A Beautiful Mess – Beyond The Basics

Beyond the Basics is a creative follow up course to one of our best selling courses, DSLR Basics. Taught by the same instructors, Janae Hardy, Elsie Larson, and Emma Chapman, this course will take any photographer who is already comfortable setting their camera manually and push them to the next level creatively!

With 25 sessions full of challenges, information, and examples students will be pushed to think outside the box and break through any photography rut they might find themselves in by being exposed to new techniques and encouraged to photograph in many different situations. By the time students complete this course they will have created many photographs they can be proud enough to hang in their homes!

It is recommended that students have a DSLR camera they are comfortable using and the course will touch on other gear options as well (although nothing is mandatory in order to enjoy the course). If any student did not take DSLR Basics but they do feel very comfortable setting their camera then they will likely have success with this course as well. If any student does not feel confident setting their ISO, aperture, and shutter speed already then it is recommended they consider taking DSLR Basics first before beginning this course.

This course is most applicable to DSLR cameras, although some of the principles could be applied to any type of photography. We believe great photos can be taken with any type of camera, but this course focuses on DSLR cameras.


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This DSLR photography course is packed full of challenges and new techniques for students to try including:

-Let’s talk gear: a quick overview of useful gear and what we use most often

-Create abstracts by manipulating shutter speed

-Ways to add artistic vibes to a shoot by using objects around you

-Split your focus

-How to bring out skin’s natural beauty (without editing)

-How to shoot a double exposure IN camera

-Tips for shooting in the middle of the day, in bright light

-Night photography challenge

-Beyond still life photography

-Freeze time: capturing moments and movements

-White balance and working with tricky lighting situations

-Manipulate the light: playing with bokeh and lens flare

-How to do an amazing photoshoot at magic hour

-How to create natural glow in your indoor photos

-Reflections: using them and hiding from them

-Take amazing portraits of your family at home

-Artist spotlight: candidly photographing everyday life

-Beyond the basics of photographing interiors

-Take interesting self portraits

-Manipulate the shadows in your photos

-Be a portrait photographer for a day

-Add drama to portrait photography

-Photographing patterns and repetition

-How to enjoy your vacation and STILL get great photos

-Shooting with Black and White in mind

-Shooting sequences

To learn more, head to A Beautiful Mess.