My first You Melbourne photo walk was a great experience. It felt so wonderful to be surrounded by photography enthusiasts and professionals. I’d seen the walks on Instagram and kept making a mental note to attend. When I finally had a free Sunday afternoon, I did not hesitate.

I was nervous because I was going alone and I’m aware that my skill level is still at beginners stage. I’ve had the same camera and just one lens for 3 years (I’ll never give up my Olympus baby). I’ve never attended a photography lesson, the lingo is foreign to me and I’ve seen the photos that these guys post – they’re stunning! I’m not even close to taking photos at that level. I’ve been an auto-settings, point-and-shoot kinda gal for years. But it’s time to change that!

We met up at Docklands and it was comforting to see that others had arrived solo too. First item on the agenda was to take a group photo. There was something so warm and charming about happy strangers with a common interest posing for a photo together.

My takeaway from my first You Melbourne day:

  • It’s a great way to meet new people and make friends
  • You can achieve a lot of steps (I wear a Fitbit)!
  • Just by listening, observing and asking questions, you can learn so much!

I was a bit too shy to proactively ask questions. But I did try and catch everything that was being said and taught. As a result, in 24 hours I achieved the following:

  • Learned how to create a puddle on the ground to practice reflection shots.
  • Realised the importance of a tripod – gotta buy one soon!
  • Successfully completed a “gradient merge” in Photoshop.
  • Taught myself how to crop and paste (but need to learn how to make it blend better) in Photoshop.

It’s amazing what you can learn just by hanging out with people with similar interests. Not only that, but I left feeling motivated to try the editing techniques that were mentioned and I actually achieved something new. A You Melbourne walk is a great way to feel inspired. I now looking forward to each session.