I love to take pictures. I have a fancy DSLR camera, multiple lenses, and am often the “designated photographer” amongst my friends. But more and more I find myself solely using my iPhone to take pictures. It’s always with me and easy to use. I’m able to capture all of the fun of our every day lives without planning ahead and lugging my giant camera. But I’m often frustrated that I can’t seem to get good shots with my phone. So I was thrilled to be a part of the first ever Snaps & Sips class – a photography class specifically for your iPhone.
The class was broken up into three sections. The first focused on tips and tricks for getting the most out of your phone’s camera. We covered things like burst mode, changing the focus and lighting, and how to lock the focus on your phone.
The second section covered photo composition – the kind of things that make a quick picture with your iPhone look more like a well planned shot with your fancy camera. The third section focused on editing your pictures. Beryl walked us through editing photos on our phones using several different apps. In between each section we had time to explore the winery and practice what we had just learned.
The tips that I learned were instantly noticeable in my photographs. All of a sudden my quick iPhone pictures looked more like photos I would want to keep and print. It was also really fun to explore the winery with my classmates – several of us worked together to get the best angles for a picture of the amazing spiral staircase, and it was interesting to see how different people framed pictures of the same items differently.
In addition to learning a lot about phone photography, I also learned a lot about wine. The “sips” part of the class was a wine tasting with cupcake pairings. That’s right – wine and perfectly paired cupcakes. We tasted three different wines from Creek’s Edge Winery and each was paired with a mini cupcake from Pink Polka Dot Bake Shop. We also had the opportunity to purchase glasses of wine to enjoy during class, as well as bottles of wine to share or bring home. While I didn’t taste any myself, the white wine sangria was a huge hit – I saw lots of my classmates enjoying it and the ladies I sat with even got the recipe from the winery. The winery also provided us with snacks – a nut mix and a delicious hummus with pita chips.
The class is very laid back – I mean, what other class includes a “wine break”? I really liked that we received a thumb drive with all of the presentation slides so that I didn’t have to take notes, I could just enjoy my wine and listen. I also really liked that during our practice time, Beryl walked around and helped each of us make the most of the shots we were taking. That one-on-one help really made a difference in how my photos turned out.
There were a couple of hiccups with the class, mostly due to the winery scheduling a band at the same time as our class, but even with the unexpected music, I really enjoyed myself. [side note: Beryl mentioned that when she schedules the class again, she will do it so that the class has the winery to themselves] As I discussed with some of my classmates, it was so relaxing to have a Sunday afternoon away to relax, enjoy wine, and learn a thing or two. It was fun to explore the winery through my camera lens – I can imagine that in the summer it would be even more beautiful. And I’m impressed with how much better my phone pictures are already looking.
Snaps & Sips costs $129 for one ticket OR $199 for two. Lots of my classmates took advantage of attending with a friend, and I wish I had brought a friend too. The class was great by myself, but would have been even better to enjoy it with a friend. Wine tasting, cupcake pairing, and snacks were included, and additional snacks and wine were available to purchase. The class takes place at Creek’s Edge Winery in Lovettsville – it was a bit of a drive from Fairfax, but well worth it.
The next class will take place Sunday, June 7, 2015 from 1 to 4pm. So grab a friend and sign up today!
Full disclosure: I was invited to attend the class for the purpose of writing this review. I have previously taken two other classes with Beryl (Momtographie & Radiate), both of which I really enjoyed, and I paid for those myself. I had been considering taking this class when the opportunity to attend for Our Kids arose, and all of the opinions are my own. Photos courtesy of Mara Surridge.