For those of us with an artistic streak that has been inside us for a lot longer than we’ve been mothers, we know the feeling of being too busy and craving time for a creative outlet.
But that’s the beauty of photography… even if you’ve only got 5 minutes, you can fill your cup without even leaving the house. Now I know what you’re thinking… that’s all fine and good, but I don’t have time to even learn photography, to get me to a point where I can take magical photos in just a few minutes!
Well, I’m here to tell you that you do have time, because I created our Enthusiast Photography Course exactly with busy mums in mind.
Also, instructor critique on your images is a key feature of the course, so you’ll never have to struggle along trying to figure out stuff alone. And this is why you will learn fast.
Kate McKenna is a CLG Grad from Melbourne, Australia. She’s a mum of three beautiful kids (aged 3, 7 and 9) and works full time as a lawyer. But despite her busy life, she says she had no issue at all in completing the whole course during the 8 weeks.
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Kate today! Check out her story and discover how the course changed her life…
I took the Click Love Grow Enthusiast Course to help capture photos of my family, but I ended up discovering a love of macro and nature photography.
I have always been interested in photos and bought myself a “good” camera several years ago, but I really had no idea how to use it. Then in 2020 Melbourne went into the first of many Covid lockdowns. I found that really hard – looking after three young kids, working and home-schooling for weeks on end. I turned to my camera hoping a hobby would help me with the boredom and isolation.
Initially I started with just taking photos of my kids. At the time I thought the “right” way to take photos was to get a shot of my kids all looking at the camera at the same time and smiling nicely. However, this was almost an impossible task!
And because I didn’t know how to use my camera properly, I would take hundreds of photos each time trying to get one I liked and that was also in focus.
It ended up with us all feeling frustrated and annoyed at each other, and the kids groaning whenever the camera came out! I felt pretty disheartened but was determined not to give up.
I had tried to learn on my own before, using information I had found searching the internet, but it was just so frustrating! I wanted to learn the basics, but I just didn’t know where to start. It all seemed so complicated and none of it made sense.
Whenever I tried something I had read about, I was so disappointed with the outcome, and I would often miss important moments trying to figure out my camera settings.
Each time I gave up and went back to taking photos on auto and hoping for the best. Sometimes the photos were ok, but more often than not they just didn’t turn out how I wanted.
I started searching for a course, but everything I came across seemed either way too technical, was aimed at people who already knew how to shoot in manual, or required just too much time commitment.
As a busy working mum of three, I had very little time to myself as it was.
I really didn’t want to start something that I couldn’t finish or that would require hours of learning each week. I also needed something for a complete beginner. In the end I had just about given up on finding the perfect course, when I found Click Love Grow.
One night I searched the internet looking for tips for beginners on how to take better photos. I came across the CLG blog and was blown away by all the content. I spent the night reading everything!
By coincidence the Enthusiast Course was just about to begin… I read the description and it was exactly what I was looking for, so I decided to join.
I felt so excited at the thought of learning how to take better photos and having something to do just for myself whilst stuck at home. At first I was just hoping for some tricks on how to get my kids to cooperate and how to stop taking blurry photos – but I got so much more than that!
The Enthusiast Course was a complete game changer for me!
I loved how the lessons were broken up into distinct topics, with challenges for each one to help me apply what I had learned. They were also really easy to follow, without lots of technical jargon. I really felt like the course was designed especially for me!
The lessons covered all the basics and helped me learn how to use my own camera properly (without the need to buy new expensive equipment). It really helped that the lessons were the perfect amount of time to get through in the evening when the kids were in bed, and then I could spend as long or as little as I wanted practising using the challenges.
I was so relieved that I could learn at my own pace and that the lifetime access meant there was no pressure if I couldn’t complete it during the live round. I enjoyed it so much though, that I looked forward to each lesson and there was no issue at all in completing the whole course.
The feedback I received on each challenge from the CLG instructors was simply invaluable.
Before the course, I would often compare myself to experienced photographers on social media which made me feel more unhappy with my photos. But being in a group designed for beginners made it a stress and comparison free environment.
I felt so nervous at first about sharing and was worried my photos weren’t good enough. However the CLG instructors and other students were all so supportive and helpful! They really helped build my confidence with each lesson.
I had never been in such a great group before – everyone encouraging and inspiring each other without any competition or criticism.
Each lesson was full of little “aha!” moments that made it all come together for me. The lesson on light in particular made me rethink my entire approach to taking photos and I saw instant improvements.
I really couldn’t believe the difference in such a short period of time.
At the end of the course, I was so excited to share my before and after shots with the group.
I thought the course was just about taking photos of your kids – but it was about so much more than that!
It introduced me to my love of nature and macro photography. It started when I took a photo of a tulip for the aperture lesson challenge. It was so peaceful sitting in my garden experimenting with my settings and taking photos of flowers. Something just clicked and I realised this might be a way of combining my interest in photography with my need for self-care.
I am now able to head off for walks around the neighbourhood with my camera and find my happy place amongst the bees and the flowers.
I still love to document my family life (and CLG has made that so much more enjoyable!) but these days my macro and nature photography is the thing I do all for myself.
It allows me a creative outlet and it brings me lots of joy.
Each lesson in the Enthusiast Course taught me skills that help me fit in my macro photography around my busy schedule. Now I can just head out whenever I have a spare hour and get photos that make me proud, rather than waiting for the perfect light or perfect conditions.
…the lesson on light helped me understand how to shoot in different lighting conditions…
…the shutter speed lesson helped me to take photos on windy days and shots of active little insects…
…and the lesson on composition taught me how to get interesting and varied photos when wandering around my neighbourhood.
I also realised in the last lesson of the Enthusiast Course the importance of editing, and surprised myself with how much I love the editing process!
I had always felt disappointed that my photos didn’t look like the beautiful light and airy photos on Instagram. It hadn’t occurred to me that they were not straight out of camera shots. Now I find nothing more relaxing than a quiet cup of tea while editing my latest photos.
I discovered that as much as I loved those light and airy edits, that isn’t actually the style of photos I am drawn to taking. The same aperture lesson that sparked my interest in flower photography included a challenge where I was able to compare two different styles of photography – and I realised how much more I was drawn to the dark and moody photos.
Now I take photos I love rather than trying to replicate the style of others.
I would absolutely recommend CLG to anyone wanting to learn photography!
I really cannot believe how much I have learnt in such a short period of time.
I only did the course in 2020 as a complete beginner. In 2022 I actually had several of my photos selected for the CLG Annual Magazine and it was the most incredible feeling to see my photos published in a magazine amongst so many talented photographers! My husband and kids all told me how proud they were of me.
I also love that the learning and support didn’t end after the last lesson. I immediately joined the Grads Facebook Group, which is one of my favourite parts of CLG. I love the regular challenges that push me to continue playing and learning. I have even met a number of the other beautiful grads in real life now and they are just as warm and encouraging as they are online.
CLG was the best thing I ever did for myself! I feel more confident not only in taking and editing photos, but in just having fun and pushing myself creatively.
Photography went from being a source of frustration to my favourite form of self-care. It started as a way to cope through the pandemic, but has now become a real passion that I never would have discovered without CLG.
A before & after set of images is a fantastic way to see how the Enthusiast Course will transform your images, and Kate’s are amazing!
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