This month we’re chatting to Tonya Backes, who comes from a small town in South West Wisconsin, USA, where she lives with her husband and two daughters.
Tonya just recently completed our Enthusiast Photography Course at the start of 2017, and she’s just graduated from our Advanced Photography Course… so she’s very fresh to the Click Love Grow community and has completely transformed her photography and is taking amazing photos!
Check out her fantastic Before & After to show her progress in a short time. Thankyou so much Tonya for sharing your story and photos with us, they’re so inspiring and we’re grateful that you’re a part of our community!
I’ve always loved photography, just ask my husband and he’ll tell you I take “too many photos”.
Pfft! Like that’s a thing…
Before Click Love Grow I would always just point and shoot without wondering about how to best preserve the memory of that moment.
I’ve gone from shooting in auto to full manual mode.
I can remember standing on the lake shore at night and pointing my camera towards the Mackinac Bridge without having a clue what I should do.
I rotated the dial between the different auto settings thinking that one of them would magically produce the perfect image without doing anything else.
One came close… just don’t enlarge it! After Click Love Grow, I’ve successfully photographed lightning from my front porch.
It’s not the settings alone that I’ve improved in though. I’ve become much better at finding locations, posing, editing… it’s been an all around learning experience.
I’ve never been the most confident person, so my aha moment would be during the enthusiast course when we had to photograph a sunset.
It was the first time I didn’t have to stop and think about every move I made while in manual mode and I managed to produce some pretty good images. That confidence boost gave me the extra boost I needed to dive further in because I knew I was capable of it and as a result, I feel I did better from that moment on.
Up until recently, I just wanted to take better pictures and I have accomplished that goal. My next goal would be to make a business out of all I’ve learned.
I have to get my confidence to catch up to that idea first but I think it’s progressively getting there.
I love lifestyle photography and I can find inspiration anywhere… when my kids don’t want to be my models anymore I’ll turn to flowers.
My daughters are my main inspiration though, they have such different personalities and I love capturing their individuality.
I’ve learned to be picky about the quality of what I’m buying for my camera.
Just a couple of months ago my strap broke causing my camera to plummet towards the gravel road.
My camera was on, my lens not protected, my screen flipped open…and I swear I about had a heart attack.
The only thing that happened was a scrape on the corner of the camera body but since then, even if it costs a little extra, I’m not taking any more chances.
I shoot with a Nikon D5500 and my favorite lens is my 35mm.
For my needs, it’s perfect! I love it because it lets in lots of light and creates dreamy bokah. It also allows me to be close to my subjects which I prefer.
I can’t pick just one… you can’t make me!
My favorite aspect is how everything is explained.
It’s laid out in a way that is easy to understand and it doesn’t make you feel overwhelmed.
I also love how the instructors are there to help you succeed and how laid back the environment is.
The overall experience has been wonderful but what’s truly amazing is how diverse the students are and despite the differences, all of these women really step up and try to motivate one another.
Photography has been a comfort in stressful times and has given me and my daughter a common interest. We parents or caregivers know quality time becomes rare during the tween years and I’m sure even more rare when we catch up to the teen years.