Click Love Grow graduate Melanie Nebbeling became known for her love of vintage styled child portraits from the very beginning when she joined our first Advanced Photography Course of 2017.
Since then, we can clearly see the evidence of her new knowledge of advanced lighting and composition as her gorgeous portraits of her youngest daughter go from strength to strength. Melanie, who lives in East Lansing, Michigan with her hubby and daughter, took time out from a very busy week to talk to us about where she finds her inspiration and ideas.
PS. A BIG thank you to Melanie who was so busy being mamma (I SO get it!) that she did this interview for us whilst lying on an acupuncturist’s table with needles in her face!
How did you feel about photography prior to taking the Click Love Grow Photography Course?
I have been passionate about photography for the past 3.5 years and tried to learn on my own, jumping from one online tutorial to the next. I was so excited when I found the Advanced Photography course from Click Love Grow as it was exactly what I was looking for!
How has your photography improved the most since you began?
“Since beginning the course I have learned how to work with many kinds of lighting situations that I would have shied away from in the past”.
I used to like to take pics mainly on overcast days or at golden hour but now I know how to use the available light any time of day if I have to.
Did you experience any “aha!” moments that helped improve your photography?
“Learning to read the histogram was my big “aha!” moment and has been so helpful in taking me to the next level with my photography!”
I had tried to understand it before but it never clicked until I took this course!
What genre of photography do you enjoy the most and why do you enjoy it?
My favorite genre of photography is photographing children. I love capturing my daughter just being a kid and enjoying life. It is magical to me!
Where do you find inspiration for your photography?
I find a lot of inspiration for my photography through children’s clothing which I like to use as a type of “prop”.
I love to find outfits that match the theme of the location where I am shooting. Sometimes I will find a new location and then will find the perfect outfit for it or vice versa. For example, recently we did a shoot at a candy store while we were on vacation in NJ. I had been there before and when I saw a blue and white striped dress for my daughter I had to buy it and go back to that store for pics because I knew that it was a perfect match for the location.
Sometimes an antique store find, such as an old hat or a wicker baby carriage will be my inspiration or even finding a new and interesting location. Sometimes one my daughter’s toys will be my inspiration, particularly her stuffed bunny, “Carrots” who has featured in several of my shoots!
Do you have a fun photography story you’d like to share with us? Perhaps a mishap, a learning moment, a fun fact?
My fun story would have to be that I travel a lot with my husband on business and while we are in different cities I like to look up photographers in the area we are visiting who do really good work and hire them to take pics of my daughter so I can take “lessons” from them while they shoot!
I have a hard time finding photographers in Michigan who shoot and edit in the more vintage style that I love and have better luck finding them when we travel. It has been a great learning tool for me.
Do you have a favourite lens or other piece of equipment? Why do you love it?
My favorite lens at the moment is my Canon 135mm f/2. It is such a beautiful portrait lens with amazing blur! I also love my Canon 85mm f/1.2 for the same reasons.
What was your favourite aspect of the Click Love Grow Course?
My favorite part of this course was how personable it was. Lou is such an amazing teacher! I loved the Q&A sessions that she gave during the course. They were so helpful!
I really liked how many topics were covered in such a short time, much more than I expected.
“I have a very hectic schedule sometimes and found this course very doable even with all I had going on. That was a big plus for me!”
Lastly, do you have a before and after the Click Love Grow photography course to share with us?
Is there anything else you’d like to share with us about your learning experience?
I am so happy to have found the wonderful group of women in the Click Love Grow community. I look forward to continuing on this journey of becoming a better photographer with each one of you. Thanks Lou and Pam for starting this group and for offering us these awesome classes.
“I have learned so much here whilst making new friends and having fun along the way. This group is my happy place “.
If you’re ready to challenge yourself and take your photography to the next level, our Advanced Photography Course is starting again soon! Find all the details over here…