Click Love Grow Grads – Artist Spotlight on Megan Rutherford
There’s no doubt that learning how to shoot confidently in manual mode is one of the biggest investments you can make in your photography. It’s simply not possible to take the kind of images you dream of in auto mode – at least, not with a hundred misses for every one hit!
But there is more to mastering photography than just learning manual mode. In fact, for so many of our students, gaining confidence in manual mode was simply the first stepping stone on their photography journey.
Click Love Grow Advanced Grad Megan Rutherford was one of these students.
After completing the Enthusiast Course, Megan was confident in manual mode, but she found herself hungry for more knowledge, so she decided to continue her photography journey by leaping into our Advanced Photography Course. And she’s never looked back! She shares that journey with us…
I live on a sheep and cattle property in regional NSW with my hubby and 3 girls aged 3, 5 and 7. On top of running the farm and associated business full time, we also run a kelpie stud where we breed and train working dogs – both for us to use in our day to day lives, and to sell to other farmers.
I also have my own photography business, covering family and couples’ sessions, the occasional rural wedding, and a range of lifestyle commercial products. Although I do photograph non-rural families too, I especially love capturing rural families, travelling to each individual property to capture these beautiful families in their element. I love driving into a new property and being inspired by all the gorgeous potential locations we can use during our session together.
Craving A New Challenge
My photography journey began after the birth of my second child. I was on maternity leave from my job as an agricultural scientist, and was really struggling with the change in pace. I’d gone from a job that was mentally stimulating all the time, to being home all day with a toddler and a newborn while my husband worked long hours out on the farm.
It was hard to adapt and I decided it was time to find something just for me, to fill that gap.
We already had a DSLR, so I began looking into how to use it properly so I could capture photos of my gorgeous – and rapidly growing – children.
I stumbled on Click Love Grow on Facebook, and after jumping on board the free 5 day kids challenge, I found I really enjoyed the content and Lou’s style of teaching, so I signed up for the Enthusiast Photography Course. This taught me how to use my camera in manual mode, which was a total gamechanger!
But once I’d unlocked the power of manual mode, I found myself craving even more!
Hungry For Learning
In the Enthusiast Course, we touched on the importance of light in photography, and I just knew there was SO much more to learn!
I was hungry to explore how light affected my photos, and I knew if I understood it even more, this would help me really grow in my photography. So I jumped straight into the Advanced Course… with a two-year old and a six-month old in tow!
Light, Light and More Light
Well, I came into the Advanced Course wanting to learn more about light, and I definitely found what I was looking for!
The High Key/Low Key lesson was challenging, but it was also one of my favourite lessons as it was such an eye-opener. It really brought home for me the difference that light can have on a final image, and taught me how and where to look for the type of light I envisioned for my own photography.
I also really loved the final lesson on bringing our own visions to life. It is such an amazing feeling to be able to come up with a vision in your mind and then have the skills to go out there and bring it to life.
Thanks to the Advanced Course, and the ability it has given me to read light, I can easily achieve the kind of images I used to dream about.
Flexibility & Connection
I love the way Lou teaches. She is so positive and encouraging, and the lessons are all designed to build on each other so not only were we learning new skills and techniques each week, we were also consolidating the skills and techniques we’d learned in the earlier lessons, too.
The Advanced Course is super flexible and has plenty of catch up time built in.
This was super important for me as some weeks, with the demands of two small children and a farm to juggle, I needed a wee bit more time to complete my lessons and the associated challenges.
The instructors never made me feel rushed or pressured, they really were there to meet us all exactly where we were at.
As well as the invaluable instructor feedback, I also enjoyed being part of the course Facebook group.
It was a safe, non-judgemental place to experiment, learn and grow, with lots of support and encouragement from my fellow students.
I made lots of connections and friendships with fellow photographers that continue today.
The Community Element
It’s been nearly four years since I completed the Advanced Course, and I am still an active member of the Click Love Grow online community because I love the positive, uplifting vibe in the Grads and Advanced Grads groups which you get to join after completing the course. If I’m ever feeling uncertain about an image, or looking for feedback or inspiration, I know I am guaranteed to find the answers I need here. It’s my fave little corner of the internet!
Before & After
We love a good before and after set, and how AMAZING is this one?! Sure, Megan’s before shot is cute – it’s well exposed and has some nice background blur.
But how about that after shot?! It’s beautifully composed with strong leading lines, lovely movement through the frame, and that dynamic use of light is just stunning!
Before Advanced Photography Course
After Advanced Photography Course
Thank you Megan for taking the time to share your CLG experience and gorgeous photos! If you want to see more of Megan’s work you can find her over here.
If you’re shooting in manual mode, our Advanced Photography Course is the next step. You will learn to shoot with confidence in any scenario, and push yourself creatively to develop your style through intensive 1:1 critique on your work. Our next course is starting soon.. click HERE to find out more!