Beginner's SLR Photography Workshop


Is this you?

Do you have a fancy camera but no idea how to use it? Do you feel guilty you keep missing so many moments?
Do you want to want to start capturing childhood with artistic photos - instead of rubbish snapshots?

If this is you, you're in exactly the right place! I'm a professional family photographer and I also love to teach.
I run in-person workshops in the Cheshire area specifically designed for busy parents


What's Rock Your Camera?

Rock Your Camera is a one-day photography course at Stanneylands Hotel in Cheshire.

This is an intensive photography workshop to give you an understanding of the fundamental technical and artistic side of photography. But it's a lot of fun too - with two outdoor exercises to practice your skills, and a gorgeous Stanneylands Hotel lunch included.

Because I'm passionate about teaching, it doesn't just end there! The teaching is then extended afterwards with 4 weekly online assignments to help you practice what you have learnt during the workshop.

Who's it for?

Rock Your Camera is specifically designed for parents with a DSLR or mirrorless camera who want to learn how to get out of auto-mode and start getting fantastic photography.

I'll teach you the exposure triangle, the rules of composition, and how to get off auto mode. See below for the course outline, giving more specific information on the course structure.

I wanted to say how much I enjoyed your course, your style and easy manner in covering so much ground. I previously did a term’s course at a local college but I can honestly say I learned ten times more at your workshop. Thank you!

What you will learn

exposure triangle

Fundamental for understanding exposure and how to get well lit photo. What are ISO, f-stops and shutter speeds - and how do they affect your photo?


The fundamental rules of composition that turn ordinary photos into extraordinary, how to combine them and recognising them in other people's photos.

get off auto-mode

Take control of your camera to achieve those lovely fuzzy backgrounds and get sharper photos.

Understand why your photos are blurred and how to get sharper photos for that professional look.

avoid blur

good and bad light

Finding the glorious light and avoiding the hideous light. How to start to see the light and make a huge difference to your photos with a few simple steps.

different styles

Exploring different styles of photography. What is documentary photography and why should you try it?  Working with children for traditional portraits. Making sure your children don't hate the camera for better photos.

Thank you so much Ellie!! I got such a lot out of the workshop and feel so much more confident using my camera. I really like your style and enjoyed all the content. I just feel so excited to practice!
— Claire Brookes

harriet garner final before.jpg


I love seeing the how parent's photos improve after coming to one of my workshops. These "AFTER" photos were taken by student Harriet Garner for online assignments just weeks after the workshop. She also took these "BEFORE" photos.

harriet garner final after1.jpg
 Ellie Cotton - a.k.a. Dandelion Photography

Ellie Cotton - a.k.a. Dandelion Photography


Ellie Cotton is a the owner & photographer of Dandelion Photography, and has been photographing families, children, births and events since 2010. However she actually picked up her first SLR camera when aged just 11 years old - and that's over 30 years ago - gulp! 

Since starting these workshops in Spring 2017, Ellie has taught approximately 40 parents how to take great photos of their own children with tremendous response from those attending - please take a look at the testimonials below.

You can read more about Ellie & her photography style here.

The course was fab for complete SLR novice for me and am loving the search for the bokeh. I’m even looking at lighting in films and TV programmes now! Thank you once again.
— Heidi Worthington, Rock your camera, Jan 2017


Our venue is the luxury Stanneylands Hotel, a country manor hotel located near Manchester International Airport and Manchester city centre.


Stanneylands Hotel
Stanneylands Road




£120 per person

Included in the workshop fee :

  • Small group workshop (maximum 10 attendees) so I can give you individual attention,
  • Technical "how to" sheets for your specific model of camera
  • Two practical sessions where we go out of the classroom to try out your new skills
  • Delicious lunch, teas & coffees
  • "Cheatsheets" with all the vital bits to remember, because no-one likes reading a long manual
  • Four weeks of email support from me after the workshop to solve any problems you encounter
  • Rock your camera facebook group with 4 weekly assignments to help you practice what you have learned



Rock Your Camera ~ Sat 19 May

Date & Time : Sat 24 Mar | 9am to 2pm
Venue: Stanneylands Rd, Wilmslow SK9 4EY

Includes NEW extended syllabus, Q&A session and two-course lunch from The Stanneylands Hotel.

Rock Your Camera Workshop ~ GIFT CERTIFICATE

Luxury gift certificate for Rock Your Camera photography workshop - course information and dates are all shown here

Gift certificate will be delivered within 2-3 days - but if you require it sooner just email