As mums, we resist spending on ourselves because we feel guilty, and we look for justification before we do it. But when you stop and think about all we do, and all we give of ourselves to our kids, our family, our finances, our homes, our extended family and even our pets… why do we deny ourselves? We’re important too!
Teagan Mcfarlane is a mum of two and in her life before kids, she had a fulfilling career she loved. Her interest in photography peaked when she had her second child, but despite desperately wanting to buy a DSLR and invest in a photography course, she hesitated for a long time.
Because she felt so much guilt around spending money on herself. And here’s the thing… Teagan was suffering from post natal depression, so if there was ever a time she needed a creative outlet, it was NOW!
Luckily for Teagan her husband recognised that before she did, and he encouraged and supported her to buy a camera and join our courses. And she says it gave her back her life…
Read on to learn how photography changed Teagan’s life, and enjoy her stunning images of the Australian outback!
My name is Teagan, and my husband and I have been travelling around Australia in a caravan with our two children for 2.5 years full time! Its a very nomadic lifestyle that really suits me, and I love exploring our life through my lens!
I’ve always had a huge interest in photography. I took the classes at high school but never followed on with it as adulting and careers got in the way. Fast forward to motherhood when my first born came along and the passion showed its face again. But I didn’t do anything more than join some photography pages and admire quietly from the sidelines.
Then baby number two come along and our real life began… we sold everything, bought a caravan and moved to a slow paced life on the road and this is what really set my photography journey on fire!
After having children, I decided to become a full time mum so I left my career as an Environmentalist / Safety Officer for an oil and gas company. I felt a massive loss at leaving, especially as I had worked incredibly hard at it, and I knew I would unlikely return to it after children.
I struggled a LOT with postnatal depression, and I was feeling a loss of identity.
At the same time the desire to learn photography was still there. I want to become the family historian and learn how to take beautiful and meaningful photos that documented my family’s life. But it felt like a huge decision, and I hesitated for a very long time. I think I cried about 6 times with guilt before hitting the buy button!
I felt as though I was being selfish and letting my family down by spending money on myself.
For weeks I tried to sell CLG’s Enthusiast Course to my husband in multiple different ways to justify the cost. He thought I had lost my mind! The thing is, my husband was already on board and couldn’t understand the guilt I was feeling about it. He was insanely supportive and encouraged me because he knew how much I’d given up to be a full time mum.
We both also knew I needed something fulfilling for myself, that would also (hopefully) work as a tonic for my PND. And that is when CLG entered my life!
I actually started the CLG Enthusiast Course with just an iPhone, and by the second lesson I knew I was hooked! So I purchased a DSLR and I’ve never looked back!
I started with the goal to learn how to take beautiful portraits, and I had an interest in studio photography too. But since I began learning with CLG, my preferred genre 10000% changed! After chats with students and instructors in the course groups, I soon realised it wasn’t the genre I enjoyed the most. Instead, I found my passion went in an unexpected direction, and that was landscapes and product photography.
Its amazing how much I learnt from the CLG team. They don’t push you in a particular direction, and instead encourage you to find your passion. It led me to discover something I never would have considered otherwise.
I thought I understood light. But I had a big a-ha moment in the Advanced Light lesson of the Advanced Course. It was a real in-depth ‘study of light’, and it changed my perception of photography.
I began really experimenting with different light and the way I shoot, and it took my photos to a level I was beginning to feel really proud of!
When I joined the course, I started out comparing myself to others and struggled to put my work out there due to a lack of self confidence. But the group was so uplifting and supportive, and the feedback from instructors really helped me. It’s given in a really positive way even when it’s regarding something you need to improve.
Another highlight of the way CLG courses are structured is the interactions with instructors as well other students in the course group, which really helps you stay on track.
Also, it’s a very stress free experience.
When I did the courses I was a busy stay at home mum of 2 under 2, so when I sat down to do the lessons, it was always at the end of an exhausting day. But it was so easy because the course is self paced, and written and ordered in a way that is really easy to follow.
Plus you have lifetime access to the course material so you can look back on it and refresh at any time.
I also love that CLG is a one stop shop of learning. Once I completed the beginner’s photography course (Enthusiast Photography Course) where I learned how to use my camera in manual mode, I was hooked on their teaching style.
The next logical step was the Advanced Course, as it really is the best follow up from the Enthusiast Course. It builts on the foundation skills you learn and dives deeper into the fundamentals of shooting, light, composition and editing.
I also love that they offer niched creative workshops, that focus on everything from newborn photography, lifestyle family photography, food photography, and everything in between. Those workshops are fantastic for honing your skills in specific areas you want to work on, or genres you want to learn.
Fast forward to now and my husband mentioned to me how glad he is that I made the decision to invest time and money into my photography learning. He’s proud of what I’ve achieved and documented for our family.
We can both see how much it helped my PND, and gave me back my meaning.
I’m extremely proud to be on the other side of what felt like a terrible cycle, and I love that CLG courses and community helped me more than I could ever say.
And as we love to do, we’re sharing a before and after set of images from Teagan to show off how far she came in her learning with CLG!
Much love to Teagan for her honest and personal words, and her stunning imagery! If you want to see more of her work you can find her over here.
On Day 2 of our HUGE week of Advanced Course celebrations, I chatted live with Teagan Mcfarlane who talked about the positive impact taking our Advanced Course had not just for her photography, but for herself and her family!
If you missed it live, that’s ok! Watch the replay below and learn the secrets behind some of her most stunning images!
If you’re shooting in manual mode and ready to elevate your skills, on our Advanced Photography Course you will learn to shoot with confidence in any scenario, and push yourself creatively to find and develop your style through intensive 1:1 critique on your work. Head here to get more info and reserve your seat!