This post documenting my journey to Click Pro is way overdue since I was accepted in January. Better late than never though, right?
Approximately two and a half years ago, I stumbled upon Clickin Moms, a website full of information for photographers of all levels. At the time, I was quite new to using my camera properly, and had spent hours and hours scouring the internet for information that would help me learn the art, and science, of photography. I had learned to shoot in manual mode, but that wasn’t enough for me. I didn’t merely want to be one more photographer in the world – I wanted to be great at what I did. Photography had called to my soul – it was more than “just a picture” to me from day one.
Over the next few weeks, I’m pretty sure I read and practiced the info from every single tutorial available on the forum. As I was reading threads, I kept seeing references to something called “pro”. Without fully understanding what it was, I decided that if it was something I could achieve, I wanted to work towards it. I didn’t really know how long it would take for me to get to a place of being eligible, but kept it in the back of my mind as I continued in my journey.
It took me longer than it should’ve to finally decide to invest in my first workshop. Being new, I still had many things I needed/wanted, and I wanted to be selective in how I invested in my new hobby. I knew how quickly this hobby could become expensive, and I needed to be sure my investments were worthy of my spending…and to be sure that *I* was worthy of them.
While I desperately wanted to upgrade to the finest equipment, (I only had a D3000 at the time), I decided that a workshop would serve me far more in the long-run. New and shiny equipment were only tools in my hands. If I could understand how to use the equipment I had, and work through the limitations that came with not having the latest and greatest new things, I knew I would be off in the long-run. So instead of upgrading, I took a Click Photo School workshop. And with that one workshop, an addiction was born. I’ve taken many since that time, and have never regretted any of them.
Side note, if you want to read reviews of some of the workshops I’ve taken, here you go, and more will be added as I complete them. Just by clicking on some of these classes, you’ll see how much I’ve grown by taking them!
- Mastering Natural Light Indoors – this course taught me how to use natural light indoors, and about taking control of light and, my favorite, shadows.
- Fine Art & Visual Expression – this class is jam packed with information. It is one of those classes I find myself returning to over and over again, and each time I discover something new.
- Newborn Photography – You should’ve seen my work before taking this class. It is the first class I ever took at Click Photo School. The instructor, Alicia, is so generous and giving of herself. This class has defined my business, and while my style has evolved since I took the course, I can’t thank its existence enough for bringing me to where I am today.
- Communicating with Color & Light – This class taught me how to use Lightroom to full capacity and without presets. It’s incredible, and Caroline, the instructor, is very helpful and insightful into helping you discover yourself. It is a class I’d like to take again, because I know I’ve found myself so much more since then. I’ll definitely be revisiting the materials soon!
I’ll come back and link to Composition & Creativity, Capturing Joy, and The Illuminated View (my current workshop) as soon as I get those written. :
So, back to my journey, I took workshop after workshop. I have grown, I have learned, and I have discovered photography as an art. In early 2015 I made it a goal to apply for Pro by the end of the year (and by this point, I did understand what it was, ha!). I put together my first set, had it reviewed, and almost applied in the summer. However, I knew I would be taking some great classes that fall (FAVE and C&C), and knowing some of my favorite photos are often taken during a workshop, I decided to wait just a little longer. I was glad I waited, as many photos from these classes made it into my set, and by the conclusion of them both, I finally felt truly ready to put myself out there and open myself up to a serious review of my work. I knew if I were rejected, at that point I would have given it my all, and would keep trying if that is what it took.
Just after Christmas 2015, I decided to submit my set. I had a few other pros who I admire take a final look, I made some changes, and without looking back, I hit “submit”. I waited, thankful for the birthday of my oldest son as a distraction.
Almost exactly two weeks later, I got my email. I honestly had no idea whether I would be accepted. I had hoped I would be, but wasn’t sure if my work was there yet. To my excitement, I was, and I was happily surprised by my score in each category.
I’m honored, humbled, and grateful for how far I’ve come, and I know I’m not finished growing. I will continue to put my all into this work that has permeated every ounce of my being. I have reached one goal, and am so thankful to have done so. But for me, achievement of a goal is never completion. It is only the beginning.
If you’d like to see the set of images I submitted, you may do so HERE!
And also CLICK HERE to follow me on the Click Pro Daily Project!