Like most new mums, when I had my first bub, I took allllll the photos. And like many new mums, I became frustrated because my photos were blurry and just didn’t live up to the vision I had in my head. It was this frustration that eventually led me to starting Click Love Grow, and I love that I now get to help other mums learn to take better photos of their kids!
And sometimes, that journey to taking better photos of their kids leads to unexpected things, like a total career change! Read on to find out how this was exactly the case for CLG Enthusiast Grad Amanda Marenghi…
Mama-of-three Amanda Marenghi never pictured herself as the creative type, and she certainly never thought she’d find a new career in photography – but after taking the Click Love Grow Enthusiast Course, that’s exactly what she did!
She already had a busy career in the health and fitness industry, but when her first bub arrived, she realised she was ready for a change – and with a little bit of encouragement from her hubby and Click Love Grow, she found a whole new career…
I never once imagined myself owning a fancy DSLR camera, nor as a “creative”, nor as a photographer! So I think my story is maybe a little surprising, as I never imagined myself enjoying photography!
Before taking the Enthusiast Course, I was embracing my life-long love of health and fitness with a career in that industry. For years, I existed as a fast-paced, high-energy person who struggled to slow down.
It was actually my husband who convinced me to take a photography course. I was pregnant with my first daughter, and while I had no interest in photography, I was at a turning point in my life and my career in which I needed something different.
Little did I know that photography would become such a therapeutic part of my life, not only providing me with cherished photos of my kids but also that all-important me-time.
Towards the end of my first pregnancy, my husband and I made a last minute decision to hire a photographer for some maternity photos, evidence that I was not in this “must-document-mindset” yet at all! But as I approached the end of my pregnancy, I realised I felt sad about how soon it would be over. I wanted photos of this magical, fleeting moment while I was still pregnant with my first child.
During a HOT Arizona summer, my husband and I scrambled to awkwardly pose and get comfortable in front of the camera but by the end of the shoot, we were laughing and having fun with the photographer and couldn’t wait to see how our photos turned out!
As we walked to our car to go home, my husband said, “You should do that!” I was completely surprised by this statement…Me? A photographer? Please!
But he persisted and said, “You work hard at what you do and it seems like it would be fun. I think you would love it”. I was half-flattered and half-shrugged it off.
During the birth of our first child a few weeks later, things took a turn for the worse and my doctor recommended an emergency caesarean, requiring me to be knocked completely unconscious. I was disappointed about this to say the least! I felt like I had missed a momentous occasion – the entry of my daughter into this world.
Though the birth of my daughter didn’t go as planned, I’m forever grateful for the caring and thoughtful nurses who took photos of all of it! Yes, they are iPhone photos, but they still mean everything to me. the iPhone live photos allowed me to hear my daughter’s first cries, see and hear my husband’s reaction, to see what it was like having my daughter put on my chest for the first time. As groggy as I was, these photos helped me remember and experience the day, and helped me to process all that happened.
The importance of photographic documentation was realised like a lightning bolt in my heart and in my head.
We once again hired a photographer to do lifestyle, in-home newborn photos (which would later become my favorite genre of photography), and my husband once again said, “You should do that!”.
This time, I agreed! I wasn’t quite ready to walk away from my career, but I decided I want to jump into learning photography and to possibly pursue a more flexible career. One which would allow me more time at home with my kid in the future. At the very least, I wanted to be able to photograph my bouncing bundle of joy!
At first this idea of a new career was a little overwhelming yet super exciting! I spent my time researching ALL the things, from what gear I would need to what courses I should take.
I bought my first DSLR while on maternity leave and signed up for a self-paced, online photography course through a digital learning resource library. I spent so much time reading the content and then trying to figure out this fancy, overwhelming camera in manual mode by myself without being sure what to practice on or if I was learning anything at all.
All I knew was that I was getting tonnes of blurry photos. I was completely fumbling!
I came across a recommendation in a beginners photography group suggesting Click Love Grow’s Enthusiast Course. I was told it was an online course with live support, with opportunities to ask questions and complete assignments each week.
This was exactly what I was longing for, but I was hesitant. I was still wondering if I should finish that first course before starting a new one. I was also just returning to work full-time and caring for a 3-month-old baby, suddenly living the “Working Mom” life.
But I went for it! I needed something practical and I was really excited about the learning possibilities that would continue after the course was completed, through the CLG Grads Group.
I appreciate the thoroughness of the course materials and the supportive and caring community created within the course. It helped me affirm the underlying part of me needing this new creative pursuit and to commit to the effort of continuous growth.
Through the CLG Enthusiast Course, I grew a much greater understanding of how to manipulate my camera settings to get the photos I wanted. It gave me the foundation I needed to start photographing people and provided me with the live, personal feedback and the interaction I was craving.
Of all the beautifully articulated lessons, my favorite was easily the portraits section because I knew I wanted to photograph people and I was able to practice on my adorable newborn baby.
The course gave me the practice and feedback I needed to have confidence in what I was doing.
One of the most valuable components of the course was seeing what other participants were trying and obtaining ideas and tips through examples of their work and their questions.
While I was taking the course, I started showing some of my photos on social media and my friends started asking me to take photos for them. Whaaaat?!? This was exciting!
It also created a positive momentum for me to start my business a few months later! Now, I still had a way to go in my photography journey, but part of a growth mindset is believing in one’s self – AND STARTING! So that’s what I did!
Bless my dear friends who also believed in me, even in those very inconsistent, early days!
Since taking the Enthusiast course back in October 2017, I’ve been through a second pregnancy (with twins!) and even though life has sped up, I’ve taken countless more CLG workshops and have spent hours and hours practicing my skills.
A few years later, photography is a new, fresh start for me and it’s also a new, beloved form of self-care.
My journey into photography has allowed me to dig into a creative component of myself I didn’t know I had; providing countless moments of self-reflection and quiet and many opportunities for fun and giggles with my girls and with friends who I have photographed through my business.
I had a dream to try something completely new and different and I believe the CLG Enthusiast Course helped me expedite the starting process by providing a solid, practical course and a supportive, encouraging community.
Aside from word of mouth, a before and after set of images is one of the most powerful ways to show our photography courses work, and how much you can transform your photos in just 8 weeks. Just check out Amanda’s fabulous before and after set!
Many thanks to Amanda for sharing her story and beautiful images with us! To see more of her stunning work, you can find her on Instagram.
If you’re ready to master your camera and the foundations of photography to take photos you LOVE, our Enthusiast Photography Course is for you! Click here for more info and to join our next round…