As Mums, it can be so easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of everyday life. And somehow, it always seems the things we enjoyed doing and made us happy pre-kids find themselves slipping further and further down the to-do list, until one day we realise we’ve ended up not making any time for them at all!
But it’s so important to make time to feed that little creative spark inside, because a happy mum = happy kids. And the bonus with photography is that you can involve your kids in the process!
This is exactly how Washington mum-of-three April Lashley found herself feeling when she had her last bub. She was thankful to have the option of leaving her hospital job of ten years to be a stay-at-home mum, but she also wanted to have a little something left for herself, to fill her creative cup.
After becoming frustrated in the search for a fulfilling hobby, April stumbled across Click Love Grow on Facebook. And through our Enthusiast Photography Course, she discovered a whole new sense of creative freedom!
Today I’m excited to introduce you to April as she shares her story…
When I was in high school, I really loved photography. I initially planned to go to art school to study photography right after leaving school, but unfortunately that dream got put on hold to due to finances. The art institute was quite a distance from my hometown so that was also a factor.
Instead, I found a career working at the local hospital, and I was also helping my husband out in our heavy-duty repair shop alongside being a mom. After our third bub was born, I gave up my hospital job to stay at home with the children full time. Being able to do that was such a blessing!
But I wanted to do something for myself besides being Mom.
So when my husband suggested I try to find a hobby that makes me happy, I decided it was time to pick up my camera again.
Related: Making Time For Creative Self Care
I had a new baby, so I figured I also needed a new camera!
I took photos of my new baby, my other kids, of family members and friends’ children, anyone who would get in front of my lens. But I was never truly satisfied with the images I was creating.
I really wanted to be able to take crisp, sharp images with gorgeous background blur like the photographers I followed online, but my images felt flat and fuzzy. And the more I looked at other photographers’ work, the worse I felt about my own. It wasn’t uplifting at all!
Then I stumbled across a Facebook Group called Click Love Grow…
I joined the Click Love Grow Facebook Group and spotted the free courses they offered. But what really spoke to me the most was seeing Lou’s before and afters of her own kids, and for the first time, I believed taking those kind of images was accessible to me. Lou seemed so down to earth and approachable, a I finally felt I really could master this!
I posted some images in the group to ask for feedback, and received lots of helpful advice. Lots of people were recommending the Click Love Grow Enthusiast Course, so I took a deep breath and took the plunge. I signed up!
The lessons in the Enthusiast Course were a total game changer for me. We started with the basics, and as I learned about light and the exposure triangle, something just clicked and manual mode finally made sense.
I loved that it was broken down into such manageable chunks. Plus, the instructor feedback helped me see that I was on the right track and how I could strengthen and improve my images.
Suddenly I understood exactly how all those photographers I had been following achieved their gorgeous images – and I started to see my own photos transform!
I couldn’t believe the images I was creating – I would go out and shoot, and then come home and edit, and the whole time my heart was just racing with excitement to see how the final image would turn out! It was such a rush!
Back in high school, when I was contemplating a career in photography, I used to say “photography is what sets my soul on fire”. I was always so passionate about it, which only made me feel even more frustrated when I couldn’t seem to get the vision in my head to come out in my images.
But now, I’m feeling that same passion again – photography really does set my soul on fire. Only now, I look at the images I’m taking and I can genuinely say I’m proud of where I’m at.
It’s such an amazing feeling!
We love a before and after set of images as it’s the best way to show off our student’s transformation!
Big thank you to April for your time and gorgeous images! If you want to check out more of her work, you can find her on Instagram.
If you’re frustrated with your camera and ready to get out of auto mode, I’d love to help you master your camera and take photos you LOVE! Our Enthusiast Photography Course starts soon… click here to join!