Some of our students come to us having never picked up a camera before, with absolutely zero knowledge of photography. But most of our students find their way to Click Love Grow because they have been taking photos for a little while and have become frustrated with the limitations of auto mode and the blurry, haphazard snapshots that inevitably result.
In fact, one of the most common reasons students give for signing up for our Enthusiast Course is that they want to master manual mode and learn how to shoot the kind of photos they just know they are capable of!
This was exactly the case for Lauren Sunnen, a mum-of-two from Chatham-Kent in Ontario, Canada. She had been an avid photographer since childhood, picking up every camera she could get her hands on, but after having her first child, she realised that what she wanted her photos to look like, and what they actually looked like were not the same thing – in fact, they were miles apart!
So she began looking for a flexible photography course to suit her busy life, and, well, the rest is history!
For as long as I can remember, photography has been a passion of mine. Some of my favourite memories are of taking photos with my mom’s film camera as a kid, the disposable cameras she would buy for me to use on our summer vacations, and I’ll never forget my first underwater camera. It’s such a great feeling flipping through old photo albums and reliving all the moments I captured!
As I got older, my cameras got a little fancier, but they still didn’t exactly offer the creative freedom I was looking for.
My husband surprised me with my first DSLR camera, a Canon Rebel SL2 (which I still currently shoot with), the Christmas after our first son was born. I was so excited to finally be able to capture photos of our family in a way I had always envisioned.
But the frustration set in quite quickly when trying to learn how to use this beautiful new camera. Capturing the images I was hoping to seemed so far out of reach!
I read the manual front to back, watched countless hours of YouTube videos, even reached out to others I knew who had fancy cameras but nothing was clicking! My images fell flat and my frustration grew.
Prior to becoming a mom my mindset was so different. I worked full time, even had a small baking business, played piano and alto saxophone, and of course, no matter where I went, I was always taking photos. After becoming a mom, though, all of that fell to the wayside and life was all about this tiny human we had brought into the world.
I suffered from serious “mom guilt” and felt as if having something for me was no longer allowed. But at the same time, I was stuck in a slump, feeling like a bad mom who couldn’t capture those beautiful photos of my baby that it seemed everyone else was posting on Facebook!
I started researching different courses out there that I could take to help improve my photography, but nothing really drew me in. I didn’t know exactly what I was looking for in a photography course, I just knew that whatever it was, I hadn’t found it yet.
Then one night, while I was sitting up late with the baby, I stumbled across the Click Love Grow Facebook page and I immediately felt like I was exactly where I was supposed to be!
I’m fairly certain my computer was tracking everything I had been searching and Facebook was like “don’t worry girl, we got you!”
After discovering the CLG Facebook page, I felt so giddy and I hadn’t even explored anything yet!
I scrolled through the page and fell in love with the images I was seeing from students. These women were posting images that I could only dream of being able to capture, so I decided to check out the website and I’m so happy that I did because it was everything I’d been searching for!
The blog posts were (and still are) beyond helpful and explained things in a way I could actually understand.
I had this overwhelming feeling that I was exactly where I was supposed to be. Everything was explained so clearly, and for the first time, it all made perfect sense.
After spending some time working through the free CLG workshops, I was feeling hopeful and excited and ready to dive into something deeper.
It was time to jump into the Enthusiast Course!
As a new mom, the Enthusiast Course was perfect for me! I loved having the flexibility to complete the lessons at my own pace and on my own schedule. It was exactly what I needed.
As I worked through the lessons, I realised that each lesson was one piece of the puzzle, and by the end, you had all the pieces and could put them together to create a beautiful image.
Finally, I was capturing images of my baby that I loved!
The aperture lesson was my favourite. Not only was it the part of the course where the triangle really started to make sense for me, learning how to achieve bokeh and seeing the difference that a blurred background made to my photos blew me away.
During the aperture lesson, my photos were chosen to be featured as the top photos that week, and I was so happy that I rang my husband at work to tell him. I don’t think he’s ever seen me so excited!
Besides the lesson topics themselves, I loved how clearly everything was explained, and that there were both video and written material to refer to. We don’t all learn the same way and this made it easy to choose my preferred learning style.
One of the best things about CLG is that you have access to the course FOR LIFE, which is amazing! I can go back and revisit the lessons any time I’m struggling with something, plus there is ongoing support, encouragement and challenges in the Grads group after the course finishes.
And lets not forget the friends I’ve made along the way – there’s nothing better than being able to cheer each other on and help each other out from all over the globe!
I now wholeheartedly recommend CLG to all my friends who are looking to improve their photography skills. There’s a course or workshop to suit everyone, and I still thank my lucky stars every day that I stumbled across the CLG Facebook page that night sitting up with bub!
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 Lauren for your time and gorgeous images! If you want to check out more of her work, you can find her on Instagram.
I chatted with CLG Enthusiast Course Grad Lauren Sunnen 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!
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