So many people have asked me about photography classes so I think I’m going to add one to the classes I’m teaching at Blissful Living Studio. People always seem to ask the same questions…about lighting, composition, post-editing, etc. So I decided what the heck, I’ll do a class to explain what I do with all that stuff.

We’ll go over lighting, because I think getting optimal lighting is the very most important thing in taking a good picture. We’ll also go over a really basic explanation of the f-stop, shutter speed, ISO etc…easy steps to take photos in manual mode, because it really is EASY if you know just a few basic things to get started. And with digital photography I think it makes such a big difference to take pictures manually.

I want people to bring their cameras and actually take pictures to practice what they’re learning, so I thought I’d bring a couple of my girls who are good posers and have people actually practice taking pictures where they think they could get good lighting, etc. Then we’ll upload all our pictures to my laptop and go over composition and what we can do with post editing software.

So does this sound interesting and like something people would be interested in? I’m just curious how much interest it would have and also whether I would be covering the majority of things people would want to know with the description above. Let me know if there are other things you think I should cover as well. I’m thinking the date for the class would be June 25th. If people are really interested I’ll do another one in the Fall, because I know a lot of people are out of town during the summer.

Note: This class wouldn’t be a class on how to use your specific camera…every camera is so different on which buttons you push for what. We would be focusing on what’s the same for every camera… understanding the basics of lighting and composition to get great pictures.

So…let me know if you’re interested!


  1. Ok, Shawni. I confess to be blog-stalking you! I don’t know if you remember me–in your ward a few years back before moving to NY (and now in UT). You have an amazing talent of capturing the moment through photography and words. And what a cute family you have! You’ve added a couple since we lived there! Wish I were closer to take your class in June. Let me know of your fall class–I just might make it a little “getaway” for myself!
    Kaley Quist

  2. I want to take your class!! Wish we lived closer. Any chance for a class online? You truly do an amazing job. You are so good to share your talents (which are many) with others.

  3. Shawni,
    I would love to take that class as well. June 22nd is a sunday. Are you talking about doing it saturday? We are going to be out of town if it’s that weekend but I would love to sign up for your next class! You do such an awesome job! I am so bummed that I will be gone. I have been wanting to take a photography class for so long!

  4. Shawni-

    I wish I could be there for both your classes (parenting and photography). My sister is moving to Arizona next year so maybe I’ll fly out for a visit around your class. How do you recommend I get started? Did you take some classes in the local community, etc. Any insight would be appreciated. I love your blog!

  5. Shawni…I am so so bummed that you live so far away….
    What about doing a class for some Utah folks? I could get a group together and you could make some extra money with a class here for an afternoon while you are visiting sometime?
    Just an idea from a desperate Shawni photo wanna be!!!
    You have so much going on girl that I’m sure you can’t but do you know anyone in SL area that would be will ing to do a hands on class?

  6. Shawni, Your blog is so great! Caitlin loves seeing Elle and all of the cute neighborhood friends. I learn so much from you great perspectives on mothering and life. Thanks for always sharing! I TOTALLY would love to take your class in the Fall! I’m planning on a visit to AZ to see old friends and I would just plan it around the time of your class. I love photography too–but have LOTS to learn and improve upon. Let me know your fall date!! 🙂 Darcy Ure

  7. I can’t make the June, but I would love to make it in the Fall. I probably should get a better camera by then. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.

  8. Hi Shawni! I’m a fan of your blog, which my sister found one day while looking at a friends blog that you two have in common, not sure who the friend is though. 🙂 Anyway, I don’t know if you remember my family. My parents are old friends of your parents, Doug & Colleen Curran. I still remember when you guys stayed over at our house many, many years ago in Hawaii. Good times!

    Anyway, I am such a fan of your work, you amaze me! Wish I could attend your class, but I’m in Utah. If you happen to print anything I would love to have a copy, or if you do anything online that would be awesome too. 🙂

    Take care – Shannon (Curran) Hadden

  9. Shawni-I found your blog through the blissful living website. Your amazing. I love your photography and the joy you spread about motherhood. I am in Utah so I cant make it to the June photo class but would love something online or I may be in AZ in the fall. (or as others have mentioned- come do a class in UT!) I am especially interested in your post-editing. Thanks for the inspiration.

  10. I don’t have a good camera at all (as you can tell from my posts:)) BUT your photos are so inspiring – I’d LOVE to learn how to take better pics of my children(and maybe buy a different camer). I’m gonna vote a Utah class or online.:)

  11. I wish I could come! Maybe I’ll send my twin sister with a tape recorder and have her sit in as proxy for me! And maybe I’ll get super lucky and your fall class will be held while I’m there! Wouldn’t that be perfect!

    And I’m serious about the tape recorder thing! 🙂

  12. Shawni,

    I would love to come! I LOVE taking photos but have no idea what the heck I am doing and have been wanting to take some photography classes so yes, please keep me posted on everything! I would love to learn from you!

  13. I’m in. I took a class last fall from Bruce Barnes and I think I need a good refresher course. 🙂
    What time is the class? Morning/Day/Night. This will determine if I can make it or not. I’ve got tickets to take Rylee to HSM at Gammage that night.

  14. I read your blog because Brigitta lives by me and told me about you, and I love your parents books! Anyway, I would LOVE an online class… would you ever do something like that? Your photographs are beautiful and I am trying to figure out my camera. You could post it on a private blog and make people pay you through paypal to have access to it- just an idea. Love your blog!

  15. Shawni-Yeah! I am so glad you are going to teach a class. Just what I have been needing! June 25th sounds great…….count me in and let me know the details. By the way, thanks for your sweet thoughts about our situation. We are hanging in there.

  16. Shawnie – I totally want to take your class count me in – June 25th works for me. Do I need to sign up at Blissful living? . . and I’ll pay right away to ensure my spot! You are so great! Love to see the software side of it – thanks shawnie – andi

  17. Hey Shawni! I would be interested in an online class, too. Ryan said that the photo tips you gave him were really helpful, so thanks! It is totally self-serving but I LOVE that he is getting into photography. I’m hoping to find a great photography class for him for a Father’s Day gift. I’m going to look closer to home, but if you end up doing an online class I really can’t think of a better teacher. Thanks so much for your blog. I love reading it, it really is so inspiring.

  18. Okay here goes …. Hello Mrs Poither, you don’t actually know me (This is staring to soudn so stalkerish) but my name is Laura Keil and I just have to say you’re an inspiration to us all. I’m only fourteen years of age and you have amazed me with your photography skills – I wish I lived in America so I could attend one of your classes.

    Plus the way you find happiness and hope in even the worst situations is uplifting and as I read your family stories, I find hope even when I’m at my lowest.

    Anyway I guess that’s all I had to say and I hope I haven’t scared you to death with this stalkerish behaviour. I would love if you took the time to sneak a peek at my own blog which was inspired by yours and your friends 🙂 Okay now I had better say goodbye before I turn into a total stalker

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