Back in 2010, my Christmas present from my parents was a Canon Rebel XS (Curtis' name was also on the present, but I'm pretty sure the gift was more for me!). I was so excited to have a camera that could keep up with my kids! Before my first dSLR, I had only had point and shoots and I had a lot of blurry photos of little ones running away from me.
I took lots of photos with that camera, most of them on auto mode and using the pop up flash. Every once in awhile I would try to learn more about it, but I quickly got discouraged and gave up.
By summer 2013, I was feeling less overwhelmed with babies and decided to get more serious about learning my camera. I scrapbooked often and decided that I needed to make photos that were as pretty as my scrapbook pages. I was also in the middle of a 365 and started to get bored with the photos I was taking.
Suddenly, it "clicked" (literally) - I figured out manual mode and never looked back. I remember telling Curtis "This will be a super cheap hobby - I already have the camera and it costs nothing to take photos!" Little did I know...
Here are some resources that I've found super helpful in learning more about photography:
Back in summer 2013, the thing that helped me figure out how to run my camera (finally) was a short free photography course on an old scrapbooking site, Two Peas in a Bucket. It's twelve lessons, but goes really quickly. I highly recommend it to get started quickly!
I've been a member of the Clickin Moms forum since late 2013 and I love it. I have learned so much from reading the forum threads - it's super helpful no matter what type of photography you are interested in (and it's not just for moms!). Two years ago, I joined a group of women who were all working on a 365 project. We formed a Facebook group and have become friends who chat everyday, even about things not related to photography.
I've taken several classes through Clickin Moms (now called Click Photo School) and I've loved almost all of them. They also put out breakouts several times a year which are less expensive, small "classes" to help you learn something specific.
I'm also thinking about offering one-on-one classes for anyone who needs help with their camera, Lightroom, scrapbooking, whatever. If this is something you would be interested in, let me know!