As a mum and a photographer, I know how hard it can be to find the time to learn how to use a manual camera. When I got my first DSLR, learning how to use it was unbelievably frustrating and time consuming. And so, so disheartening.
I was on maternity leave with a new baby and my husband was away a lot in the military, so it was a busy time. When I couldn’t take the kind of photos of my daughter I had envisioned, I tried to learn by myself through various tutorials and YouTube. But there was too much information and I didn’t know where any of it fit in the big picture. Not to mention the jargon!
My camera ended up in the too hard basket, because who has the time for this when you have a baby? Obviously I got there in the end, but it took literally years! And that was why I created the Enthusiast Course, and why I designed it in the way that I did… because it shouldn’t have been that hard, or taken that long!
Desiree Wade is one of our gorgeous grads, and she had the same experience. She is a full time working mama who wanted to take great photos of her daughters, but after trying to learn how to use her DSLR alone, she gave up. Until she found us…
I’m thrilled to introduce you to Desiree today, who has a before and after set of images so amazing you have to see them to believe it!
Hey y’all! I am Desiree, and I live in Tennessee. I am a mama of two sweet girls that are 3 and 5 years old and a wife! Those are the two roles in my life that mean the most to me. I am a social worker by day so helping and advocating for people is a big part of who I am.
What motivated me to get my first camera were my daughters. I wanted something better than my iPhone to capture the memories of them growing up. About 2 months after I got my first DSLR my oldest daughter, who was 2.5 years old at the time, was diagnosed with autism.
As her mom, I wanted to be able to share how beautiful the world was through our daughter’s eyes because she sees and feels things around her differently. She had a significant speech delay so I also wanted to give her a voice while she was finding her own voice!
I remember feeling very defeated because my photos were just not turning out the way I wanted them to look. I had been trying to learning how to properly use my camera in manual mode by watching a lot of different YouTube videos and reading blogs to try to teach myself.
But I am a wife and a full time working mom, so I didn’t have a ton of extra time to look for videos and hope by the end of watching them that I learned something that would help me. It was a little hard and kind of a disaster!
I was wasting so much time trying to teach myself how to use my camera and it just wasn’t working out for me. I actually put my camera away for a few months because I was so frustrated with trying to learn to use it.
But after a while I decided to take a photography course. I found the Click Love Grow community on Facebook and I’m so happy I did, because it really gave to the confidence to let go of my fear and pick my camera back up.
The Enthusiast Photography Course was different from the YouTube videos that I tried to watch and the other blogs that I had read.
It was self paced while allowing me to interact with a whole class of students as well as the instructors.
I could ask the instructors questions and I was able to get feedback on my photos from them and from the other students. It was really nice to have that community to be able to cheer you on and to get feedback.
The biggest takeaway from the course for me was learning about the exposure triangle and not to be afraid of my camera in manual mode.
I also discovered that I was not only taking technically great pictures of my kids, but the Enthusiast Course taught me how to create art with my photos.
Another one of my favorite parts of the course was being able to share my photos with students from all over the world, and see the world through the photos they shared. It was really awesome to see people learning how to use their cameras to tell their own stories.
Much gratitude to Desiree for sharing your story and beautiful images! If you want to check out more of her work, you can find her here.
I chatted with CLG Enthusiast Course Grad Desiree this week!
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!