Val Westover’s Photography Workshop (& Giveaway!)

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I am soooo excited to be sharing this with you!! 
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of attending the “Capturing True Emotion” photography workshop by Val Westover and Stephanie Adriana. It was absolutely fantastic and has taken my latest photography endeavors to all new heights!! Before the workshop, I knew a little about adjusting ISO, but knew next to nothing about aperture, shutter speed, metering, etc. I’d taken maybe 3 photos in manual mode, but didn’t really know what I was doing. All that’s changed now!
While I don’t know for sure how many people were there, it was well over 100–a room full of all levels of photographers eager to learn (and all levels of cameras–while most had dslr’s, plenty had various types of point-and-shoots). Some might be concerned with the size, but it was not a problem at all. Val & Stephanie did a great job of presenting the information and they had two large screens, which made it easy to see. For the four hours in the morning workshop, we went through Val’s guide to “understanding the basic elements of photography” (we each received our own workbook-style copy) based on his book. 
Everything was presented in a easy-to-follow, step-by-step manner. I could immediately see their passion not only for photography, but for sharing with others! And I LOVE their mission statement: “to Share the Gift of Photography and to Teach The Basic Elements and Principles of Photography to all who wish to learn!” 
While the morning workshop alone was great, the photo safari that followed that afternoon was invaluable! Being able to immediately put into practice all the information I just learned was incredibly helpful! Val gave us different assignments–focusing on one element at a time. Then, by the end, we were all shooting in FULL MANUAL MODE! How cool is that?! 
Val & Stephanie not only get right in the action, teaching & helping everyone with all kinds questions, but sometimes they are the action!
They were our subjects while teaching us to do panning motion & freeze motion shots! We also practiced close-ups with blurred backgrounds (bokeh), exposure, silhouettes, sunsets, and so much more! 

Val even used some people’s cameras to take a few shots of them-while teaching of course! (shows what a good photographer he is that I like a picture of me well-enough to post with no makeup & messy hair)!
Afterward I was able to go home and take these sweet shots of the boys in full manual mode! 
Pretty cool, huh?! 

And, here’s where I’m ULTRA excited for you……GIVEAWAY!!!!
Val agreed to giveaway 2 photography workshops–complete with the additional 2 hour photo safari!! That’s right, TWO lucky Mom Endeavors readers will win a seat at the “Capturing True Emotion” workshop of their choice!!!! That’s a $450 value–FREE!!! AMAZING!
Currently, there are upcoming workshops in Salt Lake City, Seattle, Austin, Dallas, Las Vegas, San Francisco, San Diego, Orange County, Los Angeles, and Phoenix (I’ll be volunteering at the next Phoenix workshop!) Head over to the workshop site at Event Complete to check the specifics.
If you are one of the lucky ones near those cities (or have friends/family there who you want to win it for), then you don’t want to miss this!!
*I know the locations won’t work for all of you, so stayed tuned to the blog for another giveaway in a few weeks from Val that everyone can use! 

Giveaway Has Now Ended–   
Congratulations to Sara@Super Saving Sense and Cynthia who are the lucky winners of a seat at the Capturing True Emotion Workshop of their choice!! I think you are going to love it–can’t wait to see your pictures!

For those of you that didn’t win, Val has offered a nice discount–You can receive the $450 workshop and photo safari for the discounted price of $125! I’ve checked comparable workshops in my area and this seems to be a really good price! To register for the workshop at the discounted rate, visit the Event Complete registration page and enter the coupon code at the registration check-out page. Coupon code: photo friend

Let me know if you decide to register for the March 6th workshop in Phoenix–I’ll be there! 🙂 Thanks to all who entered–and be on the lookout in the next few weeks for another giveaway from Val that anyone could use (no matter their location)!


1. Leave a comment below, telling me what you’re most interested in learning about your camera or photography.
Get extra entries by (leave a separate comment for each):
Following Mom Endeavors on Google Friend Connect (see widget on the left side bar) (if you already are, thank you, make sure you leave a comment & let me know!)
Like Val Westover Photography on Facebook
Like Mom Endeavors on facebook &/or twitter and post or tweet about this giveaway

(up to 4 entries per person)
Giveaway will end on Feb. 25th at 11pm PSTWinners with a valid entry will be selected at random using I will email the winners and they will have 48 hours to claim their prize.
*Come back on Feb. 26th to see the winners and to get a very good discount code to register if you didn’t win. And, check back for another giveaway in a few weeks from Val that everyone can use!!! 

Disclosure: I received no compensation for this and paid for the workshop with my own money. I just was simply so impressed with Val & the workshop that I wanted to bring the opportunity to you. Val agreed to do this giveaway in exchange for my honest review. As always, all opinions and experiences are my own. For more information, read my disclosure policy.
**Happily linked to TidyMom’s I’m Lovin’ It Friday Party because I’m totally loving this workshop & what I can do now on my camera!!

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I’m Sara, a mom to three adorable boys living in the Arizona desert. As a former teacher, I love sharing my passions with others. So, have a look around for creative inspiration about cooking, creating, celebrating, traveling with kids, and more everyday mom endeavors!


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106 Responses

  1. So for our annual holiday card, I had this bright idea to take a photo of Emma playing her harp in front of the Christmas tree lights. It didn't look good in auto mode, so I decided to try it in manual. I pulled out the manual that came with the camera, and after literally an hour, I had some idea of what I needed to do to blur the background a little. *Thought* being the active word. 87 photos later, I finally got 1 that was satisfactory. I think this class is genius and I hope I am able to take it some day, with or without this giveaway so I can just learn how to use all those cool settings that I am scared of 🙂

  2. I would LOVE to learn more about lenses. I have no idea what they do or what the numbers mean.

    And those action shots you took? I want to learn how to taken them!!

  3. Awesome giveaway! How doesn't need to learn more about using our cameras! I need to master manual! I loved the action shots you took! I would love to learn cool effects like that as well!

  4. I would like to learn all the photography terms so that when my husband "talks photography" I understand what he is saying 🙂 However, If I won I would give this to my husband because he is so in love with photography and learning all he can. This would be a huge blessing!! 🙂

  5. I want to learn more about my camara. After you mention I went to his website. I was so excited to see your pictures they are GREAT. Looks like so much fun.

  6. I bought this awesome DSLR camera last year and still don't know how to use it properly. I have never used manual mode and I'm very interested in learning how to use it. I am an event planner and would love to capture my work properly. I would like to go to the Phoenix workshop.

  7. I would love to win a class in OC. I have several family portraits done by Val and would love to learn how to take a picture even slightly as awesome as his

  8. What an amazing giveaway! I would love to learn more about aperture settings, capturing panning and high speed motion and reverse macro. Thanks for the opportunity to win.


  9. I love taking pictures, and I've always wished I they looked more professional, I would love tips in how to make the closer object looks clearer than the one in the background, like the one of the lamp and the barn up there, little things like that to help me get better 🙂
    ——————— (Carolina Dhabolt)

  10. oh wow, I've had my eye out for a photography workshop in my area, this looks great! I'd most love to learn how to use all the settings on my camera, how to change the f stops and why, how to light meter.

  11. Very impressive post! Awesome results, Mom Endeavors – glad to know you got so much out of this workshop, and your photos turned out beautifully. I personally would feel grateful to learn any more creative photography tips like composition, lighting – and of course, capturing emotions & personalities 🙂 Thanks for sharing this experience – and best of luck to everyone participating in this giveaway!

  12. What a wonderful opportunity. I've been looking at these types of workshops but it's hard to know what you really get and if it's all that good. Thanks for sharing your experience and for encouraging them to support this giveaway. I've been working on shooting in anything but 'auto' mode but I'm not getting the greatest results, and I'm finding I'm starting to depend on Aperture mode. This workshop would definitely help me maximize my camera's capabilities.

    Sara from Saving For Someday

  13. would love to learn more about taking pictures of products for my etsy shop and blog. how to stage them, what props to use, etc. and backdrops- what to use for a white backdrop.

  14. I NEED this class so bad! In so many ways! I have a business, yet can't take a decent picture to post my ads! How sad, but hopefully, I'll win and learn some tricks of the trade. Thank you for this great opportunity!!!

  15. I would love to learn more about the settings and how to use them to help me get the best shot. I think I have a bit of an eye… but it's the technical stuff that I really need to learn! Thanks for this post and give away!

  16. I love taking photos and I love my fancy camera but, I am an "AUTO" girl. Everything is done on automatic or on an automatic setting. I "dabble" with my manual settings but I would love to understand lingo, these numbers that appear when I change settings and how to work all these buttons!

  17. I like Val Westover on Facebook. Well I already have liked him so I will continue to like him 😉

  18. Thanks for finding me and telling me about the giveaway…would love to win!!! Great photos….seems like it really payed off.

  19. I would LOVE to learn how to take better portraits! I'm not very good with low light shots either and by the time I half-way figure out what setting I need -my photo opp has passed!

  20. Hi! I really want to learn more about proper lighting, and how to graduate past the green rectangle. I have some great equipment (speedlite, zoom lens, 50mm lens) but don't know what to do with it!

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