The Hip Photo Challenge

I received the class mentioned in this post for free from CreativeLive. This post also contains affiliate links, meaning I’ll get some cash money if you sign up for a class after clicking on my links (thanks, people!) 

lifestyle blogger emily ravenna of the hip suburban shares an online photography class with creativelive

photo by Coco Prop Shop

Perhaps the most challenging aspect of lifestyle blogging for me has been photography. I’ve always loved to write and that part comes pretty naturally to me, but photos can make or break a post. Even the cutest outfit can be ruined by poor lighting, distracting backgrounds, and unflattering angles. I’ve always had an interest in photography (I saved up my allowance for months when I was 13 years old to buy my first SLR), but somewhere in college, I gave up the hobby. I was gifted a DSLR for my 25th birthday, and found a renewed interest in taking pictures at that point, but it was mostly reserved to when I was traveling. Fast forward to blogging – in the years since I started The Hip Suburban, I’ve learned the basics of operating a DSLR and upgraded to some more advanced hardware. I know enough to never have to shoot on Automatic, but I’m far from understanding all of the capabilities of my camera. Even if you’re not a blogger, photography is a great skill to have – what better way to capture special moments and memories of great adventures?

So I’ve decided to embark on a challenge to level up my photography skills with CreativeLive. CreativeLive is an online platform that seeks to empower you to unleash your potential by bringing the world’s greatest experts directly to you, live. CreativeLive offers more than 1,500 classes across a variety of topics, including photography, video, design, business, audio, music, crafting, and software training. Over the next month, I’ll be taking The Photography Starter Kit for Beginners, a course designed to enable you to:

  • Learn the the most essential functions of your camera
  • Gain confidence in putting new functions into action
  • Get the swing of basic photographic terminology
  • Feel prepared to move on to more advanced classes
  • Gain a solid understanding of must-know lighting and composition techniques
  • Learn to position yourself and your subject to capture the best photo possible with the camera you have

I’m hoping to be able to shoot fully manual by the end of the class, and improve my techniques when it comes to lighting and composition.

Care to join me? Sign up for the class I’m taking or any other class in the CreativeLive catalog using code ISHARE20 for a 20% discount on any class (1 coupon per user, expires 5/31/17)

Post your photos using #TheHipPhotoChallenge on Instagram to share your results (and follow along to see my progress)!

Here are some examples of shots I’m trying to improve:

BEFORE: low-light shot – I’d love this to be sharper and less yellow


the hip suburban, emily ravenna, palmetto bluff, montage, music to your mouth, MTYM, wayf, lace top, cutoffs, one teaspoon, celine trio, topknot

BEFORE: this one was shot midday and is far too bright – I look washed out and white



  1. March 22, 2017 / 1:31 pm

    My gosh I can so relate to this post (except for the interest beginning at 13…mine is strictly for blogging and my kids). I am taking a Moms Photography class by a local photographer in April and I may add this course you mentioned above. GREAT POST!!


  2. March 22, 2017 / 2:04 pm

    Good for you for taking a class! Photography has definitely been trial and error for me as well! xx

  3. March 22, 2017 / 11:37 pm

    I desperately need to take a class! My husband knows how to use the camera better than I do!

  4. March 23, 2017 / 12:40 am

    Nice! My hubby takes most of my photos and we recently got a new fancy DSLR and I would love to learn a few techniques as well!! Maybe I should take a class!

    Xo, Steph |

  5. Maggie
    March 23, 2017 / 11:14 am

    Your pictures are looking great! I use Creativelive for all kinds of classes!!

  6. Anna English
    March 24, 2017 / 3:12 pm

    This class sounds amazing, I need to check it out!

  7. March 25, 2017 / 9:35 pm

    This is so cool Emily! I actually am the opposite of you–I have a background in photography and writing takes me a bit more time! The cool part is, I have friends that sometimes want me to teach them something or how to use their DSLR but I don’t have time–I’ll share this post with them! Thank you so much! xoxo

  8. March 26, 2017 / 1:39 am

    I’ve slowly but surely been trying to learn how to use my camera since I got it a few years ago. There is a major learning curve and this class sounds great

  9. Lauren
    March 26, 2017 / 10:52 am

    This is such a fun idea! My husband is my photographer and I am embarrassed to admit how little I know about photography. This class sounds amazing!


  10. March 26, 2017 / 12:40 pm

    These are such good tips!! I can barely use my camera, it’s so sad!

  11. March 26, 2017 / 2:29 pm

    Pinterest was definitely my best friend to get help with photography! I might have to look into this to get even better!

    xx, Tomi

  12. March 27, 2017 / 11:16 am

    This online class sounds amazing! I need all the help I can get when it comes to photography!

  13. Lexi
    March 27, 2017 / 5:15 pm

    I definitely need to look into this! I took a photography class and a photoshop years ago and it was such a big help!

  14. March 27, 2017 / 9:29 pm

    Thank you so much for sharing this class because photography is the one thing that I want to be able to do for myself in my business! While it’s great to have someone shoot my looks, I would love to be able to capture travel moments and also when we have kids!

    I’ll for sure be looking into the class!

    xo, Sara

  15. March 28, 2017 / 3:07 am

    Love that first pic of you!

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