Erin Summerill, Clickologie & Going "Pro"

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Erin Summerill started her photography career in her high school yearbook class, but became a professional wedding photographer in 2008. Though she’s based in Utah, she’s traveled coast-to-coast, as well as internationally, to capture images for her clients. Erin teaches basic photography courses, advanced workshops to aspiring photographers, and Photoshop and Lightroom tutorials; she is a co-owner of Ever Smitten, an online digital design company that offers Photoshop Actions and Lightroom Present. When Erin doesn’t have her nose in a book, she’s busy chasing after her four kids, two dogs, one cat, and five chickens all of which could be why she downs massive amounts of Coke Zero and has an unnatural obsession with hot tamales.

Clickologie: Elevating your Photography from Beginner to Pro is the fruition of a long-awaited dream Erin has always had. Studying English and Secondary Education in college, Erin initially thought that she would be an English teacher because of her passion for educating, writing and reading. And more reading.  The librarian knows Erin's name if that clues you in to how much she reads.  So naturally, Erin hoped to one day publish her very own book. And now she has.

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Clickologie is a beautifully visual collection of tips, advice and images that provides a step-by-step guide to becoming a better photographer. Whether you own a DSLR camera or wield a point-and-shoot, Erin explains how to make full use of your camera and the basics of photography.

Clickologie, by definition, is the science of an individual's photography development, taking it one step at a time from composition to shooting in manual mode, and then learning elements of an image that make it unbelievably awesome.

Erin covers some most of the basic components of photography education; composition, photography foundations, lighting, understanding your camera and knowing what gear you need.  These basic elements of photography are what make or break your images, and Erin goes through each topic with the most natural and original voice that makes learning a breeze! Nobody really wants to learn from a textbook (granted, it's got about everything you need to know) but it's boring.  Clickologie makes learning fun, and coupled with Erin's energetic and hilarious undertones and personal examples, reading the book is partly for learning and partly for fun.

In addition to the basics of photography, Erin goes into detailed information about posing your subject, which is a subject many photographers struggle with.  You could understand just about every aspect of your camera, lens and how to make the image pop, but if your subject looks uncomfortable, YOU as the viewer are going to feel uncomfortable. Stressing the importance of gaining your subjects trust, Erin discusses that before you tell your model "stand like this," you need to make a connection.  Erin relates it to transplant surgery (see, now you're curious to read this book, aren't you?) that if you're not comfortable and trusting of your doctor laying you on a table, drugging you and taking a scalpel to your kidneys, you're going to fight the entire experience.  No, Erin's not going to show up to your photo session with a scalpel, but she might just become your new best friend because she genuinely believes that your "inner beauty" will only show in front of the camera when you feel comfortable enough to let it.

2-erinsummerill-1 Madison was posed with arms & elbows away from the body, one shoulder higher than another and tilted hips and crossed knees for a narrow shape. Leading lines of the bridge direct your eye and creates a natural flow in the image. © Erin Summerill Photography

Once you've become comfortable with the basics of photography foundations, composition, gear, lighting and posing, you're then ready to step up your photography.  If you're interesting in photographing babies but want to try your hand in weddings as well, you have to understand the two genres are very different from each other; posing a toddler doesn't require - or necessarily accentuate - the same stance of a young woman.  Allowing toddlers to play, jump, run and naturally be who they are displays the energy and development of your little one, while working with 'tweens' can be a completely different experience. Pre-teenagers want to be independent and not told what to do, wishing to show their own style instead of you telling them how to act.  On second thought, toddlers and 'tweens' sound very similar.

Erin understands that staring at a camera for an hour whether your three or thirty isn't anybody's idea of fun, so learning to work with your subject to feel comfortable enough to move away from the static "pose and smile" can give your images a complete 180°.  "Let moms and dads cuddle their little ones. Have them walking or talking.  The more you can break up the perfectly posed shots within interactive shots, the more relaxed everyone will be."

3ErinSummerillPhotography © Erin Summerill Photograpy

Now that you've got everything you need to make exceptional images like Erin, you need to discover your photography path.  Develop your own Clickologie, but whatever it is, go out there and discover it.

And if you're curious to discover what Erin's Clickologie is, you'll have to join us tomorrow, Saturday, December 6th here at pictureline from 12-2 PM where we will be hosting the book release and signing. Come in and pick up your copy of the book, meet Erin and have her sign what is sure to be one of your favorite photography books yet!

For more information on Erin please visit her Website | Facebook | Twitter

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