, and frustrated that my photos weren’t living up to my vision - maybe you’re feeling that way, too.

Perhaps you’ve tried reading books or watching YouTube tutorials until your eyes blur, but still haven’t felt changes in your photography skills.

If you’re ready to create photos that you’re proud of, that help you make money, that achieve your artistic goals, and that express your creativity - rather than make you feel discouraged or disappointed - then you’re in the right place.

Whether you’re…
           An aspiring professional with the goal of starting a photography business, but don’t quite have command of the photography fundamentals

           A small-business owner who wants to photograph your products and services with more precision and possibilities than your iPhone camera can offer

           A parent who bought a “fancy camera” to photograph your kids, but haven’t learned how to use it and all your photos come out blurry (or worse, your camera’s just sitting there collecting dust)

           A hobbyist in search of a new creative outlet, and know that auto settings just won’t cut it

           ...or someone who is in between!

You’re in the right place and I’m going to tell you exactly how Manual Mode Photography for Beginners will help you
          • turn your photos from “blah” to beautiful
          • know how to tackle multiple subject or lighting situations
          • impress anyone who sees your work!

By the end of this course, you will:

• Unlock the full capabilities of your camera to conquer any photography situation you're in (instead of just guessing or letting your camera choose for you)

• Master your camera settings to capture photos exactly like you envision

• Discover what to do with your settings and when to do it

• Uncover the secrets behind finding the perfect light

• Create photos with unique and interesting compositions (instead of wondering why your images look boring)

• Avoid the headache and overwhelm of not knowing what to do with all of your images once they’re on your • computer

• Create stand-out images without spending hours editing

You won’t regret enrolling in this course!

"I would highly recommend this course to any friend who wants to learn how to use their digital camera. Each online module has an easily digestible video and assignments that complement the content. I LOVE how it's set-up to go at your own pace, which has allowed me to sign-in at convenient times throughout my hectic schedule working full time and raising two young kids. Tara is also readily available to answer any questions and hop on a call to walk through challenges, especially important with each camera being slightly different. You won't regret it!"

- Emily Higbee

People who’ve upped their photography game with me!

I found Tara’s Instagram profile during the midst of the lockdowns here in Washington State in my search for connecting with good photographers to learn from. I sent her a message and she was very quick to respond and very nice to chat with. I asked for lessons and she helped me get started right away. We met weekly on Zoom where her lessons were well-organized and easy to learn and follow. It can be a challenge doing photo lessons virtually, but her examples and easy-going demeanor helped me to understand and put into practice each step. I now have a much better understanding of basic photography on a DSLR, and am thankful for her patience, knowledge and expertise. My confidence has improved and I very much look forward to growing my skills through her courses. I highly recommend Tara not only as a teacher, but also as someone you can trust to bounce ideas off of and ask questions. There is a lot to know about photography, editing and what direction to take. She will definitely help you to accomplish this! So glad I found her.

- Audrey Geddes

Tara's ability to guide me slowly into the complexities of taking even just a basic photo has been amazing. She went above and beyond to research my specific camera (Sony mirrorless) in an effort to provide a tailored session, as well as followed up after doing MORE research on my unique settings. She is incredibly patient through any and all questions, never rushing to get through content! I can't wait to dive into her course to continue learning!

- Haleigh Gautreau

So...what's in this course?

Set up your camera so you’re ready to rock! Get a grip on common setup basics and how to change essential settings so you don’t have to think twice about how to make adjustments.

   •  Format your camera card
   •  Read and adjust your camera settings
   •  Customize your file settings

Module 01: You’ve Got Your Camera...Now What?

Module 02: Nailing Focus Anywhere, Anytime

It’s pretty tough to take dynamite photos if you can’t achieve your desired focus! Learn about different focus settings and when to use them.

   •  Change your focus settings
   •  Focus modes vs. area modes
   •  Back-button-focus
   •  Homework: focus on moving and still subjects

Too bright, too dark, or jussst right? How to nail your image exposure!

   •  Learn the components that affect exposure (hint: shutter speed, aperture, and ISO!)
   •  Understand how light is measured so you can quickly know how much you need to adjust settings
   •  How to read your camera’s exposure indicator
   •  Homework: adjust settings to change and achieve desired exposure

Module 03: Picture-Perfect Every Time

Module 04: To Freeze or Not To Freeze?

How shutter speed controls the appearance of motion within an image, as well as your image exposure.

  •  Understand how shutter speed affects exposure
  •  See how shutter speed affects freezing and blurring motion
  •  Homework: adjust shutter speed to change exposure, freeze and blur motion

Learn why aperture is a fan-favorite. Wonder how you get that “blurry background”? Here’s your answer!

  •  Understand how aperture affects exposure
  •  See how depth of field changes
  •  Learn when and why to use different aperture values
  •  Homework: adjust aperture to change exposure, depth of field

Module 05: Getting That Blurry, Buttery Background!

Module 06: The “Last Resort” Setting

Sometimes you need a little help from your friend, ISO! Learn how ISO boosts exposure (especially when you’ve maxed out your shutter speed and aperture settings)

  •  What the heck does ISO even mean?
  •  Learn how ISO affects overall brightness of an image and when to boost it
  •  How ISO introduces noise to images
  •  Homework: adjust ISO to change exposure, noise level

Poor lighting can make the most beautiful things look awful. Good lighting can make the most basic things look amazing. Learn how to achieve lighting success and avoid common pitfalls!

  •  Learn characteristics of lighting and things to consider when lighting a shot
  •  Natural light basics
  •  Understand white balance
  •  How to use natural and artificial reflectors
  •  Pros and cons of shooting in natural light at different times of day
  •  Homework: shoot under different lighting conditions and white balances

Module 07: DeLIGHTful Tips for Totally Lit Photos

Module 08: Captivating Composition for “Ooh-la-la” Images

Have you ever asked a stranger to take a photo of you and you take one look and roll your eyes? “This is awful! They chopped off my feet and it’s crooked!” Chances are, they’re clueless about composition. You don’t want to be that person! There aren’t hard-and-fast rules to photography composition - it’s art, so you can do whatever you want! However, following a few simple guidelines will help you create stronger, more interesting images.

  •  Rule of thirds and other composition guidelines
  •  How perspective affects an image
  •  Things to watch out for!
  •  Homework: practice using composition guidelines, different angles, get creative

You’ve taken some awesome photos, and now’s the time to add some final pizzazz with simple editing techniques. (This module does not include retouching.)

  •  Best practices for file management, naming, and backup
  •  Cull and organize your photos in Adobe Lightroom
  •  Color correction and editing in Adobe Lightroom
  •  How-to tricks in Lightroom to help you work quickly!
  •  Homework: establish your file management system, practice editing images

Module 09: Enhancing Your Images So They Pop!

Imagine what it will feel like when you create amazing photos that will have people wanting to commission you, do business with you, say “wow” when they see your artwork.

You’ll feel like an all-star knowing how to
          • Capture photos that look great straight out of the camera
          • Troubleshoot tricky situations seamlessly
          • Capture crisp, clear images
          • Create stunning long-exposures
          • Make your subject stand out from buttery-soft backgrounds
          • Save yourself from stress in the future by setting up time-saving systems
          • Enhance your photos in editing software to give them a polished, professional look

When you enroll during this special, limited time period, you’ll get:
          • 9 DSLR Fundamentals Modules
          • Support PDFs with additional information and examples
          • Homework tasks to help you learn each function and create beautiful images
(An $810 Value!)

You’ll be given access to new modules each week (except for the implementation weeks) so that you have ample time to dive into the lessons and practice the homework for that portion of the course before moving onto the next. If you’re anything like “beginner Tara,” I know how mind-boggling mastering your camera can be. With this format, you’ll be able to focus your attention on each topic, sparing you the overwhelm of taking in everything all at once (this stops most would-be photographers in their tracks!). 

Plus, I’ve got some sweet bonuses for you!

Bonus 01 - 6 Weeks of Group Coaching with the One and Only TB
          • 6 weeks of live Q&A sessions with Tara inside the private Manual Mode Photography for Beginners Community with Tara Brown.
          • Live Q&A with Tara at least once a week - 6 sessions guaranteed! - to make sure you get your burning questions answered and can move forward with total clarity and confidence.
($497 Value)

Bonus 02 - Private Members-Only Community Group
          • So you don’t have to worry about being stuck and having no clue about what to do next.
          • An active and supportive Facebook community with fellow students.
          • Chance to share photos and get image critiques and suggestions.
          • A space to refill your motivation tank by connecting with other budding photographers who tottttallllyyyy get your challenges and are excited about learning and growing together!
($147 Value)

Bonus 03 - Lenses guide (Video)
          • Different types of lenses explained!
          • Answers to common questions about lenses
          • Tips for how to choose what lenses to use for different situations
($47 Value)

The “Holy Cow, Really??” 365-Day Guarantee

The fact that you’re reading this section means that you know you want to learn how to be a boss with your camera, but you’re just not sure if this course will really get you the results you want.

Because I want this to be a no-brainer for you, and taking better photos doesn’t happen overnight, I am stoked to offer my 365-day conditional guarantee. I’m so confident in what I teach and the success I’ve seen with past students that as long as you put in the work, you won’t even need to use this.

But hey, if at the end of a year, you feel that you haven’t improved - even after going through the course, watching the videos and practicing all of the homework skills - I’ll give you your money back. All you need to do is email me at tb@tara-brown.com with proof that you’ve done the work and given it your best shot (pun intended).

Our community is filled with eager, motivated, and supper-supportive members who are learning the fundamentals of photography together. When you join, you’ll be part of this special group!

You've probably got some questions...

In case there’s something I missed, here are some commonly asked questions I hear from other beginner photographers just like you! (And if I missed one of yours, shoot me an email at tb@tara-brown.com.)

// Can I join with any type of DSLR or mirrorless camera?
Yes! Photography fundamentals are photography fundamentals. Camera make and model doesn’t matter when learning these things. (Although I will reference specific camera models in the initial setup to do my best in helping you find your settings!) That being said, all DSLRs are not created equal, and some will have more or fewer features. Those are things you’ll be able to explore and take advantage of on your own.

// Do I need to have multiple lenses and other equipment?
You don’t have to have a ton of equipment to learn photography!
Must have: Camera, lens, memory card, curious and creative mind, pen, paper.
Highly recommended: computer with editing software (I use Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop)
Nice to have: tripod

// I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed by all the things I’m going to need to learn and practice inside this program. Are you sure I can do this?
Absolutely. If you’ve got the curiosity to learn something new and the determination to practice, then I know you can make this happen. Photography isn’t a skill that develops (photography pun) overnight; some people will pick up on the technical bits really quickly, while others might feel stronger when we get to the creative lessons. Rest assured that it’s not a race, that it does take time to learn, and that you’ll probably make many mistakes along the way before you understand how things work. That’s just part of the deal, and it’s totally fine (actually - I encourage you to make mistakes throughout the course)! It’s like training to be an elite athlete, or a top chef, or musician; it takes so. much. practice. to learn your craft.

I’ve created the modules and lessons so that you can learn bit by bit. There’s homework to guide your practice, and helpful PDFs that go along with the lessons. PLUS, the private Facebook group will be jam-packed with support from me and your new community of fellow novice photographers!

// Will I need to invest in any other trainings to learn and understand my camera?
Short answer: No.
Long answer: That depends on how far you want to take your skills and knowledge! As a photographer of 10+ years myself, I regularly invest in new education for specific photography topics. So it’s all up to you! But this course is all about giving you foundational photography skills and knowledge so that you can go forward and decide what you want to learn and practice next. You might need to research certain things about your camera model (since there are many brands and models of DSLRs!), but I don’t imagine you’d need to invest in anything while you’re participating in this course.

// Do I need existing photography skills to be successful in this course?
None. You could be holding your camera for the first time tomorrow and you’d be perfect. That being said, I do highly recommend getting familiar with your camera buttons and menus so you know how to navigate your settings! But it’s not a requirement prior to the course.

// I’m fairly new to photography, is this going to be too advanced for me?
Nope, you are RIGHT where you need to be! This is perfect for the beginner who knows that they want to understand photography and take beautiful photos. Your willingness to learn and put in the work is far more important than any knowledge you have coming into the course.

// When I join Manual Mode Photography for Beginners, will I be getting immediate access to all the lessons and modules?
New modules will be released on a weekly basis (along with a few implementation weeks for practicing) to help you pace yourself and prevent overwhelm. This will also give us all time to engage on specific topics in the Facebook group!

// How long will I be able to access the course?
You will have access for the lifetime of the course, PLUS, you will be able to download all course materials! So even if you can’t watch everything in the first six weeks, you can always come back to it. AND, any time I make updates to the course, you’ll have access to those as well!

// How long will I be able to access the private Facebook group?
Our private Facebook group will be archived after the six-week course, meaning that you’ll still be able to access the posts, but won’t be able to comment or post new material.

// Will Tara be available and accessible to answer questions if I get stuck?
YES! I will be active in the Facebook group, with weekly Q&As, as well as regularly posting challenges, commenting on photos, and offering live-coaching and image critiques. But I can help you only when you ask questions, so it’s up to you to show up in the group and participate!

// What if it doesn’t work?
Remember that 365-day conditional guarantee I talked about before? If, after a year of working through the course materials, you haven’t seen any improvement in your photography, all you have to do is email me your completed worksheets and photo skills homework, and I’ll give you your money back. You can email me at tb@tara-brown.com. I'm confident you won’t even need this because of the results of past students, but I offer this so you’ll feel confident in your decision to join this course.

Still not quite sure this is for you?

You should give Manual Mode Photography for Beginners a 365-day risk-free shot if you’re motivated by any of the following:

          • You want to start a photography business - but so far your attempts at learning your camera and how to take gorgeous shots of your clients haven’t gone too well. I get it - I was in your shoes! In this course you’ll harness foundational elements of both technical and creative aspects of photography, as well as editing basics, so you can capture photos that will attract and impress your future clients.

          • You want a new creative outlet that will give you calmness and a sense of joy - whether learning photography is something you’ve had on your bucket list for a while or this is a brand new interest, you owe it to yourself to explore your curiosity and see where your imagination takes you! Photography can open up so many opportunities for adventure, fun, connection, and creativity. No matter when you start, it will take you time to learn, so why not dive in now!

          • You want to have control over how your images look - maybe you’ve been dabbling with photography and trying to figure out your DSLR but you’re underwhelmed with your results. First of all, no need for self-judgment - it does take time! But with this course, I’ve put a lot of thought into how I’m teaching each topic, aiming to simplify it as much as I can and give you visual examples so you can see what I’m talking about. Learning photography doesn’t have to be scary, frustrating or overwhelming - I’ve streamlined the learning process so you can feel confident and focus on your creativity!

          • You want to take photos of your everyday life that you’re proud of - not only does understanding your camera settings help you achieve a solid image, but having a foundational knowledge of composition, lighting, and even editing will help you level-up your images and make you say, “WOW, I did that!” Trust me, nailing a shot is such a rush, and I want you to feel confident that you're not going to miss anything due to fumbling with your camera settings.

Sure, your cell phone camera comes in handy, but it still doesn’t give you the breadth of options a DSLR does. And there’s just something about the weight of the camera in your hands and the sound of the shutter that makes you feel like an artist!

          • You’re motivated to try something new, challenge your creative skills, and dive into a new hobby (or maybe career!) that brings you joy! These next few weeks are all about your personal growth and having fun!

Whether you want to do photography professionally or just for fun, you’re fully aware that you’ll never learn the skills if you just sit there hoping that one day it will magically happen!

You’re motivated to take action now, to start learning today, and making mistakes so you can grow. Imagine what it will feel like when you take those jaw-dropping, hang-on-the-wall worthy images. I know you can do it!

I am sOoOooo excited to guide you
over these next six weeks…

Learning photography and creating images I love has literally transformed my life. When I first picked up a camera, I had no intention of becoming a professional photographer; it was a fun new hobby and I appreciated the high-quality images (I’m going to date myself here, but phone cameras were not nearrrrrly as sophisticated as they are now!).

In the beginning, I experienced firsthand what it feels like being stuck on auto, having no clue what my camera was doing, and feeling bummed when a photo didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to (and quite surprised when it did!).

But as I put in the time to learn and practice the skills and techniques necessary to improve, people started to take notice of my work and wanted to hire me! Whoa, what? That ignited a spark to start my business, and a few years later I quit my job to go full-time as a business owner.

Being my own boss and setting my own schedule are huge perks of what I do, but honestly, helping others have their “ah-ha” moment in photography is so exciting and a true joy!

I created this course because I believe that learning photography isn’t done by simply reading your manual or understanding what different settings mean. Those are definitely important, but it’s more about putting in the time, exploring your curiosity, making mistakes, asking questions, feeling the buzz of excitement - as you embark on YOUR photography journey. Setting goals and achieving milestones together in this course makes this process so much more fun! And I think you’ll be blown away by what you create.

More than anything else, I want to share with you today:

If you are a complete novice, an aspiring artist, or simply want to be able to beautifully document your life, you owe it to yourself to at least take a risk-free plunge to see what being a photographer looks like.

To experience firsthand the joy, creativity, confidence, and sense of pride that it provides - and to create artwork and make memories that will last a lifetime. Truly!

Should you choose to accept my invitation, I personally guarantee that these next six weeks will be interesting, fun, engaging, and just what you need to start your journey in photography.

I look forward to meeting you personally inside Manual Mode Photography for Beginners.