Hi there!  My name is Jennifer Faris and I’m the creator of My Big Girl Camera.

self-portrait-intro-101If you’re like most people I talk to, you were probably so excited to graduate from a point and shoot, or your smartphone, to a big girl camera.  Maybe the first few photos you took felt that rush of ‘ooooo’ and ‘aaahhh’  but after awhile you realized that your camera, although very pretty…is not magic.


So maybe you opened your manual (and promptly fell asleep).

Or maybe you googled a few articles (and quickly got lost and distracted and wound up on Pinterest via Facebook).

Or maybe you joined another Forum like this (and soon realized that you were in over your head because they were speaking to intermediate photographers and not beginner photographers)

Or maybe you signed up for a class and loved it (but slowly felt the information draining from your brain as you walked to your car because it was just so much all at once)

So, you’ve landed here. Welcome.  And I mean it, this is a welcome environment. We will learn here and help one another and be nice to each other in the process.

Okay now that that’s established I want to tell you a little about what to expect.


I’ve created 12 lessons. The first three lessons – the BIGGIES (ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed) are FREE for anyone to read or watch. Yep, no gimmick, no catch…FREE. I want to make sure that you are comfortable with my style of teaching before you spend one penny.

Once you’ve committed, depending on your free time you can do these all lessons at once (you go you ambitious creature you) or you can take your time and spread them out over weeks or months. Regardless, this is a learn at your own pace environment.

I realize that some days you will be able to crank out 4 lessons a day while other times it might be 2 weeks before you can log back in. It’s okay, all I ask is that you’re picking up your camera in between and keep practicing what you’ve learned.

12 lessons sounds daunting but only very few of the lessons will be heavily technical in nature. Meanwhile you might want to check out some of the free blog posts that cover some more lighthearted and fun topics such as how to take better smartphone photos, how to do some easy post processing with free online software, how to create your own cards and/or announcements (also free!). I read once that photography is 50% science and 50% art. That’s pretty much how I created this site.


You’ve already plunked quite a bit of cash into your camera so I’m all about saving you money while you learn to get the most out of it. After your membership fee, everything I teach you will be free or very minimal in cost. For those of you who want to purchase more equipment and tools, I’ll have that info for you too.

But I want to reiterate, you do not have to buy one more piece of expensive equipment to become a better photographer or take better photos. I swear. Pinky swear.


My goal here is to build a community that will support one another and that starts with the Facebook Group.  There will always be someone who is a little further along in their journey than the person who just signed up so encouragement, sharing knowledge and experience is always welcome!

Post any photos on the Facebook page that you have questions about.

In addition,  I’ve chosen common topics that will help you improve your skills but ultimately I want the curriculum to be driven by you. If you don’t see a topic you want to learn about just let me know and I’ll consider teaching on it in the blog.

There is no perfect profile of a My Big Girl Camera member. Young, old, mom, single, student, corporate, artsy, oh and yes…despite the name men are most definitely welcome!

Come one come all.


In short: access to me. Anyone who purchases the course will have access to me via email for any questions or critiques for 90 days. That’s right.  There’s are thousands of tutorials out there but how many come with full access to the person who created the course?  I will welcome interacting with you!

Disclaimer: I might not have all the answers (don’t tell my kids that) but I promise to do my best to help you out.

So there you have it…


  • Your big girl camera is technically called a DSLR which stands for ‘Digital Single Lens Reflex’
  • Because Canon and Nikon own 95% of the market, if I ever use specific examples of a camera it will be one of those brands. Personally, I use Canon. I hear Nikon is equally awesome.
  • Professionally I shoot with a Canon 6D but for the purposes of these lessons I’ll be using my good ol’ Rebel T2i. I want to demonstrate the capabilities of a camera that is typically for a first time ‘big girl camera’ purchase.
  • All of the images and graphics on this site are mine because stealing is not cool (and well, punishable by law!)
  • Have your manual ready, we will likely all be working with several different models so the buttons or settings might be slightly different. Don’t be scared, I promise it won’t bite!  If you lost your manual no worries, I can almost guarantee that you can find it online by googling your camera model and ‘manual’
  • Lighting is everything. No exaggeration. Without light there is no photo so what your learning is less about a technical piece of equipment and more about manipulating light.
  • Okay I think that’s enough of an intro don’t you?  Are you ready to get started?  Let’s dive right in to ISO…

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